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Charlie Persip

An excellent drummer both in big bands and combos, Charli Persip changed his name from Charlie in the early '80s. He had early experience playing locally in New Jersey and with Tadd Dameron (1953), but gained his initial recognition for his work with Dizzy Gillespie's big band and quintet (1953-1958).

In 1959, he formed his own group, the Jazz Statesmen, which featured a young Freddie Hubbard. Persip appeared on many record sessions in the 1950s and '60s with such players as Lee Morgan, Dinah Washington, Red Garland, Gil Evans, Don Ellis, Eric Dolphy, Roland Kirk, Gene Ammons, and Archie Shepp, among others. He was with Billy Eckstine during 1966-1973, was the main drum instructor for the Jazzmobile in the mid-'70s, and has led his Superband (a part-time big band) since the early '80s, recording several dates.

After having performed with Tadd Dameron in 1953, Persip gained recognition for his work with Dizzy Gillespie's big band and small groups, playing drums for Gillespie through 1958. In the 1950s and 1960s, he also performed with many other notable jazz musicians, a small sampling of whom includes instrumentalists Lee Morgan, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Phil Woods, Eric Dolphy, and Archie Shepp, and vocalists Dinah Washington and Billy Eckstine, in whose band he played drums from 1966 through 1973.

In the 1970s, Persip was the main drum instructor at New York's Jazzmobile. He has also led groups of his own, including the Jazz Statesmen in 1959 and, since the 1980s, Superband, with which he has recorded several albums.


Gretsch endorser with Dizzy Gillespie's Big Band. "Gretsch really came up with a drum that had the right sound for the day".


Album Review

Sam Rivers Quintet: Zenith

Read "Zenith" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero

Probabilmente è questa l'unica data che vede all'opera questo quintetto e sicuramente è questa l'unica registrazione conosciuta. Siamo durante il tour europeo datato ottobre-novembre 1977 nel quale Sam Rivers tiene concerti a capo della Rivbea Orchestra, o suonando in quartetto, in trio, in duo e per l'appunto in quintetto, in sostanza il quartetto stabile dell'epoca con l'aggiunta di un secondo percussionista. Scelta perlomeno curiosa quella operata da Rivers, perchè Charlie Persip era noto più per l'appartenenza ai gruppi di Dizzy ...

Album Review

Sam Rivers Quintet: Zenith

Read "Zenith" reviewed by John Sharpe

Concertgoers must have been forced back in their seats by the intensity of Sam Rivers opening foray at the 1977 Berlin Jazztage Festival. After an annunciatory tenor saxophone burst, he goes for the jugular with fierce vocalized overblowing atop a churning four piece rhythm section. But if that sounds forbidding, then like the audience, listeners to this historic recording, released as the second installment of NoBusiness Records' estimable Sam Rivers Archive Project, following Emanation (2019), should be enthralled by the ...


Charli Persip

Read "Charli Persip" reviewed by George Kanzler

People looking for the magic elixir, the Fountain of Youth, should stop looking and start jazz drumming. Charli Persip, who'll turn 80 in July, will soon join Roy Haynes and Chico Hamilton as fully active octogenarian jazz drummers with busy careers. Persip grew up in Newark, NJ and, after touring with Dizzy Gillespie's small group and State Department Big Band (1953-58), he became one of the most in demand drummers on jazz recordings, especially big band ones, in the late ...

Album Review

Charli Persip & Supersound: Intrinsic Evolution

Read "Intrinsic Evolution" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Drummer Charli Persip is a musician who can intimate that he's done it all via his rather storied jazz legacy. He's performed with legendary bop pianist, composer, and arranger Tadd Dameron amid stints with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and vocalist Billy Eckstein along with other jazz icons too numerous in scope to cite here. On the band's 2008 and fourth release overall, Intrinsic Evolution, Persip surges forward with self-assurance and is unequivocally adept with the virtues of large ensemble drumming. Persip's ...


Charli Persip: The View

Read "Charli Persip: The View" reviewed by AAJ Staff

By Charli Persip I have been asked on numerous occasions, why do I have, as my main product, a big band. Of course the big band is not my only product, but it is my major pursuit. One of the reasons for having the big band is very simple - I like the sound of the large ensemble. The tonal colors, the harmonic blend and the strength and power of a group of horns ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


NoBusiness Records


Intrinsic Evolution

Self Produced


Dizzy Atmosphere

Jazz Beat



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