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Gigi Gryce

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Gigi Gryce was a fine altoist in the 1950s, but it was his writing skills (including composing the standard "Minority") that were considered most notable. After growing up in Hartford, CT, and studying at the Boston Conservatory and in Paris, Gryce worked in New York with Max Roach, Tadd Dameron, and Clifford Brown. He toured Europe in 1953 with Lionel Hampton and led several sessions in France. After freelancing in 1954 (including recording with Thelonious Monk), Gryce worked with Oscar Pettiford's groups (1955-1957) and led the Jazz Lab Quintet (1955-1958), a band featuring Donald Byrd. He had a quintet with Richard Williams during 1959-1961, but then stopped playing altogether to become a teacher. During his short career, Gigi Gryce recorded as a leader for Vogue (many of the releases have been issued domestically on Prestige), Savoy, Metrojazz, New Jazz, and Mercury. ~ Scott Yanow

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Birth Name:

Basheer Qusim


28 November 1927 in Pensacola, FL

Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s