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date: 21 October 2019

Batiste, Alvin locked

  • Barry Kernfeld

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(b New Orleans, Nov 7, 1932; d New Orleans, LA, May 6, 2007). American clarinetist. He played clarinet professionally from the age of 15. While in high school he performed with Ed Blackwell, then, after army service, he began a lengthy association with Ornette Coleman. He played in jam sessions with him in Los Angeles in 1956 and that summer formed a quintet which included the saxophonist Harold Battiste, Ellis Marsalis, and Blackwell; all but Coleman returned to New Orleans, where the group was reorganized as the American Jazz Quintet. Batiste worked as a freelance musician in New Orleans and around 1958 toured in Ray Charles’s band. He studied at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (BM), and Louisiana State University (MM, clarinet and composition), and then from 1969 to 1986 directed the Jazz and Louisiana Music Institute at Southern; among his students were Branford Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Henry Butler, Troy Davis, Herlin Riley, Wessell Anderson, and Reginald Veal. Towards the beginning of this period he started to record an album with Cannonball Adderley but his teaching commitments prevented him from completing it; later he took part in the recording of Adderley’s final album (...

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Down Beat
I. Carr, D. Fairweather, and B. Priestley: Jazz: the Rough Guide (London, 1995, rev. and enlarged 2/2000)
Journal of Musicology