Charles Earland

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Charles Earland, 1983

Charles Earland (May 24, 1941 – December 11, 1999[1]) was an American jazz composer, organist, and saxophonist in the soul jazz idiom.

Biography[edit]

Earland was born in Philadelphia and learned to play the saxophone in high school.[1] He played tenor with Jimmy McGriff at the age of 17 and in 1960 formed his first group. He started playing the organ after playing with Pat Martino, and joined Lou Donaldson's band from 1968 to 1969.[1]

The group that he led from 1970, including Grover Washington, Jr., was successful, and he eventually started playing soprano saxophone and synthesizer. His hard, simmering grooves earned him the nickname "The Mighty Burner".

In 1978, Earland hit the disco/club scene with a track recorded on Mercury Records called "Let the Music Play", written by Randy Muller from the funk group Brass Construction. The record was in the U.S. charts for five weeks and reached number 46 in the UK Singles Chart.[2] With Earland's playing on synthesizer, the track also has an uncredited female vocalist. He had several moderate Billboard R&B chart hits in the mid-1970s and early '80s on Mercury and later Columbia Records.

Earland traveled extensively from 1988 until his death in 1999, performing throughout the USA and abroad. One of the highlights of his latter years was playing at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1994. Among the musicians that performed with him at the Berlin Jazz Festival was the Alabama-born Chicago resident, Zimbabu Hamilton.[3] on the drums. Earland died in Kansas City, Missouri, of heart failure at the age of 58.[1]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • Charlie Earland Jr. (Quakertown #LP-1025, 1966) ...was this album ever released!?!
  • Boss Organ (Choice #MG-517, 1966 [rel. 1969]) -with Jimmy Ponder, Bobby Durham
  • Soul Crib (Choice #MG-520, 1969) -with George Coleman, Jimmy Ponder, Walter Perkins
  • Black Power (Rare Bird #8006, 1969)
  • Freakin' Off [live] (Big Chance #BCR-5001, 1969 [rel. 1971]; reissued as Charles Earland on Trip Records in 1974)
  • Black Talk! (Prestige, 1969; reissued on BGP/Ace in 1995) -with Virgil Jones, Houston Person, Melvin Sparks
  • Black Drops (Prestige, 1970; reissued on BGP/Ace in 1995) -with Virgil Jones, Jimmy Heath
  • Living Black! [live] (Prestige, 1970; reissued on BGP/Ace in 1998) -with Grover Washington Jr.
  • Soul Story (Prestige, 1971) -with Virgil Jones, Houston Person
  • Intensity (Prestige, 1972) -with Lee Morgan, Hubert Laws, Billy Harper
  • Live at the Lighthouse (Prestige, 1972; reissued on BGP/Ace in 1998)
  • Charles III (Prestige, 1973) -with Lee Morgan, Billy Harper, Billy Cobham
  • The Dynamite Brothers (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Recording) (Prestige, 1973 [rel. 1974])
  • Leaving This Planet (Prestige, 1973 [rel. 1974]) -with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson
  • Kharma [live] (Prestige, 1974) -with Jon Faddis
  • Odyssey (Mercury, 1976)
  • The Great Pyramid (Mercury, 1976; reissued on Solaris Records in 2014)
  • Revelation (Mercury, 1977)
  • Perceptions (Mercury, 1978)
  • Smokin' (Muse, 1977) -with George Coleman, David Schnitter, Jimmy Ponder
  • Mama Roots (Muse, 1977) -with George Coleman, David Schnitter, Jimmy Ponder
  • Infant Eyes (Muse, 1978) -with Bill Hardman, Frank Wess, Jimmy Ponder, Melvin Sparks
  • Pleasant Afternoon (Muse, 1978) -with Bill Hardman, Houston Person, Melvin Sparks
  • Coming To You Live (Columbia, 1980; reissued on PTG [EU] Records, and Sony Music [Japan] in 2016)
  • In The Pocket (Muse, 1982) -with Houston Person, Melvin Sparks
  • Earland's Jam (Columbia, 1982; reissued on Funky Town Grooves/Columbia in 2012)
  • Earland's Street Themes (Columbia, 1983; reissued on Funky Town Grooves/Columbia in 2012)
  • Front Burner (Milestone, 1988) -with Virgil Jones, Bill Easley, Bobby Broom
  • Third Degree Burn (Milestone, 1989) -with Lew Soloff, Grover Washington Jr., David "Fathead" Newman, Bobby Broom
  • Whip Appeal (Muse, 1990) -with Johnny Coles, Houston Person
  • Unforgettable (Muse, 1991) -with Eric Alexander, Houston Person
  • I Ain't Jivin'...I'm Jammin' (Muse, 1992) -with Eric Alexander
  • Ready 'N' Able (Muse, 1995) -with Lew Soloff, Eric Alexander
  • Blowing The Blues Away (High Note, 1997) -with Eric Alexander, Jim Rotondi, Bob DeVos
  • Charles Earland's Jazz Organ Summit [live] (Cannonball, 1997) -with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Johnny "Hammond" Smith, Jimmy McGriff
  • Slammin' & Jammin' (Savant, 1997 [rel. 1998]) -with Carlos Garnett, Melvin Sparks, Bernard Purdie
  • Live (Cannonball, 1997 [rel. 1999]) [note: this is Earland's set from the Jazz Organ Summit concert]
  • Cookin' With The Mighty Burner (High Note, 1997 [rel. 1999]) -with Eric Alexander, Jim Rotondi, Melvin Sparks
  • Stomp! (High Note, 1999 [rel. 2000]) -with Eric Alexander
  • If Only For One Night (High Note, 1999 [rel. 2002]) -with Najee

LP/CD compilations[edit]

  • Burners (Prestige MPP 2501, 1980)
  • Organomically Correct (32 Jazz, 1999; reissued on Savoy Jazz in 2003)
  • The Almighty Burner (32 Jazz, 2000; reissued on Savoy Jazz in 2003)
  • Charlie's Greatest Hits (Prestige, 2000)
  • Anthology (Soul Brother [UK] Records, 2000) [2CD]
  • Charles Earland In Concert: At The Montreux Jazz Festival And The Lighthouse (Prestige, 2002) (compilation of Live At The Lighthouse + Kharma)
  • Funk Fantastique (Prestige, 2004) (compilation of Charles III + 4 bonus tracks from the same sessions)
  • The Mighty Burner: The Best Of His High Note Recordings (High Note, 2004)
  • Scorched, Seared & Smokin': The Best Of "The Mighty Burner" (High Note, 2011) [3CD]

As sideman[edit]

With Rusty Bryant

With Lou Donaldson

With George Freeman

  • Introducing George Freeman Live ...With Charlie Earland Sitting In (Giant Step, 1971)
  • Franticdiagnosis (Bam-Boo, 1972)

With Sonny Hopson

  • Life & Mad ...Featuring Charlie Earland (Giant Step, 1970)

With Willis Jackson

With Boogaloo Joe Jones

With Houston Person

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Biography by Richard S. Ginell". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  2. ^ Robertsr, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 176. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Zimprov.com

External links[edit]