Leroy Jenkins Day

March 11, 1932 – February 24, 2007

 

A tribute to the avant-garde violinist

Violinist Leroy Jenkins was born on March 11, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois.

He began playing violin when he was seven and played recitals at St. Luke Church while being accompanied by pianist Ruth Jones (who later changed her name to Dinah Washington).

A classically trained violinist, Jenkins also played alto sax in high school and, when he attended Florida A&M University, it was on a bassoon scholarship while also performing on alto, clarinet and violin.

After college, he taught violin for four years in Mobile, Alabama, moving back to Chicago in 1964 where he joined the AACM and explored avant-garde jazz.

As a member of the Creative Construction Company along with Anthony Braxton, Leo Smith and Steve McCall, Jenkins lived in Paris during 1969-70 before returning to New York and forming the Revolutionary Ensemble, a trio with bassist Sirone and drummer Jerome Cooper.

The Revolutionary Ensemble, which left behind some adventurous recordings, was most active in the 1970s but performed on and off for decades; Jenkins also led the funky group Sting, played classical music, and headed albums of his own for the Black Saint label.

In his later years, Leroy Jenkins was involved in multi-media productions, wrote a couple of operas, and led the trio Equal Interest with Joseph Jarman and Myra Melford.

On this live recording from January 11, 1977, Leroy Jenkins is featured as an unaccompanied violin soloist on three numbers.

Set List:

1. Lush Life
2. Keep On Truckin’
3. Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen

-Scott Yanow