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Jim Duckworth

Booker Little

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I teach in the public school system here in Memphis;  we were reading My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass last week and, as is my wont, I started talking about Malcom X only to discover I have one of his relatives in my class.  Surprised, I asked if she might be related to Booker Little as Little was Malcolm's dead name  She contacted her relatives and then reported that Booker and Malcolm unbeknownst to either during their lifetimes were related.  Her relatives wanted to make it clear that Blooker Little did not die from drug use-I assured her that this is common knowledge.  I found this fascinating and now, forum denizens, you are getting this tidbit of possibly interesting information hot off the presses.

 

Edited by Jim Duckworth
clarity

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Fascinating! Booker Little died almost 60 years ago from kidney failure. I wonder if anyone knows anything about his children.

Edited by jlhoots

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About 20 years ago I met a fellow, in the Jazz Record Mart, who said he was Booker Little's son. He was very happy to hear I knew of his father.

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I was told that his son, also named Booker, lives in Chicago and that a daughter lives in Nashville.  I was also told that for the most part the family is not all that enthusiastic about jazz.

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What Booker Little accomplished musically in less than 24 years of living is astounding.

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I never heard it said that Booker died because of drugs. I doubt that the family has anything to worry about.

A fascinating story. Thanks for posting!

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17 hours ago, felser said:

What Booker Little accomplished musically in less than 24 years of living is astounding.

Agreed!  Certainly when I consider trumpeters' outputs from before 1963 (an arbitrary year where I've always felt more jazz started to get especially 'more interesting', even 'thorny')… ...I would have to put Little very near the very top of any top-10 list of notable trumpeters (pre-1963), at least to my tastes and way of thinking.  Right up there with Clifford Brown, another incredible talent who left us much too soon.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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4 hours ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Agreed!  Certainly when I consider trumpeters' outputs from before 1963 (an arbitrary year where I've always felt more jazz started to get especially 'more interesting', even 'thorny')… ...I would have to put Little very near the very top of any top-10 list of notable trumpeters (pre-1963), at least to my tastes and way of thinking.  Right up there with Clifford Brown, another incredible talent who left us much too soon.

Very strongly +1. And IMO BL would have excelled even more as jazz became more "thorny".

 

22 hours ago, felser said:

What Booker Little accomplished musically in less than 24 years of living is astounding.

Word.

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I think the son Chuck met passed away a few years ago.

The relationship to Malcolm is fascinating. I know someone who might have more info. I will check in and report back.

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Fascinating.  I never heard that Malcolm and Booker were related and couldn’t find anything on the web. He was a hero of mine when I was in high school. I think I still have the paper I wrote. 

Edited by Brad

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  • Surey this is the only ''one'' Live Video that shows..: Booker Little ,tr,,- The Max Roach Quintet performs a Booker Little composition on a 1958 TV program Personnel: Max Roach, drums; Booker Little, trumpet; George Coleman, tenor sax; Ray Draper, tuba; Art Davis, bass

 

 

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