Jacques Coursil

Genres: Jazz
Decades Active: 1960s 2000s

Biography

1939, Paris, France. Coursil’s parents were immigrants from Martinique and he grew up listening to Creole songs, the beguines. After a false start trying to play the violin at the age of nine, he attended the local conservatory, ostensibly to learn clarinet - his idol was Sidney Bechet, then living in Paris - but took up a cornet when it was handed him. Arriving in New York in the early 60s he studied with Jaki Byard for two years and involved himself in the burgeoning black avant garde, playing with tenor saxophonist Frank Wright. In 1966 he recorded with Sunny Murray for ESP-Disk. He also played lead trumpet in the Sun Ra Arkestra. However, although he loved the music he could not swallow Sun Ra’s philosophy and left to play with Rashied Ali and Marion Brown. Interested in serial procedures, Coursil wrote Black Suite in 1967. This was released by BYG Records of Paris in 1969 and features Anthony Braxton. It is a powerful and highly original piece,...

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