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Booker Little


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Booker Little, Jr (born on April 2, 1938 in Memphis, Tennessee-died October 5, 1961 in New York City, New York) was an American jazz trumpeter and composer.
Despite having one of the shortest careers in jazz history, Little nevertheless made a noteworthy contribution to the music. Stylistically Little belongs to the lineage of Clifford Brown, featuring crisp articulation, a burnished tone and balanced phrasing.

He trained at Chicago Conservatory (1956-58) and worked with leading local musicians such as Johnny Griffin. Later, moving to New York, his most significant associations were with drummer Max Roach and multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy, recording with them both under his own name and theirs. With Dolphy, he co-led a residency at the Five Spot club in New York in June 1961, from which three classic albums were eventually issued by Prestige Records. Here he showed promise of expanding the expressive range of the “vernacular” be-bop idiom of Clifford Brown.
Only four albums under his own name were recorded: Booker Little 4 + Max Roach (1958) for United Artists, Booker Little Quartet (1960) for Time, his masterpiece Out Front (1961) for Candid and finally Booker Little and Friend (reissued as Victory and Sorrow) for Bethlehem mere weeks before his passing.
He died from uremia at the age of 23.


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  • Adjar-one

    avant-garde? lolze cool music, like it allot

    25 Jun 2014 Reply
  • Marxism1


    29 Apr 2014 Reply
  • dharmanaut

    23! 23?!? I could barely dress myself and maintain some semblance of continence at 23. I just scrobbled “If I should lose you”: Genius. The emotional complexities and the melancholic dissonances dropped my jaw from the first time I heard it. I need to go home and dig it out right now.

    18 Mar 2011 Reply
  • Kingabiscuito

    Forgotten genius.

    9 Aug 2010 Reply
  • guitar102

    He could have been one of the greatest! His performances at the Five Spot with Eric Dolphy are essential to me!!

    16 Jun 2010 Reply
  • Chief_Wiggum44

    There are too few Shouts for such a great trumpet player and composer.

    20 Dec 2009 Reply
  • MrJenesaisquoi

    So many great trumpeters died in their prime! Boker Little, Clifford Brown, Bix Beiderbecke... One of the greatest, by any standards.

    19 Aug 2008 Reply
  • Dardan-H

    A great trumpeter and composer, definetly one of the best of his category. 'Aggression' on Eric Dolphy's 'At the Five Spot Vol.2' is a magnificant piece.

    18 Aug 2008 Reply
  • laughlil

    Mad respect to all the B.L. fas out there! He may be the best ever.

    9 Dec 2007 Reply