Bobby Bradford | Timeline: work in progress

Bobby Bradford -- April 22, 1978 -- Los Angeles -- photo by Mark Weber

Bobby Bradford — April 22, 1978 — Los Angeles — photo by Mark Weber




that not every recording session by Bobby Bradford has been listed simply because a complete sessionography can be found at the Tom Lord Discography. I am hoping that anyone with additional biographical information on Bobby Bradford will add to the Comments at bottom on page.

1934 — July 19

Bobby Lee Bradford born: Cleveland, Mississippi, in the heart of the Delta — BB spent his years in Cleveland at his family’s house at 313 Ruby Street (he was actually born in a house a few doors down from there) — his mother: Bernice Bradford nee Griffin (later she became Bernice Walker) — his father: Webb Eugene Bradford — Bobby spent these years with four generations of his family in the home, his mother’s mother Asalee Hemphill, (BB’s grandmother), and her mother, Emma Ambrose (born c.1846)(BB’s great-grandmother) lived with them:

“She lived to 93 and died when I was about 5, she was born back in Civil War times, back during slavery. She used to make soap, you know, collect the fat after cooking porkchops and mix that with lye in a great big black cast-iron pot in the backyard, and make soap. She’d slaughter pigs, she knew the most humane way to kill them, she was known for that. And she’d boil all the clothing, the cotton underwear, and sheets, socks, in her pot, to clean them, and add bluing to the pot, I never could figure out how you could add something so blue and it would make the clothes white. Remember Miles had a tune called “Bluing.” [telcon 21jan13]


For years I expectantly interrogated Bobby about growing up in the epicenter of the blues, how there must have been bluesmen playing guitars on every street corner, the Delta was crawling with cats like Tommy Johnson, Willie Brown, Honeyboy Edwards, Son House, Johnny Shines, Skip James, Sonny Boy Williamson, Ishmon Bracey, hundreds of them in the 30s, before they all caught the train to Chicago, Howlin’ Wolf resided in Ruleville, the next town over from Cleveland, and Charlie Patton was stabbed by Bertha Lee in Cleveland the year before Bobby was born! Now, Bobby has always said that yes there were guitar players around but he mostly remembers the gospel quartets singing on the corners and at gatherings, which, if you study the ethnography is exactly correct, it’s just that my guitar-centric generation focused on guitarists out of the Delta like Robert Johnson and the Chatmons.


I asked about religious affiliations: “We were all baptists.”


age 7-9 — piano lessons in a group setting — lady teacher charges 25 cents per child


“I was actually 11 ———I’ll tell you what happened there: My biological father had left Mississippi I think in 1943 or maybe 1942 and gone to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to work in the aircraft industry, because Douglas Aircraft, the big bomber-maker, the B-29 and all that, those were made by Douglas Aircraft, and he was too old for the draft, but a lot of black people, men especially, were leaving the south going to work in the war industries, so he came to Tulsa, that leaves me and my mom and my brother there in Cleveland. Well, whatever happened, he began to sort of write to my mom less and less and things got kind of strange. So, somewhere between the time he left, and I think he only came back to visit once, uh, he and my mom agreed to disagree and she hooked up with this guy, my stepfather, name of Augustus. And he and my mom and my older brother Eugene we left Cleveland, Mississippi, I think it was 1944, and came to Los Angeles, because he was looking for work, too, except he had a brother here [L.A.] who had a couple grocery stores, one in Bakersfield, and two in L.A. And we drove in a big old maroon Pontiac, I remember that [chuckling] ’cause he was a mechanic, and we came to L.A. and we stayed here, as I remember it, most of the fall semester of 1944, and we went to a school up there where Dodger Stadium is, called Palo Verde, about 99% Hispanic, and there were about five or six black kids on the playground, including me and my brother, and we were there, enrolled in the little elementary school from September to about December or maybe January, then for whatever reason, my stepfather and mom decided to go back to Gary, Indiana, because he had another brother who worked the steel mills in Gary.

I guess he thought he could get an even better job there. Well, so we drive across country. And we wound up staying in Detroit, after the thing in Gary, Indiana, didn’t pan out, and we stayed with a woman, she and my mother were the daughters of two sisters, I forgot what you call that relationship? So, that would be through the spring of 1946, ’cause that’s when we finally came to Dallas, Texas — I’m losing some months along the way — But, one semester we spent there in the public schools of Detroit, and by the summer of 1946, we’re being packed up and shipped, my brother and I, to come to Dallas, Texas, because my natural father has now made his way to Dallas, Texas, and we were going to be with him, because my stepfather and my mom were in disagreement about something, which didn’t include the two boys, so you see we were kind of shipped around there, but we wound up in Dallas, Texas, that summer, I think June maybe or July of 1946 [MW says: Summer of 1946 is an absolute date?] Yes, that’s absolute, the summer of 1946, because when school starts in September I’ll be in the 6th grade and my brother in the 8th grade. And we went to a little school there in East Dallas, ’cause you know the black schools didn’t have a middle school or a junior high. Elementary school went 1 through 8. And high school went 9 through 12.

Well, I was at this elementary school grades six, seven, and eight. Where my brother was there only one year. Because he was in the 8th grade and so he went right on over to high school, he was almost three years older than me, he’s 2 years and 7 months older than me. So, that’s a certain date, that summer of 1946. [MW asks: Wasn’t Eugene one of those guys that worked in marketing and could create little snappy phrases to sell products?] Oh yeh, but not when we were kids, you know he was a really great illustrator, in fact when he graduated from high school he moved back to Detroit and was staying with that same woman that we’d stayed with when we were younger who, she and my mother were daughters of two sisters, I guess that would make them first cousins, wouldn’t it? Something like that. Anyway, he went back and stayed with her again and went to that same school that a lot of jazz guys went to, Cass Tech, and he took the illustration courses and was doing illustrations for magazines and stuff like that, and he decided after he got married, to move to Los Angeles, I forget when, but he got jobs doing illustrations for magazines and the Yellow Pages and stuff like that, and little by little he found himself working for CBS, as an illustrator, long before guys were doing anything digital, this is when you had to be able to draw. And the advertising thing sort of hooked up with that.

That’s when he showed that he had a knack for advertising. Little advertising jingles and things like that. [MW asks where did Eugene live when he worked for CBS?] Oh, right over there where Rodney King got in that mess, what they call Lake View Terrace, right across from Hansen Dam. [MW asks if Eugene followed jazz very closely?] Not really. He was a big fan of Billy Eckstine, but that was only because of Billy Eckstine’s wardrobe [chuckles]. Let’s see now, if he graduated from high school in 1950, but you’re asking about jazz? Oh, I don’t think he had any awareness of things like Thad Jones, and Donald Byrd, and all that crowd, and Doug Watkins, and all those people that went to Cass Tech. Except that, Detroit is the sort of city where a lot of those guys are playing for things around town besides the hardcore jazz, but you see, the jazz community is sort of tightly knit, even in a big city like Detroit, and I’m sure on some occasion he ran across guys like Frank Foster, but just socially. There was one part of Detroit where there was a big gymnasium where everybody went, where kids who were interested in boxing, and there was an indoor pool, called the Brewster Center, and his is the heart of black East Detroit. When we were there, like 1946 or whatever, it was just amazing to us that in the winter with snow on the ground we could go to the Brewster Center and go swimming [chuckles]. Because we were just right up from Mississippi, you know, except for that short period in L.A., man, we thought this is Planet X.” [telcon with MW March 9, 2o18 from his home in Altadena]


Father & mother, begin to separate — father moves to Tulsa to work at Douglas Aircraft defense plant


Left Cleveland, Mississippi by car w/ mother, step-father and brother Eugene (his only sibling) “age 10 or 11” moved to Chavez Ravine, attends school only the fall semester THEN they all traveled by car to Detroit and stayed not quite a year — arrives winter of 1945? January 1946?

stepfather: Augustus Walker


Spelling bee champ — Trowbridge Elementary, Detroit, Michigan


Summer [this date is definite] he and brother moved to (East) Dallas, Texas, and lived with his father (this would be 6th Grade )


Freshman year at Lincoln High School, Dallas with Cedar Walton, James Clay, David Fathead Newman — started on trumpet this year, 1949, “Started on cornet in 1950 or late 1949 but I didn’t get into the band till fall 1950. One of my neighbors saw me packin’ that horn case and turned me onto a 78rpm with Fats and Dexter. I was hooked!!!” [BB email to MW 27dec2o12] — this would be the 78s: Dexter Gordon & His Boys, w/ Fats Navarro & Tadd Dameron, “Dextrose,” “Index,” “Dextivity” recorded December 22, 1947 — the pianist L.J. Bomar is the neighbor in East Dallas who turned him onto bebop:

“One day he called me and said: Listen to this. It was Fats Navarro and Dexter Gordon. It knocked me out of my socks.” [interview with Greg Burk, June 2003]

James Clay interview — CODA #178 (April 1981) —-

“. . . when I went to high school, J.R. Miller and James White were my two instructors . . . . . this was when the Jazz at the Philharmonic was going strong and they used to play ‘Blue Room’ which was one of the first things I learned. It was by Flip Phillips . . . and sometimes they would play a ballad by Gene Ammons, ‘My Foolish Heart.’ . . . .Then I started taking band and that’s where I met Cedar Walton. He was already a piano player but I wasn’t aware of it. He was trying to learn the clarinet. A trumpet player named Bobby Bradford and I went by Cedar’s one day after band practice and this is where I got my head opened, because that’s the first bebop I ever heard. [ I believe JC is referring to hearing 78rpm recordings of bebop] . . . . There was a Fort Worth cat, a hell of a player named Red Connors . . . I didn’t know much about music then but I knew he was good. Bobby and I started to go to clubs and we would just tell the cats, ‘We ain’t gonna drink, we just come here to hear the band,’ we’d get into a corner and stay out of the way so they’d let us in. Used to be a club on Washington called The Disc Jockey, and we used to go to the Rose Room. They’d let us in there, we’d go get a corner and squat and watch. That’s the first place I heard Sonny Stitt. And by this time James Moody and all those people started to come there . . . . . I was playing in joints myself then, I started gigging about my junior year in high school. The first regular gig I got was at the Harmony Lounge. I worked there six nights a week with Lee Cooper and John Hardee, and I was going to high school. They were playing ‘Cherokee’ and all this bop, I wasn’t fuckin’ with no blues, went right into that bop thing. Those cats made me practice, man! . . . . Buster Smith told me you can’t learn anything from somebody who can’t play as good as you! . . . .” — interview by Tim Schuller [redacted by MW]


We were talking about the practice of dropping bombs in jazz drumming — I was saying how Chick Webb was known for his commentary with something like “bombs,” before they became standard part of the Bebop vocabulary. BB said it wasn’t exactly the same. I asked Bobby to define bombs: “Bombs are placement of a bass drum shot in an unexpected place.” Bobby said in high school in Dallas there was a group called: Luther Charles Bell & His Bombshells. BB noted how you wouldn’t use the term “bombshells” these days, that it’s sort’ve dated, came into the vernacular after World War One. “He was a tenor player and was a couple years ahead of me, when he graduated I got his band uniform.” (You had to buy your own uniforms in those days — Do you still? — And so it was common to get a previous member’s uniform.) Luther’s band was not really a serious working band (quintet: sax, trumpet, bass, drums, piano) but played some of the school dances in the Gene Ammons-Jimmy Forrest-Illinois Jacquet vein. [telcon w/ BB 2july2o16]


member of Buster Smith’s band based out of Dallas — he and James Clay were the horn section, and Buster by this time wasn’t playing sax (bad teeth) but was on electric bass, “He had an old pickup truck we traveled in.” They had midnite-2am gig at a Hillbilly joint — John Hardee was mentor to James Clay these years, and Bradford by association — Clay was one year younger than BB,

“He was still on alto, and then his first year in high school he switched to tenor, he was a big fan of Stan Getz, and he got one of those see-through red mouthpieces that Getz had, and he could sing all of Stan’s solos” [telcon 11jan13]

1951 — October

attends J.A.T.P. w/ Dizzy, Prez, Harry Edison, Jimmy Jones, Oscar Peterson, Tommy Turk, Flip Phillips in Dallas — “Me and James Clay went backstage and talked with Lester.” [telcon w/BB 2012] — at Fair Park Music Hall, Dallas — the 11th annual National JATP Tour — graduated high school mid-year (January 1952). Graduated on a Friday and by Monday was in college

1952 — January

Begins college at Sam Houston College, Austin, Texas, (now called Huston-Tillotson College, a black Methodist school) — Summer off from college, stayed in Texas — September — back to Sam Houston College — till June 1953 — ( Receives B.A. degree from this same college ten years later)

*dorm roommate was saxophonist Leo Wright — BB had the top bunk and Leo had the bottom, “in those days each guy had a steamer trunk, remember those? with drawers, well, that was your wardrobe”

*Heard Ornette for the first time at Charles Moffett’s wedding jam session at Victory Grill, Austin. Ornette was Moffett’s best man.

*John Gilmore was stationed outside Austin at Bergstrom Air Force Base and would come into town on weekends for jam sessions, “Baad mutherfucker! There were only a few guys at school who could play with him, and that would be Leo Wright, and this other (sax) guy, Marcus Adams”

1953 — June

Moved to Los Angeles — “Probably on the train or the Greyhound, I certainly didn’t have a car then”

*Ran into Ornette on streetcar (the renowned Red Car of that era that ran between downtown and Long Beach)

*Member of Ornette’s band 1953-1954 (OC bought his first plastic alto) — the band at this time was Blackwell and on piano, Floyd Howard

* Worked at Bullocks, Wilshire Blvd — 2 years w/ Coleman also, as elevator operator

*Bobby has 1941 Chrysler that the band uses

*Sat in with Joe Maini and Herb Geller @ The Tip Top, “Joe was especially nice to me. I never played with Lorraine.” [Email 28dec12 ] —

“There used to be a club down at 3rd and Main called The Tip Top, sort of a gay bar, and we played there Friday and Saturday nights. Sunday at 6 in the morning was a jam session and it would be packed. That was sort of the red light district in those days. Nobody would go to bed Saturday night, we’d go out to the beach and fool around, because if you went to bed you would never get up for that. Then we’d play to around 11:30 or 12 and then go home to bed.” [MW interview w/BB 17sept76]

*These are Bobby’s jam session years — I asked if he was ever on the set with Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, Joe Mondragon these years:

“Yes, I did sit in with that crowd, so did OC and Don Cherry. That crowd included Stu Williamson, Joe Maini, Herb Geller, Herbie Steward, Onzy Matthews, Jack Sheldon. Bill Holman was still active on tenor. By the way, the bass player’s name is pronounced just like it looks, monDRAGON.” [email 4jan13 ]

1953 — October 30

Bobby caught Bird three times, all in Los Angeles — the first time is probably this date: Bird at a large auditorium downtown presented by Gene Norman as the opening concert of a package tour called “West Coast in Jazz” (that ran up the Pacific Coast and ended on November 9) and emcee Gene Norman came out and says: “Ladies and gentleman: The Bird, Charlie Parker! and Bird didn’t come out, and so GN says, again: Ladies and gentlemen: The Bird, Charlie Parker! and finally Bird comes running out in a hurry wearing that famous black velvet jacket, and had his hair in that Quo Vadis style that was around for a minute, both blacks and whites were wearing it — Bird obviously had his hair long enough he could do that, he had it fried and konked and combed forward like bangs across his forehead, like the movie Quo Vadis, which was big at the time” — [movie released Nov. 1951 ] —

“Then, a week later Frank Morgan had his hair in a Quo Vadis when I ran into him at the California Club!” [telcon w/ BB 27dec12 ]

*BB is positive he never caught Bird at the Shrine Auditorium

1953 — Sunday, November 15

[ this date is solid speculation, a proposal, but not that far-flung if you take into consideration the book BIRD’s DIARY by Ken Vail (1996) and the books on Chet Baker, and Max Roach, and Brownie, and Ornette; and the stories & interviews of Howard Rumsey, Clora Bryant, Herb Geller, Don Heckman, Don Cherry, Teddy Edwards from the various Los Angeles legendarium provided by the jazz scholar Kirk Silsbee] — The second time BB caught Bird would be at Five-Four Ballroom (54th & Broadway) aka 5/4 Ballroom — BB remembers the band was Chet Baker, Amos Trice(p), Jimmy Bunn(p), Lawrence Marable(d), and Bird allowed a lady singer to sit on for one song and she sang some popular ballad like “Harbor Lights” and he remembers a lot of people dancing to Bird’s music

1954 — Friday January 8

Bud Powell begins a several week’s long gig at The Haig, downtown Los Angeles with a local trio of Chuck Thompson(drums) and Curtis Counce(bass). [See Peter Pullman’s biography on Bud WAIL (2o12) pp205-209 for details] Bobby Bradford attended one of the nights before the gig was cancelled by John Bennett, manager of The Haig, before the second week ended due to erratic performances.

1954 — March 1 – 4

the third time BB caught Bird was one of these nights at the Tiffany [this date is certain, whereas the other two Bird sightings for BB are speculative dates] — this is also the engagement where Ornette caught Bird, but BB doesn’t remember being there same night as OC


member of rhythm & blues band King Perry & His Pied Pipers based out of Los Angeles who toured the coast from San Diego to Vancouver and over into Canada: Calgary, Alberta, Moosejaw, Saskatoon — Spring of 1954 recorded 78rpm w/ King Perry “Christopher Columbus” and “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be”

BB confirms that he did play at a jam session with Kenny Drew at Zardi’s (6315 Hollywood Blvd, near Vine Street) also Walter Benton that afternoon and Lawrence Marable, Don Cherry, Jimmy Bond (bass) — Clifford Brown came by but didn’t play [telcon w/BB 5dec15]

1954 — March

Max Roach-Clifford Brown Quintet forms in Los Angeles. They have extended gig at California Club (Santa Barbara & Western Avenue) and their rhythm section plays the Monday Night Jam Sessions, “I think it was a night off for Clifford, or something, but it would only be Max and Bledsoe and I think Carl Perkins,” where BB, Eric Dolphy, Walter Benton, Teddy Edwards, Don Cherry, sit in — some nights Wardell Gray leads the jam session — It was during these jam sessions that BB shared the stage with Clifford Brown, and had a chance to talk with him, merely about things that trumpet players talk about among themselves, “He was very cordial” — He remembers the first time he caught Clifford at this club, he was standing next to Rolf Ericson, who was so flushed with disbelief at what he was hearing, and what a high level this young newcomer on the trumpet scene had achieved, that his face turned red — (It was also at the California Club where BB first heard Bud Powell play live) — SO, I asked about the Sunday afternoon jam sessions at Zardi’s and BB confirmed that yes, Clifford Brown was a participant, along with Walter Benton, Kenny Drew, Dolphy — I asked if Curtis Counce was at these jam sessions, and he says he mostly felt a “bad vibe” off of Counce, “He was one of the big anti-Coleman guys around then, actively against anything Ornette was doing” –[telcon w/BB 11jan13] — Even though there is no present documentation of Clifford Brown-Max Roach playing Zardi’s, Bobby is certain of the actuality of this — Zardi’s aka Zardi’s Jazzland

1954 — April

Bobby as member of Big Jim Wynn’s R&B band featuring an exotic dancer who sang — Club Alimony, Main Street (at 97th), Los Angeles — thanks to Kirk Silsbee for finding this in Chazz Crawford’s column for the California Eagle (April 1, 1954) who wrote: “Best girlie show is at the Club Alimony at 97th and Main! Sharp enuf, with Frances Neeley, Sylvia Moon, Donna Jean, and Florine Collette (blondah than ever!)” — also at this club, quite possibly on same bill, was Redd Foxx, and Johnny Otis


BB remembers jam sessions on Sunday afternoons in Hollywood at a place called The Big Top where he played with Bill Holman one time, “a good tenor man!”


Drafted into U.S. Air Force — reported for service: December 28, 1954 – October 1958 — “opted to go to Air Force instead of Army” served 4 years, he was offered “two months early out” — this is when Don Cherry takes BB’s place in Ornette’s band — BB stationed at various locations around Texas: Waco, San Antonio, etc — 46 months total

  • I asked Bobby if, when he was in military service, was one of his duties to play “Reveille” and “Taps” over the camp loudspeakers? He said that at Bryan Air Force Base, Bryan, Texas, he was in rotation with six other trumpeters (they didn’t use a bugle) solo every Friday performing this task, that what I’m calling “Taps,” is really “Retreat” —- This military band unit was responsible for playing official functions all over Texas and were even flown to Thule, Greenland, once for a ceremony —- “Taps” was more for memorials, and it’s variant “Silver Taps” ———-  But, he was right on the cusp when recordings were first coming into use, rather than live performance of “Reveille”(a.m. and “Retreat”(p.m.) and before the band was transferred to another base he was asked to record a whole roster of these signal tunes, like “Come and Get Your Chow Boys,” “Mail Call,” “Retreat,” and with the band, the “Hail to the Chief,” “America, My Country Tis of Thee,” and “Star Spangled Banner”(the U.S. National Anthem), and others [telcon BB > MW 7sept2020] (**I had asked this as I live near enough to Kirtland AFB here in Albuquerque to hear “Reveille” at 7 a.m. and “Retreat” at 10 a.m. every day over the loudspeakers)


Marriage to Melba Moore (aka Melba Joyce) while in the military (they divorce in 1970) — she is the daughter of singer Melvin Moore, who recorded with Dizzy Gillespie and toured with big bands — Melba now lives in NYC

twins Karl & Keith born — Karl now resides in Saugus, in the Santa Clarita Valley, same town that Red Callendar lived the last part of his life — and Keith is a long-time resident of Pasadena

I received a letter from the poet Jack Saunders in Florida after he’d seen the BB Timeline:

“I was in the war with Bobby Bradford. At Waco, Texas, in 1957. We drove to Dallas on weekends for jam sessions at Woodman Hall. The house band included James Clay and Leroy Cooper. I visited him in San Antonio after they broke up the band in Waco and he was transferred to San Antonio. He was going to the University of Texas and working as a porter in a bowling alley. He said some day he’d like to be on the cover of Downbeat but right then he would settle for a big chicken dinner.” [written correspondence 17july13]

Further correspondence:

“I was in the band at Waco with Bobby Bradford. I played drums. On weekends we drove to Dallas and he played at Woodman Hall. The house band was the Red Tops. Leroy Cooper on baritone sax. He played with James Clay. When Ray Charles came to North Texas State, Clay and David Newman had tenor battles in Dallas. When they broke the band at Waco up, Bobby was stationed in San Antonio at Randolph Air Force Base. I’d say he was in San Antonio in 1958.” [email from Jack Saunders 26mar14]

NOTE that John Carter in the 1970s wrote a tune “Woodman Hall Blues” commemorating his times there which appears on his album VARIATIONS (Moers Records, 1979). John spoke often of the jam sessions there and so has Bobby.  Grady Tate was in the same Airforce band at Waco as Bobby, “He was what we called a ‘short-timer’ as he only had 6 more months to go”.


daughter Kathy born and at age 10 months dies in auto accident when a bus hit Melba’s car in Austin, while she was driving. Kathy was born at Ft Sam Houston Army Hospital while BB was stationed at San Antonio and then after discharge from San Antonio they moved to Austin where BB attended 3 semesters at UTEP before he was awarded a scholarship to return to Huston-Tillotson College. (telcon 17may2o14)


Worked around Dallas area with Ray Charles band, “Either one of the trumpet players got arrested or didn’t show up or something and Marcus Belgrave pulled me in to play, ’cause Ray was using two trumpets and three saxophones. In fact, Marcus got me in Quincy Jones’ band in New York. It was a brief period with Ray Charles, until this other guy got out of jail or whatever.” [ Interview with Kirk Silsbee, May 17, 1989 — appeared in CADENCE, January 1996]


After military service enrolled at University of Texas, Austin — started with the 2nd semester in January


gigging around Austin regularly — “a hip little club on the north side of UT (University of Texas) called the Cliche, that was in the part of town known back then as The Drag — played there with Jimmy Ford, a good white tenor player, those were just quartets, quintets, I even remember playing there with just a bass and drums — Jimmy Ford was from Texas, he’d played with Kai Winding and Tadd Dameron and Red Rodney, but he was from somewhere in Texas” (telcon 26apr14)

1960 — July 19

daughter Carmen born in Austin (Bobby’s 26th birthday, coincidently) — she now resides in Atlanta

1960 — December 21

Ornette’s FREE JAZZ double-quartet session — OC had contacted BB to be a participant but BB couldn’t get away from studies at college

1961 —- October —- Ornette Coleman rehearses in NYC a octet that is scheduled to play in Cincinnati

—- They fly there —- The theater says “Free Jazz” on the marquee so there’s a big line out front expecting a free concert, who are upset when told they do indeed need to give up some money to get in, and they refuse —- With one thing & another, the promoters have no funds and the band does not perform, they return to NYC —-
Octet : Steve Lacy, soprano; BB & Don Cherry, trumpets; Art Davis & Jimmy Garrison, basses; Ed Blackwell & Charles Moffett, drums; Ornette, alto —- (Note that Steve Lacy misremembers that it was Charlie Haden & Art Davis, but this is not true according to BB, it was Garrison & Art Davis —- see p190 of Jason Weiss CONVERSATIONS (2006)

1961 – Friday November 3

Discussing with BB the compositional elements that went into John Coltrane’s “Impressions,” Bobby reveals that he and Ornette, and Moffet, were out clubbing that night, having just worked a couple weeks in early October at the Five Spot, and were in the Village Vanguard the night the Coltrane Quartet recorded the monumental “Impressions” —- this first released version was from November 3 and the one we all grew up with on the Impulse! album of same name, where Tyner lays out for most of the almost

15 minutes and leaves tenor, bass, and drums. Bobby recalls Dolphy on stage as well, of which, Dolphy was on this tune on the November 2 & 3 recorded versions, found in the box set COMPLETE 1961 VILLAGE VANGUARD RECORDINGS, so, Bobby could have been at either of these 3 nights. [Interviews w/ MW & BB 26 & 30 July 2o18]


Member of Ornette’s Quartet in NYC — Bobby re-joins the group in June of 1961 replacing Don Cherry although there was some cross-over of trumpet duties that summer — plays Five Spot, 5 Cooper Square, Bowery, East Village w/ Moffett and Jimmy Garrison in the band — they played July 17-August 19 and again September 11-October 15, 1961[Litweiler, ibid.] (Ornette’s final recording session for Atlantic was March 27, 1961 — a photo of this quartet exists in Atlantic Studios that dates from 1961 — if recordings exist they were lost in the infamous Atlantic vault fire)

*( I asked BB where he first met Mingus)

” I met Mingus while at the Five Spot, sometimes he would come to the club to catch the band. Once, I sat there and listened to him try to get OC to make a tour as the warm-up band for him. OC refused and Mingus stormed out of the club and drove off in an old Buick convertible that needed a muffler. He was beginning to gain weight and was wearing a bowler. This was 61 or 62.” [ Email 2jan2o12 ]

*BB & family live at 310 East 4th Street (Moffett lived in these apartments, also)

*BB makes the Cincinnati gig w/Ornette (a band that included Steve Lacy) although the band didn’t perform

*see John Litweiler bio on OC — David Wild OC discography posits “circa June 1961” with a double-quartet: BB/Cherry, Lacy/OC, Garrison/Art Davis, Blackwell/Moffett *BB says, “Not actually a recording date, just rehearsal”

*June 1962 Ornette Coleman Quartet (BB, Moffett, Izenzon) played a week at the Jazz Gallery NYC opposite Lambert, Hendricks, & Bavan w/Gildo Mahones

*It was during this time (1962) that Bobby subbed in Quincy Jones’ band for his old Air Force buddy Marcus Belgrave while MB straightened out some issues with his cabaret card

*BB also worked in what he calls “pre-salsa” bands

*NOTE that during BB’s 2-year tenure in Ornette’s Quartet at this time he was back & forth to Dallas visiting family and taking jobs “during flat spots” in OC’s bookings — BB finally leaves NYC and Ornette’s band Fall 1962 to return to college

*Ornette performs and releases TOWN HALL concert (ESP Records) in December 1962 but BB was gone by then

1961 – August

Bobby participates in famous photo by Herb Snitzer “Twenty-two trumpeters in Central Park” NYC w/ Don Ferrara, Charlie Shavers, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Herman Autrey, Red Allen, Nick Travis, Yank Lawson, Buck Clayton, Joe Thomas, Ernie Royal, Doc Severinsen, Max Kaminsky, Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Reece, Joe Newman, Ted Curson, Clark Terry, Jimmy Nottingham, Johnny Letman —-  Dan Morgenstern (editor at METRONOME at the time) says Kenny Dorham arrived too late for the shot —- appeared in October 1961 issue of that magazine as the centerfold


Leroi Jones publishes his essay “Introducing Bobby Bradford in KULCHUR, the Greenwich Village bohemian literary arts magazine, which was later reproduced in Leroi’s influential book BLACK MUSIC(1968) — BB was 27 years old at the time of the interview and working at the 5 Spot with the Coleman Quartet — BB still uses Leroi’s monumental book BLUES PEOPLE, among others, in his jazz history courses

1962 — September

Returns to Texas and Huston-Tillotson College, Austin, where earns Bachelor of Arts degree — graduates June 1963 — bachelor’s recital of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto

1962 — September or October or November or December

(telcon 26apr14) I mentioned to BB that Janis Joplin went to UT in Austin around that time and he said a friend reminded him of the night Janis sat in with a band he was working with at Charlie’s Playhouse on 11th Street near the Victory Grill, on the east side of Austin — “I didn’t realize it then, of course, or remember until he reminded me, that this young girl with the sandy complexion and that big voice sat in with the band” — I asked if it was R&B or jazz and BB figures it must have been R&B — Janis Joplin was enrolled at UT from the summer 1962 through December 1962 (p45 biography SCARS OF SWEET PARADISE by Alice Echols)

1962 —- (possibly between March-May 1962 NYC)

Bobby subs for trumpeter Richard Williams at a couple Mingus septet rehearsals —- I had asked if it was the ten-piece? BB said, “No, it was the four horns, that Texas baritone player Leo Wright, and Booker Ervin, in fact, it was all Texans! I knew Richard Williams back in Texas, he went to Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, he had just had a baby and asked me to sub, and Jaki Byard was there, and I can’t remember the trombone player’s name but it wasn’t Jimmy Knepper. In fact, we were all subs! It might have just been a situation where Mingus wanted to hear some new things he wrote.” I asked if read-throughs pay? “No, if I had a dime for every rehearsal I’ve ever played I’d be rich. You welcome the opportunity to play this music. If somebody like Ornette asked you to come and rehearse, you’d fly over there!” [telcon BB > MW 14jan2021]


teaches the school year, Sept-June, as band director @ Ralph Bunch High School, Crockett, Texas “the year that Kennedy was assassinated” — Crockett, population 5,000 in 1960, is 120 miles southeast of Dallas

Many years ago BB had mentioned visiting the Texas songster Mance Lipscomb, so I asked (telcon 26apr14) where that happened and BB said it was during the time he was living in Crockett, “You could take a little bottle of whisky and he’d be on his front porch playing guitar . . . Navasota, where he lived, was just a stone’s throw from Crockett”

1963 — November 22

I’ve always wanted to ask Bobby what it was like living in a small Texas town a hundred miles south of Dallas on that horrible day. “Well, first off, Crockett is a little further than a hundred miles, it had a very small black community, and everybody knows everybody else’s business.” Not too many days after that day the FBI showed up at Bobby’s house in Crockett. It was a weekend and Melba and the children were in Dallas visiting her family. The agents came inside and spread out a bunch of 8×10 photos on his bed and followed up various leads. Bradford had worked for Jack Ruby and his telephone number, along with all other musicians who’d worked at Ruby’s strip club, had been scrawled on the wall near the pay phone at the club — this was Ruby’s contact list. BB says that the rumor around town was that Ruby had killed Oswald not out of retaliation for JFK’s assassination but because the policeman that Oswald had killed as he fled the Book Depository had been Ruby’s gay lover.

