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Denis Charles

Before he passed on at age 64 from pneumonia, drummer Denis Charles enjoyed a diverse and nomadic career. Blessed in St. Croix, Charles started his professional musical profession at age seven playing bongos with an area band. Charles transferred to NY in 1945. Enamored deeply with Artwork Blakey’s physical design, Charles started playing anywhere and all over the place. He fulfilled Cecil Taylor in 1954 and both began to enjoy jointly, culminating in Taylor’s 1958 established, Looking Ahead. Following this stint with Taylor, Charles fulfilled and used Steve Lacy, Gil Evans, and Jimmy Giuffre (Charles was the drummer that Giuffre chose was his last and started documenting without one). Charles also fulfilled drummer Ed Blackwell, who become his biggest impact. Blackwell’s polyrhythmic strategy sat well with Charles, who was simply reconnecting using the rhythms of his isle years as a child. When Charles fulfilled Sonny Rollins (who also offers Caribbean origins), they documented a lackluster group of calypso-influenced jazz music. Undaunted and permanently itinerant, Charles came back to Lacy’s music group and remained though 1964. In 1967, he used Archie Shepp and Don Cherry, but dropped onto crisis until 1971. He became a fixture on New York’s downtown picture, guested on a large number of recordings, and performed trips with Frank Lowe, David Murray, Charles Tyler, Billy Bang, among others. Charles performed funk, all sorts of jazz, rock and roll, and also Caribbean folk music. His to begin three recordings under his personal name was a couple of Crucian material known as Queen Mary, following a sugarcane field employee who led a worker’s insurrection contrary to the Danes. Following a last tour with Wilber Morris, Charles dropped ill and passed on in his rest.

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