Andrew Cyrille

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Andrew Cyrille
photo by Shawn Brackbill
photo by Shawn Brackbill
Background information
Birth nameAndrew Charles Cyrille
Born (1939-11-10) November 10, 1939 (age 81)
OriginBrooklyn, New York, U.S.
GenresJazz, avant-garde jazz, post-bop
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader
Associated actsCecil Taylor, David S. Ware, David Murray, Irène Schweizer, Marilyn Crispell, Carla Bley
Andrew Cyrille

Andrew Charles Cyrille (born November 10, 1939)[1] is an American avant-garde jazz drummer. Throughout his career, he has performed both as a leader and a sideman in the bands of Walt Dickerson and Cecil Taylor, among others. AllMusic biographer Chris Kelsey wrote: "Few free-jazz drummers play with a tenth of Cyrille's grace and authority. His energy is unflagging, his power absolute, tempered only by an ever-present sense of propriety."[2]

Life and career[edit]

Cyrille was born on November 10, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York into a Haitian family.[3] He began studying science at St. John's University, but was already playing jazz in the evenings and switched his studies to the Juilliard School.[4] His first drum teachers were fellow Brooklyn-based drummers Willie Jones and Lenny McBrowne; through them, Cyrille met Max Roach. Nonetheless, Cyrille became a disciple of Philly Joe Jones, who in some performances such as Time Waits used Cyrille's drum kit.[3]

His first professional engagement was as an accompanist of singer Nellie Lutcher, and he had an early recording session with Coleman Hawkins.[5] Trumpeter Ted Curson introduced him to pianist Cecil Taylor when Cyrille was 18.[5]

He joined the Cecil Taylor unit in 1964, and stayed for about 10 years, eventually performing drum duos with Milford Graves. In addition to recording as a bandleader, he has recorded and/or performed with musicians such as David Murray, Irène Schweizer, Marilyn Crispell, Carla Bley, Butch Morris and Reggie Workman among others. Cyrille is currently a member of the group, Trio 3, with Oliver Lake and Reggie Workman.


As leader[edit]

With Trio 3[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Muhal Richard Abrams

With Geri Allen

With Ahmed Abdul-Malik

With Billy Bang

With Bill Barron

With Carla Bley

With Jean-Paul Bourelly

With Charles Brackeen

With Anthony Braxton

With Marion Brown

With Dave Burrell

With Kenny Burrell and Coleman Hawkins

  • Moonglow (Compilation; Prestige, 1981)

With John Carter

  • Castles of Ghana (Gramavision, 1985)
  • Dance of the Love Ghosts (Gramavision, 1986)
  • Fields (Gramavision, 1988)
  • Comin' On (hat Art, 1988)
  • Shadows on a Wall (Gramavision, 1989)

With Kenny Clarke, Milford Graves, and Famoudou Don Moye

  • Pieces of Time (Soul Note, 1984)

With Walt Dickerson

With Dave Douglas

  • Metamorphosis (Greenleaf Music, 2017)

With Dave Douglas and Uri Caine

  • Devotion (Greenleaf Music, 2019)

With Marty Ehrlich

With Charlie Haden

With David Haney

  • Clandestine (CIMP, 2008)
  • Conspiracy A Go Go (CIMP, 2008)
  • Siege of Misrata (CIMP, 2018)

With Coleman Hawkins

With Jazz Composer's Orchestra

With Leroy Jenkins

With Oliver Lake

With Jimmy Lyons

With Bill McHenry

  • La peur du vide (Sunnyside, 2012)
  • Proximity (Sunnyside, 2016)

With Grachan Moncur III

  • New Africa (BYG Actuel, 1969))
  • Exploration (Capri, 2004)

With David Murray

With Ivo Perelman

  • Children of Ibeji (Enja, 1991)

With Lonnie Liston Smith

With Horace Tapscott

With Cecil Taylor

With John Tchicai and Reggie Workman

  • Witch's Scream (TUM, 2006)

With Bob Thiele Collective

With Mal Waldron

  • Birthday Concert: Antwerp 1997 (Bootleg / Unauthorized, 1997)
  • Soul Eyes (BMG, 1997)
  • Live at North Sea Jazz Festival, The Hague (Bootleg / Unauthorized, 2001)

With Reggie Workman

  • Synthesis (Leo, 1986)


  1. ^ Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (1999). "Cyrille, Andrew Charles". The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 161.
  2. ^ Kelsey, Chris. "Andrew Cyrille: Biography". Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Patmos, Michael (February 1, 2014). "Andrew Cyrille: Drum Dialogue" (PDF). Modern Drummer: 54–59. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  4. ^ Bob Young and Al Stankus (1992). Jazz Cooks. Stewart Tabori and Chang. pp. 92–93. ISBN 1-55670-192-6.
  5. ^ a b Case, Brian (October 4, 1975), "Make like a chimp (or choose your own alternative)", NME, pp. 28–29

External links[edit]