1964 — June

moves family by car to Los Angeles where his brother and mother were already settled and stayed with his mother in the Valley, in the town of Pacoima — Returning after

“Having not been here since I was in the Air Force, ten years later, and I’ve been here ever since” [Silsbee interview, ibid.]


Bobby subs in Bill Green’s ensemble at Marty’s on the Hill, 5005 S. La Brea, Baldwin Hills, a prominent jazz club during the 60s co-owned by Martin “Marty” Zuniga and trumpeter Bobby Bryant, and managed by

KBCA disk jockey Tommy Bee [telcon with record producer Tom Albach 31jan2o13 — Tom was at Marty’s often and remembers Tommy Bee as the manager, “His theme song on his radio show was Miles’ version of The Duke”] — Bill Green was a renowned woodwinds master and studio musician who was instrumental, along with his close friend, Buddy Collette, in the amalgamation of the black & white Musician Unions in the early 50s — this would also be the period when BB would play in Gerald Wilson’s Orchestra


I asked Bobby when he first caught Miles:

“Hollywood Bowl in 64 with Wayne Shorter, Herbie, Tony Williams, Ron Carter. And I can’t count the times I saw him in New York before that. I saw him with Wynton Kelly, and with Bill Evans, caught him at the Jazz Gallery, the Village Gate, the Vanguard. You know, some places will let you come in if they know your face, and let you stand at the bar and sip a drink. I even caught him in some club in the Bay Area, in the 60s. And I caught him at Shellys.”


moved to Pomona, California, east of Los Angeles on Rt.10 — residence: 2254 Belinda, Pomona — got a job working in San Bernardino as workman’s comp insurance claims adjuster for the State of California

daily 30-minute drive to work

1965 — August 11-17

Watts Riots, probably more properly referred to as the Watts Uprising — “I’m not black but there’s a whole lot of times I wish I could say I’m not white” — Frank Zappa in his song about the riots “Trouble Coming Every Day”

1965 — August 22 through September 2

Louis Armstrong booked at the Royal Tahitian in Ontario, California (2525 E. Riverside Drive) and Bobby was there one evening — BB not sure this is where the wonderful photo backstage of his children Carl & Keith standing on both sides of Louis and Carmen sitting in his lap “probably taken by Melba” their mother simply because there is no Polynesian decor in the photo and that he had also taken his family to see Louis in these years at Disneyland and the photo could be from that location.

1966 —- Bradford sits in for an entire set with Jimmy Forrest

[this date is still under investigation] BB can’t remember exactly where or when but my guess is that it was just before he met John, because Bobby says otherwise John would have been with him, “I was probably just out roaming around, trying to connect” [telcom 21apr2o19 and there have been many conversations on this subject over the past year] —- He remembers a big place, used to be a restaurant, had a dance floor, possibly Central Avenue, and another trumpet player was on stage with them, also —- Jimmy Forrest was in & out of LA for years: 1958-1963 he was with Harry Sweets Edison, who was based in LA; 1971 Jimmy made a record with Blue Mitchell in LA; Jimmy joined Basie in 1972 and was with that orchestra through 1977, he was living in LA when he joined Basie —- BB had returned to LA in 1964 —– So, on the outside Bobby sitting in could be anywhere from 1964-1972


elementary school teacher — 6th grade — La Puente, eighteen miles west of Pomona on Rt.10 — most probably begins this teaching position the school year 1966-1967 — BB teaches here through the 1971-1972 school year, after which he spend most of 1973 in England. It was while he was employed thusly when Stanley Crouch set him up with a position at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Carson, teaching Jazz History and small ensemble improv — (BB was teaching here by the time of Frank Kofsky interview January 1970) — in a 1977 JAZZ magazine it is reported BB taught 5 years in this capacity. [ An anomaly exists in the Timeline that we’re endeavoring to sort out: BB very much remembers being employed by workman’s comp in San Bernardino when he met John for the first time, which was definitely May or June 1967. So, maybe he began teaching 6th grade in La Puente the following year?]


Met John Carter — (Worked with JC from 1967-1991)(John had moved to L.A. in 1961 from Ft Worth) It was Ornette’s suggestion to John that he and Bobby get together — (John would conduct Ornette’s orchestral work “Inventions of Symphonic Poems” in May 1967 at the UCLA Jazz Festival) — “John had called me after I had moved to Pomona and he and Gloria and the kids came to visit so John could talk to me about the band he wanted to form. And once or twice a week I would drive out to Los Angeles to rehearse. He already had Bruz and I think there had been another bass player before Tom, but by the time I came on board, it was Tom.” — They form the collective The New Art Jazz Quartet — in the early years they rehearse twice a week, eventually public performances in Los Angeles area at Century City Playhouse, Occidental College, Shelly’s Manne-Hole, Ice House, Cal State Jazz Festival, Watts Festival — the band was a quartet & quintet with Bruz Freeman, drums; Tom Williamson & Henry Franklin, basses — an audition tape was created from a session most probably at Studio Watts — this recording is certainly from before they met John William Hardy and were working up a tape to submit to Lester Koenig of Contemporary Records (one wonders if the actual audition tape exists?) Another tape exists (7 1/2″ reel-to-reel one channel) from this same time period — this is some streamlined modern bebop, Bruz is killing, all original tunes, John on alto throughout except clarinet on one piece; Bobby on trumpet; piano is Bill Henderson — over a half dozen tunes, quite enlightening (I refer to these as “The Belinda Recordings” because that is the address listed on the reel-to-reel box) — NOTE that John Carter is on record saying that he and Bob (JC called BB “Bob” or sometimes “Robert Lee”) first met in 1965 but BB recollects that it had to be after Ornette’s UCLA performance of “Inventions of Symphonic Poems, because I didn’t know about that performance, I was living in Pomona and still had the job with workman’s comp, so this would be when John got my number from Ornette” — the Belinda Recordings are probably 1967 — BB says they might have used his Wollensack reel-to-reel for this but also remembers playing a formal audition for Koenig, who said, “There’s nothing new about this band,” whereupon JC told BB that this was all a big mistake [telcon 11jan13 ]

* in the interview with Fred Jung, 13may03, “A Fireside Chat with Bobby Bradford” BB says that NAJE rehearsed Tuesday and Thursday evenings for about a year before their first job, “We rehearsed right across the street from the red car stop where we took the photos [JW Hardy photos for album SEEKING] other artists used the space as well (Studio Watts, 10311 Grandee Street, just off 103rd). I think the space was one of the things Larry Hagman and others helped make possible in the wake of the riots and the rebuild process. Hagman just died recently.” [BB email 4jan13 ] It was at Studio Watts or at The Watts Happening Coffee House around the corner in the Mafundi building during this time that Bobby met Stanley Crouch. And he and Stanley have remained close till this day, keeping in touch via telephone

* BB verified that he remembers Century City Playhouse as being one of their first gigs (this is years before Lee Kaplan booked CCP) because he remembers Wilber Morris showed up, and they hadn’t seen each other since boot camp together in northern California, near Pleasanton — I told him that Frank Kofsky has them playing at the Ash Grove, but BB doesn’t think so, he does remember hilarious story when he went to see Lightnin’ Hopkins there and the union had sent over a bass player who was having trouble with Lightnin’s music, “because you know, Lightnin’ would add extra bars, and extra beats,” and this bass was giving Lightnin’ some grief, and Lightnin’ smirked and said: “Just follow me, sonny.” [telcon 11jan13]

Bobby has never performed at the Fillmore nor does he recall being asked to be on this gig. (Says that he would remember something like this.) Fantastic poster by someone going by the name Dore ---- 1968

Bobby has never performed at the Fillmore nor does he recall being asked to be on this gig. (Says that he would remember something like this.) Fantastic poster by someone going by the name Dore —- 1968

1968 — January?

the February 8, 1968 issue of dOWNBEAT (Vol. 35, #3) reports New Art Jazz Ensemble giving their “first public performance” at the Century City Playhouse, presented by concert producer Ray Bowman [researched by Bret Sjerven] — Bret also speculates that this could be where John Hardy first heard the group

1968 — Sunday April 7 at 4:30
The New Art Jazz Ensemble performs at Century City Playhouse, 10508 W. Pico Blvd ———— As reported in the Calendar Events of L.A. TIMES (April 4, 1968) and research by Steven Isoardi > MW

1968 — April 29 at 8:30pm

The New Art Jazz Ensemble — Bobby Bradford, trumpet; John Carter, reeds; Tom Williamson, bass; Bruz Freeman, drums —- at The Ice House, 24 N. Mentor Avenue, Pasadena, California

1968 — August 5

Listed with Ornette Coleman Quintet at Fillmore West, San Francisco (Ornette, alto, trumpet, violin; “Robert Bradford trpt”; Dewey Redman, tenor; Denardo, drums; Charlie Haden, bass) (see concert poster p153 in book THE ART OF ROCK by Paul Grushkin) — “I didn’t make that gig. I’m on the poster, but I wasn’t there, I can’t remember why.”

1968 — August 11

performs with Ornette Coleman at University of California, Berkeley, Hearst Greek Theatre w/ ensemble includes Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, Denardo Coleman, and a string section from San Francisco Symphony performing “Sun Suite” (Bobby on the unissued tracks — some of this concert released on album ORNETTE AT 12 (Impulse))

1968 — November 10

Watts Happening Coffee House, 1802 E. 103rd Street, Watts — Cultural afternoon 2-8pm — ( entry 75 cents ) — w/ Elaine Brown’s Revolutionary Song; Horace Tapscott’s New Black Music; New Art Jazz Ensemble; Semaj & Suttal’s Music of the East; and Black poets [Kirk Silsbee archives]

1969 — January 16

record their first album SEEKING (Revelation Records — Rev-9) at Occidental College in Herrick Lounge

1969 — January 21 at 8:30pm

The New Art Jazz Ensemble — Bobby Bradford, John Carter, Tom Williamson, Bruz Freeman —- at the Ash Grove, 8161 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, California

1969 — April 3

records album FLIGHT FOR FOUR (Flying Dutchman) as the John Carter & Bobby Bradford Quartet at United Recorders, 6050 W. Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, probably Studio B, engineered by Eddie Brackett [quod vide Bret Sjerven] — BB says the first time he met Bob Thiele was in Wilber Morris’ garage-studio in Watts (Wilber would shortly thereafter relocate to San Francisco) — this session has been listed at “April 1” in previous discographies, but on April 1 Bob Thiele was preoccupied with recording Horace Tapscott’s Flying Dutchman album.


BB teaching a jazz history course (jazz history courses were in their nascent stages at this time, BB and Stanley Crouch were trailblazers in this regard) at Cal State Dominguez Hills — this position most likely began school year of 1969-1970, ie. began September 1969 — BB had a 1969 Chevy Nova and would leave La Puente, where he still taught 6th grade, and jump on the San Bernardino Freeway (Interstate Rt.10) and barely make it the 30 miles to his 4pm class at Cal State on 190th Street [telcon 22dec12 ] work for Motown in Los Angeles — this was during the time Diana Ross had a hit with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and Berry Gordy was working up a big band situation for a gig Diana had in Las Vegas — Bobby can’t remember where exactly the rehearsals were but they were not at the Union — Gordy brought together a standard 16- or 17-piece jazz big band for a read-through of the charts, just to test the waters, and for Diana to sing — Besides himself on trumpet he remembers Al Aarons, also; and John Carter played alto; Fred Smith on tenor; and Berry Gordy was there handing out charts and supervising — they read-down the hit and the entire batch of arrangements

1970 — January 25

John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet w/ Bruz Freeman, Tom Williamson — Foshay Junior High School concert — (Eric Dolphy went to this school c.1940-1941 — in California, a junior high school comprises the 7th and 8th grades, ages 13 and 14)

1970 — February 8

John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet, w/ Bruz & Tom — Foshay Junior High School


1970 — January 25

John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet w/ Bruz Freeman, Tom Williamson — Foshay Junior High School concert — (Eric Dolphy went to this school c.1940-1941 — in California, a junior high school comprises the 7th and 8th grades, ages 13 and 14)

1970 — February 8

John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet, w/ Bruz & Tom — Foshay Junior High School

1970 — Sunday March 8 at 3pm

John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet w/ Tom Williamson & Bruz Freeman — at Foshay Junior High School, 3715 S. Harvard Blvd, Los Angeles — sponsored by the Society for the Preservation of Black Music

1970 — May 31

John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet w/ Bruz & Tom — Foshay Junior High School

1970 — summer

records SELF DETERMINATION MUSIC (Flying Dutchman) same quartet as previous Flying Dutchman record plus Henry Franklin so that there are two bass players, a format BB utilizes often in subsequent years — Bob Thiele takes them into TTG Studios, 1441 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood, engineered by Ami Hadani [quod vide Bret Sjerven] — credit for Henry as the other bass player was mistakenly left off the LP version of this record, and when I had Henry autograph the jacket in the 70s he wrote: “Henry Franklin–the tellin’ Bassist” — my guess is that these Flying Dutchman albums were only pressed in editions of 2,000 copies — they were hard to find even in the 70s

1970 — August 23

Carter-Bradford Quartet — Hancock Hall, University of Southern California

1970 — Sunday August 30

John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet at South Park Recreational Center, 345 E. 51st Street, Los Angeles

1970 — Sept 23

UGMAA Quartet play Bobby’s “Eye of the Storm” —- Horace Tapscott (piano), Ike Williams (flugelhorn), Bruz Freema n (drums), Tom Williamson (bass) at Grant’s Music Center, L.A. ——- a recording exists in the Tapscott archive at UCLA  —- see Steven Isoardi’s on-line Horace Tapscott TimeLine —- I asked BB if he wasn’t by chance “Ike Williams,” he said No, that Ike was a member of UGMA at that time. I said it’s curious that Bruz & Tom played with Horace, do you think that’s a mix-up in the annotation?  He said, Yes.   [email BB > MW 7/23/2020] Sure would be nice to hear this recording.

1971 — July 

Bobby’s first visit to London —- This visit was no more than 2 weeks ———- Here’s Bobby’s notes to the CD re-issue BOBBY BRADFORD & THE SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE (Nessa 17/18) : “Meeting John Stevens —- In the summer of 1971 I was in a group of California public school teachers who had organized a very inexpensive charter flight to London. At that time I didn’t have any contacts in London but somebody here in the States gave me a name, Richard Williams, a writer for Melody Maker magazine. When I called Richard he said ‘I have someone I would like to to meet.’ Within hours John and Trevor and I were playing and by the next day Bob Norden, Julie Tippetts, and Ron Herman are in the picture. We played a couple pub gigs around town, next thing I know we are in a studio. A totally spontaneous, whirlwind, mad, wonderful event. For John, Trevor, and me this was the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.”  Richard Williams also interviewed Bobby and that appeared in MM July 17, 1971 titled “Memories of Ornette” —–telcon BB>MW 3may2021 Bobby said that after meeting John, “It wasn’t but two days later we were in the studio!” He said the trombonist Bob Norden was an American living in London.

1971 — July 9

records with John Stevens Spontaneous Music Ensemble, London, England — see Nessa Records 17/18

1971 — July 11

John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quintet w/Nate Morgan (piano), Tom Williamson(bass), Bruz Freeman(drums) — Widney High School, Los Angeles, on a double bill with Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra  —– Billed as Carter-Bradford Quartet plus One, they played “Eye of the Storm” and 4 other compositions —- a recording exists in the PAPA archive at UCLA —- See Steven Isoardi’s Horace Tapscott TimeLine ———– Horace Tapscott/PAPA played this location many times 1971-1972 —- BB & JC performed at least one more time n 1971, and I believe recordings exist


1971 — Saturday February 27 at 8pm

The Bobby Bradford-John Carter Quartet at USC Hancock Auditorium, 3616 S. University Avenue, Los Angeles (at Exposition & Figueroa) presented by The Universal Order of Black Expression (which Steve Isoardi tells me later folded into UGMAA) — Concert billed as “Infinite Black Culture” — (even though Bobby and John are listed separately on the Sentinel advertisement it’s my guess that they played together, although, by the 1973 they both began keeping separate ensembles as well as playing together)

1971 — September

Rejoins Ornette for three-night gig at Slugs, East Village, NYC and recorded SCIENCE FICTION album @ CBS Studios, 49 East 52nd Street, NY, 6th floor in Studio E — Bobby misses the first day of school in La Puente where he is employed as 6th grade classroom teacher — These are ironically the first formal recordings of Bobby with Ornette (BB on these sessions Sept 9 & 10) — About these sessions, years ago Bobby told me how Ornette had used a sort of makeshift traffic signal gadget to let soloists know when their solo was over, it was a red light-green light set-up, and I have often thought about this device, and in a recent conversation with Bobby he said you can hear a note of his at the tail end of one of Dewey’s solos because of misdirections from the Go-Stop lights [telcon 10mar2o10] — And so, lo & behold, in the booklet for the 2009 Dave Brubeck Quartet 3-cd Sony Legacy Edition of TIME OUT there is a photo of this traffic signal (a lot less homemade than I had imagined) in Studio E !

*The Slugs gig was first weekend of September: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, September 3, 4, & 5 — recordings exist of Sept 3 & 5 recorded by the painter John E. D’Agostino — Radio host Ben Young WKCR aired the extant recordings on his Ornette birthday show March 9, 2o14

1971 — November 9

begins recording sessions that result in his 4th album with John Carter called SECRETS (Revelation 18). Subsequent sessions are April 4, 1972.) On the album cover Bobby is whispering into little Claudia Hardy’s ear a secret, she is the child of the producer John William Hardy — the session this day produced only one song (“Circle”) that made it to the album — five more tracks exist including BB’s new portrait of Louis Armstrong, “H.M. Louis the First” (His Majesty Louis the First) that he had recorded the previous July in London with John Stevens — these are the last recordings of the band that formed back in 1966 — as well, it will be the last time you hear John Carter on any saxophone on a formal recording, except one track on the RUDOLPH’S album where he plays soprano — John started as a clarinet player as a kid and he returned to it fully around 1975, but it was gradual

1972 — April 4

recording session for Bobby Bradford-John Carter Quintet — Herrick Chapel Lounge, Occidental College, Los Angeles — with a young band: Nate Morgan, piano; Ndugu Leon Chancler, drums; Louis Spears, bass — three songs are included on the album SECRETS — Gary Foster volunteered with engineering duties helping William Hardy:

“I remember that time and Revelation Records well. Some of the recordings were made at Occidental College, some at Hardy’s house in Highland Park, and some in the back room of a music store where I taught.” [Gary Foster email 30dec12 ]

1972 — September 4

Bobby as member of Horace’s Tapscott’s Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra — Charlie Parker Festival, South Park, Los Angeles (this is the park Bird would frequent to practice his horn)

“Since they occupied the same stages on many occasions — these are only the ones we have recordings of them doing so — we can assume there was some mixing with the Arkestra. Tom Williamson told me that on many occasions he’d play in both groups, which he said made for very long days! And there is some evidence that Bruz Freeman played with UGMA(A) groups as well.” [Steven Isoardi — email 6jan13 ]

1972 — October

Stanley Crouch Black Music Infinity perform as part of English Professor Dick Barnes’ play “The Death of Buster Quinine” presented in a rock quarry near Claremont Colleges with giant puppets, poetry, jazz, fireworks, light sculptures and a flaming jaganath equipped with whirling Mexican castillos — Barnes would go on to restage this production three more times over the years — BB and Mark Dresser were members of the band and I was there as a high school student in what would be my first encounter with this music, we stood up on the rim —

“I remember at one point the puppets are hurled down into the quarry. I don’t remember the signal that you mention. I do remember my parents hiking down into the quarry!” [Dresser email 12jan13 ]

1972 — December 10

John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quintet w/ Ndugu Chancler, Roberto Miranda, Nate Morgan — Performing Arts Society of Los Angeles (PASLA) — also on the program was the UGMAA/Horace Tapscott Quintet + 1


Extended stay (ten months) in London — bought cornet (“brand new” Yamaha) in London and switched from trumpet to cornet permanently — Formed his quartet w/ Trevor Watts, John Stevens, & Kent Carter, toured England, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and France — recorded album LOVE’S DREAM (Emanem LP302, Emanem LP3302, and cd 4096) — “BB stayed with us (Madelaine and me) during most of those ten months” — Martin Davidson (email 4/27/2o14)

during this time BB remembers playing at the Little Theatre Club, London, with the Keith Tippetts large ensemble Centipede, that had as many as 30 musicians, along with John Stevens, Julie Tippetts, Paul Rutherford (he’s pretty sure Derek Bailey was not on any Centipede dates that he worked) — “it was always on Sunday afternoons, or whenever the Theatre had an opening for us, we were always glad to have a place to play” (telcon 17may2o14)

Also, it was during this stay in London that BB also played with SME and John Stevens at Ronnie Scott’s club (as well as the Little Club) both in Soho. (telcon w/BB 18dec2o16)

1973 —- July 30 London

BB invited onto the stage at the 100 Club —- to join Steve Lacy quintet w/ Steve Potts, Kent Carter, John Stevens, Derek Bailey —- Martin Davidson produced this concert and recorded it, Lacy had came from Paris bringing Steve Potts and Kent Carter, adding Londoners Derek and Stevens, “In the second half, Lacy invited Bobby Bradford (who happened to be staying with us) to join the group, then he invited Paul Rutherford. Things
came to a premature end when an uninvited and underwhelming musician started playing non-stop trumpet” from MD essay included in book STEVE LACY unfinished (Les Presses du Reel, 2021) —- So, the tapes were not good and BB’s portion of the concert could not be included on the Lp THE CRUST (Emanem 304) or the 1998 cd SAXOPHONE SPECIAL+ (Emanem)

1973 —- Oct 13

London, England —- The pivotal moment when Bobby switched from trumpet to cornet —- Receipt in Martin Davidson’s name as the store wouldn’t take Bobby’s American bank check (ie. cheque to you Englishers) —– BB traded his Conn trumpet into the deal

1973 — November 16 & 17

Bobby Bradford Quartet gig at Le Chat qui Peche, Paris, “Seven or eight days, it was more than a week,” and Martin Davidson recorded every night, of which selections from these two nights were released on LOVE’S DREAM — BB tells the hilarious story of how everybody was dropping by the club and one night he had smoked some hash, and not being a habitual smoker of weed, if at all, (he remember’d Steve Lacy had brought the hash), Byard Lancaster wanted to set in, and so, Bobby announces, “Ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct pleasure to bring to the stage, on tenor saxophone, Jaki Byard!” and while thunderous applause, Lancaster is mystified, then Bobby realizes he messed that up, and starts over, only to say the exact same thing, again: “Ladies and gentlemen, Jaki Byard!” and now Lancaster is becoming more and more ruffled, and if I remember correctly Bobby messed it up a third time before getting it right! — This story is even more funny to those of us who know how eloquent and succinct and articulate Bobby normally is — after all, it was Stanley Crouch in his book CONSIDERING GENIUS (2006) page 21: “Bradford was one of the most intelligent men I had ever known and his sophistication was greater than that of any musician I had met up to that point [c.1968-1975]” — and arguably up till now, as well, eh, Stanley? “I’m pretty sure the quartet played the Chat qui Peche from Monday to Saturday. I only recorded Friday and Saturday [Nov. 16 & 17]” — Martin Davidson (email 4/27/2o14)

1973 — late summer

John Carter initiates Sunday Afternoon Concert Series at Rudolph’s Fine Art Center, 3320 West 50th Street (at Crenshaw), Los Angeles — proprietor Rudolph Porter

John’s trio The John Carter Ensemble performs every Sunday 3-5pm for over 2 years


Won the annual dOWNBEAT Talent Deserving Wider Recognition on trumpet

1973 —- December 16

Bobby Bradford Quartet plays Benefit for Ed Blackwell at The Marquee, 90 Wardour Street, London —- BB (cornet), John Stevens (drums), Kent Carter (bass), Trevor Watts (alto)

1973 — December

Article in the Los Angeles Sentinel Dec. 20, 1973 “Jazz Musician to Teach” reports that BB “a professional musician and member of the music faculty at Cal State College Dominguez Hills has spent the Fall on musical tour of England . . . . Bradford is returning for the winter term and will teach courses on Afro-American music and jazz performance. Both are evening courses.” [Thanks to Steve Isoardi for discovering this.]


Instructor in Music Dept at Pasadena City College, Pasadena, California — semi-retired 2008 but retained one class with the 9-piece jazz combo for a few subsequent years . . . .


