Ramsey Library Special Collections
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North Carolina Jazz Musicians
Bio-bibliography, Selected Recordings, Research Guide

by Bryan Sinclair, Associate University Librarian for Public Services, UNC Asheville




Intro :: Musicians A-E :: F-K :: L-R :: S-Z


- A -

Atkinson, Alvin R., Jr.
Drummer, educator; b. Dudley, NC, 01/20/72 - . Graduate of North Carolina Central University. Has toured throughout the U.S. and abroad with various artists such as Freddy Redd, Ellis Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Barry Harris, Houston Person, Oscar Brown, Jr., Ernie Andrews, Miguel Zenon, Tom Browne, Vanessa Rubin and Wycliffe Gordon. Recent highlights include: selection as a Jazz at Lincoln Center Rhythm Road participant for the 2006-2007 season; 2004 Jazz Ambassador-tour of Africa and South America sponsored by the Kennedy Center and the State Department; a performance at the White House for President George W. Bush in 2002; house drummer for the 2002-2003 season of the Emeril Live television show on the Food Network Channel; Harlem National Tour with the Kennedy Center 2002-2003. In 2004-2005, Atkinson served as the Visiting Professor of Drum-set Studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Currently, Atkinson teaches Jazz Language and Rhythm Studies at Jazz at Lincoln Center's MiddleSchool Jazz Academy, and he works with students at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.

- B -

Bernhardt, Clyde E. B. (Edric Barron)
All Music Guide Entry
Trombonist, vocalist; b. near Gold Hill, NC, 7/11/05-5/20/86. Grew up in Richfield, New Hope, New London, Badin, and various locations around the Piedmont. Highlights growing up included running errands for blues singer Ma Rainey during a stopover in Badin and seeing singer Bessie Smith perform at the Lafayette and Lincoln Theatres in Winston-Salem. At 14, he began delivering telegrams in Badin, becoming the only “colored” messenger boy for Western Union in the state. In 1921, Clyde left NC to join his mother in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He would later go on to perform with King Oliver, Charlie Parker, and other jazz greats. Sources: Bernhardt, Clyde E. B. I Remember: Eighty Years of Black Entertainment, Big Bands, and the Blues. As told to Sheldon Harris. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1986; Bernhardt, Clyde. “Talking About King Oliver: An Oral History Excerpt.” Annual Review of Jazz Studies 1 (1982): 32-38; Feather and Gitler's Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, 1999; Gaster, Gilbert. “Clyde Bernhardt.” Storyville 44 (December 1972/January 1973): 54-56, 58-70; New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed. Selected CDs: Bernhardt, Clyde. The Complete Recordings, Vols. 1 & 2. Blue Moon 6016/6017 (Originally recorded 1945- 53); Parker, Charlie. Volume 3: Young Bird–1945. Masters of Jazz/FRA 104, 1996 (Originally recorded 1945; Bernhardt appears as composer, trombonist, and vocalist).

Best, Johnny (John McClanian, Jr.)
Trumpeter; b. Shelby, NC, 10/20/13-   . Attended Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. Sources: Feather and Gitler's Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, 1999; New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed.

Best, Skeeter (Clifton)
All Music Guide Entry
Electric guitarist; b. Kinston, NC, 11/20/14-5/27/85. Sources: Feather and Gitler's Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, 1999; New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed. Selected CDs: Charles, Ray, and Milt Jackson. Soul Brothers. Atlantic 81951, 1990 (Originally recorded 1957).

Bishop, Jeb
All Music Guide Entry
Trombonist; from Raleigh, NC. Web Links: "Liner Notes: Jeb Bishop Trio." http://www.okkadisk.com/releases/od12029.html  Selected CDs: Jeb Bishop Trio. Jeb Bishop Trio. Okka Disk 12029, 1999.

Bonner, Joe (Joseph Leonard)
All Music Guide Entry
Pianist; b. Rocky Mount, NC, 4/20/48-  . Sources: Feather and Gitler's Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, 1999; New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed. Selected CDs: Bonner, Joe. Impressions of Copenhagen. Evidence 22024, 1981; Bonner, Joe. Two and One. Steeple Chase 37033/34, 1983.

