Grachan Moncur III, a composer and trombonist who expanded the world of free jazz, has died. His son Adrien Moncur instructed WBGO the reason for demise was cardiac arrest, occurring on the musician’s eighty fifth birthday.
Moncur was born in New York Metropolis on June 3, 1937, and spent his childhood in Newark, New Jersey. Selecting up a childhood curiosity in music from his father, he studied trombone on the Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina starting in 1951. He returned to New York Metropolis after highschool, discovering work touring with Ray Charles.
Returning to Newark, Moncur embedded himself within the metropolis’s jazz scene, the place he met the star younger saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Moncur recorded his debut album Evolution in 1963, and Blue Word launched it the next 12 months. It featured Lee Morgan on trumpet, Jackie McLean on alto saxophone, Bobby Hutcherson on vibraphone, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Tony Williams on drums.
Over the following few years, Moncur performed trombone on Herbie Hancock’s My Level of View, Joe Henderson’s The Kicker, and Wayne Shorter’s formidable LP The All Seeing Eye. Throughout the identical decade, Moncur contributed music to James Baldwin’s Blues For Mister Charlie, a play loosely primarily based on Emmett Until’s tragic demise. He carried out within the play throughout its Broadway run in 1964.
Moncur continued to deal with music that expanded the world of jazz all through the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies, releasing New Africa in 1969 and Echoes of Prayer in 1974. He additionally continued to work with Archie Shepp, Lee Morgan, and later, Cassandra Wilson. From 1982 by 1991, Moncur labored because the composer-in-residence on the Newark Neighborhood Faculty of the Arts..