Lecturer & Adjunct Professor of Music at Pomona College, Claremont, California — a position he still holds as of this writing (2013) — began teaching Fall Semester 1974 (September 1974)


1974 — a Saturday in April

The Kohoutek Festival at Claremont Colleges (Pitzer College campus)(I swear they were calling this the First Comet Kohoutek Festival, but that would have been 1973?) — outdoors on The Mounds — Bobby Bradford led a small ensemble, of which, I can’t exactly remember who was in the band, but it was a quintet with Bobby as the only horn, and I’m pretty sure Roberto Miranda was on bass — THIS is the second time I ever caught Bradford playing live (the first being in the Dick Barnes play of October 1972) but this is my first encounter in a very real way — I had been living in the foothills of Mt Baldy in the Sunshine Apartments and I already had the two Flying Dutchman albums by Bobby & John, so that when one of the other residents of Sunshine, a Claremont student name of Larry Seidler, dropped on me that Bradford was playing that weekend, well, I jumped, all of this “out” jazz was so new to me at the time it was like meeting mythological heroes — and when I met Bradford and told him how much I listened to his albums he says, “Well, here’s John,” and I met John that day also, who had drove out (Claremont is 50 minutes east of Culver City where John lived) to hear Bobby’s band — AND it was then that John told me about his Sunday engagement at Rudoph’s Fine Arts Center and so I drove out to South Central (we called it Watts back then) the very next day, and every Sunday thereafter — From, at least, this time onward Bobby and John always kept separate bands as well as continued their combined efforts. Simply because Bobby has always been a bebopper at heart and enjoys playing song forms as well as out (ie. non-chordal). Whereas, as the dust settles we’ll come to better see John Carter as a 20th century composer who just happen’d to be black and had arrived at this modernity via jazz jam sessions in Texas.


member of Stanley Crouch Black Music Infinity w/ Arthur Blythe, David Murray, James Newton, Mark Dresser, Wilbur Morris, Walter Savage, Walter Lowe, collectively — Based out of the Claremont Colleges (May 24, 1975 performance “audience recording” exists from Little Bridges Auditorium, Claremont Colleges)(this band in existence 1973-1975 and reaches back as far as 1969 and 1967) — also, Stanley took the ensemble into a Los Angeles recording studio (1974) for two consecutive days of recording: First day was David Murray, Mark Dresser, Walter Lowe, Bobby Bradford, Charles Tyler, Black Arthur Blythe, James Newton, Wilbur Morris, Stanley Crouch — Second day: Murray, Blythe, Newton, Stanley, David Baker (cello), Mark Dresser (on the second day one of the tunes they recorded was Bradford’s “H.M. Louis the First” — these recordings are in the possession of Stanley Crouch and hopefully someday the world will get a chance to hear them — projected titles for the two albums: NOW IS ANOTHER TIME and PAST SPIRITS — these recordings are informally listed as 1972, and some sources say 1973, but I feel 1974 to be more correct, simply because Murray did not arrive from Berkeley to Claremont until Fall of 1974 school year — Stanley Crouch remembers: “I will never forget how it felt to hear Arthur Blythe and Bobby Bradford invent such strong melodic lines that would occasionally explode into pure energy, which was never an end in itself, only a strident color used sparingly.” [p.20 CONSIDERING GENIUS]

* I audited Stanley’s Jazz History Course at Claremont Colleges for a couple years

From Mark Dresser: “I was a student of Bert Turetzky at UCSD who introduced me to Stanley Crouch at the summer Claremont Music Festival in Pomona, CA in July 1972. He had told me about Stanley who taught at Claremont College and was playing drums. Bert had lent me his recordings of Bobby Bradford and John Carter, and Horace Tapscott. I was intrigued. The first time I played with Stanley was in trio with Bobby Bradford. I was 19 at the time, Stanley 29 and Bobby 38. It was captivating on so many levels. It was unlike anything I had ever played before, plus the hang was amazing. After the festival was over I stayed in Pomona at Stanley’s for a month, playing every day, listening to records, talking (mostly listening) about music, politics, race, literature, about being an artist. Stanley was the first person who spoke about the responsibility of talent. Musically it was so unlike anything I had ever played rhythm section wise. Intellectually I felt out of my league. Here was a guy who was concurrently reading at least 3 books simultaneously listening scores of records cross referencing eras of the tradition. He had a remarkable way of identify a gesture of Louis Armstrong, showing how that same phrase was morphed into Bird’s language and then by Ornette’s.” [Dresser email 30dec12]

*Stanley Crouch’s residence during his tenure at Claremont was: 440 St Bonaventure, Claremont — BB says it was a big 4-bedroom house with a huge fireplace and they’d have all-day rehearsals, and the art student Monica Pecoe would be cooking in the kitchen and players would be Walter Lowe, Arthur, Walter Savage, Errol Henderson, and a conga player who died of cancer when he was quite young that BB can’t remember his name at present, and I’m sure Dick Barnes was a regular, as well, he and Stanley were close

1974 —- Saturday 8:30pm November 2
Stanley Crouch & Black Music Infinity at Little Bridges Auditorium, Pomona, College, Claremont, California premiering “A new work: THE DUKE ELLINGTON SUITE” w/ Mark Dresser (bass) Stanley Crouch (drumset), Bobby Bradford (cornet), David Murray (tenor) presented by The Black Studies Center and the A.S.P.C. Concert Committee


Moved to his current home on El Molino Avenue, Altadena (prior to that Bobby lived at 158 Loma Alta, Altadena — I remember Bobby had a Camaro)


Lisa Tefo (Lisette M. Tefo) begins relationship and they are married 1980 in Berkeley —

“We were just hanging out in San Francisco going to museums, I didn’t have a gig or anything like that, and even though we had talked about it now and again, it was spur of the moment” [telcon 11jan13]

1975 — November 17

Bobby Bradford-John Carter Quintet performs at 7:30 at Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech, Pasadena, California, presented/produced by John Breckow (KPFK radio host) — recorded on 4-track reel-to-reel by Pete Welding — William Jeffrey, drums; Stanley Carter (son) & Roberto Miranda, basses
1. “Love’s Dream”(BB)(21:10)[JC on soprano]
2. “Woman”(BB)(11:00)[JC on clarinet then to soprano]
3. “Comin’ On”(BB)(19:48)[JC on soprano]
4. “Prayer # 1″(R.Miranda)(16:01)[JC on soprano]
5. “Come Softly”(JC)(6:23)[BB out — JC on clarinet]
6. “Circle”(JC)(14:24)[JC on clarinet]
*This is most likely the concert sequence as it comes from Pete Welding’s tape — and I’d say the break between Set 1 and 2 occurs after the three compositions of Bradford’s
** Four remarkable things about this recording is:
1) This is probably the only time “Love’s Dream” was performed in America, it was a tune BB used with his English ensemble.
2) This is the earliest extant recording of Bobby & John live in performance — although, you could say that all of their released recordings are live in the studio, as never once has BB used editing or overdubbing or punch-ins in his entire recorded output —- AND there are earlier Live recordings from the Five Spot 1971 of BB with Ornette circulating among collectors —- BUT, of John & Bobby this is the earliest recording
3) This documents the 2 or 3 year period in which JC was using soprano & clarinet equally, having retired his other horns sometime after 1972 (their 1972 album SECRETS has John on alto & clarinet) . . . all before he retired the soprano and strictly concentrated on clarinet.
4) Shows their practice of using two bass players in their bands, first encountered on their 1969 album SELF-DETERMINATION MUSIC

1975 — December 14

BB joins the John Carter Ensemble on a Sunday afternoon at Rudolph’s with Roberto Miranda, Stanley Carter, William Jeffrey — audience recording exists, cassette master > CDR transfer — two pieces were recorded by MW “Come Softly,” and “Woman”

1976 — January 4

BB joins the John Carter Ensemble for a Sunday afternoon at Rudolph’s with Roberto Miranda, Stanley Carter, William Jeffrey — audience recording exists, cassette master > CDR transfer —– they played “Come Softly”(JC)(11:35) clarinet; “Circle”(JC)(22:30) soprano; & “Love’s Dream”(BB)(19:28)soprano; and probably a couple others . . .

1976 — 5pm March 27

Stanley Crouch’s Black Music Infinity play at David Hammond Studio, 2409 West Slauson, Los Angeles —- Bobby Bradford (cornet), James Newton (flute), Roberto Miranda (bass), and Stanley (drumset)

1976 — April 2 & 3

Charles Mingus Quintet at Cocoanut Grove (Ambassador Hotel) on Wilshire Blvd downtown Los Angeles — quintet included Danny Mixon (piano), George Adams (tenor), Jack Walrath (trumpet), Dannie Richmond (drums) —- Bobby Bradford attended one of these concerts as did myself and John Breckow, Kirk Silsbee and his wife Cathie —- BB says: “I remember that concert. Glenn Ferris and I went together, the trumpet player was a friend of his . . .Jack? I had a long conversation with Mingus, mostly about his health and overweight. He remembered me from the Coleman band.” [BB email > MW 27nov2o15]

Mingus was on the road a lot these years with this band. The history is quite staggering: This quintet was in Rome recording CUMBIA tracks on March 31 & April 1, and then flew to San Diego State University for a gig April 2 (a recording exists) THEN up to Los Angeles for this two-night engagement at the Grove, which, Kirk Silsbee has an L.A. TIMES advertisement showing that they played there Friday and Saturday nights April 2 and 3, 1976 (so, was the San Diego gig in the afternoon?). Seems like a pretty tight schedule. From there they went up to Keystone Korners for a couple week’s engagement. (In Los Angeles in 1969 Glenn Ferris and Jack Walrath formed the band Revival.)

1976 — April or May

Rudolph’s Fine Arts Center closes — John Carter Trio & Friends had performed there consecutively every Sunday afternoon for 2 1/2 years

1976 — June 12

John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quintet perform at Inner City Cultural House, L.A.

1976 — September 5

Opening show for his club The Little Big Horn, 34 N. Mentor, Pasadena —Bobby Bradford Extet w/ James Newton (flute), Henry Franklin (bass) & Glenn Ferris (trombone)—–double-bill w/John Carter Trio (Stanley Carter, William Jeffrey + young Chris Carter, bongoes)— Public performances of a workshop nature every Thursday evening (8-10pm) and Sunday afternoons (4-7pm)

1976 — September 17, 1976

MW interviews BB at his office at Pasadena City College published in CODA (#157 October 1977)

1976 — December 12

Sunday afternoon session at The Little Big Horn, Pasadena — The Bobby Bradford Extet: BB (cornet & emcee), James Newton(flute), Kevin Brandon(bass), Kim Calkins(drums), Vinny Golia (soprano & tenor saxophone & bass clarinet) —- audience recording on cassette exists by Mark Weber: 1) “Comin’ On (the Colorado)” “H.M. Louis” (subsequently transferred into the digital realm) —— John Carter present

1976 — Friday evening December 31

BB thought we’d get over-flow crowds from the Rose Parade parties on Colorado Blvd just half block south of The Little Big Horn, so he proposed an all-night-till-dawn jam session like he used to participate in back in Texas —- musicians came and went —- at 2 a.m. I turned on my cassette recorder and caught Duke Jordan’s “Jordu” —- participants that I noted were Bobby (cornet, flugel, elec-p), John Carter (clarinet, sop. sax, elec-p), Richard Reywald (bass), Mark Dresser (bass), James Newton (flute), Jimmy Robertson (piccolo), Vinny Golia (bari & sop saxes), Nathan Hood (bari), Charles Hall (drums), among others —- We got out of there as the sun came up on January 1, 1977

1977 — January 15

(Saturday evening) — James Newton & David Murray give a concert of duets & solos at The Smudgepot on Claremont Colleges campus in the basement of The Coop (one of David’s many return visits from NYC to his alma mater) — The Coop was a central social center to the consortium of colleges that make up Claremont Colleges — a smudgepot figures in strongly in local lore as a heater that was used in the citrus groves that used to be everywhere near the colleges (a mixture of gas & oil was used in these tubs w/ a smokestack — I’d get paid $10 a night to light them when the temp dropped below 27 degrees AND ALSO be put on a list that I didn’t have to go to school the next day! because we’d been up all night lighting smudgepots) — The Smudgepot is no longer there (major renovations in 1999) — during James Newton’s solo set he performed Bradford’s “Woman” which was released on the 12″ stereo vinyl Lp FLUTES! SAM RIVERS/JAMES NEWTON(Circle RK 7677/7) Sam on one side and James on the other. I believe the LP notes are erroneous in noting the concert was January 16, my field notes and wall calendar have it as January 15, not Sunday January 16 which would have been an odd date for a concert in California in those days — I took pictures

1977 — February 25

Bobby Bradford Extet — quartet at Avery Auditorium, Pitzer College, Claremont, California — Bobby, cornet; Glenn Ferris, trombone; Kim Calkins, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass — Concert emcee Larry Seidler — recorded by Bruce Bidlack. NOTE that the Bobby Bradford Extet with Glenn Ferris existed 1976-1978 (Ferris left town for NYC on October 9, 1978 and worked there for about 6 months before returning to Los Angeles for awhile in 1979 whereupon he traveled to Paris, France, where he has resided ever since)

1977 — April 2

Live on KPFK w/ host John Breckow — Bobby Bradford Extet — this broadcast released in 2008 on cd as MIDNIGHT PACIFIC AIRWAVES (Entropy Records)

1977 — April 24

Stanley Crouch visiting in town from NYC (he had left L.A. 1975) and sits in on drums at the regular Sunday afternoon jazz session at The Little Big Horn along with Bobby, John Carter, Vinny Golia, James Newton, and Richard Rehwald—- see photos

1977 — departs June 15

English tour with Trevor Watts group (BB didn’t make the European portion of tour as he returned to Dallas to attend his father’s funeral) (according to my CODA report (#155) BB was to be away till September) ( I have a 21×31″ poster announcing “JUNE AT THE BAND ON THE WALL, Swan Street, Manchester — Every Thursday in June — Admission at door —- June 23, 1977 U.S. Trumpet Star ex Ornette Coleman — BOBBY BRADFORD Quartet with Trevor Watts”)

1977 — July 31

performance with Glenn Ferris Celebration Orchestra at Century City Playhouse — 20-piece orchestra included BB, Vinny Golia, James Newton, John Carter, Benny Powell

1977 — September 18

Bobby Bradford X-tet perform at Century City Playhouse

1977 — Saturday, December 31

All night jam session at The Little Big Horn straight through till the sun came up on January 1, 1978 as the tens of thousands of people arrived for the Rose Parade on Colorado Boulevard — Little Big Horn was in the first block north of Colorado Blvd — jammers were BB, John Carter, Jimmy Robertson, Nathan Hood, Richard Rehwald, James Newton, Vinny Golia, Charles Hall, and others — I made a cassette recording of them jamming on “Jordu” and other standards


name change to Bobby Bradford Mo’tet

1978 — February 26

BB w/ Mark Dresser, Tylon Barea, James Newton, perform in San Diego

1978 — March 5

Bradford Mo’tet — McConnell Hall, Pitzer College, Claremont Colleges — 2-4pm Sunday

1978 — Monday April 17

Advertisement in San Francisco Examiner (April 16 edition in the Datebook section) found by Pierre Crepon —- For that week’s performances at KEYSTONE KORNERS: Ahmad Jamal, Art Blakey, and on Monday April 17 > Charles Moffett Family w/ guests John Carter & Bobby Bradford —- telcon BB>MW 3may2021 Bobby says he’s pretty sure he & John didn’t play with Moffett family on this date, “I don’t remember Moffett back there on the drums, I think John and I played duet.” He does remember that the pianist Michele Rosewoman was there and came backstage to ask about their music (Michele didn’t relocate to NYC until later in 1978), “She was still Roseman at that time and hadn’t changed her name.”

1978 — April 22

BB-JC duets for Eric Dolphy Memorial Tribute Concert — also on the bill was Gary Bartz, solo alto saxophone, and poet Kamau Daaood, and Henry Franklin-Frank Morgan Duo — Century City — a production of KPFK with host John Breckow broadcast Live — recordings exist

1978 — May 15

BB & John Carter play Monday night @ Keystone Korners, San Francisco — [this performance yet to be verified — I have a note in my journal, but BB doesn’t remember it]

1978 — August

Little Big Horn closes its doors — although, activities had slowed down there over the last six months, Bobby was operating Little Big Horn as a workshop out of his own pocket (he had a partner who went in halves) but the rent was escalating and it had run its course, it was a good 20 months of steady playing for BB — his chops were in prime condition, he could take 30 chorus solos all evening, I always lament the disparity of recordings from this period, other than my little cassette recordings — It was during this period that I developed the notion of Bradford’s playing as a sort of geometric lyricism, you could almost watch the notes as they traversed through a 3-D harmonic universe, always linear, but with plenty of horizontal triangulation, as well, a perfect rotating symmetry —– LBH had opened in the wake of Rudolph’s closing and now it was Lee Kaplan at Century City Playhouse that created a venue for free jazz

1978 — October 9

Glenn Ferris, a regular member of the Extet leaves for NYC and stays about 6 months then returns to Los Angeles (his home town) before moving permanently to Paris, France — “I did come back to L.A. after a certain time then went back to NY late 79 or early 80 and then from this time I moved to Paris” [email from GF 25july12] — He was certainly back for February 1979 gigs with the (now called) Mo’tet because I have rehearsal photos from then — Glenn leads a band at the Come Back Inn on June 14, 1979 that I think was a regular gig . . . All during these years Glenn is playing with everyone from Zappa and George Duke to Billy Cobham, Don Ellis, and Harry James. He was on the Don Ellis band during their stay at Whisky A Go Go when Art Pepper was briefly a member of that orchestra — I saw this with my own eyes!

1978 — October 22

BB-JC cornet & clarinet duets — Century City Playhouse (NOTE that CCP Sunday Night series began with a Frank Lowe Quartet, July 2, 1976, and lasted a few years — produced by Lee Kaplan)

1978 — November 5

John Carter, Bobby Bradford, George Lewis performed as trio at Century City Playhouse — this performance recorded by NPR “Jazz Alive” series — two compositions by GL are documented: 1) “Shadowgraph 5” and 2) “Player”

1978 — November 10

Bobby Bradford-John Carter Quartet play La Jolla Jazz Festival, @ the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, in La Jolla, with Alex Cline, drums; and Noah Young, bass

1979 — February 10

Live broadcast over KPFK — engineer’d by Carl Stone — trio of Bobby Bradford, John Carter, & Vinny Golia — almost 35 minutes of music of freely improvised spontaneous music — I have an aircheck taken off my home stereo which is marred by static, but I believe Vinny has the reel-to-reel of this earshot and is of great importance

1979 — April 1

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Century City Playhouse perform as a quartet with Glenn Ferris (trombone), Bert Karl(drumset), Noah Young (bass)———– only 4 tunes from this evening exist on tape:
1. “Ornate” [beginning truncated] 2. “Snuffy”(BB)(“I dont think I played that tune 5 times in my life, in public!!!” –email BB>MW 24apr2o17 3. “Comin’ On” which BB sometimes in these days called “Comin’ on the Colorado” [Colorado Blvd was just half a block south of his club The Little Big Horn] 4. “The Theme”(Miles)
** “Snuffy” from a suite of portraits BB was composing at the time. Full title: “A Portrait of Thelonious Monk: Snuffy”

1979 — Friday April 27

Bobby Bradford Quintet in a Tribute to Duke “in a musical salute to Duke Ellington” 8pm at Farnsworth Park Auditorium, 568 E. Mount Curve Street, Altadena, California — produced by Bill DeLaney of the City of Pasadena Recreation Division

1979 — May 13

Vinny Golia Wind Quartet @ Century City Playhouse w/Glenn Ferris, John Carter, BB, and VG


summer in Chicago for a jazz scholar’s conference, then a return road trip visiting Indian pueblos in the Southwest

1979 — July 7

Bobby & John record duets at Westlake Studios for Jon Horwich of Revelation Records — unreleased until 2010 (see Mosaic Select 36) — NOTE: Bobby plays cornet on these sessions (not trumpet)

1979 — August 15

recording session — John Carter Quintet for album VARIATIONS (on selected themes for jazz quintet)(Moers Records) w/ Bob Stewart, BB, James Newton, Phillip Wilson — Studio 57, Dusseldorf, West Germany — my journal notes from that time remark that JC was not happy with the out-chorus on “Bobby Lee’s Delight,” nor was he pleased with the producer’s selection of the front cover photo with Phillip scratching himself and James caught in wild-eyed instance

1979 — October 20

Bobby & John open up for Art Ensemble of Chicago on double-bill to large audience in Schoenberg Hall, UCLA, the astounding results appear on cd TANDEM 2

1979 — October 21

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet perform at Century City Playhouse — as a trio: Bert Karl (drumset) and Noah Young (bass) — my notes say they played “Woodman Hall Blues,” “All the things you are,” and “Green Dolphin Street,” among others

1979 — October 27

Bobby Bradford-John Carter Quartet @ Soundscape, 500 West 52nd Street, NYC w/ Art Davis, bass; Philip Wilson, drums — recording exists (“Tandem” is one of the pieces they played according to Martin Davidson) — Soundscape series (1979-1983) curated by Verna Gillis, recordings from the series now housed at radio station WKCR, Columbia University, NYC — SET ONE: 1. “And She Speaks” mostly duet 2. “Tandem” duet 3. “Woman” JC out 4. “Encounter” BB says they had no time to rehearse, hence the bass line that is very much a part of the composition couldn’t be mastered for this concert –SET TWO: 5. “Johnetta’s Night Song” solo clarinet 6. “Fast Fanny’s Cake Walk” solo clarinet 7. “Woodman’s Hall Blues” 8. “Petals” 9. “Circle”

1979 — November 5

Bobby Bradford-John Carter-George Lewis trio at Century City Playhouse — recorded and broadcast by NPR’s Jazz Alive series [ does anyone have a copy of this performance recording?]

1980 — April

Film THE NEW MUSIC: BOBBY BRADFORD & JOHN CARTER a documentary by Peter Bull Bob Wise, & Alex Gibney, Los Angeles — BB&JC in duet performing “Circle,” “And She Speaks,” and “Woman” (Nels Cline has a cameo in the film as he walks across the stage area in his capacity as technical support)

1980 — February 17

Duet performance with Charlie Haden at Century City Playhouse (recording exists)

1980 — April 1

Film THE NEW MUSIC: BOBBY BRADFORD & JOHN CARTER a documentary by Peter Bull, Bob Wise, & Alex Gibney, Los Angeles — BB&JC in duet performing “Circle,” “And She Speaks,” and “Woman” (Nels Cline has a cameo in the film as he walks across the stage area in his capacity as technical support) — filmed at UCLA as a graduate project of the producers who were UCLA students

1980 —- March 15 (Saturday)

Bobby Bradford & John Carter in duet at Stratford Court Theatre, 1353 Stratford Court, Del Mar, (San Diego), California — 8pm —- $4 admission

1980 — May 24

Moers Festival — John Carter Quintet —- John Carter, clarinet; James Newton, flute; Bobby Bradford, cornet; Roberto Miranda, bass; William Jeffrey, drums —- photos by Gérard Rouy exist

1980 — Sunday May 25

Bobby Bradford Quintet at the Pasadena Jazz Festival, Memorial Park Bandshell, 85 E. Holly Street, downtown Pasadena, California — This was the 2nd Pasadena Jazz Festival — presented by the Universal Jazz Preservation Society, Bill DeLaney, director / co-sponsored by the City of Pasadena Leisure & Community Services Department ——- NOW, we have a problem, as Steven Isoardi has pointed out, who found the L.A. Sentinel articles on this event, in that BB played at Moers Festival with the John Carter Quintet on May 24 (evidenced by the photos)(the program guide for the Moers Festival 1980 lists the John Carter Quintet playing on May 25 — Did the JC Qnt concert move to May 24 which gave BB time to fly back to Pasadena to play there on Sunday?) — We’re still endeavoring to sort this enigma out, any help will be welcome . . . . .

1980 — October 10 & 11

Bobby in duet with Charlie Haden at McCabes, Santa Monica — also, Nels Cline played duets with Haden these nights

1980 — October 27

Bobby Bradford Ensemble perform at Avery Hall, Pitzer, Claremont Colleges — John Carter, clarinet; James Newton, flute; Roberto Miranda & Noah Young, basses — [my report in CODA #177 says that it was an evening of Bobby’s compositions, “Snuffy,” “Variations on a Theme by Jerome Kern,” and “Ornate” ] *My field notes also add: “Circle aka Brief & Peppy,” “Woman,” and a duet between John & James “Echoes of Harlem” —- also, it says: “JC very unhappy with new series 10G Selmer clarinet” ——- Noah was recording but this recording has never come to light ]

1980 — November 10 & 11

recording session — John Carter Quintet — Barigozzi Studios, Milano, Italy, for the album NIGHT FIRE (Black Saint) w/ BB, James Newton, William Jeffrey, Roberto Miranda

1981 — February 13

BB-JC Duo — New College, 777 Valencia Street, San Francisco — on a double-bill with Gerald Oshita, solo — curated by George Sams as part of New Jazz Festival over three evenings — the previous evening Horace Tapscott played solo on a triple-bill with James Newton, solo; and Karl Hester’s big band Jazz Art Movement — the following evening was Robert Porter Quartet, and Eddie Moore Trio

1981 — April 24

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet live broadcast on Le Jazz Hot & Cool, KPFK, Los Angeles, host John Breckow — BB, cornet; Mark Dresser, bass; Newell Canfield, drums; Ooxnokahkee, percussion; James Kousakis, alto sax; Doc Holliday, conga, percussion — five tunes performed + interview, “Dirty Rag,” “Woman,” “You Know,” “Ashes,” “Comin’ On” — I have a recording taken off radio and hope that master tapes exist, it was a lively event — this was Breckow’s Friday evening radio show —- “Oonokahkee, very talented guy, he was around LA for a little while at the time, played conga, traps, trumpet, later changed his name to Imhotep, he died in 2005” —–BB telcon w/ MW 10july2o19

1981 — June 17

recording session at Music Box Studios, Hollywood, California for Thomas Tedesco’s Lp OCEAN (Nimbus 1470) (subsequently re-issued on cd on Clarion Jazz). This same ensemble, Ocean, had a regular engagement at Heaven on Earth restaurant in Santa Monica playing every Saturday of October and November 1982 with Alex Cline substituting for Sherman Ferguson. NOTE that there are two “Tommy Tedesco”s in Los Angeles that play guitar — this Tommy is the free jazz guy.

1981 — July

Wilber Morris Trio records Bobby’s composition “H.M. Louis” (aka “His Majesty Louis the 1st” aka “H.M. Louis I”) in New York for their cd COLLECTIVE IMPROVISATIONS (Bleu Regard Records CT1946) w/ Charles Tyler, alto & baritone saxes; Denis Charles, drums; Wilber, string bass

1981 — October 2

son Benjamin Tefo Bradford born — (NOTE that the photo of BB holding Benjamin on the back of Tommy Tedesco’s album OCEAN was take subsequent to the recording session.) ALSO NOTE that contrary to the Bobby Bradford entry in Leonard Feather’s Encyclopedia (1999) Bobby is not the father of Dennis Bradford, drummer with the Jeff Lorber Fusion

1980s & 1990s

musical director for various theatrical productions by fellow Pomona professor & poet Dick Barnes — one play was called “The Poverty Circus” — Dick also wrote about road trips with Bobby to Mora, New Mexico, published in his book The Real Time Jazz Band Song Book (1990)


records John Carter’s culminating life-work on five albums “Roots and Folklore: Episodes in the Development of American Folk Music” in octet form — the albums are: 1) DAWHE 2) CASTLE OF GHANA 3) DANCE OF THE LOVE GHOSTS 4) FIELDS 5) SHADOWS ON A WALL

1982 — March 14

performs with Vinny Golia Large Ensemble, Schoenberg Hall, UCLA (3 LP- box set on Ninewinds Records — NW-110) — 14-piece ensemble, the maiden voyage of Vinny’s Large Ensemble annual manifestations — this is the first time that Michael Vlatkovich plays with BB — HISTORICAL SIDEBAR: It was at this well-attended concert, afterward, that producer Tom Albach ran into Horace Tapscott outside this venerable concert hall — Tom had already released, at least, five albums of Horace’s music, in small ensembles and the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, as well as several other projects in the can — he found Horace restive this night, if not somewhat down,

“He was withdrawn which wasn’t like him, very distant,” as they had a smoke — So, it was on Tom’s drive home to Santa Barbara that night that he hatched the idea to record Horace in solo piano sessions that has amounted in eleven monumental volumes on LP & CD, with fifteen hours more yet unreleased — a volcanic out-pouring of artistic grandeur — [telcon w/ Albach 7jan13 ]

1982 — April 29

Emmanuel Church, Boston — BB-JC duo — “mini-tour” of Philadelphia, Worcester, Boston area of duet concerts with John Carter, clarinet and cornet — one concert (April 30) results in monumental culmination of their work in duet format: TANDEM 1 and 2 (Emanem)(two volumes on CD) — my guess is that Philadelphia precedes Boston in the mini tour — one track survives from April 29 (unissued) “Swiss Account,” which was the encore. CD derived from ¼” seven-inch reels.

