Booker Ervin


Ervin 2Originally from Texas, Booker Ervin started out on the trombone and later taught himself how to play the tenor saxophone while he was in the air force. He later studied in Boston from 1953 to 1954. His 1st important playing opportunities came in 1958 when he joined the Charles Mingus group—he performed with Mingus off and on through the mid-1960s. Here are some of his early significant recordings with Mingus.

Booker Ervin - Episode 1

CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Nostalgia in Times SquareCharles MingusMingus in Wonderland 1959
Open Letter to DukeCharles MingusMingus Ah Um1959
Goodbye Pork Pie HatCharles MingusMingus Ah Um1959
Better Get Hit in Yo' SoulCharles MingusMingus Ah Um1959
BugsCharles MingusThe Complete Candid Recordings1960
Prayer for Passive ResistanceCharles MingusMingus at Antibes1960

Booker Ervin - Episode 2

This podcast features his first albums as a bandleader. These recordings show that he is beginning to show a great deal of originality and establish an identifiable sound. In his early work you can hear the influences of Coltrane, Rollins, and few other “Texas” tenors in his sound. The sound is compact and bright. At times he comes close to overblowing the instrument, but does not. In addition to be a great interpreter of the blues he can handle ballads equally as well—check out Uranus. Over the next few years he would do a series of memorable albums with words “book” or “cook” in the title.
CompositionArtistAlbum Year
The Book CooksBooker ErvinThe Book Cooks1960
Little JaneBooker ErvinThe Book Cooks 1960
Dee Da DoBooker ErvinCookin'1960
Autumn LeavesBooker ErvinCookin'1960
UranusBooker ErvinThat's It1961
BooBooker ErvinThat's It1961

Booker Ervin - Episode 3

Booker steps out as a bandleader and important stylist on the tenor sax. His playing undergoes a number of changes due to his work with Mal Waldron, Eric Dolphy, and other musicians whose work is influenced by the newer avant-garde/free jazz movement. This approach allows for more melodic and rhythmic freedom.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Up and DownHorace ParlanUp and Down1961
Status SeekingMal Waldron SextetThe Quest1961
Al's InBooker ErvinThe Freedom Book1963
Grant's StandBooker ErvinThe Freedom Book1963
True BlueBooker ErvinThe Blues Book1964

Booker Ervin - Episode 4

In the mid 1960’s Ervin was very busy recording with a number of well known and up and coming musicians on the jazz scene. He formed an outstanding studio quartet that featured Richard Davis on bass, Jaki Byard on piano, and Allen Dawson on drums. That group recorded The Space Book and The Blues Book, two of his best recordings from 1964. Unfortunately the band never performed in public.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Number TwoBooker ErvinThe Space Book1964
I Can't Get Started Booker ErvinThe Space Book1964
Eerie DearieBooker ErvinThe Blues Book1964
FranessBooker ErvinStructurally Sound1966

Booker Ervin - Episode 5

On this podcast I will examine his important recordings from 1968. It could be said that he came of age when jazz clubs were waning and although he recorded with outstanding musicians he did not have a regular working band; this affected his ability to seek wider audiences. The recordings that he did make were often on small labels with limited distribution. These recording from 1968 are the culmination of a career cut far too short. Booker Ervin passed in 1970.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Grass RootsAndrew HillGrass Roots1968
Bayou RedAndrew HillGrass Roots1968
LargoBooker ErvinThe In Between1968
MourBooker ErvinThe In Between1968
GichiBooker ErvinTextbook Tenor1968
204Booker ErvinTextbook Tenor1968

Kenny Dorham


Dorham 1Originally from Texas, McKinley Dorham (1924-1972), better known at Kenny or KD left a giant mark on jazz trumpet from the late 1940s through the late 1960s. His prodigious skills included not only trumpet playing but also as a pianist, composer, and arranger. In the 2nd half of the 1940s he had opportunities to perform with the greatest bebop musicians.

Kenny Dorham - Episode 1

This show examines some of his influences and bebop recordings from the 1940s as he is beginning to develop a highly personal style. These recordings were originally issued as 2-sided 78s and later reissued in 33rpm compilations
CompositionAritstYear
Salt PeanutsDizzy Gillesie Sextet1945
Rue Chaptal (Royal Roost)Kenny Clarke and his 52nd Street Boys1946
Everything's CoolFats Navarro & Gil Fuller's Modernists1946
Bop AlleyArt Blakey's Messengers1947
VisaCharlie Parker Sextet1949
ElyseeJ.J. Johnson’s Beboppers1949
April In ParisCharlie Parker Live at Cafe Society1950

Kenny Dorham - Episode 2

Recordings from 1950 to 1955. In the early 1950s he relocated to Los Angeles where he took a day job, but continued performing. Here he recorded his 1st album as a band leader and also recorded some great tracks with pianist Thelonious Monk and with the Horace Silver/Art Blakey Jazz Messengers.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Let’s Cool OneThelonious MonkGenius of Modern Music Vol.21952
OsmosisKenny DorhamThe Kenny Dorham Quintet1953
Ruby My DearKenny DorhamThe Kenny Dorham Quintet1953
Room 608Horace Silver & the Jazz Messengers1954
Minors HolidayKenny DorhamAfro Cuban1955
Like Someone in LoveArt Blakey & MessengersLive at Café Bohemia vol 21955

Kenny Dorham - Episode 3

CompositionArtistAlbum TitleYear
Ezz-thetic (Love for Sale)Max RoachMax Roach + 41956
Love LettersMax RoachJazz in 3/4 Time1957
Valse HotMax RoachJazz in 3/4 Time1957
My ReverieHank MobleyHank Mobley Featuring Sonny Clark1957
Autumn LeavesKenny DorhamThis Is The Moment1958
Stage WestKenny DorhamThe Arrival of Kenny Dorham1960

Kenny Dorham - Episode 4

CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Spring is HereKenny DorhamBlue Spring1959
My IdealKenny DorhamQuiet Kenny1959
BillKenny DorhamShowboat1960
It Could Happen to YouKenny DorhamInta’ Something1961
Sunrise in MexicoKenny DorhamWhistle Stop1961
SmileKenny DorhamMatador1962

Kenny Dorham - Episode 5

By 1963 his music shows a Brazilian influence mixed with some popular dance rhythm. His collaboration with younger musicians such as Joe Henderson, Andrew Hill, McCoy Tyner, and Herbie Hancock show that he is still developing as a creative improviser, and could change his approach to playing in order to accommodate the newer modern styles that were becoming popular in the mid 1960’s.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Una MasKenny DorhamUna Mas1963
RecordameJoe HendersonPage One1963
Blue BossaJoe HendersonPage One1963
Pedro’s TimeJoe HendersonOur Thing1963
Trompetta ToccataKenny DorhamTrompetta Toccata1964
RefugeAndrew HillPoint of Departure1964
In and OutJoe HendersonIn and Out1964