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Booker Little

Biography

Trumpeter Booker Little’s tragically short career pointed towards truly groundbreaking musical territory. With a bright tone reminiscent of Clifford Brown, Little set out to deconstruct Bop by setting simple, singsong melodies to bizarre, unorthodox vamps and chord changes; to that end, he rearranged the popular standard “Like Someone in Love” far beyond its original interpretation. His playing alternated between deliberate, careful musings and blazing pyrotechnics, applying Hard Bop phrasing to entirely new tonalities. In 1961, Little collaborated with alto sax man Eric Dolphy in a series of legendary live recordings at New York’s Five Spot Café -- mere weeks later, at the age of 23, his life was sadly claimed by uremia. A few contemporary trumpet maestros, such as Dave Douglas and Roy Campbell, have continued Little’s influential legacy.
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