April 2, 1938 – October 5, 1961
A tragic loss to the world of jazz at age 23! Hearing is certainly believing: in Booker's short life, he still was able to leave us with recordings and compositions that are guaranteed to astonish and captivate. His effortless-sounding virtuosity as a trumpet player ranks him as one of the greatest trumpet players. He was also a gifted composer, who obviously took composing very seriously, as his recording output shows. Booker began on trumpet when he was 12 and played with Johnny Griffin and the MJT + 3 while attending the Chicago Conservatory. He worked with Max Roach (1958-1959) and then freelanced in New York. He recorded with Roach and Abbey Lincoln, was on John Coltrane's Africa/Brass album, and was well-documented during a July 1961 gig at the Five Spot with Eric Dolphy. Booker Little led four sessions before his tragic early death.