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Booker Ervin

Booker Telleferro Ervin II (Denison, Texas, October 31, 1930 – New York City, July 31, 1970) was an American tenor saxophone player.

Ervin is best known for his association with bassist Charles Mingus. He worked with Mingus from 1956 to 1963, appearing on "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" on the album Mingus Ah Um and "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" on Blues and Roots, as well as Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus.

After teaching himself tenor saxophone while in the United States Air Force Booker Ervin moved to the Boston area and studied at Berklee College of Music. His tenor playing was characterised by a strong, tough sound and blues/gospel phrasing, perhaps influenced by John Coltrane.
He moved to New York to join Horace Parlan's quartet, with whom he recorded Up & Down and Happy Frame of Mind (both for Blue Note Records). During the 1960s Ervin also led his own quartet, recording for Prestige Records with ex-Mingus associate pianist Jaki Byard along with bassist Richard Davis and Alan Dawson on drums. Ervin later recorded for Blue Note Records and played with pianist Randy Weston, with whom he recorded between 1963 and 1966.
He died of kidney disease in New York City in 1970, aged 39.


As leader
1960: The Book Cooks (Bethlehem)
1960: Cookin' (Savoy)
1961: That's It! (Candid)
1963: Exultation! (Prestige)
1963: The Freedom Book (Prestige)
1963: The Song Book (Prestige)
1963: Gumbo (Prestige)
1964: The Blues Book (Prestige)
1964: The Space Book (Prestige)
1965: Groovin' High (Prestige)
1966: The Trance (Prestige)
1966: Heavy!!! (Prestige)
1966: Structurally Sound (Pacific Jazz)
1967: Booker 'n' Brass (Pacific Jazz)
1968: The In Between (Blue Note)
1968:Tex Book Tenor (Blue Note)
Back from the Gig (1964-68 [1976]) - compiling then unreleased sessions that would later be issued as Horace Parlan's Happy Frame of Mind in 1988 and Ervin's Tex Book Tenor in 2005.

As sideman
With Bill Barron
Hot Line (Denon, 1962)
With Jaki Byard
Out Front! (Prestige, 1964)
With Teddy Charles
Jazz in the Garden at the Museum of Modern Art (Warwick, 1960)
With Roy Haynes
Cracklin′ (New Jazz, 1963)
With Andrew Hill
Grass Roots (Blue Note, 1968)
With Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan
Havin' a Ball at the Village Gate (RCA, 1963)
With Charles Mingus
Jazz Portraits: Mingus in Wonderland (United Artists, 1959)
Mingus Ah Um (Columbia, 1959)
Mingus Dynasty (Columbia, 1959)
Blues & Roots (Atlantic, 1959)
Mingus at Antibes (Atlantic, 1960 [1976])
Reincarnation of a Lovebird (Candid, 1960)
Oh Yeah (Atlantic, 1961)
Tonight at Noon (Atlantic, 1957-61 [1965])
Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (Impulse!, 1963)
With Horace Parlan
Up & Down (Blue Note, 1961)
Happy Frame of Mind (Blue Note, 1963 [1988])
With Don Patterson
Hip Cake Walk (Prestige, 1964)
With Mal Waldron
The Quest (New Jazz, 1961)
With Randy Weston
Highlife (Colpix, 1963)
Randy (Bakton, 1964) - also released as African Cookbook (Atlantic) in 1972
Monterey '66 (Verve, 1966)
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