Brooks, David "Bubba"
All Music Guide Entry
Tenor saxophonist; b. Fayetteville, NC. Brother of Tina Brooks. Recorded in Europe for the TCB label late in his career and life.

Brooks, Tina (Harold Floyd)
All Music Guide Entry
Tenor saxophonist; b. Fayetteville, NC, 6/7/32-8/13/74. He and his twin brother Harry were born the youngest of eight children to David and Cornelia Brooks of Fayetteville. Harold was given the name Tina (pronounced “teena”) during his early school days on account of his smallish stature. The extended family moved to New York City in 1944, but Tina was sent back to Fayetteville to attend E. E. Smith School for most of his high school education. He first took lessons from his older brother, David "Bubba" Brooks, also a saxophonist born in Fayetteville, then went on to play in many Bronx and Harlem clubs. Recently, Brooks has gained posthumous popularity among jazz aficionados for the reissues of his recordings for the Blue Note label between 1958-1961. Sources: Ansell, Derek. “The Forgotten Ones.” Jazz Journal International 45 (February 1992): 26; Cuscuna, Michael. Liner Notes. The Complete Blue Note Recordings of the Tina Brooks Quintets (LP Box Set). Mosaic 106, 1985; Feather and Gitler's Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, 1999; New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed.; Rosenthal, David. “The Power of Badness.” Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music 1955-1965. New York: Oxford U P, 1992. Web Links: Cuscuna, Michael. "True Blue: The Tina Brooks Tribute & Discography." http://members.tripod.com/~hardbop/brooks_discography.html  Selected CDs: Brooks, Tina. Back to the Tracks. Blue Note 21737, 1998 (Originally recorded 1960); Brooks, Tina. Minor Move (Connoisseur Series). Blue Note 22671, 2000 (Originally recorded 1958); Brooks, Tina. The Waiting Game (Connoisseur Series). Blue Note 40536, 2002 (Originally recorded 1961); Hubbard, Freddie. Open Sesame (Rudy Van Gelder Edition). Blue Note 95341, 2002 (Originally recorded 1960).

Brown, John V.
Bassist, educator; b. Fayetteville, NC, 8/14/70 - . Began studying the bass when he was nine years old and has been performing professionally since his teens. Brown has performed nationally and abroad with artists like Wynton, Ellis and Delfeayo Marsalis, Elvin Jones, Cedar Walton, Nicholas Payton, James Moody, and Lou Donaldson. He boasts a Grammy nomination for his performance and co-writing on Nnenna Freelon's 1995 Concord release, Shaking Free. Currently, he serves as Director Jazz Studies and Assistant Professor at Duke University and as Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill and at North Carolina Central University. His most recent project is called JBJazz, a performing and recording group made up of other North Carolina natives. In addition to his musical accomplishments, Mr. Brown is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law. 
Web Links: http://www.johnbrown.us Selected CDs: Freelon, Nnenna. Shaking Free. Concord, 1995.

- C -

Capitol City Aces
1930's "territory band" based in Raleigh, NC. Mentioned in Dizzy Gilliespie's autobiography, To Be, or Not...to Bop, p. 32.

Carpenter, Ike (Isaac M.)
All Music Guide Entry
Pianist and band leader; b. Durham, NC, 3/11/20-11/17/98. Sources: New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed.

Codrington, Ray
All Music Guide Entry
Trumpeter and composer; based in Fayetteville, NC. Recorded first with the JFK Quintet and then with Eddie Harris during the 1960's on such soul-jazz classics as In Sound, Mean Greens, and Excursions.

