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Booker Ervin

A very distinctive tenor with a hard, passionate tone and an emotional style that was still tied to chordal improvisation, Booker Ervin was a true original. He was originally a trombonist, but taught himself tenor while in the Air Force (1950-1953). After studying music in Boston for two years, he made his recording debut with Ernie Fields' R&B band (1956). Ervin gained fame while playing with Charles Mingus (off and on during 1956-1962), holding his own with the volatile bassist and Eric Dolphy. He also led his own quartet, worked with Randy Weston on a few occasions in the '60s, and spent much of 1964-1966 in Europe before dying much too young from kidney disease. Ervin, who is on several notable Charles Mingus records, made dates of his own for Bethlehem, Savoy, and Candid during 1960-1961, along with later sets for Pacific Jazz and Blue Note. His nine Prestige sessions of 1963-1966 (including The Freedom Book, The Song Book, The Blues Book, and The Space Book) are among the high points of his career. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Comments

craig.abreu8
Booker Ervin on The Blues Book & The Book Cooks is outstanding! ! No Booze Blues is by far his best composition. Although he is obscure to many and a much under-apprec i a t e d tenor man, to those with a trained ear, he is a pure delight to listen to. He's got a unique sound and he's right up there with Dexter Gordon, Wayne Shorter & Hank Mobley of his era.
Martin, that's a fairly sweeping generalizati o n . Shorter, Tyner, Hancock, Corea, Jarrett and plenty of others do just fine. And you can change jazz musicians to rock bands or just musicians and have the same ratio of working cats who do fine to struggling ne'er do wells. Or desk jockeys or factory workers ~ and they all don't turn to drugs or crying in their beer.
webersf
We will always love Booker Ervin
I AGREE WITH YOU MR. FRANCO...... . . . . . . 1 0 0 % .
Phil Adams, do you have any idea how tough a jazz musicians life is? Playing gigs for survival pay. Being broke & barely able to pay rent & bills. Travelling constantly, eating mediocre restaurant food. Doing gigs no matter how you feel health-wise because you can't "take a day off". The constant temptation of using substances to help you perform when you're too damn tired on any given night.
Go out and support your jazz musicians. Buy their albums at their gigs. They need your support!
Still alive in my heart -

http://www.y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = 3 c N L h v 9 G 9 k c
did you all notice just who this man played with? What a pedigree ! I don't really think that he was all that "hard" of a bopper. The site bio got it right, his improv is rather tonal, but it remains very distinctive. It is sad that he couldn't stick around. Why is it that Rock Stars like the Stones can abuse themselves and live to 150, and yet let a Jazz Man have a drink and he is dead at 40?
mafundi33
Oh..the possiblities . . . o n e can only speculate and dream.
Awesome! He had a very distinctive sound. Hard bop at its best.
cransom1
a fine tenor sax man that truely left us to soon. bigups to booker ervin!!!. cransom1 08

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