Bobby Bradford

born on 19/7/1934 in Cleveland, MS, United States

Bobby Bradford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Bobby Bradford

Bobby Lee Bradford (born July 19, 1934 in Cleveland, Mississippi) is an American jazz trumpeter, cornetist, bandleader, and composer. He is noted for his work with Ornette Coleman. In October 2009 Bradford became the second recipient of the Festival of New Trumpet Music's Award of Recognition.[1]


Bobby Lee Bradford's life begins in Mississippi, he and his family then moved to Dallas, Texas in 1946. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1953 where he reunited with Ornette Coleman, whom he had previously known in Texas.[1] Bradford subsequently joined Coleman's ensemble but was replaced not long after by Don Cherry when he drafted into the U.S. Air Force.

After playing in military bands from late 1954 to late 1958,[2] he rejoined Coleman's quartet from 1961 to 1963, which infrequently performed in public, but was indeed recorded under Coleman's Atlantic contract. Quite unfortunately, these tapes were among those many destroyed in the Great Atlantic Vault Fire. Freddie Hubbard acted as Bradford's replacement upon his departure to return to the West Coast and pursue further studies.["Beauty is a Rare Thing," Ornette Coleman Atlantic Collection, liner notes by Robert Palmer et al.;] Bradford soon began a long-running and relatively well-documented association with the clarinetist John Carter, a pairing that brought both increased exposure at international festivals (though the records remain scantily available, when one excludes web rips and bootlegs). Following Carter's death in 1991, Bradford fronted his own ensemble known as The Mo'tet, with which he has continued to perform since.

He is also the father of jazz vocalist Carmen Bradford.

He holds a B.M. degree from Huston-Tillotson College (now Huston-Tillotson University) in Austin, Texas.[2]

In addition to Coleman, Bradford has performed with Eric Dolphy, Leon 'Ndugu' Chancler, Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten, Bob Stewart, Charlie Haden, George Lewis (trmbn.), James Newton, Frode Gjerstad, Vinny Golia, Paal Nilssen-Love, and David Murray, who was previously a student of his in the 1970s.

He is an instructor at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California,[3] and Pomona College in Claremont, California [4], where he teaches The History of Jazz, known to be one the most popular classes available.


As leader

  • Love's Dream (Emanem (1975))
  • Vols. 1 & 2 (Nessa Records, with John Stevens)
  • & the Mo'tet - Lost in L.A. (Black Saint (1984))
  • One Night Stand (Soul Note Records (1997), with the Frank Sullivan Trio)
  • Purple Gums (Asian Improv (2003), with Francis Wong, William Roper)
  • Midnight Pacific Airwaves (Entropy Stereo (2009))

As joint leader

  • Self Determination Music (Flying Dutchman (1970), as John Carter / Bobby Bradford)
  • Secrets (Revelation Records (1973), as John Carter / Bobby Bradford)
  • Comin' On (hat ART (1989), as Bobby Bradford / John Carter Quintet)
  • Tandem 1 & 2 (Emanem (1996), as John Carter & Bobby Bradford
  • Reknes (Circulasione Totale (2009), as Bradford Gjerstad Håker Flaten Nilssen-Love)
  • Varistar (Full Bleed Music (2009), as Bobby Bradford, Tom Heasley, Ken Rosser)
  • Kampen (NoBusiness Records (2012), as Bobby Bradford, Frode Gjerstad, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Paal Nilssen-Love)
  • Dragon (PNL (2012), as Bradford, Gjerstad, Nilssen-Love)

As Detail

  • Detail Plus (Impetus Records (1986))
  • Way It Goes/Dance Of The Soul (Impetus Records (1988), as Detail Plus)
  • In Time Was (Circulasione Totale (1990))

As sideman

With John Carter

  • Dauwhe (Black Saint (1982)
  • Night Fire (Black Saint (1981)

With Ornette Coleman

  • Science Fiction (Columbia, 1971)
  • Broken Shadows (Columbia, 1971 [1982])

With David Murray

  • Murray's Steps (Black Saint (1983)
  • Death of a Sideman (DIW, 1991)
  • MX (Red Baron, 1992)

With Freebop

  • Live Tracks (Impetus Records, 1988)

With Frode Gjerstad Quartet

  • Ikosa Mura (Cadence Jazz Records, 1998)

With Circulasione Totale Orchestra

  • Open Port (Circulasione Totale, 2008)


  • Isoardi, Steven L. (2006). The Dark Tree: Jazz and the Community Arts in Los Angeles. The George Gund Foundation Book in African American Studies. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24591-1
  • Litweiler, John (1990). The Freedom Principle: Jazz After 1958. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80377-1
  • Dailey, Raleigh. Folklore, Composition, and Free Jazz: The Life and Music of John Carter. Ph.D. dissertation; University of Kentucky, 2007.


  1. "FONT :: Festival of the New Trumpet :: Full History."
  2. "Bobby Bradford: Self-Determination in the Great Basin" by Clifford Allen, All About Jazz

External links

  • A Fireside Chat With Bobby Bradford by Fred Jung, from Jazz Weekly
  • Article by Michelle Mercer from Pomona College Magazine Online
  • Bobby Bradford @ 75 from Point of Departure: An Online Music Journal
  • Bobby Bradford bio from ARTISTdirect site
  • Education bio from Pasadena City College
  • Images of Bobby Bradford from the Finding Aid for the Mark Weber Jazz Collection 1970 - 2005 in the Online Archive of California. Keyword search on "Bobby Bradford."
This page was last modified 10.01.2014 23:45:04

This article uses material from the article Bobby Bradford from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.