Today, Friday September 6th, I will be featuring the unmentioned but very talented Jazz tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin. The Booker Ervin Appreciation Special will be played twice on this day and at specific times, so it can be enjoyed at prime time by the Jazz Con Class global audience. Booker Ervin’s sound can be categorized as a very modal one and is close to a cross between Jackie McLean and Dexter Gordon but has its own distinctive bluesy style. Booker Ervin actually recorded with both of them and you can hear the difference. He was also a major part of many Mingus ensembles and was a crucial component to historical groundbreaking Jazz album recordings. He recorded many albums as a leader and every single one is outstanding. For a matter of fact, all the music the Jazz Con Class listeners will be enjoying from this tribute, is from him as a leader. Let’s not forget also, this great man died at the age of 40, in 1970. Checkout the schedule link for play times, enjoy!
Booker Ervin Biography:
Booker Ervin was a hard bop saxophone player and composer. He was born, Booker Telleferro Ervin II, in 1930 in Denison, Texas. He started playing trombone in his youth bur Ervin did not start playing saxophone until he was in the US Air Force. After his discharge he moved to Boston and continue his studies at the Berklee College of Music. Although he did not start playing saxophone until later in life, Ervin quickly excelled as a gifted player and once he completed his time at Berklee he moved to New York to begin his professional career. He began by getting a job with the Horace Parlan Quartet. Parlan was a hard bop pianist who had made a name for himself in New York and would go on to play with Charlie Mingus on many of his important recordings. It was with Parlan’s group that Ervin got his first recording experiences when they recorded the albums Up and Down (1961 – Blue Note), which also featured musicians Grant Green on guitar, George Tucker on bass and Al Harewood on drums and Happy Frame of Mind (1963 – Blue Note). Up and Down also opens with an Ervin composition, “The Book’s Beat”. Happy Frame of Mind also features an Ervin composition, “A Tune for Richard” and the troupe is joined by drummer Billy Higgins. Unfortunately, this latter album sat unreleased until 1976. Before the 50’s were over Ervin would also spend some time working with Charlie Mingus and he appears on the recording of the tune “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”……Read More