Bunky Green

Genres: Jazz
Decades: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


23 April 1935, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Alto saxophonist Green was raised in Milwaukee, where he played with local pianist Billy Wallace. A spell in New York gave him his first big break when he was hired by Charles Mingus as a replacement for Jackie McLean. His brief spell with the eccentric bass player made a deep impression, Mingus’ sparing use of notation and his belief that there was no such thing as a wrong note having a lasting influence on Green’s own style. After playing with Mingus, Green moved to Chicago where he appeared with several prominent players including Sonny Stitt, Louie Bellson, Andrew Hill, Yusef Lateef and Ira Sullivan, and recorded as leader for the Cadet and Argo labels.

Despite being touted as a future star, Green gradually withdrew from the public eye to develop a career as a leading jazz educator. He taught at Chicago State University from 1972-89, and in the 90s took up the directorship of the jazz...

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