1982 — April 30

Piedmont Center for the Arts, Worcester, Massachusetts — BB-JC duo — according to Martin Davidson’s liner notes to TANDEM 1 the tour continued to NYC Public Theater (May 1) in quartet, adding bass and drums, and to Washington DC (May 2) also in quartet. NOTE that the solo cornet improvisation “Portrait of J.B.G.” is for John Birks Dizzy Gillespie, and is the line that eventually became Bobby’s composition “All the things your mother didn’t tell you” found on cd ONE NIGHT STAND (1986) which itself was derived from “All the things you are” as a contrafact. *In 2o14 Martin Davidson remaster’d and reissued these concerts into a 2-cd single package called TANDEM ((Emanem 5204)

1982 — Saturday May 1

John Carter – Bobby Bradford Quartet w/ Roberto Miranda & William Jeffrey at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street (just below Astor Place) NYC

1982 — May 2

John Carter – Bobby Bradford Quartet w/ Roberto Miranda & William Jeffrey perform in Washington DC at Pension Building on a double-bill with The New York Hot Trumpet Repertory Company [reported in dOWNBEAT, Sept 1982 by Howard Mandell]—-absolute proof / ticket stub provided by Michael Zelner

1982 — May 28

Moers Festival — David Murray Octet —- David Murray, ss, ts, bcl; John Carter, ALTO SAXOPHONE; Bobby Bradford, cornet; Lawrence “Butch” Morris, cornet; George Lewis, trombone; Don Pullen, piano; Wilber Morris, bass; Billy Higgins, drums —- great photos by Gérard Rouy exist

1982 — June

The Wind College opens — 2801 La Cienega Avenue, Los Angeles — mostly under the direction of John Carter

1982 — July 14, 15, & 19

sessions in Milano, Italy, for David Murray Octet cd MURRAY’S STEPS (Black Saint 120 065-2) w. Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, Wilber Morris, Steve McCall, Craig Harris, Curtis Clark

1982 — August 3

John Carter – Bobby Bradford Quartet w/ Fred Hopkins(bass), & Andrew Cyrille(drums) — Hartford, Connecticut —- recording exists —- 1) “Sticks and Stones,” 2) untitled 3) “Sunday Afternoon Jazz Society Blues” 4) untitled

1982 — Wednesday August 25

at Bimhuis, Amsterdam: The John Carter Quartet w/ Bobby Bradford (cornet altho it sounds like might be trumpet), John Lindberg (bass), Steve Clover (drums), John Carter (clarinet) —- The existing recording has: 1) untitled new original by John (17:30) 2) “Woman” (20:10) 3) “a blues” (15:30) 4) clarinet + drums duet on something that sounds like John’s “My Sweet Poppy” (7:30) BB comes in at very end 5) “Circle” is announced as the next tune but didnt make it to this recording

1982 — November 7

“John Carter Quintet featuring Bobby Bradford with special guest James Newton” 7pm at the Kool Jazz Festival, Beverly Theater, Los Angeles — billed as “KOOL JAZZ explores New Directions in Sound & Rhythm, Kool Jazz Festival November 6-10” other artists were Anthony Braxton- Muhal Richard Abrams Duo (same evening as BB-JC), Art Ensemble of Chicago, Laurie Anderson, Leroy Jenkins, Roscoe Mitchell Sound & Space, Lester Bowie’s Root to the Source, World Saxophone Quartet, James Blood Ulmer, Nikolais Dance Theater —- from Advertisement in Los Angeles Sentinel provided by Steve Isoardi


John Carter opens The Wind College, a music school at 2801 La Cienega Avenue, Los Angeles

BB forms Gethsemane Music Publishing (ASCAP)

duet recording session with Michael Vlatkovich on one tune “9113: White, Black & White, and Mostly Brown” released on Michael’s LP 9113 (Thank You Records) —

“I suspect it was sometime in 1983. I never have kept dates for anything. I first played with Bobby at the first Vinny Golia Large Ensemble concert, that was at UCLA.” [ Email from MPV–19dec2o12 ]

1983 — February 20

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at film studios of NBC, Los Angeles, to tape “On Campus,” hosted by George Fennemen on the subject of “Harlem Renaissance” — Bobby’s quintet was James Kousakis, alto; Mark Dresser, bass; Ooxnokahkee, percussion; Newell Canfield, drums; and BB, cornet — “They played live and George did a brief Q&A with Bobby” [ Kirk Silsbee email 29dec12 ] — One hopes this footage survives . . .

1983 — June 7 & 8

records album LOST IN L.A. (Soul Note)

1983 — September 22

BB member of Charlie Haden’s west coast version of Liberation Music Orchestra, Ernie Watts, John Carter, Marty Krystall, Jeff Elliott(trpt & flugel), Ken Wiley(Fr-h), Tom Heasley(tuba), Doug Wintz(tbn), Milcho Leviev(elec-p & glock), Nels Cline, William Jeffrey, Martin Sheen(narration on Ballad of the Fallen”) — Brookside Park, Pasadena

1983 — November 18

Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra (as previous) — Hop Singh’s

1984 — March 22

quartet calling themselves Bradford-Carter-Haden-Higgins plays Hop Singh’s, 4110 Lincoln Blvd, Marina Del Rey — ie. Bobby Bradford, John Carter, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins


during the Summer Olympics hosted by Los Angeles — JC-BB Quintet played at Ford Anson Amphitheatre on combined bill that included Big Joe Turner, and a Tommy Vig Big Band w/ Shelly Manne (“I remember Shelly wore one of those French Foreign Legion-type hats with the flap that covers your neck because it was so hot.”) Summer Olympics were held July 28 – August 12.)(Shelly died September 26, 1984)

1985 — Saturday night May 25

ten-piece group under the direction of Roberto Miranda called Home Music Ensemble — Bing Theater, Los Angeles — w/ James Newton (flute), John Carter (clarinet), Bobby Bradford (cornet), Thom Mann (tenor), Horace Tapscott (piano), Roberto (bass & conducting) — “Roberto Miguel Miranda spent a lot of time verbally directing his 10 cohorts. Whatever Miranda said, it worked. The concert was an exicting display of crisp, crackling jazz spiced with free-form playing . . . . Two ballads stood out, one where tenor saxophonist Thom Mann laid out thick, shiny lines that breathed passion, another where pianist Horace Tapscott offered rhapsodic, moving passages. Later, a very swinging, medium-tempo item found flutist James Newton establishing a dandy groove. Miranda took one unaccompanied solo . . . .” says Zan Stewart, Los Angeles Times, May 27, 1985. (released as a single CD on Dark Tree Records, Paris, March 2021)

1985 — October 11 & 12

BB & JC duo — Koncepts Cultural Gallery, San Francisco? Oakland? < 2 nights?

1985 — Monday, November 4

John Carter Octet performs “The Castles of Ghana” at The Public Theatre, NYC — Bobby Bradford, Baikida Carroll, Benny Powell, David Murray, Terry Jenore, Richard Davis, Andrew Cyrille — they also recorded the album CASTLES OF GHANA (Gramavision) on this trip to NYC probably in the days following the concert — Vinny Golia reports that this music was performed in Los Angeles with a hometown band prior to the NYC gig, with VG, BB, Roberto, William Jeffrey, and others for octet

1986 — April (probably April 10)

John Carter Quintet — New Music America ’86 — Houston, Texas — noontime concert — Don Preston, synthesizer, is only musician listed in CODA #208 by Steve Hahn in a preview — is BB on this date? “I don’t remember ever playing in Texas with John!” [Email 20jan13 ] — maybe John played as a quartet? James Newton and Vinny Golia report that they were not on this date, either

1986 — early July

tour of England and Norway — performs and records with John Stevens Freebop and with Frode Gjerstad — See Tom Lord Discography for details — this is Bobby’s first meeting with the Norwegian saxophonist Frode Gjerstad, of whom he will record ten CDs up through 2012 — see Frode’s website


London — with the Charlie Watts Orchestra — BB as a sub in the trumpet section of this 32-piece jazz big band,

“playing standard big band charts like Stompin’ at the Savoy and Stardust — John Stevens set that up, he and Charlie Watts were old friends, and John would set up his drums in back with the band and Charlie would set up his set out front for his solo spots, and so, John arranged for me to play with them — paid good money, they sent a limousine to pick me up — Evan Parker was on that gig” [telcon 21jan13]

1986 — Monday June 30

Bobby is added to the trio called DETAIL w/ Frode Gjerstad (tenor — Norway), Johnny Dyani(bass — South Africa, living in Stockholm at the time), John Stevens(drums — England) making it an international Quartet —– performs in London at The Plough

1986 — Tuesday July 1

The quartet DETAIL PLUS records in a London studio the album NESS with additional musicians: Harry Beckett(trpt), Courtney Pine(woodwinds) — released on Impetus (E)IMP-28509 — Bradford on 4 of the 6 tracks on this double-LP

1986 — Wednesday July 2

The quartet DETAIL records in Cambridge, England, the album WAY IT GOES/DANCE OF THE SOUL (E)IMP-18611 vinyl LP — at Kite Studios —- Roger Chatterton, engineer

1986 — Saturday July 5

Large ensemble under the direction of John Stevens performs at Bracknell Jazz Festival and recorded by BBC Radio 3 —- Lp vinyl album entitled FREE BOP: LIVE TRACKS on Impetus Records (E)IMP-18610 ———- w/ Ted Emmett(trumpet), Ron Herman(bass), Pete King(reeds), Dave Marchant(guitar), Nigel Moyse(guitar), Eddie Parker(flute), Courtney Pine(soprano & tenor), Annie Whitehead(trombone), Nick Stephens(elec-bass), John Stevens(drums & compostions) and Evan Parker(tenor)

1986 — Sunday July 6

The quartet DETAIL performs in Stavanger, Norway — the recording of the concert released as cd IN TIME WAS (Circulasione Totale Productions CD-86-07-06)

1986 — October 24

Johnny Mbizo Dyani dies in West Berlin (after a performance) age 40

1986 — November 11

performs with Frank Sullivan Trio, Gainesville, Florida, results released on ONE NIGHT STAND (Soul Note)

1986 — November 15

Bobby Bradford-John Carter Quintet at Keller Hall, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque — Dwight Dickerson, piano; Roberto Miranda, bass; William Jeffrey, drums — recorded by American Jazz Radio Network [ where are these tapes? ] click here for a video


Tour of Germany with the ensemble called The Together Again Band (July 10 at Nickelsdorf, Austria) aka The Horace Tapscott Sextet (July 8 at Gaststatte Waldsee, Frieberg, Germany) w/ John Carter, Roberto Miguel Miranda, Horace Tapscott, Arthur Blythe, Donald Dean — recordings exist


most possibly a February tour that took the Bobby Bradford-John Carter Quartet to Oregon where tenorist Rich Halley caught them with Andrew Cyrille and Richard Davis at the Berg-Swann Auditorium of the Portland Art Museum

1987 — February 7

1987 -- February 7 -- John Carter Quartet w/ Bobby Bradford, Andrew Cyrille, Richard Davis -- Koncepts Cultural Gallery, Jenny Lind Hall, 2267 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CaliforniaJohn Carter Quartet w/ Bobby Bradford, Andrew Cyrille, Richard Davis — Koncepts Cultural Gallery, Jenny Lind Hall, 2267 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, California

1987 — July 8

The Together Again Band: John Carter, Bobby Bradford, Horace Tapscott, Arthur Blythe, Donald Dean, Roberto Miranda — Gaststatte Waldsee, Freiburg, Germany, in performance: 1. “The Dark Tree”(HT) 2. “With Respect to Monk”(R.Miranda) 3. “Sketches of Drunken Mary”(HT) 4. “Woman”(BB) 5. HT & JC duet 6. “Circle”(JC) 7. “Ashes”(BB)

1987 — July 10

Horace Tapscott Sextet perform at Nickelsdorf Konfontationen, Nickelsdorf, Austria — Bobby Bradford (cornet), John Carter (clarinet), Arthur Blythe (alto), Donald Dead (drums), Horace (piano), Roberto Miranda (bass) — 1. “The Dark Tree”(Tapscott) 2. “With Respect to Monk” 3. “Circle”(Carter) — recording exists

1987 —- Sunday July 12

John Carter – Bobby Bradford Duo at North Sea Jazz Festival, Bon Bini Zaal, Den Haag, NL —-[thanks to Bertrand Gastaut for researching this]

1987 — August 15

John Carter Ensemble, Meervaart Theater, Amsterdam, The Netherlands —- concert & radio broadcast w/ Charles Sullivan aka Kamau Adilifu (trpt); Bobby Bradford (cornet); Benny Powell (tbn); Marty Ehrlich (b-cl.); Terry Jenoure (violin&vcl); John Carter (cl.); Richard Davis (b); William Jeffrey (d) ——— (1) “Evening Prayer” (6:14) (2) “Conversations” (8:40) (3) “The Fallen Prince” (6:57) (4) “Theme of Desperation” (7:37) (5) “Capture” (16:34) (6) “Castles of Ghana” (23:52) —- all compositions by John Carter

1987 — September 3

Thursday night at Chicago Jazz Festival, Petrillo Bandshell, Grant Park — John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet w/ Richard Davis, bass; William Jeffrey, drums ———–Bradford remembers this date especially since they went on after Illinois Jacquet and Harry Edison, and that they stayed at the Greystone Hotel and not far from the hotel, in the suburb of Melrose Park, was the Schilke trumpet factory where BB spent a couple hours trying out cornets (this location is not a dealership so he couldn’t buy anything)

1988 — May

Bobby Bradford-John Carter Quintet — tour of California — that recorded at Catalina’s (see following citation) with Andrew Cyrille, drums, Richard Davis, bass, and Don Preston, piano — playing at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society (May 18) in Half Moon Bay, and Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz, and probably Yoshi’s in Oakland, and Cal Arts in Valencia. (This tour did not extend to San Diego or go north of San Francisco) — Bobby remembers staying in a hotel in Oakland during the Yoshi’s engagement where Harold Land, Curtis Fuller, and the Timeless All Stars were staying, and Curtis Fuller coming over to chat with he & John at their table in the lounge one day, there must have been a festival going on because he remembers talking with Albert Mangelsdorff, as well.

1988 — May 14

1988 -- May 14 -- John Carter Quintet w/ Bobby Bradford, James Newton, Roberto Miranda, William JeffreyJohn Carter Quintet w/ Bobby Bradford, James Newton, Roberto Miranda, William Jeffrey




1988 — May 27-29

Recorded live at Catalina’s Bar & Grill, 1640 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, California (just south of Hollywood Blvd) — all three nights were recorded but only the third night is represented on the CD release COMIN’ ON (hat Art) — the L.A. TIMES review by A. James Liska notes that they played “Woodshedetude” which would be the earliest performance of this tune by Bobby which eventually shows up on David Murray’s 1991 cd DEATH OF A SIDEMAN

HISTORIC NOTE: across the street from Catalina’s at 1608 N. Cahuenga was location of the original Shelly’s Manne-Hole.

1988 — July 2

John Carter Octet — Montreal, Quebec, Canada — FM radio broadcast

“Castles of Ghana Suite”
1. Evening Prayer
2. The Fallen Prince
3. Capture
4. Theme of Desperation
5. Conversations
6. Castles of Ghana

John Carter – Clarinet, Marty Ehrlich – Bass Clarinet, Bobby Bradford – Cornet, Kanin Adilike – Trumpet, Benny Powell – Trombone, Terry Jenoure – Violin, Roberto Miranda – Bass, Andrew Cyrille – Drums


John Carter Octet in Europe performing music of “Castles of Ghana” w/ Bobby Bradford, Baikida Carroll, Roberto Miranda, Marty Ehrlich, Benny Powell, Andrew Cyrille, Terry Jenoure, John Carter — a concert recording from what possibly is Frankfurt, exits


also they played Kimo Theatre, Albuquerque, around this time


John Carter Octet recording session — Los Angeles — listed in the Dave Cramer discography on John Carter as John’s last recording session: BB, JC, Vinny Golia, Roberto Miranda, William Jeffrey, others unknown at this time — VG has a copy of the tape — I asked Vinny about this:

“John, Richard Davis, and I got a consortium grant to write pieces for each other. We also had to record them. So, John, Bob, myself, Ken Filiano and I don’t remember if it was William or not on drums, it was not Alex [went into the studio]. The grant was awarded in 1989, we recorded just a month or so before John passed and before the last Octet gig I think.” [VG emails 20&24jan13]

The consortium grant was from Meet the Composer/Lila Wallace Readers Digest Commission for Composition — Kirk Silsbee relates that “John’s last L.A. performance of record was at SCI-ARC (Southern California Institute of Architecture) in Santa Monica on November 4, 1989. It was the Octet and six pieces from Castles were played” [KS email 4jan11] — Kirk also notes that a preview article by Zan Stewart lists musicians as Bobby Bradford and John Fumo, trumpets; Thurman Green, trombone; Charles Owens and Vinny Golia, woodwinds; Roberto Miranda, bass; and William Jeffrey, drums; plus John, of course, on clarinet — John’s previous concert of record is a duet with Barre Phillips at L.A.C.E, June 8, 1989

1989 — September 2

The John Carter- Bobby Bradford Quintet with Craig Harris, Andrew Cyrille, Fred Hopkins — Willisaw Jazz Festival, Willisau, Switzerland — recording exists — this is the show where Craig Harris played the trombone, at one point in a solo, with his feet laying on his back (I’ve seen Dixieland cats do this in Los Angeles, in the 70s) — In 1989 the Willisau Festival was August 31-September 3

1989 — November 4

John Carter Octet at Southern California Institute of Architecture, Santa Monica, California (I believe curated by pianist Richard Grossman): Here’s Don Heckman review in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES (6nov89): “There was a certain appropriateness to the appearance of the John Carter Octet at the first concert in the Southern California Institute of Architecture’s new music series Saturday night in Santa Monica.//Carter and SCI-ARC share vigorously contemporary views of their respective creative disciplines, and the iconoclastic sounds of the Octet sounded perfectly at home in the warehouse high-tech environment of the school’s main building.// The program consisted of six extended selections from Carter’s “Castle of Ghana” Suite. While the clarinetist is a firm advocate of unfettered improvisation, “Castles” was a through-composed piece rich with fascinating textures and colors. Acerbic dissonances, leaping melodies and brooding bass ostinatos dominated the work. A series of passionate “free” improvisations — most notably those by Carter, saxophonist Charles Owens, cornetist Bobby Bradford and bassist Robert Miranda — circled through and around the composed sections.”

1989 — Saturday afternoon November 11

at the New Music America Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Arts, New York —- John Carter Octet perform the entire SHADOWS ON THE WALL SUITE — 6 pieces —– w/ John (clarinet), Bobby Bradford (cornet), Marty Ehrlich (bass-clarinet, flute), Craig Harris (trombone), Don Preston (synth), Terry Jenoure (violin, vocals), Andrew Cyrille (drums), Fred Hopkins (bass), Christina Wheeler & Iqua Colson (backing vocals) — recording extists

1990 — Thursday, September 6

John Carter Octet at Japan America Theatre, Los Angeles — performed the “Castles of Ghana” suite — Bobby Bradford, cornet; Oscar Brashear, trumpet; Thurman Green, trombone; Charles Owens, soprano sax & flute; Vinny Golia, bass clarinet; Roberto Miranda, bass; William Jeffrey, drums — the L.A. TIMES article (5sept90) by Don Snowden quotes JC that this would be only the third time he was able to present his octet music in Los Angeles

1991 — January 5 & 6

sessions for saxophonist Chris Fagan’s LOST BOHEMIA (Open Minds 2411-2) w/ Andrew Cyrille and Reggie Workman — CF a former student of BB’s at Claremont in the early 80s and a member of the stage band that BB directed, “He was not a music major, I don’t recall what his major was, he lives in Seattle” [telcon w/BB 11jan13]

1991 — March 31

John Carter dies, age 61 — cancer — ending a musical relationship that lasted 25 years

1991 —- June

the Bobby Bradford / Frode Gjerstad / Kent Carter / John Stevens quartet recorded at Albany, London, during a UK tour —– Album released December 2019 as a 33rpm 12” vinyl LP on NoBusiness Records (catalog # NBLP 130) in an edition of 400 copies —– the Albany a renowned apartment complex in Piccadilly built in 1770 and has been the residence of artists, thinkers, politicians such as Lord Byron, Aldous Huxley, J.B. Priestley ——– This recording seems to have been in a common room, you can hear the faint murmur of people, not exactly the sounds you’d hear from an actual sitting audience ——— album called BLUE CAT with 3 tracks:

Side A track 1 “Blue Cat – Part 1” a free improvised composition
Side B track 1 “Blue Cat – Part 2” aka Bobby’s composition “Woman”
Side B track 2 “Blue Cat – Part 3” freely improvised around a motif

1991 — October 18 & 19

David Murray Quartet — recording session at Power Station, NYC of all new compositions by Bobby Bradford — released as: DEATH OF A SIDEMAN (DIW–Japan) could be my personal favorite Bradford record and hardly nobody in USA has heard it ( ! ) w/ Ed Blackwell, Fred Hopkins, Dave Burrell, Murray, & BB

1991 — October 28

Los Angeles County Museum of Art “Monday Evening Concerts” in a trio billed as: Bobby Bradford & the Marty Ehrlich Special Project w/ Ken Filiano

1991 — August 29

Mo’tet in quintet formation — recording session at Newzone Studio — Vinny Golia, Don Preston, Ken Filiano, Billy Mintz — engineer’d by Wayne Peet — PLEASE see Tom Lord Discography for complete sessionography of Bobby Bradford

1991 — November 24

John Carter Memorial Tribute concert at Los Angeles Harbor College, Bobby led “The John Carter Quintet” Roberto Miranda, Don Preston, William Jeffrey, James Newton, performing John’s “In A Pretty Place” and then a duet with BB & JN on “Sunday Afternoon Jazz Society Blues” — Lo-Fi cassette recording exists (other performances that evening were duet of Red Callendar, tuba, and Shawn Woodyard, soprano sax on “In a Sentimental Mood” — the Coltrane version of this always played for arrival at Rudolph’s on Sunday afternoons, John had a special attachment to that version — Don Preston Trio played John’s “Transformation” and “Ode to a Flower Maiden” w/ Ken Filiano & Fritz Wise — Vinny Golia played in trio with Ken Filiano & Fritz Wise, “Koranto” excerpt from Vinny’s 6-hour elegy dedicated to JC — and the late Will Thornberry gave a talk, among others )


performs in a series at Dallas County Museum, Texas, w/ James Clay “in one of those local-boy-makes-good sort of concerts” on a double-bill w/ Billy Harper band that included Eddie Henderson — I asked BB what tunes they played in their one-hour set: He said they played “Have You Seen Sideman,” which is a 32-bar chordal structure; “Comin’ On,” and a tune with rhythm changes; “Woman,” and some standards, he thinks one was “I Remember April”; and “Crooked Blues.” He said Clay was completely willing to try the free approach. “A guy like Clay is so talented he can tackle anything.” It was a quartet but a local piano player managed to get on stage who had no affinity for free harmony. There is no recording that we know exists. (James Clay died January 1, 1994, Dallas)

1992 — May

David Murray – Bobby Bradford 5 w/ Dave Burrell, Fred Hopkins, Andrew Cyrille —- Tribute to John Carter at Moers Festival ———– [we are still endeavoring to substantiate this date —- what day was it? Did Bobby and this band actually assemble for this gig and then again five months later for Groningen? Please help us verify] — Recording exists

1992 — September 25

BB participates in David Murray & Friends recording session in NYC that results in compact disk MX (Red Baron)

1992 — October 9

David Murray – Bobby Bradford Quintet tribute to John Carter: Davie Burrell(piano), Fred Hopkins(bass), Andrew Cyrille(drums) — Groningen, Holland — Recording exists that is being traded around

1993 — sometime before July

Kimara Dixon sessions as part of a proposal for a sculpture + sound in a park in San Diego — solos, duets, trios w/ Kimara, BB, Benny Maupin, of which Kimara over-lapped some of the solo tracks and made collage — the sculpture was to be a railroad train engine — one 5-minute piece was the target — not sure if Kimara was awarded the commission

1993 — July 6

Bradford arrives in Albuquerque for a short visit — leaves his vehicle here with us and departs on Amtrak afternoon of July 8 for Chicago and from there to NYC to rehearse with David Murray Big Band conducted by Butch Morris — This was Bobby’s first encounter with Butch’s conduction system and when he returned he was quite enthusiastic about the concept and how it worked so well — BB ret’d to ABQ on Greyhound July 18 — there must have been a gig associated with this trip to Chicago & NYC? For Bobby’s birthday we watched all 5 hours of the movie LONESOME DOVE, of which we are both big fans, Bobby smoking his birthday cigar, afterwards he said how much he’d like to live in the Wild West days, “They’d call me Black Bob!” — has this in common with Sonny Rollins, their love of westerns — (BB is not a regular smoker of cigars, only now & again, he started smoking cigars when he was working for workman’s comp) — He drove left for his home in Altadena on July 20 —

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Bobby always wanted to record with Frank Morgan — it was this summer that BB voiced that desire

1993 – Saturday September 11

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet plays at 3rd Annual Jazz at Drew Legacy Music Series which was a 2-day affair that included Gerald Wilson Orchestra, George Duke, Wayne Henderson & The Next Crusade featuring Wilton Felder & Jimmy Witherspoon, George Bohanon-Bennie Maupin Quintet, Watts Prophets, Jimmy Scott, Cedar Walton Trio w/Red Holloway, Oscar Brown Jr, Hugh Masekela, John Handy, Dwight Trible, Tony Williams Quintet, and many others — at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, 1731 E. 120th Street, Los Angeles

1994 — July 21, 22, & 24

recorded the fragments for John Rapson’s assemblage eventually realized as fascinating cd DANCES & ORATIONS (Music & Arts 923) with Anthony Braxton, Alex Cline, William Roper,Wayne Peet

1994 — September 13

John Stevens dies in England

1994 — Friday, October 21

BB is music director and performs with musical group for medieval scholar & poet Dick Barnes play “A New Death of Buster Quinine: The Sacramental Farce and Fire Opera” — presented at night at Conrock Quarry, Claremont, California — Dick had friends who had made the arduous hike up to top of Cucamonga Peak (San Gabriel Mountains) that over-look Claremont at 10,000 feet, so that during a specific time in the play he sent them a signal (this is pre-cell-phone era! ) so they could beam a light toward the production in the rock quarry — from Dick’s description: “Ghost play written for a single performance at the Conrock Quarry for an autumn night” — with actors, giant puppets, and fireworks

1994 —- evening October 21, 1994

BB is composer/musical director for an outdoor play by Dick Barnes “documenting the event of Friday October 21, 1994 at Conrock Quarry, east of Pomona College, Claremont CA” —- Dick was class of 1954 Pomona College, grew up in Barstow, California, good friend to Bobby —- a video exists, found at —- the on-stage ensemble: BB (cornet), Gwendolyn Lytle (soprano voice), Dick Wood (sax), Jim Bogan (clarinet), Rufie Barnes, Dick’s son(drums), Dion Sorrell (elec-bass guitar), Paul Kruger (keyboard) —– titled: A NEW DEATH OF BUSTER QUININE: The Sacramental Farce and Fire Opera by Dick Barnes

1995 — March 6

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet @ Alligator Lounge, 3321 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, as part of Nels Cline-produced series New Music Monday(s) — William Jeffrey (drums), Roberto Miranda (bass), Don Preston (piano), Chuck Manning (tenor), Bobby (cornet) — the Mo’tet played on this series at least 3 times

1995 — April 21

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet performs in quartet formation at Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque — with Vinny Golia, Roberto Miranda, William Jeffrey — one tune, “Gates of Hell” appears on cd ALBUZERXQUE Vol. 26 (Zerx Records)

1995 — July 17

David Murray Big Band — at Cafe du Soleil, Saignelégier, Jura, Switzerland, conducted by Butch Morris; DM–tenor sax & bass clarinet; Kahil Henry, Benny Russell, James Spaulding, John Purcell, Marc Shim–saxes & flutes; Hamiet Bluiett–baritone sax & alto clarinet; Hugh Ragin, Rasul Saddik, James Zollar–trumpets; Bobby Bradford–cornet; Craig Harris, Al Patterson–trombones; Bob Stewart–tuba; Jimane Nelson–piano; Fred Hopkins–bass; Randell Merritt–drums

