Connect Charles Tolliver
- 1Blue Soul09:38
- 2Emperor March13:32
- 5Charles Tolliver - Blue Soul (Edit)06:06
Info for Connect
New York-based trumpeter, composer and educator Charles Tolliver presents Connect, his first studio album in 13 years.
Recorded to tape at RAK Studios last November by Tony Platt (Bob Marley, Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Abdullah Ibrahim), the line-up features top musicians from the New York jazz scene who have collectively played with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Nancy Wilson, and Chick Corea. Forming as the Charles Tolliver All Stars, the band includes Jesse Davis on alto saxophone, Keith Brown on piano, Buster Williams on double bass, and Lenny White on drums. The album also bridges together New York and London by featuring leading British saxophonist Binker Golding on two tracks, (Binker & Moses, Moses Boyd Exodus, Zara McFarlane.)
On recording with Gearbox, Charles said: … with both of our collective recording label expertise a recording of my touring band could and would be done. I chose to CONNECT consummate artists whose performances represent absolutely 'THE' Real Deal in this Artform - Lenny White, Buster Williams, Jesse Davis, Keith Brown. The excellent artistry of Binker Golding was added for some tracks by Darrel."
Active since the 1960s, Charles Tolliver has been carrying the torch for jazz through his activities as accomplished trumpeter, educator at The New School, arranger for big band, and founder of the iconic Strata-East label which was responsible for releasing albums by Gil Scott-Heron, Clifford Jordan, Charlie Rouse, and Shirley Scott. As an entirely self-taught musician, he has collaborated with renowned artists such as Roy Haynes, Hank Mobley, Horace Silver, and McCoy Tyner.
He once explained his method of improvisation in a Downbeat magazine interview.
"I like to rumble. I take the most difficult routes for improvisation. It's easy to play a number of choruses effortlessly and never make a mistake, never break down. That's no fun. You need to get in hot water by trying something out right from the jump..."
“One of the last significant trumpet players from the 1960s still unleashing the kind of improvisational fury associated with those hard-blowing years.” (JazzTimes)
“His sound is big and fierce and raw… defined by heady intellectual content and an animating inner fire.” (Downbeat)
Charles Tolliver, trumpet
Jesse Davis, alto saxophone
Binker Golding, tenor saxophone
Keith Brown, piano
Buster Williams, double bass
Lenny White, drums
Recorded and mixed by Tony Platt at RAK Studios
Mastered and cut at Gearbox Studio
began his professional career and simultaneously his recording debut with the saxophone giant Jackie McLean on Blue Note Records in 1964. Since then he has become one of the all time preeminent trumpeters in Jazz as well as one of its most gifted composer/arranger bandleaders. He is also a Grammy nominated recipient for his Blue Note Records recording “With Love”.
With a career that has spanned five decades he has recorded and/or performed with such renowned artists as Roy Haynes, Hank Mobley, Willie Bobo, Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Booker Ervin, Gary Bartz, Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Oliver Nelson, Stanley Cowell, Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, Louis Hayes, Roy Ayers, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, and owned the trumpet chair with the great Max Roach for some years. Dizzy Gillespie, when asked in a Downbeat magazine interview with Herb Nolan, “what trumpet players do you hear today whom you like”, Dizzy’s reply, “Charles Tolliver – I like him”. Charles Tolliver, entirely self-taught, is a remarkable talent who has gained an outstanding reputation as a trumpetist, bandleader, composer, arranger, and educator. Born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1942, his musical career began at the age of 8 when his beloved grandmother, Lela, presented him with his first instrument, a cornet, and the inspiration to learn.
After a few years of college majoring in pharmacy at Howard University, and formulating his trumpet style, Charles began his professional career with the saxophone giant Jackie Mclean. Making his recording debut with McLean on Blue Note Records in 1964, Charles has since recorded and/or performed with such renowned artists as Roy Haynes, Hank Mobley, Willie Bobo, Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Booker Ervin, Gary Bartz, Herbie Hancock, The Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Oliver Nelson, Andrew Hill, Louis Hayes, Roy Ayers, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, and Max Roach.
Charles Tolliver has been a recipient of the Downbeat Critic’s Choice for the Trumpet category. In 1969 he formed the quartet Music Inc which has become internationally respected for its innovative trumpet quartet approach. Charles and his Music Inc, has toured in North and South America, Europe, Scandinavia, and Japan performing at festivals, concerts, radio and television stations. In 1970 he and his alter ego fellow musician artist Stanley Cowell created Strata-East Records which he has steadfastly kept alive straight into the present. During the ’80s and ’90s he continued touring with his small group, MUSIC INC, and on a number of occasions performed his large ensemble compositions and arrangements as soloist with practically every European Radio/TV Jazz orchestra. Having already issued on his Strata-East label two critically acclaimed big band LPs, “Music Inc & Big Band” and “Impact”, now in the new millennium he once again returned to the big band format. In 2007 he issued on Blue Note Records his big band recording entitled, “With Love” which was immediately Grammy Nominated. The Jazz Journalists Association presented him with the “Best Large Ensemble of the Year 2007” award for his new tour de force group The Charles Tolliver Big Band. In an historic reenactment & presentation at Town Hall in 2009 for the 50th anniversary celebration of Thelonious Monk’s historic 1959 Town Hall concert, he was featured performing his definitive transcription of the lost scores of arranger Hal Overton’s orchestrations of Thelonious’ music exactly as it was performed & recorded for the original concert. His newest big band CD “Emperor March” recorded live at the Blue Note New York City was released in March 2009.
Charles has perfected an extremely individual and distinctive sound which clearly sets him apart from other trumpet players. Characterized by a strong sense of tradition, he said in a recent Downbeat magazine interview about his approach to improvising that, “I like to rumble. I take the most difficult routes for improvisation. It’s easy to play a number of choruses effortlessly and never make a mistake, never break down. That’s no fun. You need to get in hot water by trying something out right from the jump, get yourself out of that, and move on to the next chorus.”
This album contains no booklet.