Jazz drummer and educator Anderw Cyrille has endorsed Justice for Jazz Artists.
Born in 1939, Mr. Cyrille is one of the great free jazz drummers of his generation. Cyrille began playing drums in a drum and bugle corps at the age of 11. At 15, he played in a trio with guitarist Eric Gale. He enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in 1958.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he worked with such mainstream musicians as Mary Lou Williams, Roland Hanna, Roland Kirk, Coleman Hawkins, and Junior Mance. He recorded with Hawkins, as well as tenor saxophonist Bill Barron, for the Savoy label. Cyrille succeeded Sunny Murray as Cecil Taylor’s drummer in 1964, staying with the pianist until 1975, during which time he played on many of Taylor’s classic albums. He played with a good many other top players during that period including Marion Brown, Grachan Moncur III and Jimmy Giuffre.
He also served for a time as artist in residence at Antioch College and recorded a solo percussion album, 1969’s “What About?” on BYG. In the mid 1970s, Cyrille, Rashied Ali, and Milford Graves collaborated on a series of concerts entitled “Dialogue of the Drums.” Beginning in 1975 and lasting into the ’80s, Cyrille led his own group, called Maono, which included the tenor saxophonist David S. Ware, trumpeter Ted Daniel, pianist Sonelius Smith, and at various times bassists Lisle Atkinson and Nick DiGeronimo. During this time Cyrille also played with “the Group,” a band that included the violinist Billy Bang, bassist Sirone, altoist Brown, and trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah. With Graves, Don Moye, and Kenny Clarke, Cyrille recorded the all-percussion album “Pieces of Time” for Soul Note in 1983.
When not leading his own bands he has also worked ubiquitously as a sideman with, among others, John Carter, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Jimmy Lyons. Cyrille, who teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, has recorded prolifically for Black Saint/Soul Note, FMP, and DIW. Most recently he has appeared with Reggie Workman and Oliver Lake as Trio 3.