Coltrane, John William
All Music Guide Entry
Saxophonist, composer, jazz innovator; b. Hamlet, NC, 9/23/26-7/17/67. Coltrane was born in the small railroad town of Hamlet, but spent most of his formative years in High Point. Major influences growing up included religion and the church, his maternal grandfather, a Methodist (A.M.E. Zion) minister, and struggles with racism. He attended segregated elementary, junior high, and high schools in High Point. Later, while living and gigging in Philadelphia and New York, Coltrane was drawn to other musicians with North Carolina connections, including Thelonious Monk, Jimmy Heath, and Dizzy Gillespie. “Consciously or not, the state of his birth always held a grip on Coltrane.” He was “always talking about Carolina,” according to drummer Billy Kaye (see Porter, John Coltrane, p. 22). Sources: Cole, Bill. John Coltrane. New York: Schirmer Books, 1976; Fujioka, Yasuhiro, with Lewis Porter and Yoh-ichi Hamada. John Coltrane: A Discography and Musical Biography. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow P, 1995; Futch, Michael. “Trane from Hamlet.” Fayetteville Observer-Times, 11 August 1995, E8-9, 16; Kahn, Ashley. A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album. New York: Viking, 2002; Lewis, John. “The Invisible Man.” Oxford American 12 (June/July 1996): 67-69; Nisenson, Eric. Ascension: John Coltrane and His Quest. New York : St. Martin's P, 1993; Overton, Rod. “High Point Not Forgetting Jazz Great John Coltrane.” News & Record (Greensboro, NC), 29 June 1996, D1; Porter, Lewis. John Coltrane: His Life and Music. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1998; Steadman, Tom. “Coltrane; The Quiet Boy Who Grew Up in High Point Became a Giant in Jazz.” News & Record (Greensboro, NC), 22 September 1991, F1; Thomas, J. C. Chasin' the Trane: The Music and Mystique of John Coltrane. New York : Da Capo, 1976; Turner, Richard. “John Coltrane: A Biographical Sketch.” Black Perspective in Music 3 (Spring 1975): 3-16; Woideck, Carl. The John Coltrane Companion: Five Decades of Commentary. New York: Schirmer Books, 1998. Videos: The Coltrane Legacy. Produced and directed by Burrill Crohn. 61 min. Video Artists International, 1985; John Coltrane, 1926-1967. Proposed and written by Gérald Arnaud. Produced by Patrick Sobelman. Directed by Jean-Noël Cristiani. 56 min. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1998; The World According to John Coltrane. Co-production of Toby Byron/Multiprises in association with Taurus Film, Munich, and Video Arts, Japan. 59 min. BMG Video, 1991. DVDs: Jazz Casual: Basie, Gillespie, Coltrane. Produced by Ralph J. Gleason. 90 min. Rhino Home Video, 2000. Web Links: Anderson, Scott T. "My Favorite Things." http://www.room34.com/coltrane/; "JOHNCOLTRANE.COM." http://www.johncoltrane.com; Wild, David. "David Wild’s WildPlace." http://home.att.net/~dawild/index.htm. Selected CDs:  Coltrane, John. Ascension. Impulse! 543413-2 (Originally recorded 1965); Coltrane, John. Crescent. Impulse! 200 (Originally recorded 1964); Coltrane, John. Giant Steps. Atlantic/Rhino 75203, 1998 (Originally recorded 1959); Coltrane, John. Live at the Village Vanguard: The Master Takes. Impulse! IMP 12512 (Originally recorded 1961); Coltrane, John. A Love Supreme. GRP/Impulse 155, 1995 (Originally recorded 1964); Coltrane, John. Ultimate Blue Train. Blue Note 53428, 1997 (Originally recorded 1957).

Columbus, Chris (Joseph Christopher Columbus Morris, aka Joe Morris)
Drummer and bandleader; b. Greenville, NC, 6/17/02-   . Sources: Feather and Gitler's Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, 1999; New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed.

Cornelious, Eve
Vocalist, composer, educator; based in Durham, NC. Currently jazz vocal teacher at East Carolina University, Cornelious has toured with such greats as Roy Hargrove, Jon Hendricks, and Chucho Valdez. She has peformed to critical acclaim at jazz festivals around the world, and has recorded with Norman Conners, Ramsey Lewis, and most recently with her husband, Chip Crawford. Web Links: "Eve Cornelious and Chip Crawford Trio" http://www.evecornelious.com/  Selected CDs: Eve Cornelious and Chip Crawford Trio. I Feel Like Some Jazz Today. Pooky Looky 9904, 1999.

