Charli Persip (drums) 1929 :: Many happy returns to Charli Persip. Charli is an American jazz drummer. Born in Morristown, New Jersey as Charles Lawrence Persip, and formerly known as Charlie Persip, he changed his name to Charli Persip in the early 1980s.
After playing with Tadd Dameron in 1953, Persip gained recognition as a jazz drummer as he toured and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie’s big and small bands between 1953 and 1958. He then joined Harry “Sweets” Edison’s quintet and later the Harry James Orchestra before forming his own group, the Jazz Statesmen, with Roland Alexander, Freddie Hubbard, and Ron Carter in 1960. Around this time, Persip also recorded with several other formidable jazz musicians, including Lee Morgan, Dinah Washington, Melba Liston, Kenny Dorham, Zoot Sims, Red Garland, Gil Evans, Don Ellis, Eric Dolphy, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Gene Ammons. Persip was also the drummer on the legendary “Eternal Triangle” recording, Sonny Side Up (Verve Records), featuring Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt. From 1960 to 1973 he toured as a drummer and conductor with Billy Eckstine.
Along with his performing activities, Persip has earned a reputation as an educator. Since 1974, he has been instructor of drums and music for Jazzmobile, Inc. in New York. He is currently (2008) Associate Professor at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan.
Persip also currently leads Supersound, his jazz big band that was started in the mid-1980s as Superband.
Supersound’s first album was recorded on the Stash label, and was titled Charli Persip and Superband. The group’s second album, Superband 11, and third album, No Dummies Allowed, were recorded on the Soul Note label. Their fourth album is Intrinsic Evolution.
Erskine Hawkins (trumpet) 1914-1993 :: Erskine Hawkins was an American trumpet player and big band leader from Birmingham, Alabama, dubbed “The 20th Century Gabriel”. He is most remembered for composing the jazz standard “Tuxedo Junction” (1939) with saxophonist and arranger Bill Johnson. The song became a popular hit during World War II, rising to No. 7 nationally (version by the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra) and to No. 1 nationally (version by the Glenn Miller Orchestra). Vocalists who were featured with Erskine’s orchestra include Ida James, Delores Brown and Della Reese.
Erskine Hawkins was named by his parents after Alabama industrialist Erskine Ramsay who was rewarding parents with savings accounts for them for doing so. Hawkins attended Councill Elementary School and Industrial High School (now known as Parker High School) in Birmingham, Alabama. At Industrial High School, he played in the band directed by Fess Whatley, a teacher who trained numerous African-American musicians, many of whom populated the bands of famed band leaders such as Duke Ellington, Lucky Millinder, Louis Armstrong and Skitch Henderson (of the NBC Orchestra.)
Hawkins was trumpeter and band leader in the lobby bar and show nightclub at The Concord Resort Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, New York. from 1967 to 1993 with his last performing group Joe Vitale piano, Dudly Watson bass, Sonny Rossi vocals & clarinet, and George Leary drums
In 1978, Erskine Hawkins became one of the first five artists inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. In 1989, he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Hawkins was a contemporary of another Birmingham jazz musician, Sun Ra. The story of the Hawkins legacy continues to be told today, during tours of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Museum, by Ray Reach (Director of Student Jazz Programs) and Frank Adams, (Director of Education, Emeritus) at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
JoAnne Brackeen (piano) 1938 :: Birthday wishes to JoAnne Brackeen. JoAnne is an American jazz pianist and music educator.
She was born Joanne Grogan in Ventura, California. She attended the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, but devoted herself to jazz by imitating Frankie Carle albums. She was influenced by Charlie Parker and bebop.
Her career began in the late 1950s while working with names like Dexter Gordon, Teddy Edwards, Harold Land, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Charles Lloyd, but in 1969 it began to “take off” as she became the first woman in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
She played with Joe Henderson (1972-75) and Stan Getz (1975-1977) before leading her own trio and quartet. Brackeen established herself as a cutting edge pianist and composer through her appearances around the world, and her solo performances also cemented her reputation as one of the most innovative and dynamic of pianists. Her trios featured such noted players as Clint Houston, Eddie Gomez, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette, Cecil McBee, and Billy Hart.
She served on the grant panel for the National Endowment for the Arts, toured the Middle East with the US State Department as sponsor, and had solo performances at Carnegie Hall.
She has 25 albums as a lead musician and is a professor at the Berklee College of Music and at The New School.
Brackeen was formerly married to tenor saxophonist Charles Brackeen.
Patti Bown(piano) 1931-2008 ::Patti Brown was an American jazz pianist.
Bown began playing piano at age two; her sister was a classical pianist who married Gerald Valentine. She studied piano while attending university in Seattle, and played in local orchestras toward the end of the 1940s. From 1956 she worked as a soloist in New York City, playing early on in sessions with Billy Eckstine and Jimmy Rushing. She released an album under her own name, Patti Bown Plays Big Piano, in 1958 for Columbia Records. The next year, she recorded in a trio with Ed Shaughnessy, and later in the year played in the orchestra of Quincy Jones on a tour of Europe. While there she also played with Bill Coleman in Paris. In the 1960s she worked extensively in the studios, recording with Gene Ammons, Oliver Nelson, Cal Massey, Duke Ellington, Roland Kirk, George Russell, and Harry Sweets Edison. She also recorded with soul musicians such as Aretha Franklin and James Brown, and acted as musical director for the bands accompanying Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan.
In the 1970s Bown worked as a pianist in orchestras on Broadway and composed for film and television. She lived in Greenwich Village for the last 37 years of her life, and played regularly at the nightclub Village Gate.
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A Sex Pistols fan in her bedroom, 1979.