1995 — November 17

David Murray Quintet — Homage To Charles Tyler: Cité de la Musique — Marseille, France *audience recording. David Murray – tenor saxophone (#01, 04, 08, 10), bass clarinet (#02, 06), vocal (#02, 08, 10), Bobby Bradford – cornet, Billy Bang – violin, Wilber Morris – bass, vocal (#02, 08), Andrew Cyrille – drums. Organized by Tyler’s widow Marie Consenza

01 – “Afro-American Indian” (Wilber Morris) – 15’57
02 – “Shawnee Indian Song” (Charles Tyler) – 15’05
03 – announcement by Wilber Morris and David Murray – 03’12
04 – “Hip Day” (Charles Tyler) – 11’36
05 – announcement by David Murray – 00’48
06 – “P.C.O.P.” (Wilber Morris) – 22’32
07 – announcement by David Murray – 00’38
08 – “Sad Folks” (Charles Tyler) – 16’51
09 – announcement by David Murray – 01’33
10 – “Flowers For Albert” (David Murray) – 13’30
Total Time: 101’46

David Murray Quintet — Marseille, France — Homage to Charles Tyler w/ David Murray, Billy Bang, Wilbur Morris, BB, Andrew Cyrille — this was a short tour around France, “No more than three dates, one of them was a French elementary school, kids about 7 or 8 years-old, and then we played a club where Billy Bang was really flamboyant and the audience loved it” He doesn’t remember a studio recording session, so, one of the performances was probably what was being shopped around to record companies by Tyler’s widow, who funded the project — as yet unreleased — BB remembers it wasn’t summer because they were wearing coats, it was cool weather. At the Billy Bang Discography these titles are listed: “Homage to Charles Tyler”,”Kit Day”, “Flowers for Albert”, and two unknown titles. Recording by Bertrand Gastaut: “I used a cheap cassette recorder with even a cheaper mic! I was a teenager at that time (16 in 1995) and played those cassettes a lot on my Walkmans and only did the transfer to CD a few years ago.” [Email from BG to MW 30jan2o15]

Bobby most likely went on this entire tour of France, but then duties at college might have cut it short —– (We’re still endeavoring to confirm) —- We know for certain that he was on November 24 concert as there exists a good magazine review by Francois-Rene Simon, and also he was on the November 19 gig as he is listed in the concert program, as well, there is the recording by Bertrand Gastaut of the November 17 concert —–SO, it would seem Bobby was on all concerts from November 16 through 24 for positive. Bobby says he can’t exactly remember [email 4/21/2o17 “MW—-The only thing I remember with that group is the tribute to Chas Tyler . . . sorry . . . memory bank account overdrawn! Ha”] BB with David Murray Quintet: Cyrille, Wilber Morris, Billy Bang

November 16 in Toulon / Nov 17 Marseille / Nov 18 Tremblay / Nov 19 Argenteuil / Nov 20 Venissieux / Nov 23 Lille / Nov 24 Montreuil / Nov 25 Agrenteuil / Nov 26 an “atelier/studio” in Nanterre / Nov 27 another studio in Argenteuil / Nov 28 Nanterre / Nov 29 Metz
1995 — December 21 & 22

recording session in Hollywood with Horace Tapscott Octet at Sage & Sound (unreleased) — w/William Roper, Michael Session, Fritz Wise, Thurman Green, Phil Vieux, Roberto Miranda, BB, and HT — they recorded BB’s arrangement of his composition “Eye of the Storm” — produced by David Keller — executive producer: Don Snowden

1996 — January

radio interview WKCR, Columbia University, NYC — Bobby visits the studios for a Live in-person interview with host Ben Young

CADENCE magazine (Vol.22 No. 1) publishes Kirk Silsbee’s in-depth interview with Bobby that was recorded May 17, 1989 in Altadena, California

1996 — May 5

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Mimi’s Jazz Salon, Encino — Vinny Golia, Don Preston, Roberto Miranda, William Jeffrey — Mimi Melnick’s by-invitation concerts in her home in the Encino Hills out in the Valley (ie. San Fernando Valley over the hills from Hollywood)

1996 – June 30 NYC

the initial performance of trio C/D/E, a cooperative group of whom all three have worked with Bobby Bradford in various projects over the years: Mark Dresser (bass), Marty Ehrlich (woodwinds), Andrew Cyrille (drums)—– They opened this performance at Knitting Factory with Bobby’s “Comin’ On” —- This is also when Mark’s composition “For Bradford” had its debut (six more times this tune has made it to CD subsequently) —– They had planned to have BB join the trio for this performance, but, as the liner notes to their 1998 cd says: “FreeJazzEconomics dictated another reality” —— a recording of this performance exists

1996 — December 8

Roberto Miranda & Afro-Latin American Jazz Ensemble at Mimi’s Jazz Salon — w/ BB, Charles Owens, Nate Morgan, Don Littleton

1997 — February 21

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at LACMA

1997 — March 22

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Open Gate Theater (American Legion Hall, 131 N. Marengo, Pasadena) featuring Nels Cline and Vinny Golia [does anyone know who else in Mo’tet on this date?]

1997 — April 13

Bobby Bradford Quartet at Beanbender’s, Berkeley, California — Ben Goldberg(clarinet, contra-alto-clarinet, bass-clarinet), Don Preston (piano), Bill Douglass (bass), Bobby (cornet) — Recording exists—- FIRST SET: 1. Comin’ On 2. Woman 3. A Little Pain SECOND SET: 4. Sho’ Nuff Blues 5. Have You Seen Sideman? 6. Side Steps 7. Ornate

1997 — September 14

Frode Gjerstad Quartet session in New Jersey w/ Pheeroan akLaff, Borah Bergman, that results in cd IKOSA MURA — I remember the first time I heard this music was on Mark Weaver’s radio show on KUNM here in Albuquerque and I immediately recognized Bradford’s cornet but the tenor player threw me for a loop, I had to call the station and ask who it was . . . .

1997 — September 15 & 16

Frode Gjerstad Quartet in upstate New York at The Spirit Room studio, Rossie, NY recording for Robert Rusch — BB, Wilber Morris, Newman Baker — results released on cd THROUGH THE WOODS

1997 — September 27

at Birdland West, Long Beach, California — re-opens for one day to participate in 10th annual Long Beach Day of Music — BB appeared with a group called The Leaders w/ Billy Higgins, Charles Owens, Roberto Miranda

1997 — October 10

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at LACMA

1998 — February 1

Charles Owens Quartet at Mimi’s Jazz Salon, Encino, California — w/ BB, Roberto Miranda, Billy Higgins

1998 — April 18

mother dies

1998 — May 22

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at LACMA w/ Vinny Golia [does anyone know who else?]

1998 — June

European tour with David Murray Big Band

1998 — June/July

six week residency at Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Umbria, Italy, where he worked on his suite “Portrait of Duke Ellington” and also wrote the tune “Umby” — the visiting artists stay in outbuildings of a medieval castle, nice accomodations,

“I was in the refurbished pig pen (laughter) with a kitchenette, and a piano, and even a little sound studio” [BB telcon 27dec2o12]

his wife Lisa and son Benjamin accompanied him on this retreat

1998 — summer

recording session for David Ornette Cherry’s disk THE END OF THE CENTURY — David is one of Don’ Cherry’s sons — this record was in process over the course of a year (October 7, 1997 thru November 17, 1998) — BB was only brought in to overdub his solos & obligattoes, “I only remember one session, at a studio in some guy’s house here in Altadena. I just went in, put on the earphones and over-dubbed some improvisations,” over existing tracks that the ensemble previously recorded — it was summertime, most probably after the Umby retreat— BB appears on 3 tracks on the released CD

1998 — August 25

Tom Heasley quartet @ 24th Street Theatre, Los Angeles — Tom Heasley, tuba; Bobby Bradford, cornet; Don Preston, piano & electronics; Ken Rosser, guitars — recording exists (4 tunes), recorded by Wayne Peet — one track (“Primeval #7”) was released on Don Preston’s cd WORKS (Crossfire-9507) in 2007

1998 — October 28

Bobby Bradford-Fred Anderson Quartet at Empty Bottle, Chicago w/ Harrison Bankhead(bass), and Chad Taylor(drums) — DAT recording exists — all compositions by BB except where noted: 1. “She”(22:24), 2. “Comin’ On”(18:35), 3. untitled vamp(20:07), Set 2: track 4. “A Little Pain”(17:52), 5. “Crooked Blues”(17:37) 6. “Sidesteps”(9:14) 7. duet BB+HB “Round Midnight”(Monk)(5:47) 8. duet FA+CT untitled free improvisation(6:53)

1999 — January 23

Bobby Bradford & Chuck Manning at Rocco’s, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Bel Air

1999 — February 27

(ten minutes before midnight) — Horace Tapscott dies of cancer in his beloved Los Angeles, age 64

1999 — February 28

Tribute for Horace Tapscott — Washington Prep High School —

“Bobby played in an ensemble with Teddy Edwards, George Bohanon, Bobby West, Roberto Miranda, Fritz Wise, and unknown on flugelhorn” [ Steven Sisoardi — email 7jan13 ]

1999 — March 3

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Rocco’s w/ Chuck Manning, Ken Rosser, Roberto Miranda, Alex Cline

1999 — March 29

Memorial concert & benefit for Horace Tapscott — Catalina’s, Hollywood — with Arthur Blythe, Dr Art Davis, Henry Franklin, Vinny Golia, William Henderson, Alex Cline, Paul Humphrey, Roberto Miranda, Herman Riley, Phil Ranelin, Jerry Rusch, Michael Session, Andy Simpkins, Gerald Wiggins, Bobby Bradford and others — produced Kirk Silsbee & Barbara Brighton — the Mo’tet

“Bobby, Vinny Golia, Roberto Miranda, Alex Cline played 2 pieces” [ Steven Isoardi — email 7jan13 ]

1999 — May (uncertain which day)

Bobby Braddford Mo’tet at Rocco’s

1999 — May 8

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet perform and discuss free jazz in: Free Jazz: A History of Jazz Informance, sponsored by Thelonious Monk Institute at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, downtown Los Angeles

1999 — May 23

Roberto Miranda Sextet at Mimi’s Jazz Salon — w/ BB, Charles Owens, Kenny Burrell, Billy Childs, Don Littleton

1999 — May 24

Recording session at Wayne Peet’s Killzone Studios, Los Angeles for Roberto Miguel Miranda’s cd WITH GROANINGS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS with Billy Higgins, Kenny Burrell, Charles Owens, Billy Childs, Don Littleton

1999 — August 13

Billy Higgins Quartet — performs at Yoshi’s, Oakland, with Dewey Redman, Charnett Moffett — as part of the Eddie Moore Festival produced by Jazz In Flight — BB says he met Ben Goldberg that night who was there with his young child — Dewey had been working on “Half Nelson” so they played that [telcon 5oct12] —

“I was on a gig with Billy Higgins not too long before he died, at Yoshi’s, with Dewey Redman and Charnett Moffett, and they’d set up everything [to record] but Dewey didn’t want it recorded, so that was that.” [ BB interview by Clifford Allen, October 2009]

1999 — August 15 & 16

recording session: Vinny Golia Quartet w/ Ken Filiano, Alex Cline, and Bobby playing trumpet, making this the only time since 1993 he has played trumpet on record (even though, the CD booklet shows him playing cornet) cd LINEAGE (Ninewinds 214)

1999 — September 7

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at MOCA w/ Nate Morgan, Roberto Miranda, Don Littleton (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles)

1999 — October 7

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at The Downtown Playhouse, downtown Los Angeles

1999 — November 19

Tom Heasley(tuba), Bobby Bradford(cornet), Ken Rosser(g) perform in trio at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom Street, San Francisco

2000 — January 10, 11, 12

BB records his parts for John Rapson’s assemblage based on pre-recorded tracks of Billy Higgins & Roberto Miranda eventually released as cd WATER AND BLOOD: The Billy Higgins Improvisations (Nine Winds 252)

2000 — January 15

Bobby organizes a Salute to John Carter as part of the Inner Ear concert series at Knauer/Johnston Studio, Santa Monica — this concert curated by Nels Cline — BB pulls together a quintet to play selections from John’s “Castles of Ghana” suite w/ Art Davis, bass; Vinny Golia, reeds; Tylana Enomoto, violin; Alex Cline, drums; Nels Cline — NOTE from Alex:

“Bobby’s tribute to John gig was famously aborted halfway through because the police came and shut it down. Classic. I even have some photos from that gig. We played some of “Castles of Ghana” for the first set (which was all that got performed!) The band was Bobby, Vinny, Dr Art Davis, Nels, and me, and a woman violinist (I can’t remember her name), a student of Bobby’s. She was good, too! William Jeffrey was set to play the second half with Roberto as a quartet, but it never happened! The photos, in fact, were given to me by the photographer years after the gig.” [emails 30jan&1feb2o13]

“There was a great little tribute to John at the Knauer/Johnston Studio, 1547 10th Street, Santa Monica. Different group configurations including Bob, Dr Art Davis, William Jeffrey, violinist Tylana Enomoto, Vinny, Alex Cline and Nels Cline. It was co-produced by Cryptogramophone (which means there are tapes somewhere, right?) & Knauer/Johnston Studio. It was the last time I saw any of John’s kids.” [ Kirk Silsbee Email 4jan13 ]

2000 — June 22 & September 8

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet — in the AlterKnit Lounge, Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Boulevard

2000 — April 6

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet — @ Broad Center, Claremont Colleges, in quintet w/Vinny Golia, Wayne Peet, Roberto Miranda, Alex Cline — recording exists — performed “Portraits Suite” and selections from “Sideman Suite”

2000 — September 19

Oliver Lake’s band Trio 3 records Bobby’s composition “Crooked Blues” in NYC for their cd ENCOUNTER (Passin’ Thru Records 41212) — Andrew Cyrille, drums; Reggie Workman, bass

2000 — September 21

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Rocco, Bel Air

2000 — November 3

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at LACMA

2001 — March 14

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet recording session Newzone Studio, Los Angeles — engineered by Wayne Peet — demo session — short versions with short solos if any for grant proposal — 4 Bradford compostions: 1) “Comin’ On” (5:04) 2) “A Little Pain” (5:17) 3) “Side Steps” (4:59) 4) “Crooked Blues” (5:40) total time: 21:13 ————– w/ Ken Rosser(guitar), Chuck Manning (tenor), Roberto Miranda(bass), William Jeffrey(drums), BB(cornet)

2001 — April 14

Concert recording released as Don Preston’s cd ASYMMETRICAL CONSTRUCT (Brain Records) in trio: Bobby Bradford, cornet; Don Preston, keyboards; Elliott Levin, tenor sax, flute, poetry — Los Angeles [Email from Elliott Levin 1jan2o12] — this was one of the last concerts Don Preston produced in his New Music series for the Downtown Playhouse

2001 — July 20

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at LACMA

2002 — January 26

Ken Filiano records BB’s composition “Woman” for his cd of solo bass recitals SUBVENIRE (Nine Winds 223) at Wayne Peet’s Newzone Studios, Los Angeles

2002 — February 15

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Downtown Playhouse w/Vinny Golia in the band

2002 — May 27

Jayne Cortez’s Firespitters @ Vision Festival 2002 NYC — BB rehearsed with them on May 26 at Harmolodic Studios and it is these two tracks that appear on Jayne’s cd BORDERS OF DISORDERLY TIME

2002 — June

Recipient of the prestigious Ralph Story Service Award “presented annually to an outstanding faculty member of Pasadena City College who has made significant contributions to the field of education, the college, and the community” — Those who lived in Southern California during the 50s and 60s and 70s know Frank Story as radio & television journalist & talk show host, newsman, commentator on California lifestyles & folkways — elsewhere he is famous for being the host on the $64,000 Question

2002 — August 23

BB Mo’tet at Los Angeles County Museum — they performed BB’s “Suite: A Portrait of Duke Ellington” (unissued) although, much of this concert was released on BB’s Waterboy Records imprint as LIVE AT LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM — Roberto Miranda, Don Preston, Michael Vlatkovich, Ken Rosser, Chuck Manning, William Jeffrey

2002 — October 6

Performance at Asian American Jazz Festival 2002 at Locus 1640 Post, Japantown, San Francisco, in trio with Francis Wong, tenor saxophone & flute; and William Roper, tuba & percussion

2002 — October 7

records spontaneous composition trios w/ William Roper and Francis Wong results in cd PURPLE GUMS (Asian Improv 64) — San Francisco State University, Creative Arts Studio

2002 — November 7

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Oakwood School, Los Angeles — w/ Vinny Golia, Michael Vlatkovich, Don Preston, Roberto Miranda, Alex Cline


— Hi Mark- I think I first met Bobby in 1995 when I hired his quintet to play at the Penofin Jazz Festival in May of that year. I first played with Bobby in 1997. Michael Vlatkovich had composed a piece for 5 horns and Bobby and I were in that group. I believe the other horns were probably Jim Knodle on trumpet and Troy Grugett on bari. This was at the Penofin Jazz Festival in May. I didn’t play my music with Bobby until a few years later, probably in 2002. We recorded The Blue Rims in December 2002 after playing a gig in Portland. Best, Rich Halley [ Email 4july2o12]

* And Bobby has played each successive year at the annual Penofin Jazz Festival, Potter Valley, California, most usually with Rich Halley, but on a couple years with his Mo’tet

2003 — February 21

performs as member of William Roper’s Hot Water Cornbread trio w/ Chris Garcia at Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California.

“The Armory Center for the Arts presents William Roper’s new trio Hot Water Cornbread in a program celebrating Black History Month. Tubaist William Roper’s trio, that includes the legendary Bobby Bradford on cornet and Christopher Garcia on percussion will present a program of music and spoken word relating directly to the African American experience. The group will perform music by Charles Mingus, Glenn Horiuchi, Duke Ellington, Joseph Mitchell, William Roper and engage in some spontaneous creation. Text works by Langston Hughes, Myron O’Higgins and Lewis Allen will be woven into the music. Special guest Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick will perform William Roper’s Poem for Emmett Till for solo cello.”

The trio performed solos & trios. Bobby played “Come Sunday” solo.

Go to William Roper’s website for a momentous photo of Bobby & William.

2003 — February 27

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet — @ Rocco’s, 1076 Lillian Way, Hollywood — BB, cornet; Vinny Golia, soprano & baritone sax; Michael Stephens, drums; Dave Culwell, bass, Michael Vlatkovich, trombone — recording by Mark Weber exists — SET ONE: Comin’ On; Woman; A Little Pain; Li’l Sister SET TWO: Ornate; Sho Nuff Blues; Sidesteps; Have You Seen Sideman?; Umby

2003 — March 10

trio performance: Tom Heasley, tuba; BB, cornet; Ken Rosser, guitar — Line Space Line, Griffith Park Boulevard (at Sunset Blvd), Los Angeles

2003 — May 2

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at LACMA

2003 — June 9

Bobby Bradford & Vinny Golia perform 2 sets of duets at Line Space Line, Los Angeles — recorded by Jeremy Drake — “Woman,” “Room 408,” “Circle,” “Sidesteps,” etc — “Woman” appears on cd MIDNIGHT PACIFIC AIRWAVES as a bonus track

2003 — June 26 or 27?

Vinny Golia Quartet recording session in Lisbon, Portugal, released as cd SFUMATO w/ Alex Cline, Ken Filiano, BB (this session was definitely just prior to the Coimba festival)

2003 — June 28

Bobby Bradford-Vinny Golia Quartet play Jazz Ao Centro, Encontros Internacionais de Coimba 2003 (International Jazz Meeting — large festival), Coimbra, Portugal — w/ Alex Cline, bateria; Ken Filiano, contrabixo; Bobby Bradford, tompeta; Vinny Golia, saxofone soprano, sopranino, clarinete, clarinete baixo, flauta, flauta de madiera e flauta baixo

2003 — September 20 @ 2pm

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet plays Monterey Jazz Festival — Chuck Manning tenor; Roberto Miranda, bass; Ken Rosser, guitar; and probably William Jeffrey, drums — BB has played Monterey three times, twice with his own band, and once with Kimara Dixon in trio with India Cooke (violin) — and the other time with the Mo’tet, was previous to 2003, he had Vinny Golia (Don Preston and Michael Vlatkovich report that they have never played Monterey with BB) — the MJF archive is at Stanford University but it is unorganized at present and no real data available, at least, on-line, for Bradford’s appearances

2003 — October 5

Frankfurt Jazz Festival concert — The Grandmothers and The Strings Of Invention, with special guest Bobby Bradford ( video ) Napoleon Murphy Brock: lead vocals, alto & tenor saxophones, flute, Bunk Gardner: tenor sax, bassoon, soprano sax, flute, Roy Estrada: bass, pachuco falsettos, operatic madness, Don Preston: piano, keyboards, electronics, vocals, Ken Rosser: electric guitar, stunt guitar, loud guitar, Christopher Garcia: drumset, marimba, percussion, vocals, special guest: Bobby Bradford: trumpet. The Strings of Invention: Julia Barto: violin, Jansen Volkers: violin, Mike Rutledge: viola, Stephan Braun: cello

“Albert Mangelsdorff was there and spoke to Bradford and the Band” [Email from Chris Garcia 2dec12](Mangelsdorff d. July 25, 2005)

Set List: intro (in German) * Pound for a Brown * Oh No * More Trouble * Harder Babies * Sweet 50 * 20 Small Cigars * Amsterdam – Blues for All * Carolina Hardcore Extacy * A Motor or Something Different * Frankie`s Not Around * Idiot Bastard Son * Montana * Memorial BBQ * Stolen Moments * Village of the Sun * outro (in German)

2003 — October 24

Purple Gums — Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival at Hot House, 31 E. Balboa, Chicago

2003 — November 21

The San Francisco Bay Area clarinet ensemble Clarinet Thing, formed by Beth Custer in 1990, records at the Jazz House, Berkeley, California, a version of Bobby’s tune “Song of the Unsung” (arranged by Ben Goldberg) for their cd AGONY PIPES AND MISERY STICKS (BC Records 6) released in 2005 — this track possibly from a concert dedicated to Bobby Bradford’s compositions — the five clarinetists are: Sheldon Brown, Ralph Carney, Beth Custer, Ben Goldberg, Peter Josheff, playing Eb, Bb, bass, and contrabass clarinets.

2004 — April 4

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet appears as quintet at Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque — Chuck Manning, Michael Vlatkovich, Roberto Miranda, William Jeffrey — recording by Manny Rettinger exists a couple tunes from this performance appear on cd ALBUZERXQUE Vols. 23 & 28

2004 — April 30

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at LACMA — only member I can verify presently is William Jeffrey


trumpeter Scotty Barnhart publishes his book THE WORLD OF JAZZ TRUMPET (Hal Leonard Corp., 2005) with Chapter II:10 being a sit-down conversation with Bobby. *Scotty Barnhart became Director of The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra in September 2o13, taking over from Dennis Mackrel.

2005 — April 23

College Hall Chapel, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont —- Bobby (cornet), Chuck Manning (tenor saxophone), Claire Arenius (drums), Eugene Uman (piano), Jamie MacDonald (bass), John La Rouche (harmonica) — *Recording exists —- Good audience

1. Crooked Blues — which BB explains was his spin-off after studying
Straight No Chaser and he called originally it Crooked With Ice (17:30)
2. A Little Pain (14:00)
3. She/Woman (21:00)
SET TWO (disk 2)
1. Sidesteps (16:15)
2. Have You Seen Sideman? (15:20)
3. Sho Nuff Blues [Bb blues] (10:20)
4. Comin’ On (15:40)
5. Ashes [BB sings intro: “Stone cold dead in de market . . .” with a Tinidad accent — band plays calypso] (6:30)
**Bobby & Chuck flew out from California and the rhythm section was a pick-up band, of which Bobby already knew the bassist and the harmonica player from California
***concert produced by John LaRouche. “John La Rouche I met at PCC and he played in the combo…his dad owned a jaguar that he got from Chet Baker and I think he lived in Upland!!” –email BB > MW 23apr2o17
**** “Stone Cold Dead in the Market (He Had it Coming)” was a 1946 hit for Louis Jordan & His Tympani Five w/ Ella Fitzgerald (recorded Oct. 15, 1945 for Decca) — Louis Jordan loomed large in Bobby’s sphere of influences when he was a teenager

2005 — August 5

FONT at Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th Street, NYC — Bobby Bradford Mo’tet with Mark Dresser & Ken Filiano, basses, and Marty Ehrlich, reeds — this evening was recorded off the soundboard –tunes they performed “Woman”(beginning missing–3:18), “A Little Pain”(8:30), “Crooked Blues”(12:47), “Comin’ On”(15:07) and “Sidesteps”(10:55) — all compositions by Bradford — FONT = Festival Of New Trumpet, an organization under the direction of trumpeter Dave Douglas

2005 — October 27

trio called Purple Gums: Francis Wong, Bobby, William Roper at Club Tropical, 8641 Washington Blvd, Culver City, California

2005 — October 29

Purple Gums at Rosalie & Alba’s Performance Gallery, 1417 W. 8th Street, San Pedro

2005 — December

Eldridge Bruz Freeman dies — (b. August 11, 1921 Chicago)

2006 — January 27

Nels Cline Group plays music of Andrew Hill — The Palms Playhouse, Winters, California — this must be the gig Bobby remembers as east of the Bay Area driving through corn fields and evening bumper traffic, he said it was strange to be stuck in traffic jam when all you could see was cornfields for miles in every direction

2006 — January 30

Nels Cline Group plays music of Andrew Hill — Yoshi’s, Oakland — Ben Goldberg, Andrea Parkins, Scott Amendola, Devin Hoff, Nels, and Bobby

2006 — February 3

Nels Cline Group plays music of Andrew Hill — Club Tropical, Culver City, California —

“The only live New Monastery gig I ever played on was the first one at the Club Tropical here in Culver City. I commandeered Scott Amendola’s floor tom on “Compulsion!” for the most part. Somewhere there’s video evidence of this.” — Alex Cline [ email 23dec2o12 ]

2006 — February 3 & 4

recording session for Nels Cline NEW MONASTERY A View Into The Music of Andrew Hill — then a California tour, and a gig in NYC — same ensemble as previous plus Alex Cline

2006 — April 9

Purple Gums w/ guest Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick (cello) at Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Luckman Intimate Theatre, Cal State Los Angeles, as part of series Interactive Jazz Experience

2006 — April 10

Purple Gums — film studios of Portable Universe — host & producer David Witham — Episode 95 “Improvisation as a Subversive Act” (29:01 minutes of tremendous footage) Long Beach, CA

2006 — August 26

brass trio formed by William Roper called: Wachet auf! performed at The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena — William Roper, tuba; Bobby, cornet; Michael Vlatkovich, trombone

2006 — October 8

attends concert of the duo called SOUND at Ford Amphitheatre, L.A. — Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman, solos & duets

2006 — Oct 29

Nels Cline Group performs sextet versions of Andrew Hill’s music at Herbst Theatre as part of 24th annual San Francisco Jazz Festival

2006 — November 20

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at the Athenaeum, Claremont McKenna College — William Jeffrey, Michael Vlatkovich, Roberto Miranda, Don Preston, Ken Rosser, Chuck Manning, BB

2007 — March 29

Nels Cline Ensemble: New Monastery: Music of Andrew Hill plays Jazz Standard, NYC — Ben Goldberg, Andrea Parkins, Scott Amendola, Devin Hoff, Nels Cline, Bobby Bradford ( blogsite of jazyjef has this as March 3?) click here for a video

2007 — April 20

Purple Gums perform at San Francisco State University — 1pm & 8pm — Knuth Hall, Creative Arts Building, as part of ImprovisAsians – A World of Jazz in a Week

2007 — July 3

recording session: Vinny Golia Quartet w/Ken Filiano & Alex Cline > cd TAKE YOUR TIME (Relative Pitch Records 1003

2007 — beginning in May?

