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Subject: Eddie Gale, Jazz trumpeter

Dead at 78
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Date Posted: Friday, July 17, 03:24:03pm

Eddie Gale, the free jazz trumpeter with two celebrated albums on the Blue Note label, has died aged 78. His wife confirmed to the New York Times that he died at his home in California on 10 July, from prostate cancer.

Born in Brooklyn in 1941, Gale’s music career started when he played bugle for his cub scout brigade. He grew up surrounded by jazz. “People like Jackie McLean, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Cecil Payne and Randy Weston were in the neighbourhood. Bud Powell lived around the corner from me,” he told Jazz Times. “I will never forget hearing Lester Young wailing from outside of the Club Continental on Ocean Avenue, not far from where I lived.”

He was taught trumpet by bebop star Kenny Dorham, and was mentored by and played with John Coltrane, who Gale described as “an uncle or father figure to me”.

He was signed to Blue Note, where he released two albums as bandleader: Ghetto Music (1968) and Black Rhythm Happening (1969), influenced by African and gospel music and characterised by their use of solo and choral vocals. The label heralded his “incredible legacy” in an Instagram post.

He also became a key figure in the free jazz movement that was coming to fruition in that period, playing with pianist Cecil Taylor on his 1966 Blue Note album Unit Structures and, in a longstanding relationship, Sun Ra and his Arkestra.

In 1972, he moved from New York to San Jose, California, and was named by the mayor as the city’s ambassador of jazz. He spent years working in music education in the city. He continued to play live, and frequently collaborated with hip-hop group the Coup, from nearby Oakland.


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"The Rain"Eddie GaleFriday, July 17, 03:26:00pm

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