Harold Vick

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Harold Vick
Harold Vick.jpg
Background information
Birth name Harold Edward Vick
Born (1936-04-03)April 3, 1936
Rocky Mount, North Carolina, United States
Died November 13, 1987(1987-11-13) (aged 51)
New York, New York, United States
Genres Hard bop, Soul jazz
Instruments Tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute
Years active 1950s–1987
Labels Blue Note Records, RCA Victor
Associated acts Grant Green, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Shirley Scott

Harold Vick (April 3, 1936 – November 13, 1987) was an American hard bop and soul jazz saxophonist and flautist.

Biography[edit]

Harold Vick was born on April 3, 1936 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. At the age of 13 he was given a clarinet by his uncle, Prince Robinson,[1] a clarinet and tenor saxophone player who had been a member of McKinney's Cotton Pickers.[2] Three years later he took up the tenor saxophone, and soon began playing in R&B bands.[3] He continued to perform, still largely with R&B bands, while studying psychology at Howard University.[1]

Recordings as leader[edit]

Steppin' Out!, Vick's first album as leader, was recorded for Blue Note in 1963.[1] After a 1965 performance at Carnegie Hall with Donald Byrd, Vick secured a contract for further albums as leader,[1] and from 1966 to 1974 he had further recording sessions for the RCA, Muse, and Strata-East labels.[3]

Work as sideman[edit]

Vick worked as a sideman with Jack McDuff from 1960 to 1964, and also with other organists such as Jimmy McGriff, Big John Patton, and Larry Young. For the rest of the 1960s he played on and off with Walter Bishop, Jr., and also worked with Philly Joe Jones, Howard McGhee, Donald Byrd and Ray Charles, and appeared with Dizzy Gillespie at the 1968 Newport Jazz Festival.[1]

Vick then worked for around 5 years with soul artists, from 1969 to 1970 with King Curtis, and from 1970 to 1974 with Aretha Franklin. He played in Jack DeJohnette's jazz-rock band Compost from 1971 to 1973,[1] recording with them in 1972.[3]

After a heart attack in the mid 1970s Vick largely returned to soul jazz, working with Shirley Scott from 1974 to 1976 and with Jimmy McGriff from 1980 to 1981. At the same time he continued to work as a freelance jazz musician and session musician.[1] As late as 1987 he performed on two Billie Holiday tribute albums by Abby Lincoln.[3]

He also played with Nat Adderley, Mercer Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Taylor, Horace Silver, and Gene Ammons.[4]

Film and Theatre[edit]

During the 1960s Vick worked as a member of the house band at the Apollo Theater, and in 1969 he toured Europe as a musician with the Negro Ensemble Company.[1] He also played for a number of stage productions during the 1980s.[4]

He appeared in the films Stardust Memories and Cotton Club, in which he played a musician. He also was in the Spike Lee film School Days, and played on soundtracks for a number of other films.[4][3]

Death[edit]

Vick died at his Manhattan home of a heart attack[4] on November 13, 1987.[1] He was memorialised by the tune "Did You See Harold Vick?", which Sonny Rollins wrote and and included on his 2000 album This Is What I Do.[5]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Jack McDuff

With John Patton

With Joe Chambers

With Grant Green

With Richard "Groove" Holmes

With Duke Pearson

With Charles Tolliver

With McCoy Tyner

  • Cosmos (Blue Note, tracks with Vick rec. 1969, 1977)

With Johnny Hammond

With Houston Person

With Bernard Purdie

With Horace Silver

With Compost

  • Compost (Columbia, 1972)
  • Life Is Round (Columbia, 1973)

With Bu Pleasant

  • Ms. Bu (Muse, 1973)

With Shirley Scott

With Bob Moses

With Pharoah Sanders

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Barry Kernfeld (ed.)(2002): The New Grove dictionary of Jazz. London: Macmillan Publishers Limited. 2nd ed, Vol 3, p. 843.
  2. ^ Sarah Bryan, Beverly Patterson (2013). African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press Books, p. 112.
  3. ^ a b c d e Kelsey, Chris. "Harold Vick Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Harold E. Vick, 51, A Tenor Saxophonist". The New York Times. November 17, 1987. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ Graybow, Steve (2000). Jazz Blue Notes, Billboard November 11, 2000, p. 43