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet plays first Friday(s) of the month at Cafe 322 in Sierra Madre (first gig I have recorded is July 6, 2007) — (two other evenings exist on recordings: February 1, 2008, and April 4, 2008) — as well as a smattering of Tuesdays in 2008 and then a hiatus during 2009 resuming in 2010 with Wednesdays and some Fridays until Cafe 322 closes down April 29, 2012 — besides his regular Mo’tet 7-piece configuration during these years, saxophonist Michael Session substituted one or two evenings at Cafe 322

2007 — July 6

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Cafe 322 — Ken Rosser, Roberto Miranda, Michael Vlatkovich, Don Preston, William Jeffrey, Chuck Manning, and Dick Woods (alto) sitting in, and poet Bonnie Barnett reads a Gertrude Stein poem — I recorded this evening on mini-disk w/ stereo mic — all tunes written by Bobby Bradford except where noted: “Crooked Blues,” “A Little Pain,” “I Mean You”(Monk), “Dali,” “A Love Story” (Gertrude Stein, arranged by BB), “Ornate,” “Winsome”(from the Duke Ellington Suite), “Woman,” “Ashes”

2007 — August

BB joins the group ESP: India Cooke, violin; Kimara (Alan Dixon) piano, anda conga player ——- at Black New World performance space, 836 Pine Street, Oakland, California — [thanks to Charles Smith for this information]

2007 — August 16

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at LACMA, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

2007 — November 15

Bobby Bradford at The Getty Center as part of the 3-day conference Cote a Cote COAST to COAST: ART and JAZZ in France and California — other performances this day by Vinny Golia, Ernie Andrews, Jack Sheldon, Bud Shank, Rene Urtreger, Ron Stout, Les McCann — Bobby & Vinny used the same rhythm section all the leaders used: Jeff Hamilton, bass; and Gerry Gibbs (Terry’s son), drums

2008 — January 10 & 17

telephone conversations over Live radio concerning the music of Ornette Coleman on KUNM Albuquerque 89.9FM w/ Host Mark Weber (BB has appeared in interview on this radio show previously: April 8, 2004; August 22, 2007; February 28, 2008; February 5, 2009; August 20, 2009; June 16, 2011 — all of these are archived at UCLA)

2008 — February 1

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Cafe 322 — Ken Rosser, Roberto Miranda, Michael Vlatkovich, Don Preston, Chris Garcia, Chuck Manning — I recorded this evening on mini-disk w/ stereo mic

2008 — February 9

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet — UCSB MultiCultural Center Theater, Santa Barbara, California — Michael Vlatkovich, Chuck Manning, Chris Garcia, Don Preston, Putter Smith, BB

2008 — February 14

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet — Little Bridges Auditorium, Claremont Colleges

2008 — March 7, Friday

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Cafe 322 — Chuck Manning, tenor & soprano (Many of these Mo’tet dates for Cafe 322 were found on Chuck Manning’s website so I can only verify that he was on the gig)

2008 — April 4

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Cafe 322 — Chris Garcia, Michael Vlatkovich, Ken Rosser, Putter Smith (not his first time subbing in this band), Don Preston, Chuck Manning — Bobby performed his relatively new tune “Freeway” this night and we caught it on tape (ie. mini-disk, actually)

2008 — April 16, Wednesday

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Cafe 322 — Chuck Manning, et al.

2008 — May 10

Bobby joins Frode Gjerstad’s Totale Circulasione Orchestra for the first time — 15-piece ensemble “celebration of free improvised music,” says Frode — Stavanger, Norway (Frode’s hometown) released on cd as OPEN PORT

2008 — May 29, Thursday

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Harbeson Hall, Pasadena City College w/ Chuck Manning

2008 — June 6

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Cafe 322 — Don Preston, Ken Rosser, Roberto Miguel Miranda, Christopher Garcia, Chuck Manning, Michael Pierre Vlatkovich — 8:30pm

2008 — June 7 at 1pm

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Los Olivos Jazz, Los Olivos, California w/ Chuck Manning

2008 — July 16

Bobby with Frode Gjerstad’s Totale Circulasione Orchestra — gig at a club called Reknes in Molde, Norway, as part of the annual Molde Jazz Festival — released as cd REKNES

2008 — August 15

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at LACMA

2008 — September 5

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Cafe 322 w/ Chuck Manning, tenor & soprano

2008 — October 3

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Cafe 322 w/ Chuck Manning, tenor & soprano

2008 — November 11, Tuesday

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Cafe 322 w/ Chuck Manning

2009 — February 14

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Little Bridges Auditorium, Claremont Colleges — Don Preston, Roberto Miranda, William Jeffrey, Ken Rosser, Michael Vlatkovich, Chuck Manning

2009 — April 4

Performs as member of Don Preston’s PRISM at Sound Pasadena Music Center, 1509 Mission Street, with Don Preston, piano, EFX, & text; Harry Scorzo, violin; William Roper, tuba; — a Zoom recording exists

2009 — May 15

16th annual Penofin Jazz Festival, Potter Valley, northern California — Bobby and the Rich Halley Quartet workshop for school kids

2009 — May 16

Rich Halley Quartet w/ Clyde Reed, Carson Halley, BB perform at 1:45pm Saturday according to the program — also, this day at the festival is poet Dottie Grossman/Jim Knodle (Vlatkovich had prior gig commitment); Jeff Parker Trio; poet Dan Raphael with Rich & Carson Halley; and Craig Taborn Trio

2009 — June 15

special guest with William Parker Quartet + 3 at Angel Orensanz Foundation, 172 Norfolk Street, NYC w/ Quartet: WP, Rob Brown, Hamid Drake, Lewis Barnes + Billy Bang & James Spaulding — recording by Steven Schmidt exists — afterwards, the promoter Patricia Nicholson asked Bobby if he’d conduct the jam session (a good old-fashioned Texas jam session) to end the Vision Festival this year. Alto saxophonist Nick Lyons participated in the jam session, a graduate of the Oberlin music program, as well as further studies with Connie Crothers. I asked him about this event:

“There was something going on at Angel Orensanz Foundation which was followed by a jam session at the Local 269, a small divey bar at 269 Houston Street that at the time was regularly hosting Vision Festival-associated musicians and has a small bandstand area. Connie and I ran into each other at the Orensanz Foundation and decided to go over to the jam together. Here’s a partial lineup that I remember: Henry Grimes, bass; Michael Wimberly, drums; Sabir Mateen, tenor; Patrick Brennan, alto. My memory is that there was no piano. There was a group of seven or eight total standing in a semi-circle in front of the drums, mostly horns, with Henry Grimes on the stage left end, and I stood between him [BB] and Sabir Mateen. I just don’t remember for sure the others. Afterwards, Connie introduced me to Bobby Bradford and the three of us stood and mostly the two of them talked, but Bobby said a few things to me which I don’t really remember, other than I do remember he was very encouraging and sweet.” [Nick S. Lyons email 25jan13]

*Bobby opened the jam session with himself in duet with Henry Grimes for about twenty minutes with two of BB’s tunes: “Woman” and “Comin’ On” — no rehearsal, “No more than twenty words were spoken between us, I showed him the music, and after he looked over Woman he said That’s a bad tune, man, and that was it and he played marvelously like he’d been playing those tunes for years” — BB suggested that chiming bass ostinato that he uses sometimes on Woman “BOOM bing BOOM bing Boom Bing….” I had mentioned what a great walker Henry is (after catching him with Connie Crothers at The Stone, 20aug14) and BB pointed out that Henry is not only a great walker but he is also accomplished at walking in a free context where there are no changes. BB added that “the superbad walkers” are Percy Heath, Sam Jones, “and that guy here in L.A. who was in prison for so many years, Leroy Vinnegar.” Adding that Percy Heath once approached Mingus for some lessons and Mingus enthused: IF you teach me how to walk on the blues the way you do then we’re even. [telcon 9sept14]

*Additionally from Nick Lyons: “Local 269 has since closed, it was at 269 Houston Street at the corner of Suffolk . . . . There was a blues at the end of the night where Henry played bass. I stood between him and Sabir Mateen and there was a whole line of horn players. I was so thrilled to be playing with Henry, and to be playing a swinging blues was especially incredible. He looked at me and nodded with a little smile after I played (wow).” [email 11sept14]

2009 —- June 15

William Parker Septet at New York City Vision Festival XIV, Orensanz Center – concert w/ Bobby Bradford (cornet), William Parker (bass), Hamid Drake (drums), Bob Brown (alto), Lewis Barnes (trumpet), Billy Bang (violin), James Spaulding (alto) —– released as Disk 5 on box set WOOD FLUTE SONGS (AUM-084)—- Recorded by Steve Schmidt

2009 — July 21

Chuck Nessa re-issues in a 2-CD set his two separate LP albums Bobby Bradford with John Stevens and the Spontaneous Music Ensemble (Nessa 17/18). “This was the first and only cd issue. The cd masters were created from the original session tapes — 5 reels. My original vinyl productions were issued in December of 1980 (volume 1) and August of 1985 (volume 2). The session was originally done for Alan Bates (Black Lion / Freedom) and I purchased the masters from him.” — Chuck Nessa (email 6may14) — Bates only released one album of a projected two album set, but the second volume never came out although Max Harrison had already written liner notes, of which Chuck combined both sets of liner notes for this 2-CD release (Max Harrison is one of the great craftsmen of liner notes). Chuck adds, “The time delay between my 2 lps was the result of Bates misplacing the master for Norway. It was finally discovered in one of Bates’ closets thanks to my good friend Donald Clarke who was living in England at the time. He kept going ’round and bugging Bates.” Chuck re-sequenced the tracks for his releases. In my collection I have an LP copy of Bates’ first volume released on Trio for the Japanese market.

2009 — October 1-4

Festival of New Trumpet residency where he was awarded with the 2009 FONT award. At the Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th Street, NYC curated by Dave Douglas — BB only performed the last two nights: Bobby Bradford Quintet (Oct. 3) w/ David Murray, Marty Ehrlich, Andrew Cyrille, Mark Dresser; and (Oct.4) w/ Octet: Marty Ehrlich, Benny Powell, Baikida Carroll, James Weidman, Andrew Cyrille, Mark Helias, David Murray — Recording exists for October 4 — Ornette came to the performance! Stanley Crouch, also, and Connie Crothers, and Richard Tabnik! — I heard a story about how these gigs were nearly sold out with lines outside around the block waiting for the next set and that Bobby went out and individually greeted the fans of his music who were willing to wait

2009 — April 4

performs as member of Don Preston’s PRISM at South Pasadena Music Center with Harry Scorzo, violin, William Roper, tuba, and Don on keyboards and EFX, Bobby on cornet — most of this evening recorded by Harry on his Zoom — also, Don has a video copy of this event

2009 — September 6

recording session for cd LIVE IN L.A. chamber trio w/ Mark Dresser, and Glenn Ferris who was visiting from Paris, and Mark drove up from San Diego — tremendous music — recorded at Bruce Fowler’s home in the Valley (they like the acoustics there) — there is a YouTube showing some of this session — CD released on Clean Feed — Link to video of the session performing “Purge” is here…

2010 — January 30

short U.S. tour with Frode Gjerstad’s Circulasione Totale Orchestra — Philadelphia at International House, 3701 Chestunt Street — 12-piece multi-national free jazz ensemble — ( I read somewhere that “Free jazz is the new Dixieland” — I like it ) — BB, cornet; Frode, sax & clarinets; Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, bass; Anders Hana, electric guitar; Lasse Marhaug, electronics; Sabir Mateen, tenor sax, clarinets, flute; Louis Moholo-Moholo, drums; Borre Molstad, tuba; Paal Nilssen-Love, drums; Keven Norton, vibes; Morten J. Olsen, electronics, drums; Nick Stephens, bass — performing here as part of their series: Anti Jazz The New Thing Revisited

2010 — January 31

Circulasione Totale Orchestra (same band as previous) — Barnevelder Movement Arts Complex, 2201 Preston Street, Houston, Texas

2010 — February 17, Wednesday

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Cafe 322 w/ Chuck Manning, tenor & soprano saxophones

2010 — April

hernia operation that warranted a little bit of caution in playing the cornet for almost a year

2010 — April 27

Pomona College Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Bobby Bradford — Lyman Hall

2010 — June 20

Mosaic Records releases a monumental (nearly) complete 3-cd set of The Complete Revelation Sessions comprising the two albums Bobby & John recorded for that label 1969-1972 as well as almost two hours of previously unreleased material — released on the Mosaic Select series as #36

2010 — August 20

Mo’tet at Los Angeles County Museum of Art — Chuck Manning, tenor; Roberto Miranda,bass; Vinny Golia, baritone; Don Preston, piano; Chris Garcia, drums, Bobby Bradford, cornet

2010 — November 11

BB as member of trio with Frode Gjerstad and Paal Nilssen-Love — at Klub Dragon in Poznan, Poland — recording released on cd as DRAGON

2010 — November 13

Bobby Bradford Quartet
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London Jazz Festival

Bobby Bradford (cornet), Frode Gjerstad (clarinet), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums)
* five pieces were performed –as yet unknown titles

2010 —- November 17

Bobby Bradford-Frode Gjerstad Quartet at Kampenjazz, Oslo, Norway — Bradford (cornet), Frode (alto sax & clarinet), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass) —– released on vinyl LP in 2012 as KAMPEN (NoBusiness Records) in an edition of 300 copies [if anyone knows where I can acquire a copy please let me know] with tracks > Side A: 1. “This Is” 2. “A Live” Side B: 1. “Recording From” 2. “Kampen, Oslo”

2010 — December 5

Rich Halley Quartet at Open Gate Theater, Eagle Rock — BB, Carson Halley, Clyde Reed (This Pacific North Coast band travels south for an exhibition of what they’ve been doing in Portland and Vancouver) — Bobby knows Rich’s son Carson from his student days at Claremont Colleges where he was in Bobby’s stage band

2011 — January 22

Elliott Levin Quintet — concert & live recording session at Alvas Showroom, Los Angeles — Elliott Levin, tenor sax, flute, poetry; Don Preston, piano and electronics; Bobby Bradford, cornet; Nick Rosen, bass; David Hurley, drums — to be issued on Porter Records, Madison, Wisconsin

2011 — Feb 3, 4, 5

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet @ The Red Cat Theatre, Disney Hall, Bunker Hill, Los Angeles — backing the artist George Herms — Christopher Garcia, Michael Vlatkovich, Vinny Golia, Robert Miranda, Don Preston, Ken Rosser, Bobby Bradford — Mr Herms is very much a Los Angeles hipster who finds his vision within the cast-off junk of a decadent society and drags it into art galleries for us to ponder, he had a large metal spiral staircase with flaked paint he connected to a crane while the band played and hoisted it into the air, he sort of wandered around rearranging pieces of dreck and so forth, it was marvelous

2011 — February 9-11

Bradford Mo’tet — three performances in three days backing poet Robert Pinsky in Los Angeles — produced by Steven Isoardi — Wednesday @ Oakwood High School; Thursday @ the Armand Hammer Museum on Wilshire (a board recording possibly exists, BB says they spent 2 hours on soundcheck); Friday @ Century City Chamber of Commerce (only played about 45 minutes — a video recording exists — Mo’tet was quartet of BB, Chris Garcia, Vinny Golia, Roberto Miranda *BB says Tom Williamson showed up at the Hammer gig “wearing a big apple cap”

2011 — March 9

BB with Circulasione Totale Orchestra — performance in Oslo, Norway

2011 — April 26

Bobby leading his Pomona College Jazz Ensemble “in music from across the jazz spectrum” — the last time he presented this stage band after 37 years — Lyman Hall, Thatcher Music Building — BB continues teaching History of Jazz at Pomona

2012 — March 7

Bobby Bradford Quintet — La Sierra University Alumni Center, 11500 Pierce Street, Riverside, California — BB, cornet; Henry Franklin, bass; Christopher Garcia, drums; Vinny Golia, woodwinds; Cathleen Pineda, piano, subbing for Don Preston, a graduate of Cal Arts, Bobby said,

“She jumped right in like she’d been with me forever, just wonderful” [telcon w/BB 22dec12]

2012 — Friday, April 27

A Jazz Tribute to Bobby Bradford with the Pomona College Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Bobby Rodriguez, with guests Lolly Allen, vibes; Cathlene Pineda, piano; Roberto Miranda, bass; Kenny Elliott, drums — performing the music of Bobby Bradford, Quentin Jones, and Bobby Rodriguez — Lyman Hall, Thatcher Music Building, 340 N. College Avenue, Claremont, California

2012 — April 28

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at 39th annual Kohoutek Festival at Pitzer College, Claremont — Roberto Miranda, Vinny Golia, Michael Vlatkovich, Wayne Peet, Ken Rosser, William Jeffrey — afternoon concert outside on a sunny day

2012 — May 12

performs with Rich Halley 5 at the annual Penofin Jazz Festival (private festival by invitation) with Michael Vlatkovich, trombone, Carson Halley, drums, Clyde Reed, bass, and Rich on tenor sax — Bobby played trumpet on this date (his cornet in need of repair)

2012 — May 13

Bobby gives commencement speech at Pomona College for David Murray (class of ’77), who received Honorary Doctorate of Music & Letters (Murray went to Pomona a year and a half before departing for NYC in March 1975 > Link to Bobby & David’s speech click here…

2012 — June 13

cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum records a sparkling version of Bobby’s composition “Comin’ On” with his trio Book Of Three — John Hebert, bass; Gerald Cleaver, drums — released on their Relative Pitch Records cd CONTINUUM(2012)

2012 — September 19

BB goes into Newzone Studio in Santa Monica (technically it’s L.A. but it’s the Santa Monica part of L.A. — personally, I don’t understand how the address is Los Angeles — MW) —- to record his cornet solo for David Murray’s tune “The Graduate” for Murray’s album BE MY MONSTER LOVE w/ vocalists Macy Gray & Gregory Porter & his Infinity Quartet (released June 2o13) — Bobby does 4 takes to the track Murray sent him, 3 choruses each (BB’s solo comes in after the tenor solo) (Murray picked take 2) — engineered by Wayne Peet — the title refers to David receiving Honorary Doctorate from Pomona College (see May 13, 2012 entry) and says that he constructed the composition using parts of two of Bradford’s blues tunes: “Woodshedetude” and “Crooked Blues” —- This constitutes the only time in BB’s career that he had done an overdub on anything, and that’s because Murray recorded this album in Silver Springs, Maryland, and Paris, France, and New Orleans. (Bobby has done something somewhat on the order of overdubs for John Rapson’s 1995 project released as DANCE & ORATIONS but that was a different intent, where Rapson purposefully composed the music to be played over the top of Anthony Braxton snippets, quite an amazing record)(As well, BB did overdubs on David Ornette Cherry’s record THE END OF A CENTURY — see Summer 1998 entry)

2012 — October 1

William Hardy, founder of Revelation Records passes — BB had remained friends with William over the years and kept in touch via telephone — William lived in Gainesville, Florida

2012 — October 6

Symposium: “Honoring and Breaking with Lineage” at Redcat Theater, Walt Disney Concert Hall Complex, Bunker Hill, Los Angeles — Greg Burk, moderator; Ruth Price, panelist; Bobby Bradford, panelist; Steven Isoardi, panelist; Ambrose Akinmusire, panelist — as part of the Angel City Jazz Festival 2012

2012 — October 7

guest with the Mark Dresser Quintet at John Anson Ford Theatre quintet: Michael Sarin(drums), MD(bass), Marty Ehrlich(alto sax & clarinet), Denman Maroney(piano) as part of the Angel City Jazz Festival 2012

2012 — October 16

BB is asked to speak to the Tuesday Afternoon Academy at Scripps College, Claremont Colleges, in honor of artist & Scripps professor Samella Lewis, on the subject: “Some Thoughts on Jazz Greats” as background to the panorama of Ms Lewis’ subject matter in her work

2013 — March 3, Sunday 7pm

Hafez Modirzadeh Quartet performs on the Open Gate Theatre series (in it’s 16th year under the direction of Will Salmon & Alex Cline) at Center for the Arts, 2225 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock, Southern California — Mark Dresser, bass; Alex Cline, drumset; Bobby Bradford, cornet; and Hafez Modirzadeh, alto saxophone — (Hafez traveled down from San Francisco where he teaches at SF State University) — they performed: 1) “Fade to Green”/”Steadfast” (Hafez arrangement of two Alex Cline tunes superimposed on one another) — 2) “Facet5/17″(Hafez) — 3) “For Bradford” (Dresser) — 4) “Song for the Unsung” (BB) — This concert was a double-bill shared with the duo of Phillip Greenleaf (reeds) and Nick Tamburro (percussion) — Mark Dresser said [Email 6mar13] “We played a tune by each of us. Bobby had come from another gig playing with dancers, I had driven up from San Diego.” Alex said [Email 5mar13] “It went well. Big fun! Hafez played mainly tenor until recently, he played alto on the gig, on which he seems to be concentrating nowadays.” BB told Kirk Silsbee [Glendale News-Press 2mar13] “I heard him up north in 2007 and I thought: He’s really on Ornette’s case — a terrific player — all over the horn. And I can count on one thumb the players who can really get to what Ornette is all about.” Hafez told Kirk [op.cit.] “It’s a great honor for me that Bobby wants to play this gig. With musicians like Bobby, Mark, and Alex, the music is almost secondary, I don’t have to give it much thought. Their spirits are so rich in the common humanity that it’s affirming. We give each other courage.” This event was recorded by Hafez.

2013 — Sunday 3pm March 10

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Little Bridges Auditorium, Claremont Colleges — Chuck Manning, tenor & soprano saxes; Michael Vlatkovich, trombone & percussion; Bobby Bradford, cornet & percussion & all arrangements & compositions; Don Preston, grand piano; Chris Garcia, drums; Ken Rosser, guitar; Roberto Miranda, bass. The Mo’tet played a full hour and twenty minutes, one long set, and then were called back for an encore. Little Bridges was full to capacity in the regular seating and up above in the mezzanine there were people. Bobby said he thought maybe they had been directed to the wrong concert. Even James Kousakis (saxophonist on BB’s LOST IN L.A. album) showed up, who now lives in Alhambra. Michael Vlatkovich said Bobby brought a new tune to their repertoire. I asked BB about this and he explained how Little Bridges is more of a concert hall for string music and solo pianos and opera, that horns and drums are a little boomy in there. So, he wrote out a sheet he called “Sound Search” — a piece of music designed for the band to ascertain the sound qualities of the room — long tones, whole notes, over-lapped — the music had no barre lines and the sax, trombone, and guitar, played the long tones over-lapping each other while the rhythm section played percussion: BB on his Buddhist brass bowl, Chris on rattles and various, Don on triangle, and Roberto on percussion until he picked up his bass and began the opening strains of “A Little Pain,” which they sequed into. I asked if “Sound Search” was an actual composition and BB said” “Yes and no.” This opening was followed by: “Umby” – “Have You See Sideman” – “Ornate” – “Nostalgia in Times Square” (that the band sings — Bradford’s lyrics) Michael said it was a good audience, good listeners. Bobby was very pleased with how the band played. A recording exists, done by the concert hall sound techs.

**Vinyl LP released in 2016 in edition of 500 copies titled LIVE AT THE OPEN GATE (NoBusiness Records NBLP-96) with track titles: A1. “Steadfast”(Cline) A2. “Facet 5” (Modirzadeh) A3. “Facet 17” (Modirzadeh) A4. “Dresser Only” (Dresser) B1. “For Bradford”(Dresser) B2. “HA BB”(Bradford/Modirzadeh) B3. “Song for the Unsung”(BB) B4. “Reprise” (Bradford/Modirzadeh/Dresser/Cline)

2013 — April 27

Bobby is asked to give a talk as part of Jazz Appreciation Month — Allendale Branch Library, Pasadena, 1130 S. Marengo Avenue

2013 — May 18-19

BB with the Rich Halley Quartet — Penofin Jazz Festival, Potter Valley, Mendocino County, California. BB had to cancel his participation this year at Potter Valley because of medical emergency in the family.

2013 — June 21

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at Norton Simon Museum (new theater space inside)(not the sculpture garden as previously arranged — but wow, what a GREAT sculpture garden!) — this Mo’tet consists of: Bobby on cornet; Roberto Miranda, bass; Vinny Golia, soprano & baritone saxophones; Tina Raymond, drums; Cathleen Pineda, keyboard — telcon w/BB 23june13 says the gig went very well, very well attended, and that he’s very pleased with how the band played — set list: “Woman — or She, or whatever I called it that day” – “A Little Pain” – “Umby” – “Comin’ On” – “Have You Seen Sideman?” – “Crooked Blues”. *They were contracted to play an hour and they probably played 65 minutes. No recording was made, that he knows of. A Sunday afternoon concert. The first jazz concert at Norton Simon, usually they have classical string quartets and suchlike. Tom Williamson showed up!

2013 — July 16

The album FLIGHT FOR FOUR re-issued on CD by International Phonograph

2013 — August 9

Friday evening 6-8pm ——- Bobby Bradford Mo’tet –Live at Los Angeles County Museum of Art aka LACMA — concert director: Mitch Glickman. Bobby — cornet & vocals; Chuck Manning — tenor sax (soprano on “Woman”); Michael Vlatkovich — trombone; Ken Rosser — guitar (1978 Gibson ES-335); Chris Garcia — drums; Don Preston — (1963 Steinway) grand piano; Roberto Miranda — string bass. *Recorded by Mark Weber on mini-disk AND also recorded by the museum off the soundboard for broadcast at a later date on KJAZ.

FIRST SET: 1. Sound Search/A Little Pain 2. Umby 3. Woman 4. Bosom of Abraham

SECOND SET: 1. I Mean You (Monk) w/ Little Richard lick interpolated (BB says how this tune has always seemed like old-time R&B to him, so for fun he added that little lick to his arrangement — “Lightnin Hopkins plays that lick” ) 2. Sidesteps 3. Crooked Blues

*on “Woman” the vocal that BB sings is an old field hollar:

Hey, Lookit here, man

Don’t you know

Your back won’t hold it

And your neck won’t go

** All tunes composed by Bobby Bradford except “I Mean You”

*** More than 500 people in attendance, a wonderful night on Wilshire Blvd


March tour of U.S. with the Bradford-Gjerstad Quartet — BB, cornet; Frode Gjerstad, alto sax; Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten, acoustic bass; Frank Rosaly, drums.

  • March 23 — Austin, Texas at the Victory Grill, 1104 E. 11th Street
  • March 24 — Dallas, Texas at Beefhaus, 833 Exposition Avenue
  • March 25 — Houston, Texas at MECA, 1900 Kane Street
  • March 26 — Detroit, Michigan at Trinosophes, 1464 Gratiot
  • March 27 — Buffalo, New York at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, 341Delaware Avenue
  • March 29 — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th Street. Selections from this concert released on 12-inch vinyl LP called THE DELAWARE RIVER (NoBusiness Records NBLP-87)
  • March 30 — Baltimore, Maryland at the Windup Space, 12 W. North Avenue

NOTE: Bobby’s first gig on tour with Frode Gjerstad will be Sunday evening March 23 in Austin at Victory Grill coincidently where BB heard & met Ornette for the first time so many years ago when everybody convened in Austin for Charles Moffett’s wedding — Ornette played, and Leo Wright played alto (BB and he were room mates at college at this time, and Leo was just beginning on flute), and Marcus Adams, tenor saxophone “Baaad tenor player from San Antonio, he later joined the church and only played church music after that”

Nowadays the Victory Grill has a little jazz & blues festival every year they call “Kenny Dorham’s Backyard”

KD’s mother lived only 3 or 4 blocks from the Victory in the East End neighborhood of Austin, lived there most of her life, until she passed on, and was KD’s last residence in Austin before heading out to NYC circa 1945—

Bobby said, “Man, I didn’t get up there and play I just sat in the front row and listened. Ornette was already doing some of the things he would later develop.” [telcon 15march2o14]

The repertoire on this tour was entirely spontaneously improvised music. No written music or tunes or pre-arranged set-ups. The performances at Houston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore were recorded. Dave Ballou and Michael Formanek were in attendance at the Baltimore engagement, afterwards they all went out to a restaurant for a little something to eat, Frode’s trio and Bradford, and at table Dave said to Bobby that he didn’t expect to hear so much bebop, and Bobby said, “That’s where I come from, that’s what I grew up with.”

2014 — March

Martin Davidson re-issues John Carter & Bobby Bradford TANDEM — duets from 1979 & 1982 (Emanem 5024) in a remastered improved 2-cd set.

2014 — March 16

Bobby goes to hear and visit with pianist Connie Crothers at The Blue Whale jazz club in Little Tokyo sector of downtown Los Angeles (they met a few years earlier when BB played The Jazz Standard in 2007 — see March 29, 2007 entry — and then also at BB’s 2009 FONT Award gig, again in NYC) — Connie on California tour in duet with tenor saxophonist Jessica Jones in a very rare appearance for CC in L.A., if not the very first time she’s played there.

