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Bobby Bradford

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Biography

One of the best trumpeters to emerge from the avant-garde, Bobby Bradford largely fulfilled the potential of Don Cherry (whose chops declined through the years due to the amount of time allocated to performing on flute and other instruments). Bradford grew up in Dallas, playing trumpet locally with such local players as Cedar Walton and David Newman. In 1953, he moved to Los Angeles where he met and played with Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy. Bradford spent time in the military and in school before becoming Don Cherry's replacement with the Ornette Coleman Quartet in 1961-1963, a period when the group unfortunately rarely worked. After moving to Los Angeles, Bradford became a school teacher and also began a longtime association with clarinetist John Carter; his mellow trumpet blended in well with Carter's dissonant flights. He recorded with Ornette Coleman in 1971, but otherwise is best known for his playing and recordings with Carter. Since the clarinetist's death, Bradford frequently led a quintet (the Mo'tet) featuring Vinny Golia and occasionally Marty Ehrlich. In the '90s, he also performed with John Stevens' Freebop, the David Murray Octet, and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra.

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Born:

19 July 1934 in Cleveland, MS

Genre
Years Active:

'50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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Contemporaries