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John Jenkins

John Jenkins is from Chicago where he was born on January 3, 1931 and has been another pupil of the famous Capt. Walter Dyett of Du Sable High. Johnny Griffin, Clifford Jordan and John Gilmore were among his schoolmates. Jenkins began on clarinet and six month later switched to alto. His baptism of fire came in 1949 at the Roosevelt College sessions promoted by Joe Segal and he continued to play at these swinging affairs during his next seven years in Chicago. He also played at local clubs like the Bee Hive. In 1955, John did a week apiece in Chicago and Cleveland with Art Farmer when Gigi Gryce was unable to be present. In December of that same year, he fronted his own quartet at Chicago's Bee Hive during the Christmas holidays. Concerts and sessions for Joe Segal were the main items on the agenda in 1956; musicians as Ira Sullivan and Johnny Griffin were among the participants. A short stay with Charlie Mingus's group opened the New York phase in March of 1957. In that year, he recorded extensively with the Who's Who of the NY scene: Hank Mobley, Kenny Burrell, Sonny Clark, Clifford Jordan, Paul Quinichette, Sahib Shihab, Jackie McLean, Donald Byrd and Bobby Timmons. His alto playing shows the influence of Charlie Parker and Jackie McLean. After 1957, he disappeared from the recording scene, only returning once in 1990 at a big band session for Clifford Jordan. (short bio based on liner notes by Ira Gitler)


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January 31, 2020

John Jenkins & Kenny Burrell

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