Jerry Coker was born on November 28, 1932 in South Bend, Indiana and picked up the clarinet and tenor saxophone long before going to study at Indiana University.
At the beginning of the 1950s he played tenor saxophone in the Fred Dale Big Band, but in 1953 he interrupted his studies to become a member of the Woody Herman Orchestra. During this time he also played in the Nat Pierce / Dick Collins Nonet and was a part of the formation of The Herdsman with Cy Touff and Ralph Burns in 1954. Jerry followed this musical relationship with joining the septet of Mel Lewis two years later and then with other musicians in the West Coast Jazz movement.
Coker also worked as a freelance musician and led his own bands in the second half of the 1950s. His first recordings made under his own name were recorded in Bloomington, Indiana, San Francisco, California and Paris, France.
The early 1960s saw his return to his studies and by the middle of the decade a return to Indiana University as a lecturer and active in the jazz field. With his educator hat on he headed the Duke Jazz Ensemble at Duke University from 1976 – 77 and later taught at the University of Miami, North Texas State University and the University of Tennessee .
He has written several books on improvisation, jazz keyboard and jazz history. Clarinetist, saxophonist, lecturer and author Jerry Coker continues to perform, record, tour and educate.
Mark Turner was born November 10, 1965 in Fairborn, Ohio, and raised in the small Southern California town of Palos Verdes Estates. His original intent was to become a commercial artist but in elementary school he played the clarinet, followed by the alto and tenor saxophones in high school. He attended California State University, Long Beach in the 1980s playing in the jazz ensembles, and then transferred to and graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1990.
Moving to New York city, Turner worked at Tower Records for an extended period before working full-time as a jazz musician. His debut release Yam Yam on the Criss Cross label hit the airwaves in 1995 and since he has released seven more for Criss Cross, Waner, Fresh Sound and ECM record labels. He is a member of the trio Fly, with bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Jeff Ballard and have released three albums.
Late 2008 Mark was off the jazz scene when a power saw injury injured two fingers on one of his hands sidelined him. Fortunately by late February the next year he was performing again with the Edward Simon Quartet at the Village Vanguard. In 2014 he released his first album as a leader in thirteen years featuring the talents of trumpeter Avishai Cohen, bassist Joe Martin, and drummer Marcus Gilmore.
He has worked with Gilad Hekselman’s Quartet, drummer Billy Hart‘s Quartet, recorded extensively with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, saxophonist David Binney, and pianist Aaron Goldberg, as well as Ryan Kisor, Jonny King, Jimmy Smith, Jon Gordon, George Colligan, Seamus Blake, Lee Konitz, Joshua Redman, Matthias Lupri, Jaleel Shaw, Omer Avital, SF Jazz Collective, Yelena Eckemoff, George Mraz, Joe Locke and Tom Harrell among others. Considered one of the most influential tenor saxophonists of his generation, Mark Turner continues to perform, record and tour.
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Donald Byron was born November 8, 1958 in The Bronx in New York City. His mother was a pianist and his father played bass in calypso bands. As well as listening to jazz recordings by Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and others, he was exposed to other styles through trips to the ballet and symphony concerts.
He studied clarinet with Joe Allard and studied music at the New England Conservatory in Boston with George Russell. While in Boston, Byron performed and recorded with the Klezmer Conservatory Band, founded by NEC faculty member Hankus Netsky.
A gifted performer on clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone, but on many of his albums he subordinates his own playing to the exploration of a particular style. Don is representative of a new generation of conservatory-trained jazz musicians who explore and record in a rich array of styles. His debut album in 1992, Tuskegee Experiments, bring classical avant garde and jazz improvisation together, while his albums like Ivey Divey are a more straight-ahead exploration of the traditional jazz, for which he has been nominated for a Grammy Award for his bass clarinet solo on I Want To Be Happy.
A practicing jazz historian and educator Byron recreates in spirit forgotten moments in the history of popular music with albums like Plays the Music of Mickey Katz and Bug Music. He has held professorships at Metropolitan State University of Denver, The University at Albany and MIT teaching composition, improvisation, music history, clarinet, and saxophone.
In 2001, Byron performed for the Red Hot Organization’s compilation album Red Hot + Indigo tribute to Duke Ellington, was named a 2007 USA Prudential Fellow and won a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has won the Rome Prize Fellowship and his Seven Etudes for solo piano made him a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Musical Composition.
Byron is a member of the Black Rock Coalition, has recorded with Allen Toussaint, Marc Ribot, Vernon Reid, Bill Frisell, Joe Henry, Hamiet Bluiett, Craig Harris, Mandy Patinkin, Ralph Peterson, Reggie Workman, David Murray, Steve Coleman, Bobby Previs, Anthony Braxton, Marilyn Crispell, Cassandra Wilson, Uri Caine and many others.
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Don Byron, who play primarily clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophones, continues to perform, tour, record and educate, while venturing outside his jazz roots and into klezmer music, German lieder, cartoon jazz, hard rock/metal and rap.
Chas Burchell was born Charles Burchell on October 30, 1925 in London, England. Originally a George Formby fan, he began learning the ukelele and then guitar, before hearing an Artie Shaw record that inspired him to take up the clarinet and play jazz.
Switching to alto saxophone, he started his own quintet in 1943. He tried the tenor saxophone before being drafted into the Royal Air Force, and then was transferred to the army in 1944. During the next three years he played in Greece with the British Divisional Band and following his discharge in 1947, worked in London with the Toni Antone Big Band.
By 1949 he gave up full-time musicianship and worked in a factory so that he would not have to perform music he did not like in order to make a living. A disciple of Lennie Tristano and a devoted admirer of Warne Marsh, Burchell continued to play part-time, leading his own quintet for more than 20 years, guesting with distinguished visitors such as Clark Terry, Emily Remler and Nathan Davis.
He recorded for Peter Ind’s Wave label and played with Ind in the group that backed Lennie Tristano’s only UK concert at Harrogate in 1968. Tenor saxophonist Chas Burchell, a supple, lyrical musician whose unpredictable twists and turns of phrase recall the style of his idol Marsh, died of a heart attack on June 3, 1986.
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Jimmy Woods was born on October 29, 1934 in St. Louis, Missouri. Woods began playing saxophone with Homer Carter’s R&B band in 1951, then served in the Air Force from 1952 to 1956. After being discharged honorably he played with Roy Milton and was with Horace Tapscott and Joe Gordon in the start of the Sixties. Following this he played and recorded two albums with Gerald Wilson and two with Chico Hamilton to the middle of the decade.
in the early 1960s Woods recorded two albums, Awakening and Conflict, both released on Contemporary Records. The second of these albums, Conflict, featured Elvin Jones, Harold Land, Carmell Jones, Andrew Hill, and George Tucker. During the decade he also performed and recorded with Teddy Edwards and Joe Gordon
Since the end of the Sixties not much has been heard from jazz alto saxophonist Jimmy Woods.
Double Impact Fitness
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