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Curtis Fuller - RIP


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Several musicians on Facebook are reporting that Curtis Fuller has died.

Curtis was the leader at the first Jazz show I ever attended. I was big into Coltrane's "Blue Trane" then and Curtis was the last living member of that band so I had to see him. I was lucky to have caught him live many times over the years. One of the best times was when an edition of the Jazztet came to town. Him & Benny in the frontline was something special.

Edited by bresna
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Very sad to hear; RIP.  I was fortunate enough to hear him with a group put together by Don Sickler; also in the group were Billy Higgins, John Ore, James Spaulding, and maybe a tenor player.  A friend told me that Fuller only had one lung; true?  Anyway, another of the greats gone.

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 I was just talking to a trumpet player friend of mine who went on the road with Lionel Hampton ("Gates") back when Curtis was playing with the band.

Gates would play all the well known crowd pleasing stuff on most gigs, but when they played Detroit, he wouldn't use any of the white players,except my friend, who had an Afro back then. Gates figured the people wouldn't know what the hell he was! They'd change their repertoire, and play stuff like "Moment's Notice", and my friend would have to play it with Curtis, scared as hell!

He said Curtis paid him a compliment (kind of) by saying he had a weird way of playing, but it works. RIP, Curtis.

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Work with Coltrane, Sonny Clark, Mobley/Morgan, The Jazztet, The Messengers - his resume is staggering. And then all those little hardbop-gems that were released under his own name (I especially have a soft spot for the Savoys). What an amazing career...

And supposedly, he was fun to be around with also.


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14 hours ago, LWayne said:

Glad I have fond memories of hearing him live. 


Sad news indeed; I wish my memory of hearing him live was more fond than it is; it was at a Blakey tribute at Lincoln Center, his soloing was lackluster and at one point I caught him checking his wristwatch.

Nevertheless a giant with many fine moments captured on record. I'll be pulling some out today.

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