University of Pittsburgh
April 6, 2005

University of Pittsburgh Jazz Ensemble to Perform Alongside Jazz Greats Benny Golson and Curtis Fuller at Spring Concert


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—The Pitt Jazz Ensemble presents its annual spring concert Return of the Jazz Masters, at 8 p.m. April 21 in the Assembly Room of the William Pitt Union (WPU), 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Tickets, available at the WPU box office, are $10 for general admission and $5 for students or senior citizens. For more information, call 412-624-4187.

In addition to the student members of the ensemble, this year's concert will feature international saxophonist, composer, and arranger Benny Golson and legendary trombonist Curtis Fuller, both founding members of the original 1960s sextet Jazztet.

Golson, originally of Philadelphia, is an acclaimed composer of film and television music, as well as jazz standards like "Killer Joe" and "I Remember Clifford." He began his career as a saxophonist, playing with many of the top artists in jazz, and went on to perform with and compose tunes for Dizzy Gillespie's band. In the early 1960s, Golson, along with trumpeter Art Farmer, founded Jazztet, which also featured Fuller on trombone. In 1967, Golson moved to Los Angeles and arranged tunes for Sammy Davis Jr., Diana Ross, Mel Torme, and many others. He wrote for popular TV shows, including M*A*S*H, Mission: Impossible, and Mannix. In the late 70s, he returned to regular live work and toured Europe with a reunited Jazztet, in 1982. The following year, he recorded an acclaimed tribute album to his old Philadelphia jamming partner John Coltrane.

Fuller, of New York City, is regarded as one of the most distinctive trombone stylists in jazz. He emerged from the thriving Detroit music scene of the late 1940s and early '50s, and after just eight months in New York City, the 22 year old had made six albums as a leader and appeared on 15 others. He performed and recorded with Coltrane, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Gillespie, Lester Young, Art Blakey, and many others. He is featured on the famous tune "Moment's Notice," on Coltrane's classic "Blue Train" album. Fuller toured with the Count Basie Band, led the quintet Giant Bones, and performed and recorded with the revamped Jazztet.

Local performers at Return of the Jazz Masters will include Greg Humphries on drums, Dwayne Dolphin on bass, James Johnson on piano, and Cecil "Valdez" Washington on percussion.