Booker Little

Booker_Little1In an all-to-short life of 23 years, Booker Little established himself as one of the greatest jazz trumpet players of the 2nd half of the 20th century. He possessed blazing technique, unsurpassed melodic gifts, deep harmonic understanding, and a fearless approach to improvisation.

Booker Little - Episode 1

In an all-to-short life of 23 years, Booker was able to play and record with some of the most important musicians of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s including Eric Dolphy, Max Roach and John Coltrane. On this podcast I will examine his influences and his first recordings from 1958.
CompositionArtistAlbumYear
Minor SweetBooker LittleBooker Little Quartet1960
Blues WalkClifford BrownStudy in Brown1955
ShirleyBooker Little/Max RoachMax Roach on the Chicago Scene1958
Memo to MauriceBooker Little/Max RoachMax Roach on the Chicago Scene1958
My Old FlameBooker Little/Max RoachMax Roach on the Chicago Scene1958
Larry LarueBooker Little/Max RoachDeeds, Not Words1958

Booker Little - Episode 2

By 1958 Booker Little was recording under his own name. Although only 20 years old, the recordings show a musician of great poise and maturity. He begins to emerge as serious composer and arranger. His playing continues to improve and his technical prowess allows him utilize acrobatic leaps in his improvisations. In 1960 he began his musical association with Eric Dolphy. The two musicians’ playing complemented each other and helped to bring Booker greater exposure.
CompositionAritstAlbumYear
MilestonesBooker LittleBooker Little 4 and Max Roach1958
Dungeon WaltzBooker LittleBooker Little 4 and Max Roach1958
A Starling's ThemeBooker Little/Frank StrozierFantastic Frank Strozier1959
There's No YouBooker Little/Max RoachThe Many Sides of Max1959
Minor SweetBooker LittleBooker Little1960
Far CryBooker Little/Eric DolphyFar Cry1960

Booker Little - Episode 3

On this podcast we will listen to selections from his two last albums recorded under his name before he passed in the fall of 1961. His compositions and arrangements continued to mature and increasingly began to show the influence of modern 20th orchestral composers. I can’t predict what he might have accomplished had he lived longer, but he made a great impact in a short period of time.
CompostionArtistAlbumYear
We SpeakBooker LittleOut Front1961
Strength and Sanity Booker LittleOut Front1961
Victory and Sorrow Booker LittleVictory and Sorrow1961
Looking AheadBooker Little Victory and Sorrow1961