Booker Ervin

Booker Ervin - referred to as a complete original.

Booker Ervin Septet – Live In Berlin – 1965 – Past Daily Downbeat.

Booker Ervin
Booker Ervin – referred to as a complete original.

Booker Ervin Septet – live in Berlin – Recorded at Doug’s Jazz Club – New Years Eve – 1965 – RBB-Berlin

Booker Ervin and his Septet featuring Carmell Jones and Leo Wright, live in Berlin. Recorded on New Years Eve 1965 and broadcast by RBB Berlin.

Ervin was born in Denison, Texas, United States. He first learned to play trombone at a young age from his father, who played the instrument with Buddy Tate. After leaving school, Ervin joined the United States Air Force, stationed in Okinawa, during which time he taught himself tenor saxophone. After completing his service in 1953, he studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Moving to Tulsa in 1954, he played with the band of Ernie Fields.

After stays in Denver and Pittsburgh, Ervin moved to New York City in spring 1958, initially working a day job and playing jam sessions at night. Ervin then worked with Charles Mingus regularly from late 1958 to 1960, rejoining various outfits led by the bassist at various times up to autumn 1964, when he departed for Europe. During the mid-1960s, Ervin led his own quartet, recording for Prestige Records with, among others, ex-Mingus associate pianist Jaki Byard, along with bassist Richard Davis and Alan Dawson on drums.

Ervin later recorded for Blue Note Records and played with pianist Randy Weston, with whom he recorded between 1963 and 1966. Weston said: “Booker Ervin, for me, was on the same level as John Coltrane. He was a completely original saxophonist…. He was a master…. ‘African Cookbook’, which I composed back in the early ’60s, was partly named after Booker because we (musicians) used to call him ‘Book,’ and we would say, ‘Cook, Book.’ Sometimes when he was playing we’d shout, ‘Cook, Book, cook.’ And the melody of ‘African Cookbook’ was based upon Booker Ervin’s sound, a sound like the north of Africa. He would kind of take those notes and make them weave hypnotically. So, actually the African Cookbook was influenced by Booker Ervin.”

To get an idea what was going on in Berlin on New Years Eve in 1965 – hit the play button and get festive.




As you know, we’ve suspended indefinitely our ads in order to make Past Daily a better experience for you without all the distractions and pop-ups. Because of that, we’re relying more on your support through Patreon to keep us up and running every day. For as little as $5.00 a month you can make a huge difference as well as be able to download all of our posts for free (news, history, music). You’ll see a banner just below. Click on that and become a subscriber – it’s easy, painless and does a world of good.

Liked it? Take a second to support gordonskene on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.