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Charles Gayle (born February 28, 1939) is a free jazz saxophonist, pianist, bass clarinetist, and percussionist. He lives in New York.
Some of Gayle's history is unclear. He was apparently homeless for roughly 20 years, playing saxophone on street corners and subway platforms around New York City. In 1988, he gained fame through a trio of albums recorded by a Swedish label, Silkheart Records. Since then he has become a major figure in free jazz, recording for labels including Black Saint, Knitting Factory Records, FMP,  and Clean Feed. He has also taught music at Bennington College.
Gayle's music is spiritual, and heavily inspired by the Old and New Testaments. He has explicitly dedicated several albums to God. His childhood...
William Parker (b. Bronx, New York City, New York, January 10, 1952) is an American free jazz double bassist, poet and composer. He was not formally trained as a classical player, though he did study with Jimmy Garrison, Richard Davis, and Wilbur Ware and learned the tradition. Parker is one of few jazz bassists who regularly plays arco. He also plays several other instruments from around the world, including the West African kora.
While Parker has been active since the early 1970s; he has had a higher public profile since the early 1990s. He is a prominent and influential musician in the New York City experimental jazz scene, and has regularly appeared at music festivals around the world, including the Guelph Jazz Festival, i...
Hamid Drake (b. Monroe, Louisiana, August 3, 1955) is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. He lives in Chicago, IL but spends much of his time traveling around the world for concerts and studio dates.
He first became known for his work with Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson. Drake was one of the founders, along with Foday Musa Suso and Adam Rudolph, of The Mandingo Griot Society. His other frequent collaborators include New York bassist William Parker, saxophonist David Murray, composer and percussionist Adam Rudolph, German free jazz saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, fellow drummer Michael Zerang and Chicago free jazz saxophonist Ken Vandermark.
In addition to the drum set, he also performs on the frame dru...