2014 — May 24

vocalist Patti Littlefield and guitarist Michael Anthony record BB’s lyrics to “Goodbye Porkpie Hat” (Mingus) at Studio 725, Albuquerque — produced & engineer’d by Mark Weber

2014 — July 19

Bobby celebrates his 80th birthday at his home with a gathering of invited guests, Kirk Silsbee, Tom Williamson, Steve & Jeanette Isoardi, Bonnie Barnett, Dick Wood, Vinny Golia, Michael Vlatkovich (who gave him the biography on Fats Navarro by Petersen & Rehak), (we sent the new bio on Tadd Dameron by Paul Combs), two of his sons and a grandson, Roberto & Debra Miranda, Chuck Manning, the neighbor across the street who is a life-long resident of Altadena, some of his students and some friends of his wife Lisa (Don Preston and Chris Garcia were on tour in Europe with the Grandmothers). . . . Food was chicken & ribs, various salads, beans, rice, macaroni & cheese casarole, etc.

2014 — July 20

Charlie Haden memorial in Hollywood — private gathering at actor Jack Black’s home on Los Feliz Blvd (Mr Black is married to Charlie’s daughter Tanya, one of the triplets) — Bobby was asked to say a few words, as was Maurice Jackson (professor Georgetown University, DC), and Putter Smith (who often subbed for Charlie at Cal Arts over the years), and Pat Metheny spoke and played a solo guitar dedication, among a few others (Charlie died July 11 — aged 76)

2014 — September 22

Monday 8pm —— The Bobby Bradford Quartet: BB, cornet & compositions & arrangements; Vinny Golia, reeds; Tina Raymond, drums; Zephyr Avalon, bass —– a 50-minute set:
1. “You Know” (BB organized a little ostinato for the bass, “because we only had one rehearsal, it was just a little 4-bar figure that I just made up.” I said, “That’s still composing.” And Bobby averred, “Well, yes, but I didn’t get out my little green visor and roll up my sleeves and labor under a hot lamp all night like Gershwin.”
2. “Woman”
3. “Hello Dali”
4. “Sidesteps”
5. VG & BB duet — clarinet & cornet — “based obliquely on one of John’s tunes ‘And She Speaks'” —- they used John Carter’s first phrase to launch into playing.

This gig was at Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street #301, Los Angeles, as part of the Angel City Jazz Festival —– this night was 3 sets. The BB Quartet was 2nd set. Opening set was duo from San Francisco: Steve Adams (woodwinds & laptop) & bass player Scott Walton (who, coincidentally, plays on BB’s 1986 record ONE NIGHT STAND) —— 3rd set was a Vinny Golia Septet sans BB. [telcon w/ BB — 26sept2o14]

*Steven Isoardi writes: “Bobby and Vinny were great Monday night as part of the Angel City Jazz Fest. Two beating as one….” [email 9/24.2o14]

*Recording exists. Vinny engaged a professional engineer to record this concert.

2014 — Monday afternoon October 6

BB & Vinny Golia perform for David Roitstein’s Jazz Forum class at Cal Arts —– 2-4pm ——— they played in duet and quartet with Tina Raymond, drums, and Zephyr Avalon, bass —– BB played cornet and VG played soprano saxophone on “She,” “Comin’ On,” “Sidesteps,” and “Hello Dali” ———- “The duo was a piece Bob and I played based on an idea of fifths. Bobby sounded great as usual.” [Email from Vinny 7oct2o14]

2014 — October 21

Nessa Records official release of cd SILVER CORNET by the Bradford/Gjerstad Quartet (Nessa NCD-36) — I love the name of this: Silver Cornet — Chuck Nessa says the name suggested by Frode —- three tracks of spontaneously composed improvisations from the Spring 2014 tour — derived from recordings of the March 30th concert in Baltimore.

2014 — November 2

2-5pm concert Sunday —- Bobby Bradford Mo’tet performs for Mimi Melnick’s Double M Jazz Salon at the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum, 4130 Overland Avenue, Culver City, California — pre-concert interview discussion with BB by Jeffrey Winston at 1:30 —– Mo’tet: BB(cornet), Chuck Manning (saxophones), Michael Vlatkovich(trombone), Ken Rosser(guitar), Don Preston(piano), Roberto Miranda(bass), Chris Garcia(drumset) —-FIRST SET all compositions by BB: 1.”Woman” (aka “She”) 2. “A Little Pain” 3. “Umby” 4. “Bosom of Abraham” 5. “Sidesteps” SECOND SET all compositions by John Carter: 6. “Evening Prayer” from CASTLES OF GHANA 7. “Sunday Afternoon Jazz Society Blues” 8. “In a Pretty Place” with Vinny on clarinet entire second set ——– BB has the charts for CASTLES OF GHANA so he adjusted a few things for “Evening Prayer” having Ken play the violin parts, and he sketched out a tenor saxophone part to cover the bass clarinet parts in the original —- the Salon is continuing at this new location in memoriam of the late Mimi Melnick —– BB engaged Wayne Peet to record the concert on tracks, so a mix in the works . . .

2014 — November 9

Sunday 6-7pm — The Obihiro Cowboys ” 帯広カウボーイ ” perform spontaneously improvised compositions for Jazz Vespers service at Northridge Methodist Church, 9650 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, California —– Bobby Bradford, cornet; Michael Vlatkovich, trombone; William Roper, brass bass horns, bovine body parts and crustacea; Joseph Mitchell, drums. Video (dvd) of concert exists.

2015 — Sunday, January 11

Ingebrigt Haker Flaten doing a duet tour plays this bookstore in the town next to Altadena where Bradford lives — Ingebrigt on upright bass, and Kjell Nordeson on vibraphone & drumset (“a Swedish guy now living in San Diego”–BB) — Bobby sits in for one tune (Ingebright asked him to bring his cornet) — Pop Hop, 5002 York Blvd, Eagle Rock(technically L.A. 90042) — Ingebrigt is Norwegian presently residing in Austin, Texas.
— “MW, Correction!! I actually played one of my trumpets. Nobody noticed and I didnt say a word! BB (Ha Ha)” [email BB to MW 15jan15]

2015 — January 21-23

BB Artist in Residence at Cal Arts meets with the late Charlie Haden’s class “The Spirituality of Improvisation” — Wednesday both daytime & evening classes, and Thursday & Friday daytime classes (Haden’s name for this class has been retained by the administration)

2015 — March 2

Tom Williamson of New Art Jazz Ensemble passed away — he lived in the Phillips Ranch neighborhood of Pomona, California

2015 — March 24

Tuesday evening gig downtown Los Angeles in Little Tokyo — double-bill: Bobby Bradford Quartet and the Vinny Golia Sextet ——- BB Quartet: Zephyr Avalon, bass; Tina Raymond, drums; Vinny Golia, baritone & soprano saxes; BB, cornet — at the Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka Street. They played 1) “Comin’ On” 2) “She” 3) “A Little Pain” 4) “Hello Dali” 5) and closed the set with a duo w/ VG “Variations on a theme by John Carter (Come Softly)”

2015 — April 14

Darktree Records, Paris, France, releases on CD the November 17, 1975 concert recordings of Bobby Bradford – John Carter Quintet under the title NO U TURN

2015 — June 11

Ornette dies in NYC age 85

2015 — June 21

The Obihiro Cowboys: Bobby Bradford, cornet; Michael Vlatkovich, trombone; William Roper, low horns & bovine body parts; Joseph Mitchell, percussion — 9pm to midnight at The Blue Whale, downtown Los Angeles. The opening set was by Alternate Angles (Dwight Trible, vocals; Carlos Nino, percussion; Maia, flute; Shalyn, tibetan bowls, didgeridoo, percussion, vocals) and it was astounding, they really got into the zone —— at the break I told Bradford in jest, “Man, you’re in trouble Bobby you got to follow that scene, whew.” And Dwight chimed in, “Oh no, we just prepared a nice comfy bed for them to come in and lay down.” All of us laughing.

2015 — August 14

Saturday evening at LACMA with new 9-piece band BB is calling Tete-a-Tete: Vinny Golia, baritone sax & bass clarinet; Brian Walsh, tenor sax & bass clarinet; Cathlene Pineda, grand piano; Zephyr Avalon, string bass; William Roper, tuba, low brass, gongs & spontaneous poetry; Tina Raymond, drums; and besides himself on cornet, another trumpeter: Josh Aguiar; and Dwight Trible vocals on BB’s lyrics to “Goodbye Porkpie Hat” and “Nostalgia in Times Square” —- two sets — over 700 people in attendance —- other tunes: “She” (with both bass clarinets simultaneous), the blues “Umby,” and “A Little Pain,” and others. Recording exists. (NOTE that the first time BB used the name Tete-a-Tete was informally at his gig August 5, 2005)

2015 — September 25

LP vinyl album released on NoBusiness Records called THE DELAWARE RIVER (NBLP 87) in a limited edition of 400 copies from the Philadelphia concert of Bobby Bradford-Frode Gjerstad Quartet March 2014 U.S. tour — recorded by Eugene Law

2015 — October 19 Monday

Day Two of Cadence Improvised Music Festival at The Blue Whale — Bobby in duet with Vinny Golia as the 3rd Set — (Opening set: “Jamaica Suite” a story about Herbie Nichols, text by Steve Swallow, introductory text by Roswell Rudd, read by David Haney w/ musical accompaniment; 2nd Set: George Haslam in assorted duos & trios) — Bertrand Gastaud of Darktree Records visiting from Paris in attendance.

BB & VG played 4 pieces: 1) “She”(BB) 2) a spontaneously improvised piece 3) “Petals”(John Carter) 4) “Side Steps”(BB) and Tina Raymond sat in on drums on this number (she was there with the band that played the 2nd set)

2015 — December 17

Rudolph Ashland Porter passes away in Los Angeles

2o16 — February 2, Tuesday 8pm

BB in duet with Vinny Golia at The Loft, 9500 Gilman Drive, San Diego 92093 California (on the campus of Cal State University at San Diego in the student center) ——- BB, cornet & vocals; Vinny, Bb & bass-clarinets, soprano & baritone saxophones —– performed
1. She
2. Hello Dali
3. Comin’ On
4. Side Steps
5. a blues with BB vocalizing “Hey lookah heah man dontch you know?” [email BB to MW 5feb16]
*Mark Dresser was advertised to join the duet but “I was under the weather and couldn’t make it” [email from MD to MW 6feb16] ——

on a double bill w/ Ecosono Ensemble featuring Glen Whitehead (trumpet & laptop) and Matthew Burtner (soprano sax & “interactive media” probably laptop computer)

2016 — February 28

Obihiro Cowboys (William Roper, Michael Vlatkovich, Joseph Mitchell, Bobby Bradford) 7:30 at Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th Street (at Olympic) in Santa Monica

2016 — March 18

Purple Gums (William Roper, tuba; BB, cornet; Francis Wong, saxophones) in San Francisco as part of the 6-day ImprovisAsians 2016: Sounding Unity In the Pursuit of Narrative conference — 10:30am Master Class in room 152 Creative Arts Building at San Francisco State University

2016 — March 18

Purple Gums Short Performance — 1:10pm in Knuth Hall, SFSU w/ guests Lenora Lee (dancer/choreographer) and Genny Lim (poetry) “carrying on the tradition of making music in the moment”

2016 — March 19

Purple Gums (“full length performance”) 2pm at Tateuchi Auditorium, Sutter YWCA Building, 1830 Sutter Street, San Francisco Japantown 94115 — with special guests Lenora Lee and Genny Lim

2o16 — Wednesday 6-7pm March 30

The Bobby Bradford-Hafez Modirzadeh Quartet at Arms Music Center 3, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts — Presented by Jason Robinson and the Music Department of Amherst College — Bobby said this was a small room and somewhat informal so that during Q & A with the audience Bobby demonstrated a line that Ornette had wrote years ago (1961-1962) that he never recorded and could never figure how to resolve it — It’s a little 8-bar phrase “that is pure Ornette, it’s so simple, until you start to analyze it, and typical of Ornette it’s brilliant even as it breaks all the rules, I’ll have to show you someday on the piano what I mean) — So, Bobby had suggested a little 2-bar ending and Ornette said: Yeh, let’s use that. So, for demonstration purposes the BB-HM Qrt went ahead and played it, and BB named it, “So?” in reference to something else that had come up during the Q&A. Bobby says if he ever records it he’ll call it “Variations on a Theme by Ornette Coleman.” They also played: “Bayraktar” by Hafez; “Silhouette” by Ken Filiano; “She” by BB; and “Wadsworth Falls” by royal hartigan. Bradford–cornet; Hafez Modirzadeh–saxophones; Ken Filiano–bass; royal hartigan–drums *Recorded professionally by Dan Richardson. BB said he saw film cameras, also, on tripods, and hand-helds.

2016 — Thursday evening 8pm March 31

concert at Bezanson Recital Hall, University of Massachusetts Amherst — presented by Magic Triangle Jazz Series —
The Bobby Bradford-Hafez Modirzadeh Quartet, as previous — one set — Opened with:
1. “She” (BB)
and the rest not necessarily in this order:
2. “Bayraktar” (Hafez Modirzadeh)
3. “Silhouette” (Ken Filiano)
4. “Wadsworth Falls” (royal hartigan)
5. “So?”
and ended with
6. “Ashes” (BB)
*Recorded professionally by Dan Richardson. BB said he saw film cameras, also.

** Released on vinyl Lp in 2o17 in edition of 500 copies — titled LIVE AT THE MAGIC TRIANGLE (NoBusiness Records NBLP108)

2016 — Saturday afternoon April 16

outdoors at Walker Beach on the campus of Claremont Colleges — Bobby Bradford Mo’tet: Don Preston (piano), Chris Garcia (drums), Dion Sorrel (bass), Chuck Manning (tenor sax), BB (cornet) —- They played:
1) Straight No Chaser
2) Solar
3) Umbi
4) Ashes
5) Body & Soul
6) She
7) Blue Bossa

2016 —- Friday September 2

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at World Stage, (new location, across the street from the original location) 4321 Degnan Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90008 from 9 – 11:30pm —- Don Preston, piano; Chuck Manning, saxophone; Michael Vlatkovich, trombone; Christopher Garcia, drums; and Henry Franklin subbing for Roberto Miranda on bass ——– All Bradford compositions except the Monk:
1. Umby
2. She
3. Sidesteps
4. Ashes
5. Hello Dali
6. Well You Needn’t (Monk)
7. A Little Pain

2016 — October 22

Saturday night @ 8:00pm — BOBBY BRADFORD MO’TET at Orange Country Center for Contemporary Art in the Santa Ana Artist’s Village, Santa Ana, California, on the occasion of the exhibition PIPE DREAMS: GEORGE HERMS assemblages — a fundraiser for the artist-run alternative space Herms helped create —- Bobby Bradford – cornet; Henry Franklin – bass; Chuck Manning – saxophone; Theo Saunders – piano; Michael Vlatkovich – trombone; Chris Garcia- drumset —- They played: 1) She 2) Umby 3) A Little Pain 4) Solar (Miles) 5) Side Steps 6) Ashes (all compositions by BB except #4) *It was recorded by Bobby’s son Keith

Notes from Chris Garcia’s journal:

(playing the original American contraption)

Bobby counts off the tune and everybody
comes in like clockwork
tight as can be

he stops the band and says,
“let’s do this again but this time come in staggered
entrances and we will meet here”
he says pointing to the page

he counts it off
melodies come in swirling around and
wrapping around each other
one on top of the other

sometimes the pulse of the melodies is consistent,
sometimes it isn’t
all things at once and every melody and
every instrument is as equal as the next

then we get to the SPOT,
and everything locks into place
and the music is off and running
no hand signals
no pointing to the page
no aural direction of any kind
there are some short improvs and the tune
ends the way it starts

the silence settles
and Bobby says with a smile in his voice,
“Anybody can play together”…………………

2017 — Tour of Europe — January & February

This tour was originally to be The Bobby Bradford-Vinny Golia Quartet w/ Bernard Santacruz (bass) and Cristiano Calcagnile (drums) for nine dates across Europe but at the last minute BB wasn’t feeling well (nothing serious) and had to postpone his involvement, so Vinny continued on in trio format — January 29 at Parazzar, Brugge, Belgium; January 30 at La Malterie, Lille, France; February 1 at Atelier Polonceau Thomas-Roudeix, Paris, France; February 2 at Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Netherlands; February 3 at Piano Terra, Milano, Italy, with guest Massimo Falascone (alto sax); February 4 at Spezia Festival, Trevozzo, Piacenza, Italy; February 7 at Centro d’Arte degli Studenti del’Universita di Padova, Padove, Italy; and February 8 at Porgy & Bess, Vienna, Austria

2017 — 9pm Sunday January 15

Hafez Modirzadeh w/ Bobby Bradford at the Blue Whale in quartet with Roberto Miranda (bass) and Vijay Anderson (drums) —- They played:
1. “The Blessing” (Ornette)
2. “Raphael” (R. Miranda)
3. “Almost Not Crazy” (Vijay Anderson)
4. “Crooked Blues” (BB)

*Lp from this concert released November 10, 2o18 (NoBusinessRecords) LIVE AT THE BLUE WHALE with titles as:

1. “Raphael” (Miranda)
2. “Free the Idea: Variations on an Ornette Coleman Theme” (Modirzadeh)
3. “One Bar Lowe” (Modirzadeh)
Side 2
4. “Almost Not Crazy” (Anderson)
5. “Crooked Blues” (Bradford)

2017 — January 16

evening concert at Vortex Immersion Dome, 450 South Bixel, a little west of downtown Los Angeles near 5th Street — The Silverscreen Sextet under the direction of drummer Vijay Anderson, w/ Hafez Modirzadeh(saxophone); Vinny Golia (woodwinds); Bobby Bradford (cornet); William Roper (tuba); Roberto Miranda (bass) — performing “Song from The Insidewalk” an immersive audio-visual composition/improvisation on the historical spaces and contrasting cultures of Los Angeles with full-dome visuals projected by artist Tim Hix

2017 — Thursday February 23

Purple Gums (William Roper–tuba; Francis Wong–saxophones; Bobby Bradford–cornet;  guest artist: Lenora Lee–dance) —- perform for 2 afternoon classes at University of California Irvine — 12:30 and 3:30, a jazz history class and a Jazz improvisation class — 4002 Mesa Road, Irvine, California

2017 — Thursday February 23

Purple Gums (guest: Lenora Lee–dance) concert in Room 218 UC Irvine Music & Media Building at 7pm

2017 — Friday February 24

Purple Gums (guests: Melody Takata–taiko; Lenora Lee–dance) concert at UC Riverside, The Barn (theater), 900 University Avenue, Riverside, California at 12noon – 2pm

2017 — Saturday February 25

Purple Gums (guests: Melody Takata–taiko; Lenora Lee–dance) concert in Little Tokyo in remembrance of composer & community activist Glenn Horiuchi (1955-2000) at Far East Lounge, 353 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles at 2pm

2017 — Sunday February 26

Purple Gums (guest: Brad Dutz–percussion) recording session at Brad Dutz Studios, 7732 Apperson Street, Tujunga, California

2017 — Monday February 27

Purple Gums (guest: Lenora Lee–dance) performance at Cal Arts, 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, California at 2pm

2o17 — March 27

Arthur Blythe died — complications of Parkinson’s Disease — Lancaster, California in the Mojave Desert, age 76

2017 — Thursday March 30

Evening concert with the Bobby Bradford-Vinny Golia Quartet at Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque, New Mexico w/ Tina Raymond (drums) and David Tranchina (bass)

(Bobby was Live in-studio guest on KUNM noon Thursday jazz show with MW — we discussed Bird, Ornette, the origins of Free Jazz, Wardell Gray, Max Roach, Lester Young, Vinny Golia and the quartet)


1. “Woman” (BB) –ss *BB quotes Gershwin’s “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin'”
2. “Hello Dali” (BB) — as
3. “Winterset” (VG) — ts/flute
4. “Sidesteps” (BB) –ss

1. “Hello to Mrs Minifield” (VG) — as
2. “Comin’ On” (BB) — ss
3. “Pirouettes & Star People” (VG) — ts
4. encore — (TR & DT out) just alto sax & cornet “Room 408” (BB)

* Vinny brought soprano, alto, tenor saxophones + C flute Tunes of Vinny’s they had brought but ran out of time to play: “So Close to Where You Live” and “Tenorphonicity”. Recording exists — recorded from 11 tracks taken off the soundboard by Steven Schmidt — (the soundman was Kirk Brown)– The quartet rehearsed at Bobby & Lisa’s place in Altadena the Sunday afternoon before the trip out to New Mexico

2o17 — March 31

Diamanda Galas performs Bradford’s composition “She” on her Spring tour of U.S. —- on this song she performs solo accompanying herself on piano and wordless vocals —–March 31 (Seattle @ Neptune), April 5 (Los Angeles @ Cathedral of St Vibiana), April 8 (San Francisco @ The Masonic), April 11 (New Orleans @ Joy Theater), April 14 (Austin, Texas @ Paramount Theater), April 17 (Chicago @ Thalia Hall) * Bobby & Lisa Bradford attended the Los Angeles performance

2017 — August 2

This note from Kirk Silsbee to Mark Weber >

Documentary filmmaker Don McGlynn (he did the Dexter Gordon and Teddy Edwards docs and many more) is in town and he’s shooting for his new movie on bebop. Yesterday [2aug2o17] I drove to 3219 S. Central Avenue, the site of the old Jack’s Basket Room. McGlynn’s cameras caught Professor Bradford, Steve Isoardi, Ken Poston, Mark Cantor and yours truly–sitting in a semi-circle, talking about bebop. Hotter than an oven in that sweatbox but it sure was fun. Wish you could’ve been there.


2017 – October 8

@ Battery Books, Pasadena, California (curated by Rich West) a trio of BB (cornet), Vinny Golia (woodwinds), and David Tranchina (bass) performed ——— Great photos by Roch Doran (see FB)

2017 — October 14

Bobby Bradford – Vinny Golia Quartet w/ BB(cornet), Vinny(saxes), Dave Tranchina(bass), Tina Raymond(drums) as part of 10th Annual Jazz & Beat Festival at John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 First Street, Davis, California, at U.C. Davis (the city of Davis is 11 miles west of Sacramento) — performed at 7:30 — they played
1) Woman
2) Winterset (Vinny’s tune)
3) Sidesteps
4) Comin’ On
5) and a totally spontaneous free piece (BB sang the “Hey Looka Heah Man” song within the improvisation)

*No recording was made

2018 — Thursday evening January 4

an ensemble assembled by Elliott Levin (poetry/woodwinds) w/ Marshall Allen and Bobby at Zebulon, 2478 Fletcher Drive, Los Angeles 90039 —- With the delays that day in flights from Philadelphia due to snow storms both Marshall and Elliott didn’t arrive at LAX until late and missed the first set —— BB had asked Chuck Manning to bring along his horn just in case (Chuck had been planning to witness this historic meeting) —— Bobby didn’t know the bassist or drummer (Elliott’s choice) and so the first set started at 10pm with Bobby Bradford (cornet), Chuck Manning (tenor), Don Preston (keyboards), JP Maramba (bass), and Ryan Sawyer (drums) —– They played: 1) “A Call For All Demons” superimposed on top of “Woman” 2) “Comin’ On” 3) “Well You Needn’t” 4) “Straight No Chaser” — not necessarily in that order — doubtful if it was recorded —- Set 2 started at 11:30 with Chuck sitting out, and Marshall Allen on alto saxophone & EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument — a variety of eewee, ie. EWI), and Elliott Levin (poetry and woodwinds) —- They played one long uninterrupted spontaneous set, with no discussion previous to mountain the stage: just pure free jazz

2018 — MLK Day Monday evening January 15

BB is sideman in a multi-media production & group assembled by Bay Area drummer & composer Vijay Anderson called Invisible Visible at The Handbag Factory, 1336 S. Grand Avenue, near downtown Los Angeles 90015 —– Evening opened at 6pm with a panel discussion with BB, Vinny Golia, Roberto Miranda on the panel and Charles Sharpe as moderator on the topic of Martin Luther King and civil rights and the relationship with jazz: “courage . . . tenacity . . . creativity . . . love,” BB wrote, and “while we played they projected on a screen behind us MLK events, L.A. scenes and a mixed bag of art and artists. Good show but poorly attended…..Lots of homeless encampments nearby.” [email BB > MW 18jan2o18] Ensemble hit at 7pm: Bobby Bradford (cornet), Vinny Golia (woodwinds), William Roper (tuba), Hafez Modirzadeh (woodwinds), Roberto Miranda (bass), Vijay Anderson (drums/compostions), Tim Hix (video projections)

2o18 — February 3

Ndugu Chancler passes away — prostate cancer, age 65, in Los Angeles —- Ndugu was on Bobby & John’s 1972 album SECRETS (Revelation) —- among hundreds of records he appears on

2o18 — Saturday 8pm February 17

Bobby Bradford plays with Elevated Mantra (Will Alexander, piano; Lester McFarland, elec-bass; Mark Pino, drums) at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd, Venice Beach 90291 — Bobby says: “mostly playing mute, plunger, etc, back-ups for poet Will Alexander . . . . then about 30 minutes of Will at piano doing a kind of vamp with the group . . . . totally free but not quite as the vamp kept us grounded.” [email BB > MW 26feb2o18]

2o18 — February 23

8pm show —- double-bill w/ Jeff Parker New Breed (from Chicago) and TRIO, which was Bobby Bradford (cornet), Vinny Golia (woodwinds), Mark Dresser (string bass) — at the Loft, University of California, San Diego —- Trio played 1) “She”(BB) 2) “Winterset”(VG) 3) “For Bradford”(MD) 4) “Comin’ On”(BB) 5) completely spontaneous piece —- Trio played first, followed by guitarist Jeff Parker’s group

2o18 —- Sunday 2pm April 8

at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, 1220 2nd Street, Santa Monica, California —- Bradford played on this 2nd day of performances of The Unwrinkled Ear Festival of Improvised Music, produced by Andrew Choate : First Set: trio of Evan Parker (reeds), Roscoe Mitchell (reeds), and Bobby Bradford (cornet) ///// Second Set: quintet: add Sten Sandell (piano & church organ), and Kjell Nordeson (vibes, drumset & percussion) both from Sweden although one of them now lives in San Diego —– BB said “We knocked it out of the park!! Great space …really great sound…great audience.” [email to MW 4/12/2o18] —- The concert was recorded and video taped. Bobby said that John Litweiler attended the concert, in town visiting family in Santa Monica, so I wrote John and asked what his thoughts were > “Mark, that Bradford-Mitchell-Parker trio set was certainly the best event of the year, or probably the decade. The close exchanges, the listening, the challenging, the great creativity of the 3, the way Bobby sort of prevented the 2 sax players from getting into their obsessions – what vivid musical personalities. All 3 were at their very best, which is saying something, since in recent years every now and then they’ve recorded some of the best music of their lives. I heard it was recorded but am not holding my breath waiting for a cd to appear. The Sunday concert was the trio, then Sten Standell solo, then a quartet of the 2 saxists and the Swedes – Bradford made it into a quintet. —— Cheers, John” [JL email to MW 4/16/2o18]

2o18 — May 4

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet at the World Stage, Los Angeles —- Theo Saunders(piano), Henry Franklin(bass), Chuck Manning(tenor), BB(cornet), Michael Vlatkovich (trombone), Yo Yo Morales (drums) —- performed: 1) Umby 2) A Little Pain 3) Broken Shadows(Ornette) 4) She 5) Hello Dali 6) Straight No Chaser (Monk) ——- all compositions by BB unless otherwise noted —- BB comments “Terrific drummer!!!” [email to MW May 8, 2o18] — No known recording —- I asked Michael Vlatkovich’s opinion of the date: “Regarding the concert, I am always surprised by the enthusiasm of the audiences at Bobby’s concerts. We don’t play too Out for the room.” [MPV email > MW May8, 2o18]

2o18 — early afternoon of Monday June 11

at Wayne Peet’s Killzone Studios in Santa Monica —- BB records in trio with Michael Vlatkovich (trombone & little instruments), William Roper (tuba & percussion & didgeridoo), and Mark Weber (poetry) for cd NIGHT RIDERS —- 7 pieces recorded with this format

