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Jerry Fuller

Jerry Fuller (drummer) was born on April 5, 1939 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He passed away July 13, 2002 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He came from a musical family, his father Jerry was a saxophonist who led a big band at the Palliser Hotel in Calgary from 1937 through 1944. The family then moved to Vancouver and his dad became the leader at the Cave from 1944 into 1947.

There Jerry, who had begun to take drum lessons in Calgary from Bruce Bristowe, his dad’s drummer, continued his studies with the noted drum teacher, Jim Blackley. It was then on to L.A. for studies at Westlake College in 1958-59.

In the late 50s, like many a young Western musician, Fuller worked with the band of Paul Perry, P. J.’s dad, at Sylvan Lake, a summer resort described as being half way between Edmonton and Calgary. The senior Perry’s band had been the senior Fuller’s rival in Calgary and it was here that the two sons hooked up musically.

At the Cellar in Vancouver, Jerry and P. J., along with multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson and Dale Hillary, another fiery alto player, were the local “hard bop” heavies. From Montreal, Jerry and his new wife moved on to Toronto in 1963 and by the end of that decade Fuller had worked at George’s Spaghetti House, in the studios with Rick Wilkins and recorded a Ron Collier project that had Duke Ellington guesting on piano.

Jerry, beginning with Bourbon Street in 1973, got to play with many a touring American heavy – Pepper Adams (who he had played with at Loyola College in Montreal with Maury Kaye and Fred McHugh), Zoot Sims, Paul Desmond and Lee Konitz among them – in a succession of spots including “The Toronto Alive!” broadcasts from the Trader’s Lounge of the Eaton Centre with pianist Ian Bargh and Jim Galloway, the Montreal Bistro and the Top O’ The Senator.

Jerry returned to Montreal on occasion, in 1967, just prior to the Ellington sessions in Toronto, he appeared at the Canadian Pavilion of Expo 67 with the Ron Collier Ensemble, in December 1988 he did a Jon Ballantyne session at Studio Tempo in Pte. St. Charles.

In 1970 he did his first recording with Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass, a three day session in March for the CBC and a pair of sessions with singer Salome Bey, on in September with a group led by Rick Wilkins and one in October with a Russ Little-led ensemble, both for the Canadian Talent Library.

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Read "The Complete 1975 Toronto Recordings" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Even if he had never played another note following the break-up of the Dave Brubeck group in 1967, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond would have entered the history books as one of music's most brilliant improvisers. During his 17 years with Brubeck, Desmond proved himself to be an indispensable part of that quartet with a wistful and witty sound that he himself described as akin to a “dry martini." Fortunately, Desmond continued to add to his legacy starting in ...

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Read "49th Parallel" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

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Jerry Fuller: Canadian Drummer Played with Ellington, Peterson

Jerry Fuller: Canadian Drummer Played with Ellington, Peterson

Source: All About Jazz

When drummer Jerry Fuller didn't show up for a gig at the Rex in Toronto on Saturday, July 13, a check of his home found that he had died, apparently in his sleep. I have many fond memories of him beginning in 1962 when I was 27 and began hearing a pair of visitors from the Canadian West – new arrivals on a healthy Montreal jazz scene, Jerry and P. J. Perry (the other exciting newcomer) ...



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