Booker Little was one of a handful of trumpeters, all born in 1938 (including Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard), who were touched by Clifford Brown’s genius and ready to take be-bop to a higher level.
Born in Memphis, he received his Bachelors of Music in trumpet from the Chicago Conservatory, studied theory, composition and orchestration, and roomed with saxophone colossus Sonny Rollins, who counseled and inspired him.
Booker’s work with drummer Max Roach and multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy was outstanding and promising, but sadly cut short by his own untimely death from kidney failure when he was just 23 years old.
“My own feelings about the direction in which jazz should go are that there should be much less stress on technical exhibitionism and much more on emotional content, on what might be termed humanity in music and the freedom to say all that you want.”–Booker Little
Here’s a sampling of Booker Little’s artistry and flawless technique with Max Roach in 1959. The beat poetry reading at the end is just a bonus…