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Gerald Cleaver

Although jazz drummer Gerald Cleaver continues to be known in the Detroit area as an excellent musician and educator because the early ’90s, he had not been so well-known to listeners beyond the Midwest until an explosion of recordings released beginning in 1999 brought his effective and tasteful drumming towards the attention of jazz listeners everywhere. Delivered and elevated in Detroit, Cleaver became deeply associated with the jazz picture there, dealing with reputed area music artists including bassist Ali Muhammad Jackson, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, tenor saxophonist Donald Walden, bassist Rodney Whitaker (on Hidden Kingdom), guitarist A. Spencer Barefield, reedsman Wendell Harrison, and many more. An NEA fellowship allowed Cleaver to review with drummer Victor Lewis; Cleaver after that gained a music level from the School of Michigan. During his years as students, he previously a music group with keyboardist Craig Taborn known as the Tracey Research Quartet. Cleaver continued to become jazz educator after graduating and started teaching in Detroit in the first ’90s, later signing up for the jazz faculty on the School of Michigan. Splitting time taken between Detroit and N.Con.C., where he eventually moved, Cleaver spent some time working with more information on great jazz market leaders including Roscoe Mitchell (notably on 1999’s Nine to ready), Henry Threadgill, Jacky Terrasson, Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Charles Gayle, Reggie Workman, and Eddie Harris, amongst others. Cleaver could be heard in several groups and configurations, like the Joe Morris Quartet (with produces on Omnitone and Knitting Stock); the Matthew Shipp Quartet (Pastoral Composure); youthful bassist Chris Lightcap’s debut being a head, Lay-Up; and vocalist René Marie’s Maxjazz discharge. Cleaver continues to be energetic with such extra groupings as the Roscoe Mitchell Trio; Bishop Cleaver Overflow (offering Ann Arbor reedsman Andrew Bishop and bassist Tim Overflow); David Torn’s Prezens; and his personal sextet, Gerald Cleaver’s Veil of Titles, which include guitarist Ben Monder, violinist/violist Mat Maneri, bassist Reid Anderson, saxophonist Andrew Bishop, and previous university collaborator Craig Taborn. Adjust premiered in 2001 on FSNT (New Audio New Talent), which also released Gerald Cleaver’s Detroit in 2008. Farmers naturally, with William Parker and Craig Taborn, made an appearance from Aum Fidelity in ’09 2009.

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