Charles Tolliver

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Charles Tolliver
Charles Tolliver at The Town Hall in 2009
Charles Tolliver at The Town Hall in 2009
Background information
Born1942 (age 81–82)
Jacksonville, Florida, US
OriginNew York City
Years active1960s–present

Charles Tolliver (born 1942) is an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and co-founder of Strata East Records.


Tolliver was born in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1942 and moved with his family to New York City when he was 10.[1] During his childhood, his grandmother gave him his first horn, a cornet he had coveted.[2] Tolliver attended Howard University in the early 1960s as a pharmacy major, when he decided to pursue music as a career and return home to New York City. He came to prominence in 1964, playing and recording on Jackie McLean's Blue Note albums. In 1971, Tolliver and Stanley Cowell founded Strata-East Records, and Tolliver released many albums and collaborations on Strata-East.[3] Following a long hiatus, he reemerged in the late 2000s, releasing two albums arranged for big band, With Love and Emperor March. With Love was nominated in 2007 for a Grammy award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble.[4]

He would later describe his experience: "There was so much going on with the music. Like with bebop, we had a long period of just salivating on. There were all these different idioms within a genre, the avant-garde and free music, bebop still, and of course the music of John Coltrane and Miles. It was just a hell of a period. And then there was also the political scene going on...."[5]


As leader[edit]

As a sideman[edit]

With Roy Ayers

With Gary Bartz

With Booker Ervin

With Louis Hayes

With Andrew Hill

With Jackie McLean

With Oliver Nelson

With Max Roach

With Horace Silver

With McCoy Tyner

With Gerald Wilson


  1. ^ French, David (April 25, 2019) [Originally published March 1, 2007]. "Charles Tolliver: It's Time". JazzTimes. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  2. ^ May, Chris (July 21, 2020). "Charles Tolliver: Blowing Down The Walls Of Trump's Jericho". All About Jazz. Archived from the original on July 27, 2020. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  3. ^ Allmusic biography
  4. ^ With Love review
  5. ^ Interview, Laurence Donohue-Greene, All About Jazz Online.

External links[edit]