2o18 —- Friday 6pm June 15

BOBBY BRADFORD MO’TET at LACMA __ Bradford (cornet), Henry Franklin (bass), Michael Vlatkovich (trombone), Chuck Manning (tenor), Yayo Morales (drums), Theo Saunders (piano): FIRST SET 1) “Broken Shadows”(Ornette)(8:00) 2) “Ornate” (11:20) 3) “Crooked Blues” (17:40) 4) “She” (14:15) SECOND SET 5) “Hello Dali” (13:20) 6) “A Little Pain” (11:45) *BB quotes “Caravan” in his solo 7) “Side Steps” (10:00) ————-Recorded by Mark Weber on mini-disk with AT822 mike set up under the PA system———-There is also a recording done from the soundboard—-Concert produced by Mitch Glickman, who also interviewed BB prior to concert to be broadcast on KJZZ “KJazz” 88.1fm Sunday 7-9pm July 1 interspersed with the concert broadcast ***Yayo Morales is new in town and was brought to Bobby’s attention by Henry Franklin — Yayo was born in Bolivia and spent his first 20 years there, then to Madrid for 23 years and marriage, and now L.A. with his wife, a tremendous jazz drummer ++++ All tunes composed by Bobby Bradford except for the first number of the concert. There were 350 serious listeners in seats and another 100 or 200 people milling about — (It’s an outdoor free summer event so people are there for various reasons) —– The Mo’tet rehearsed at Bobby’s studio in Altadena the Monday before the gig —- Bobby wanted to use the same group as his gig at World Stage May 4 that was so successful —- (Chris Garcia & Don Preston were out on tour with the Grande Mothers) —-

2018 — 9pm Tuesday June 26

An Evening with Elliott Levin, Zebulon Cafe, 2478 Fletcher Drive, Los Angeles — “EL & the Eclectic Elders of Improvisation” includes: Don Preston (Steinway), Bobby Bradford (cornet), Anders Swanson (bass), Chris Garcia (drums), Elliott Levin (tenor sax, poetry, flute) —- Elliott in town from Philadelphia performs with Angelinos —- all spontaneous free jazz, except the last number of the evening — two long sets — the last thing they did was Ornette’s “Lonely Woman” wove together with BB’s “She” —- “Good crowd, very attentive” –BB email > MW [6/29/2o18]

2o18 — 7:30pm Thursday June 28

Soundwaves Concert at Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica CA —— same group as June 26 with the addition of Jeff Schwartz sitting in on bass

2018 – July 28

Bobby Bradford Brass N Bass as part of the Outsound 17th Annual New Music Summit in San Francisco: Community Music Center, 544 Capp Street in the Mission District —– produced by (saxophonist) Rent Romus and (bassist) Bill Noertker ——- This evening was a double bill with Marilyn Crispell quartet —– Bobby was asked by former student at PCC to do a presentation, so, as things go, and flights were too expensive Bobby decided to drive up from Altadena, and his wife Lisa requested that I go along to assist in driving (we went up I-5 and came back I-101) —- Bill assembled the musicians and the concept: 2 cornets + 2 bass, all under Bobby’s direction/arrangements and his music: They rehearsed at 11am for an hour & a quarter at Local 6 Musician’s Union, 116 – 9th Street, San Francisco (I recorded most of the rehearsal after the first piece was so good I scrambled to set up my microphone) —– Concert started off with a short panel discussion with the musicians, music began, to a packed house, at 8: Theo Padouvas & Bobby on identical cornets (silver Schilke model XA-1) with Scott Walton and Bill Noertker, contrabasses —— They played four numbers: 1) Woman 2) Comin’ On 3) Hello Dali 4) spontaneous free piece ———– Concert was recorded on 3 different rigs —- This concert was so good I’m hoping it makes it to CD someday —Mark Weber

2o18 —- Saturday evening of September 23

Purple Gums performs on the second day of 2-day event Panorama Creative Music Summit hosted by Bakersfield College Performing Arts Dept & Jazz Studies Dept (trumpeter Kris Tiner is a teacher there)(Vinny Golia had a group play on Friday) —- Purple Gums: William Roper (tuba & low horns & percussion & monologues), Bobby (cornet & song & percussion), Francis Wong (tenor saxophone) —- one long 50 minute spontaneous improvisation, BB says at one point William sang “When You’re Smiling” and somewhere before the bridge he (BB) broke in and sang some of “I’m in the mood for love” —- a recording exists —- “a very nice room” BB said (Simonsen Performing Arts Center) — There was a panel discussion earlier at 5:30 w/ Vinny, Bobby, William, Francis Wong, Kris Tiner, and Ottum.

2o18 —- September 27

A video portrait
Fanfares & Arhoolies
Landing Safely In Africa, ver. 3
Land Ob Cotton

“Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them.” – Richard Strauss

2o18 — Thursday October 4

BB as member of Vijay Anderson Silverscreen Sextet on a double bill with Satoko Fujii Trio (w/ Kappa Maki & Yoshi Shutto) at World Stage, 4321 Degnan Blvd, LA, as part of Angel City Jazz Festival —– a one-hour presentation non-stop music with improvised solos as seques into & between Vijay’s compositions – sextet: Roberto Miranda (bass), William Roper (tuba & spoken word), BB (cornet), Vinny Golia (woodwinds), Hafez Modirzadeh (woodwinds), Vijay Anderson (drums/compositions), Tim Hicks (video projections) —-  CD released (August 7, 2020) LIVE AT THE ANGEL CITY JAZZ FESTIVAL   plus one bonus track from January 15, 2018 (ibid.)

2o18 —- Sunday November 4

Purple Gums perform at Open Gate, Eagle Rock (produced by Alex Cline) — video exists – They open with a few measures of “Get Happy” —- one continuous improvised 50-minute set

2018 —- November 10, Saturday @ 5pm

Bobby participates in 50th Anniversary of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center: A Bohemian Bacchanal —- in Venice Beach, 681 North Venice Boulevard —- Even though BB was asked to attend and perform at this event, there was nothing really set, so vocalist Dwight Trible suggested he’d sing the Negro spiritual “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah” with Lester McFarland on electric bass (“he’s a good bass player” – telcom w/ BB 2dec2o18) and Bobby on cornet (“We were only on stage ten minutes”) it was very spur-of-the-moment (three very short videos exist filmed by Benjamin Bradford on his cell phone) partway into the improvisation John Densmore joined on drumset and also Kamau Daaood with word poetry —- When I talked with BB on the telephone I said how I had the Doors albums in high school and still think highly of them, he said, “Hey, they were a really great rock band, good good musicians” and said good things about John Dentz —- Others at the Bacchanal: John Doe & Exene Cervenka, Chris D, Julie Christensen, Froglab, Jack Grapes, Erika Duran, Viggo Mortensen (we just saw his latest movie GREEN BOOK, highly recommended, I didn’t even recognize that this is same Viggo that played Aragorn, wow, a great actor), Lisa Finnie, Puma Pearl, and poet Will Alexander, of who BB has worked with in the last year.

2o18 – December 8

jazz scholar (and director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem) Loren Schoenberg flies out from NYC to interview Bobby on this day

2019 – Wednesday July 17 @ 7:30

PURPLE GUMS trio w/ William Roper, Bobby Bradford, Francis Wong play for Just Jazz Live Concert Series at Mr Musichead Gallery, 7420 West Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, produced by Leroy Downs

2019 —- July 18

BB interviewed by MW on KUNM Albuquerque radio —- conversation was 45 minutes on the subject of Ornette Coleman. And at very end some explanations about his commission to write a Suite for Jackie Robinson

2019 – Wednesday evening 7:30 August 21

Martin Luther King Jr Auditorium, Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd —- The Bobby Bradford Mo’tet / BB – cornet, William Roper – tuba, Vinny Golia — saxophones, Dave Tranchina – bass, Tina Raymond – drumset, Don Preston – piano
*Part of the monthly Soundwaves series produced by Daniel Rothman and Jeff Schwartz
They played: 1) She 2) A Little Pain 3) on Comin’ On, “we stuck in two tunes from Jackie Robinson suite w/out saying anything about the project”. There was an archive video made by the producers. [email BB > MW 23aug2019]

2019 – 7pm September 1

at Open Gate, Eagle Rock, California —- Memorial Concert for drummer Bert Karl —– freeform ensemble performed: Scott Heustis (guitar), Breeze Smith (drums), Tony Green (bass), Ben Rosenbloom (keyboard), Vinny Golia (woodwinds), Bobby Bradford (cornet), Anthony Shadduck (bass), Dhiren Panikker (keyboard) —– A film of the event exists on YouTube —– Bert died in L.A. May 8 and was born in Germany —— (I couldn’t find an obituary or know his date of birth) —- He was in Bobby’s band in the early 80s

2019 – September 3

Bobby begins another year of teaching at Claremont Colleges (his 45th), this year he’s instructing Jazz History on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

2019 – November 7

Bobby Bradford – Vinny Golia Quartet w/ Michael T. A. Thompson (drums) & Ken Filiano (bass)

2019 – 4:00pm November 10

“Stealin’ Home” Bobby Bradford Ensemble at Whittier College Memorial Chapel, 12901 Philadelphia Street, Whittier, California


2019 – Saturday September 7

at ARK Gallery, 2599 Fair Oaks, Altadena —- duet with William Roper —- BB says that for years there was a neighborhood corner grocery store & deli at this address, and they lived across the street at 52 E. Harriet (after they left Pomona, this is the residence they moved to)—–[telcon BB > MW 9sept2o19]

2019 – September 12

trio of BB (cornet), William Roper (tuba & low horns), Brad Dutz (drums & percussion) at Sun Space, 9683 Sunland Blvd, Shadow Hills, CA

2019 – September 29

Bobby’s world premier of his Jackie Robinson suite “Stealin’ Home” at Westerbeck Recital Hall, Pasadena City College, California —- commissioned by the honorable Terry Cannon (an old friend of ours) at the Baseball Reliquary. This is not the Mo’tet —- “some of the same personnel, but I don’t have Vlatkovich,” recently relocated to Portland OR, “and I don’t have Roberto, or Ken Rosser, or William Jeffrey, all of the guys that are the regular Mo’teters” —- Rehearsals are the Sundays of Sept 15 & 22 and Wednesday Sept 25 “and then we hit four days later. Paid rehearsals, too, can you believe that!”

The Bobby Bradford Ensemble (septet): Henry Franklin (bass), Chuck Manning & Vinny Golia (reeds), William Roper (tuba), Don Preston (piano), Tina Raymond (drums), BB (cornet) —- the three basic thematic motifs are called: A) “Lieutenant Jackie Robinson” B) “Up From the Minors” C) “O for 3” —- “maybe 40 minutes in length, maybe a little longer depending on how long the guys solo” [telcon w/BB > MW 4sept2o19]

2019 – October 21

“on the eve of the World Series,” Terry says —- “Stealin’ Home” at KPCC-FM’s Crawford Family Forum

2019 – November 7

2019 – November 17

“Stealin’ Home” at Boston Court Pasadena

2019 – December 15

“Stealin’ Home” at Robinson Park, City of Pasadena

2020 —- Friday February 21 @ 7:30pm

A pared down version of Purple Gums and Obihiro Cowboys —- duet called CuZn, (William explains
the formulation as: “Cu = copper. Zn = zink. Together = brass, two together, cornet and tuba.” Bobby Bradford & William Roper. Their first performance, on a triple bill, at Hotshot Mufflers, 5507 York Blvd, Highland Park, Los Angeles 90042. Presented by High Desert Soundings in association with Kensington Presents. The other two ensembles: TOMBSTURM (Cassiopeia Sturm) and FLUKE-MOGUL & WEEKS (Gabby Fluke-Mogul and Tom Weeks). A recording exists and probably a video as well.

2020 —- Sunday afternoon March 8

recording session at Wayne Peet’s studio in Los Angeles —- 6 hour session booked to record Bobby’s STEALIN’ HOME using the ensemble that has accompanied him on the recent shows —– They rehearsed on Monday (March 2) at Chuck’s in Altadena (just around the corner from Bobby & Lisa’s home). CD version released on July 27, 2021 in an edition of 2500 copies on the Baseball Reliquary label (no label listed) with 6 tracks —- Produced by Mary Cannon, under the auspices of her late husband Terry Cannon

2020 — Spring semester at Pomona College, Claremont

With the shut-down of all non-essential operations in America during this Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, Bobby has been teaching his Tuesday & Thursday afternoon Jazz History class via Zoom — March 31, April 2, 7, 9, 14, 16 . . . online instruction is the rule of the day for awhile . . . .

2021 —- Thursday September 2 on Jazz Potpourri (a weekly program)

Bobby participates on a multi-guest Zoom broadcast hosted by Ben Young of the WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute JHD Jazz History Database 3-7pm Eastern Standard Time USA —– Surveying the Ornette Coleman sessions for SCIENCE FICTION, both at Columbia Studios and the 4 nights at Slugs in Sept of 1971, of which Ben plays the rare recordings —- other guests were trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah (Sun Ra), and Evan Parker (calling from London) —- Bobby at home in Altadena

2020 —- September 16

Stanley Crouch dies in NYC, age 74

2021 —- Friday 8-9pm September 24

Bobby Bradford Septet performs STEALIN’ HOME The Jackie Robinson Tribute —- BB, Henry Franklin, Tina Raymond, Don Preston, Vinny Golia, Chuck Manning, William Roper at World Stage, Leimert Park, 4321 Degnan Blvd, Los Angeles —- This was a performance broadcast live via YouTube with only a very small audience due to Covid safety protocols —- Archive copy available for viewing > ——– This is Bobby’s first performance since the Covid pandemic overtook the world in March 2020 —- Bobby has taken a sabbatical during this time from teaching at Claremont

2021 —- October

Much has been suspended in the world these past 20 months in the world due to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic and subsequent health safety Lockdown —- Bobby taught his jazz history class through Spring 2020 semester, the last few weeks via Zoom, then took a sabbatical that stretched over a year —- As the Covid-19 took its toll and the necessary mandates kept us all in social isolation and relative safety, the desperate search for vaccines were found (ten months after Lockdown —- many deaths up till then —- Over 600,000 as of this October, in USA, untold worldwide) with no let up as the Delta Variant came on the scene —- the Fall Semester at Pomona Claremont College was to begin in late August in a limited classroom and partly Zoom, BB wanted to continue, but decided it was time to give notice, which he did in July, having taught at Claremont since 1974 (46 years!) ——– Over the Lockdown he’s been working on a string quartet —- He went back and revisited Ravel’s “String Quartet in F Major” that he studied in college, but even that has slowed down, “Oh, I’ve been chipping away at it, so much has changed over the last year, for now it’s mostly on the back burner” [telcon 13oct2021] —— He has an upcoming gig (wearing masks) on October 25 with Joe McPhee on solo tour on the West Coast, Bobby will join him for duet on the 2nd set at 2220 Arts, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles 7:30pm

2021 —- Thursday September 2 on Jazz Potpourri (a weekly program)

Bobby participates on a multi-guest Zoom broadcast hosted by Ben Young of the WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute JHD Jazz History Database 3-7pm Eastern Standard Time USA —– Surveying the Ornette Coleman sessions for SCIENCE FICTION, both at Columbia Studios and the 4 nights at Slugs in Sept of 1971, of which Ben plays the rare recordings —- other guests were trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah (Sun Ra), and Evan Parker (calling from London) —- Bobby at home in Altadena

2021 —- Wednesday December 15

@ 6:30pm @ exhibit space Human Resources Los Angeles, in Chinatown, 210 Cottage Home Street @ North Broadway —- Bobby performed on a multiple bill —- 3 bands and 2 filmmakers —-
1) duet Corey Fogel (drumset) + Gabriel Wonck (trumpet)
2) film by Martha Colburn
3) MESH GROUP quintet of keyboards, bassoon, loops, drumset, laptops: Stephanie
Smith, Archie Carey, Corey Fogel, Heather Lockie, Clay Chaplin
4) film by Pat O’Neill
5) CuZns duet cornet & tuba Bobby Bradford & William Roper (Cu and Zn being the
periodic table of elements symbols for copper & zinc) Small audience —- vax cards checked at door —- each band played about 35 minutes —- a video film was made

2022 – February events

*Wednesday February 16 Noon-2pm ESPN filmed/interviewed BB (they picked Little Bridges Auditorium, Claremont Colleges, for location) ESPN = Entertainment & Sports Programming Network —- cable TV broadcast to 76 million homes in USA with regional channels worldwide) on the subject of Jackie Robinson’s historic 75-year-anniversary of breaking the color barrier playing first game in baseball major leagues on April 15, 1947
*Sunday February 27 Purple Gums plays Bird & Beckett Bookstore, 653 Chenery Street in San Francisco’s Glen Park neighborhood —- 5pm Purple Gums: William Roper, Francis Wong, Bobby Bradford w/ poet Genny Lim ————- Bobby & William drove up on Friday, had recording session with Francis on Saturday, and performed at Bird & Beckett on Sunday

2022 -March events

*Thursday March 10 & 17 Bobby & William Roper early workshop with music students at an affluent private school in Santa Monica working with mostly 10th-12th graders —- with resulting performance March 22, Moss Theater, New Roads School, Santa Monica *Friday March 11 —- Bobby asked to speak to Tina Raymond’s jazz class at U.C Northridge *Saturday March 12 —- CuZn’s (William Roper & Bobby in duet) play double bill with The Smudges (Jeff Gauthier, violin; Maggie Parkins, cello) 8pm at Art Share gallery, 801 E. 4th Place, downtown Los Angeles —- Wayne Peet filmed the performance (trumpeter Kris Tiner in town from Bakersfield attending, also Kirk Silsbee, writer/historian)


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Assistance from jazz scholars who contributed to this research and to whom I am greatly indebted: Kirk Silsbee, Steven Isoardi, Tad Hershorn, Alex Cline, Mark Dresser, John Breckow, Mike Johnston, Elliott Levin, William Roper, Chuck Manning, Jeff Schlanger, Don Preston, Cal Haines (photographic rehabilitation), and Janet Simon (effulgency). And Bobby Bradford for his example.

listen to Bobby Bradford, Mark Dresser and Glenn Ferris | In My Dream from their recording Live in LA while zapping through the following picture gallery. Recorded in September 2009 in the house of Bruce Fowler, Woodland Hills, California, USA. Recorded by Glenn Ferris. Mixed and Mastered by Dré Pallemaerts at 52 creations, Mechelen, Belgium in May 2011. Produced by Mark Dresser, Glenn Ferris and Bobby Bradford. Executive production by Trem Azul. Design and artwork by Travassos.


  1. Mark Weber

    Talking with Bradford the other day on the telephone I was telling him how a little sprig off an aloe vera plant magically repaired a nick I got in my nose recently, and he said, “OH YEH, aloe vera works great! Just think you could smear it all over face and pretty soon you’d be as handsome as Denzel Washington!” Of which I added, “Well, I don’t know about that, maybe more like Tommy Lee Jones.”

  2. Mark Weber

    Telcon with Bobby last night says he has recently wrote lyrics for “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”

  3. Stephen Haynes

    What a delight to see a chronicle of the work of Mr. Bradford being undertaken. The care and love are evident throughout. Mr. Bradford remains a steady inspiration to me and many of my colleagues. I hope soon to meet and play with this singular artist!

  4. bertrand

    David Murray Quintet “Hommage to Charles Tyler” in Marseille, France.
    The concert took place at the “Cité de la Musique” on November 17, 1995. I was there.

  5. Stephen Jones

    I saw Bobby speak today in Pasadena and he directed us here. What a great resource!

    One thing is he mentioned he worked at the downtown location of Bullock’s in the early 50’s, which would be different from the Wilshire location you have listed here.

  6. Mark Weber

    Thanks for catching that Stephen.

    Correction: Bobby worked at Bullocks Department Store at 7th & Hill Street, downtown Los Angeles, where he “got the boss to hire Ornette as I was preparing to go into the military” [Email — BB–17june13] Also note that Wilshire Boulevard’s eastern terminus is two blocks away from this Bullocks — where Wilshire begins and winds its way westward to the Pacific Ocean ending in Santa Monica.

  7. Mark Weber

    I asked Bobby how long he’s playing this Schilke cornet . . . .
    Here is the Schilke catalog description and Bobby’s response:

    Model XA1 and XA7 Bb Cornet
    English Short Model with Shepherds Crook
    Bore: ML -.460″ (11.68 mm)
    Bell: L – 5.00″ (127.00 mm) Copper Brass Bell with #1 taper.

    In the tradition of the British Brass Band, the XA1 has a vintage cornet design with a tighter wrap that permits the player a dark, rich and round sound. The XA1 provides a wonderful response at lower dynamic levels with a smooth even quality in color and intonation in all registers. Additionally, the player will find articulation clarity from high to low and good projection at the highest volume. The XA7 offers the same bell as the XA1 but built with a medium bore. This allows the instrument to blow with slightly more resistance than the XA1.


    Yes, I bought this model xa 1 not long after John died. I tried the xa7 didnt like it.This horn has been good for 20+ yrs — lately problems with the valves. I had the valves replated, didnt help. Man, that Archie Shepp record is good!
    ———————————————————————————–[telephone conversation & email 7/25/2o13]
    Note: we had sent him FOUR FOR TRANE for his birthday.

  8. Bill Noertker

    Hey Mark, I’m digging your site. Keep up the good work.
    Carter and Bradford played in a Oakland a couple of times in the late 80s. I still have a couple of ticket stubs I can scan if you’d like.
    Feb. 7, 1987 at Koncepts Cultural Gallery
    John Carter Quartet: John Carter, Bobby Bradford, Richard Davis, Andrew Cyrille
    May 14, 1988 at Koncepts Cultural Gallery
    John Carter Quintet: John Carter, Bobby Bradford, James Newton, Roberto Miranda, William Jeffrey

  9. Dr. Newell Canfield

    Great work Mark! I have had the good fortune of first meeting Bobby in 1976 when first attending Pasadena City College as a music major. Bobby had a huge impact not only on my playing but also on my academic pursuits. Like many others, I was fortunate to have attended the Bobby Bradford School of Life Orchestra. Most recently, Bobby was a participant in my doctoral dissertation “Exploring the Essence of Trust Through the Lived Experiences of Jazz Educators.” As a scholar, Bobby shared stories similar to the way in which he “talks” with his cornet and compositional pieces. He is a man of integrity and compassion for the human condition. I have approximately 6 hours of recordings and hundreds of transcript pages on how he views the world through his own unique lens. I attribute my success in life in large part to Bobby Bradford. Thank you Bobby!
    Dr. Newell Canfield

  10. Mark Weber

    When I think of Bradford’s conversational style, his approach to discourse, and why he’s such a great interview, it can be summarized as: He looks for common ground before developing his thesis.

    • Bill Payne

      You ask the right questions and listen…Bobby is an unbelievable, knowledgeable conversationalist.

  11. Mark Weber

    I found a note on my 1976 wall calendar that Rudolph’s closed and the last performance was February 15 —— ( I still need to corroborate this, but it is a probability) — although, this might have been formally announced as such, it could very well be that another month of two sputter’d along with Sunday concerts (I have it listed in the BB TimeLine as closing April or May and I never list anything unless I have it solid)

  12. Charles Smith

    What a great resource! Nice to see all the photos as well. A few things:

    Bobby appeared in Oakland in August of 2007, at Black New World, w/ the group ESP which consisted of India Cooke, Kimara (Alan Dixon) & a congo player whose name I can’t recall. Lovely evening of free improv.

    At the 9-22-14 ACJF Blue Whale gig, the full quartet played five pieces, in the order you’ve listed & closing w/ “A Little Pain” before the final BB/VG duet.

    Also, at the 9-2-14 Culver City gig, my notes have the first set closing after the fourth composition, “Bosom of Abraham.” The second set opened w/ the three Carter arrangements (stunning!), after which they played Mingus’ “Nostalgia in Times Square” ( Bobby also sang some lyrics – his?) & closed w/ “Sidesteps.”

    BB sounds in great form these days!
    Charles Smith, Sacramento

  13. John Litweiler

    Mark, much much thanks for your Bobby Bradford timeline. You may wish to add this: the John Carter Quartet (according to my notes, though I remember them being the John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet), with William Jeffrey, bass (replacing Richard Davis, who had been advertised), played at the Chicago Jazz Festival on Thursday night, September 3, 1987. Bobby would probably remember who played drums that night. He and John Carter were very kind to me that day, answering my questions at length. Re the 1998 show at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, Bobby and Fred Anderson were an especially beautiful, melodic pair – Navarro and Bird would have loved to hear them. After the show I asked if there would be an album forthcoming. Bobby: “They’d have to pay us a small fortune.” Me: “Good, because the fortunes of Chicago record companies are extremely small.” Re the June 15, 2009 jam session after the Vision Festival concert, the evening sounded chaotic until Bobby began playing “Straight No Chaser,” after which it all came together. Are you in touch with him fairly often? It would be great to hear him in Chicago again.

  14. Mark Weber

    John L, I consulted with the maestro and he remembers the date in Chicago 1987 well and we added it to the TimeLine, thank you for bringing it to our attention, we need all the help we can get! All best to you–MW

  15. jeffschwartzmusic

    Hi Mark,
    This is an amazing document! Thanks for all your work. The 6/28/18 concert was filmed and will be available online, pending the leaders’ approval.

    Jeff Schwartz

  16. Mark Weber

    It is so propitious for a 20th Century jazz artist to have been born in the heart of the Mississippi Delta where bluesmen must have been playing guitars on every corner. Within a 20-mile radius of Cleveland where Bobby spent his first eleven years you had Howlin Wolf (then known as Big Foot) in the next town of Ruleville howling and stomping; Tutwiler train station where W.C. Handy in 1903 spotted that bluesman playing a 3-phrase verse form on guitar with knife (who I like to think to be Charlie Patton himself); The jook joint in Three Forks where Robert Johnson was poisoned; Muddy Waters raised up in Clarksdale, as was John Lee Hooker, (Muddy left for Chicago in 1943; that same year Hooker was working in the Detroit auto foundries), Clarksdale being the big city that all Delta ramblers gravitated to; although, Hooker had ran away from home in the mid-30s to Memphis which was the next bigger big city further up Hwy 61 from Clarksdale and Cleveland which was the further magnet for Delta bluesmen, many living out there lives there: Robert Wilkins, Bukka White, The Mississippi Sheiks & the Chatmons, a great great blues city was Memphis those years; BB King came from Indianola; Charlie Patton died only a few months before Bobby was born in 1934, buried outside Indianola in an unmarked grave; Honeyboy Edwards, Robert Petway, Willie Brown, Tommy McClennan, Elmore “Dust My Broom” James, Joe McCoy, Tommy Johnson who wrote “Canned Heat Blues” 1928, Bo Carter, Son House, Eddie Boyed, Jimmy Rogers who penned one of my favorite blues “Walkin’ By Myself” and was one of the earliest electric guitar masters, all Mississippi bluesmen, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg, or rather tip of the cottonfield ———-ALL this was the milieu that Bradford grew up in, and when I pester him to tell me about guitar players serenading in front of the country store he levels me off a bit and says he can remember guitar players but mostly he remembers singing quartets.

    *Note: there were as many blues pianists as guitarists but my Sixties generation really focused on guitar heroes —- an historical point that has since been re-organized in my brain.

  17. Michael Zelner

    Seeing Bobby Bradford play last night at the Outsound New Music Summit in San Francisco made me think of the first time I saw him. It was on May 2, 1982 at the Pension Building in Washington DC. You have this on your timeline as “probably August” of 1982. I can send you a foto of my ticket stub if you’d like.

    Details on last night’s San Francisco concert are here:

    And some of my snapshots from the concert are here:

  18. Mark Weber

    Just in case I haven’t listed this story: it was Monica Pecot at Claremont Colleges who told me, back in 1973, when Bradford was in England that he wrote home (ie. California) pleading that someone “send grits!!” Apparently, at that time he couldn’t find grits in London. Grits are a yellow corn mush ate at breakfast with eggs, common in the South.

  19. Bobby Bradford


    Ground beef top grade sirloin
    1/4 diced onion
    2 or 3 garlic cloves
    black pepper
    Heat iron skillet, braise 2 pinches of red pepper
    then add 2 tablespoons oil, add onion, cook till caramelized
    Stir in meat w/ black pepper & garlic
    Cook about 3 minutes until brown
    Add 1/2 can of diced tomatoes
    more black pepper
    Have 2 potatoes already boiled, but not mushy
    add them for body
    Let simmer twelve minutes

    Serves 3 if served over Basmati rice

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