ROY CAMPBELL (1952-2014) >>

Rest In Peace

This image of Roy from original portrait by Nick Ruechel.

Roy Campbell: one of the truly great modern trumpeters - a master - and a beautiful composer & being. A man with whom it was a joy and an honor to work with from the earliest days of AUM forward. The news of his passing the second week of January 2014 was shocking not just for the brute sense of LOSS but for its unexpected suddenness. I'll never ever forget the first time I heard him perform live with Other Dimensions In Music at the first Vision Festival in 1996. My jaw literally dropped at the magnitude of majesty, the eloquence.

His sudden passing is a brute force reminder that our time on this planet to make good things happen is finite, and that we must do all we can to further the intrinsic/elemental knowledge of being here together as we possibly can -- every waking moment of every day we're blessed with.

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photo by Gary HannabargerAll About Jazz.com (article - June 2005)

Roy Campbell Music - for more biography and full discography as sideman.

Born in Los Angeles, CA in 1952, Roy Campbell's family moved to the Bronx when he was six. Mr. Campbell began playing the trumpet seriously when he was a teenager, inspired by the examples of both his father (whose trumpet was the first one he used) and the legendary Lee Morgan (whom he first met as a fan at the Bronxwood Inn in the early '70s). Mr. Campbell later studied with Mr. Morgan (and also Kenny Dorham) at Jazzmobile Workshops between the years '71-'73. Later, he studied theory and arranging with Yusef Lateef at Manhattan Community College. It was also during the early '70s that Mr. Campbell first began listening to the work of avant garde trumpeters such as Don Cherry, Bill Dixon and Donald Ayler.

In 1978, Mr. Campbell met the bassist William Parker, who invited him to join Jemeel Moondoc's Ensemble Muntu. This association led to many dates and tours, especially in Europe. Mr. Campbell began spending a lot of time in the Netherlands in '88, touring with bass saxophonist Klass Heckman, scoring films for German documentary director Rosa von Praihim, and directing the Thelonious Monk New World Orchestra.

Back in the U.S., Mr. Campbell composed music for Off-Broadway plays, continued to expand his collection of monster movies, co-founded the Other Dimensions In Music group, and played with a wide variety of improvisors. His live credits include work with Roland Alexander, Cecil Taylor, Sunny Murray, Rashied Ali, Craig Harris, Woody Shaw, Zusan Kali Fasteau, David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Billy Bang and Sun Ra. This, as well as leading his own Pyramid Trio, and working extensively with New York's Music Under NY program. In 1995 Mr. Campbell even took a daylong gig playing national anthems for flags that a nonprofit business group was putting up near Grand Central Station in NYC (according to the NY Times, he played about 55 of them.)

With an approach and technique that takes the influence of both Mr. Morgan and Booker Little, and hauls them into the future, Mr. Campbell has been a solid presence on the New York improvisors' scene for over two decades. .-Bio above written by Byron Coley (& thanks to Michael Ehlers) for their Fire In The Valley '98 program guide.

In 2001, Roy presented a powerful new Pyramid Trio featuring Hamid Drake on drums and William Parker on bass, the dream rhythm+ section. Ethnic Stew And Brew was the album: critically lauded across the board and chosen among the Best of 2001 by both Jazz Times and Downbeat. A new quartet concept was also brought to fruition. With Khan Jamal - vibes, Wilber Morris - bass, and Guillermo E. Brown - drums, this Quartet released a distinctive album on Matthew Shipp's Blue Series for Thirsty Ear.

In 2007, he was commissioned by Arts For Art to compose and present new work at Vision Festival XII that June. This was Akhenaten Suite, an exquisite song cycle performed by an extraodinary ensemble featuring Billy Bang-violin, Bryan Carrot-vibes, Hilliard Greene-bass, Zen Matsuura-drums. The performance was recorded and released in early 2008 to widespread and well-deserved acclaim.

A rare treasure, his art and personage, and one exceedingly well worth digging. Now! -SJ

Discography as a Leader:
2008 Roy Campbell Ensemble - Akhenaten Suite (AUM Fidelity/Arts for Art)
2001 Roy Campbell Quartet - It's Krunch Time (The Blue Series/Thirsty Ear)
2001 Pyramid Trio - Ethnic Stew And Brew (Delmark)
1998 Pyramid Trio - Ancestral Homeland (No More Records)
1996 Pyramid Trio - Communion (Silkheart)
1994 La Tierra Del Fuego (Delmark)
1992 New Kingdom (Delmark)

Discography as a Co-Leader:
2011 Other Dimensions In Music with Fay Victor - Kaiso Stories (Silkheart)
2011 The Nu Band - Relentlessness: Live at the Sunset (Marge)
2010 The Nu Band - Live in Paris (NoBusiness Records)
2009 The Nu Band - Lower East Side Blues (Porter Records)
2007 Other Dimensions In Music - Live at the Sunset [Paris] (Marge)
2007 The Nu Band - The Dope and The Ghost (Not Two)
2003 The Nu Band - Nu Band Live (Konnex)
2001 The Nu Band - Live at the Bop Shop (Clean Feed)
2000 Other Dimensions In Music - Time Is Of The Essence Is Beyond Time (AUM Fidelity)
1998 Other Dimensions In Music - Now! (AUM Fidelity)
1990 Other Dimensions In Music (Silkheart)

Selected Discography as a Sideman:
2012 William Parker Orchestra - Essence of Ellington: Live in Milano (Centering Records)
2010 Jemeel Moondoc - Muntu Recordings [Box Set]- Spirit House (NoBusiness Records)
2006 Whit Dickey - Sacred Ground (Clean Feed)
2005 Marc Ribot/Spiritual Unity - Spiritual Unity (Pi Recordings)
2005 Whit Dickey - Heartbeat (Clean Feed)
2004 Whit Dickey - Coalescence (Clean Feed)
2002 Maneri Ensemble - Going To Church (AUM Fidelity)
2000 Jemeel Moondoc & The Jus Grew Orchestra - Spirit House (Eremite)
2000 William Parker & The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra
.........- Mayor Of Punkville (AUM Fidelity)
1999 Yo La Tengo - Now 2000/Excalibur 2001 2x7" set (Egon)
1999 Peter Brotzmann / Die Like A Dog Quartet - From Valley To Valley (Eremite)
1998 Matthew Shipp Horn Quartet - Strata (Hat Hut)
1997 William Parker & The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra
........- Sunrise In The Tone World (AUM Fidelity)
1988 William Hooker Orchestra (trio) - The Colour Circle (Cadence)
1986 Billy Bang Sextet - Live At Carlos 1 (Soul Note)
1982 Jemeel Moondoc Quartet Muntu - The Athens Concert (Praxis)
1981 Jemeel Moondoc Sextet - Konstanze's Delight (Soul Note)
1981 Jemeel Moondoc - New York Live (Cadence)
1979 Jemeel Moondoc & Muntu - The Evening Of The Blue Men (Muntu)



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