Dave Burrell

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Dave Burrell
Dave Burrell.jpg
Burrell in 2007
Background information
Birth name Herman Davis Burrell
Born (1940-09-10) September 10, 1940 (age 77)
Middletown, Ohio, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Instruments Piano
Years active 1970s–present
Associated acts Untraditional Jazz Improvisational Team, The 360 Degree Music Experience
Website www.daveburrell

Dave Burrell (born September 10, 1940) is an American jazz pianist. He has worked for many jazz musicians including Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, Marion Brown and David Murray.


Born in Middletown, Ohio, Burrell grew fond of jazz at a young age after meeting Herb Jeffries.[1] Burrell studied music at the University of Hawaii before transferring to Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1961, he worked in Boston and then settled on the Lower East Side in New York City in 1965 after graduating with a degree in musical composition. He started the Untraditional Jazz Improvisational Team with saxophonist Byard Lancaster, Sirone, and Bobby Kapp.

In 1965 he joined the groups of saxophonists Pharoah Sanders (Tauhid), Marion Brown (Juba-Lee), and Archie Shepp (Three for Shepp), resulting in numerous recordings, among them For Losers, Kwanza, Live at the Pan-African Festival, Yasmina, Blase, Black Gypsy, Things Have Got to Change, Attica Blues, The Cry of My People, There Is a Trumpet in My Soul, Montreux One, and Montreux Two. In 1968, Burrell co-founded The 360 Degree Music Experience with Grachan Moncur and Beaver Harris. They released From Ragtime to No Time in 1975, and In: Sanity in 1977.

Burrell's first album as a leader was High Won-High Two (1968), produced by Alan Douglas. Echo and La Vie de Bohème were recorded for BYG Actuel in Paris in 1969. He recorded Round Midnight for Nippon Columbia.

In 1978 he composed a jazz opera entitled Windward Passages, in collaboration with Swedish poet and lyricist Monika Larsson, with an album of the same name, based on the opera, released in 1979 on Hathut in Switzerland. Their touring and recording collaborations resulted in Daybreak (1989), Brother to Brother (Gazell, 1992), In Concert (Victo, 1992), and Windward Passages (Black Saint, 1993). Burrell appears on Murray's DIW albums Lovers, Deep River, Ballads, Spirituals, Tenors, Remembrances, and Picasso, recorded between 1988 and 1993.

Burrell tours and performs as a soloist and as a leader of a duo, trio, and larger ensembles, he recorded for the High Two label from Philadelphia. His 2004 album Expansion (with bassist William Parker and drummer Andrew Cyrille) was acclaimed by NPR, Down Beat, Village Voice, JazzTimes, The Wire, and others. Splasc Records in Italy released a studio solo piano recording, Margy Pargy in 2005. In 2006, Burrell released Consequences (Amulet), a live duet set with drummer Billy Martin, and Momentum (High Two), featuring bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Guillermo E. Brown. RAI Trade, Italy, did a live recording of Burrell's and Larsson's collaborations, Dave Burrell Plays His Songs, featuring singer Leena Conquest, that was released in 2010.


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Marion Brown

With David Murray

With William Parker

With Odeon Pope Saxophone Choir

With Archie Shepp

With Sonny Sharrock

With Clifford Thornton

  • Ketchaoua (BYG Actuel, 1967)


  1. ^ Chris Kelsey. "Biography of Dave Burrell". Retrieved 2006-12-11. 

External links[edit]