|Birth name||Curtis DuBois Fuller|
|Born||December 15, 1932|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||May 8, 2021(aged 88)|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, educator|
|Labels||Blue Note, Prestige, Savoy, Impulse!, Epic, Atlantic|
Early life edit
Fuller was born in Detroit on December 15, 1932. His father had emigrated from Jamaica and worked in a Ford automobile factory, but he died from tuberculosis before his son was born. His mother, who had moved north from Atlanta, died when he was 9. He spent several years in an orphanage run by Jesuits. He developed a passion for jazz after one of the nuns there brought him to see Illinois Jacquet and his band perform, with J. J. Johnson on trombone.
Fuller attended a public school in his hometown, together with Paul Chambers, Donald Byrd, Tommy Flanagan, Thad Jones, and Milt Jackson. There, he took up the trombone when he was sixteen, after attempting the violin and with the saxophone (his next choice) being unavailable. He studied under Johnson and Elmer James.
Fuller joined the US Army in 1953 to fight in the Korean War. He served until 1955, and played in a band with Chambers and brothers Cannonball and Nat Adderley. Upon his return from military service, Fuller joined the quintet of Yusef Lateef, another Detroit musician. The quintet moved to New York in 1957, and Fuller recorded his first sessions as a leader with Prestige.
Alfred Lion of Blue Note Records first heard Fuller playing with Miles Davis in the late 1950s, and the trombonist led four dates for Blue Note, though one of these, an album with Slide Hampton, was not issued for many years. Lion featured him as a sideman on record dates led by Sonny Clark (Dial "S" for Sonny, Sonny's Crib) and John Coltrane (Blue Train). Other sideman appearances over the next decade included work on albums under the leadership of Bud Powell, Jimmy Smith, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan and Joe Henderson (a former roommate at Wayne State University in 1956).
Fuller was also the first trombonist to be a member of the Art Farmer-Benny Golson Jazztet, later becoming the sixth man in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1961, staying with Blakey until 1965. In the early 1960s, Fuller recorded two albums as a leader for Impulse! Records, having also recorded for Savoy Records, United Artists, and Epic after his obligations to Blue Note had ended. In the late 1960s, he was part of Dizzy Gillespie's band that also featured Foster Elliott. Fuller went on to tour with Count Basie and also reunited with Blakey and Golson.
Later life edit
Fuller was granted an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music in 1999. Eight years later, he was honored as an NEA Jazz Master. He continued to perform and record, and was a faculty member of the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) School of Jazz Studies (SJS).
Fuller died on May 8, 2021, at the age of 88. He had eight children; nine grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. Throughout his life, Fuller was reported to have been born in 1934; he had added two years to his age at 17 in part to gain work.
As leader edit
- New Trombone (Prestige, 1957)
- Bone & Bari (Blue Note, 1957)
- The Opener (Blue Note, 1957)
- Jazz ...It's Magic! (Regent, 1958)
- The Curtis Fuller Jazztet (Savoy, 1959)
- Sliding Easy (United Artists, 1959)
- Blues-ette (Savoy, 1959)
- Curtis Fuller Volume 3 (Blue Note, 1961)
- South American Cookin' (Epic, 1961)
- The Magnificent Trombone of Curtis Fuller (Epic, 1961)
- Boss of the Soul-Stream Trombone (Warwick, 1961)
- Images of Curtis Fuller (Savoy, 1962)
- Curtis Fuller with Red Garland (New Jazz, 1963)
- Cabin in the Sky (Impulse!, 1962)
- Jazz Conference Abroad (Smash, 1961 )
- Soul Trombone (Impulse!, 1962)
- Imagination (Savoy, 1963)
- Curtis Fuller and Hampton Hawes with French Horns (Status, 1965)
- Smokin' (Mainstream, 1972)
- Crankin' (Mainstream, 1973)
- Fire and Filigree (Bee Hive, 1979)
- Two Bones (Blue Note, 1980)
- Curtis Fuller Meets Roma Jazz Trio (Timeless, 1984)
- Up Jumped Spring (Delmark, 2004)
- Keep It Simple (Savant, 2005)
- I Will Tell Her (Capri, 2010)
- The Story of Cathy & Me (2011)
- Down Home (Capri, 2012)
- In New Orleans (Progressive, 2018)
As sideman edit
With Count Basie
With Dave Bailey
With Art Blakey
With Sonny Clark
With John Coltrane
With Kenny Dorham
With Art Farmer
With Joe Farnsworth
With Benny Golson
With Lionel Hampton
With Jimmy Heath
With Joe Henderson
With Freddie Hubbard
With Philly Joe Jones
With Quincy Jones
With Yusef Lateef
With Mike Longo
With Blue Mitchell
With Jackie McLean
With Hank Mobley
With Lee Morgan
With Woody Shaw
With Jimmy Smith
With Stanley Turrentine
With Cedar Walton
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- "Curtis Fuller Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
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- "Curtis Fuller". National Jazz Archive. January 1, 1976. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
- "2013 Curtis Fuller to sit in with WCSU jazz combos". Western Connecticut State University. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
- "Two Bones: Curtis Fuller – Releases". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Johnson, Martin (May 10, 2021). "Curtis Fuller, Leading Trombonist Of Jazz's Detroit Wave, Dies At 86". NPR. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Musto, Russ (December 1, 2008). "Curtis Fuller: Motor City Messenger". All About Jazz. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Whiteis, David (October 18, 2011). "Curtis Fuller: The Story of Cathy & Me". JazzTimes. Archived from the original on May 9, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
- "Curtis Fuller". Arts.gov. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
- "NYSSSA SJS Artistic Staff". Archived from the original on July 4, 2010.
- "Curtis Fuller – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Chinen, Nate (December 4, 2009). "Giving a Great 1960s Jazz Album Its Groove Back". The New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Yanow, Scott. "Thermo: Art Blakey – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Art Blakey – Live at the Renaissance Club". Jazz Music Archives. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Yanow, Scott. "Gold Coast: John Coltrane – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Joe Farnsworth – Drumspeak". Jazz Music Archives. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Take a Number from 1 to 10: Benny Golson – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Lord, Tom (1992). The Jazz Discography. Vol. 7. Lord Music Reference. ISBN 9781881993063.
- "Jazz Record Requests". BBC Radio 3. September 8, 2007. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Lionel Hampton – Live In Europe (aka Live In Switzerland)". Jazz Music Archives. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Yanow, Scott. "Fast Company: Jimmy Heath – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Yusef Lateef – Jazz for the Thinker". Jazz Music Archives. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Mike Longo 1972". Center for Jazz Studies. Columbia University. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Herbie Mann – Afro Jazziac (aka With Flute To Boot! aka Super Mann Featuring Machito's Jazz Orchestra)". Jazz Music Archives. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
Originally released in 1959 as Machito And His Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble's album "With Flute To Boot"(Roulette – SR-52026,US)
- "Kenny Dorham – Hot Stuff From Brazil". Jazz Music Archives. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
Originally released as V.A.- "Jazz Committee for Latin American Affairs"(Fred Miles FM 403)
- Yanow, Scott. "Reunion Big Band: Dizzy Gillespie – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Yanow, Scott. "Today: Gary McFarland – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- Nastos, Michael G. "Sweet Lotus Lips: Mickey Tucker – Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
- "Mickey Tucker – Theme For A Woogie-Boogie". Jazz Music Archives. Retrieved May 10, 2021.