Crawford, Chip
Pianist, keyboardist, arranger, composer; based in Durham, NC. Worked extensively with Donald Byrd and has performed with Jimmy Heath, Herbie Hancock, Slide Hampton, Harold Vick, and most recently with his wife, Eve Cornelious. He has also been a long-standing arranger for Miles Davis' legendary producer Teo Macero. Web Links: "Eve Cornelious and Chip Crawford Trio" http://www.evecornelious.com/  Selected CDs: Eve Cornelious and Chip Crawford Trio. I Feel Like Some Jazz Today. Pooky Looky 9904, 1999.

Currie, Lou, and His Orchestra
Multi-instrumentalist and dance band leader in Charlotte during the 1940's. Source: Melick, Phil. "More Jazz from Charlotte." Storyville 109 (Oct./Nov. 1983): 14-19.

- D -

Dashiell, Carroll V., Jr.
All Music Guide Entry
Bassist, musical director, composer, arranger, educator. Currently Director of Jazz Studies, East Carolina University. Has appeared on major recordings with Bobby Watson (Blue Note label) and Buck Hill (Muse label). Web Links: http://www.ecu.edu/music/jazz/faculty.html

Deloatch, Lois (formerly Lois Dawson)
All Music Guide Entry
Vocalist, composer; native of Margarettsville, NC, based in Durham. As one of ten children reared in a home where interests and talents of all types were encouraged and nurtured, Lois’s musical talents were recognized at an early age. As a teenager, she played piano and sang in church choirs and later honed her vocal skills as a lead vocalist with the BSM Gospel Choir while a student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her repertoire and down-to-earth vocal style reflect a deep appreciation for the music of African Americans, particularly jazz, blues, and spirituals. In recent years, she has headlined concerts and festivals throughout the country opening for and sharing the stage with music legends including Roberta Flack, Freddy Cole, Jerry Butler, and Arturo Sandoval.
Web Links: "Vocalist and songwriter Lois Deloatch's Website." http://www.loisdeloatch.com Selected CDs: Dawson, Lois. Sunrise. Doll LD-1, 1998

Donaldson, Lou (Louis A.)
All Music Guide Entry
Alto saxophonist; b. Badin, NC, 11/1/26-   . Donaldson first learned music from his mother, a piano teacher in Badin. While a student at the A&T College of North Carolina (now NC A&T State University), Donaldson majored in political science and formed his own band playing wedding gigs and floor shows. Music soon replaced political science as a career path. He went on to record with Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, and others for Blue Note during the 1950s, then led his own sessions for the label. In 1982, he returned to his alma mater in Greensboro to be awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities. Sources: Cordle, Owen. “Lessons From Jazz’s Best Teacher: Experience Lends NC Saxophonist His Staying Power.” The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), 13 September 1991, W7; Feather and Gitler's Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, 1999; New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed.; Tomkins, Les. “The Lou Donaldson Story.” (Interview) Crescendo International 19, no. 11 (1981): 20-22, continued 19, no. 12 (1981): 16-17; Woolley, Stan. “Lou Donaldson: Putting Swing Into Bebop.” Jazz Journal International 10 (January 1997): 6-7. Web Sites: "Billy Taylor's Jazz - Guest Artist: Lou Donaldson." http://www.npr.org/programs/btaylor/pastprograms/ldonaldson.html Selected CDs: Donaldson, Lou. Blues Walk. Blue Note 46525, 1988 (Originally recorded 1958); Donaldson, Lou. Complete Blue Note Sessions, 1957-60 [6 CD Box]. Mosaic 215, 2002; Donaldson, Lou. Good Gracious! Blue Note 54325 (Originally recorded 1963); Smith, Jimmy. The Sermon (Rudy Van Gelder Edition). Blue Note 24541, 2000 (Originally recorded 1957-58; NC saxmen Donaldson and Tina Brooks are featured on this classic session with organist Smith).

- E -




Intro :: Musicians A-E :: F-K :: L-R :: S-Z

 This page last updated 26 July 2004.

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