"I play for soothing people's soul. You can see it in their eyes"
I got in when I was 21. It was 1963 and my first recording in New York. Jackie McClean booked me without even hearing me play as far as I know and let me compose 3 songs on the album. Jackie then recorded two more albums with me, Action and Jacknife of which I wrote the title song. Lee Morgan was on that album too
I founded my own record label Stata East Records in 1970
My latest album was released in 2020. A new album is coming soon.
I play original music with my quartet, quintet or a larger ensemble
I compose and arrange for big band. My latest project is John Coltrane's Africa Brass.
“You can't make me old. I'm a perpetual fountain of youth.”
- JULY 8, 2023 CHARLES TOLLIVER * AFRICA / BRASS FT. BINKER GOLDING, ANTONIO FARAÒ, CHRIS DAHLGREN, ALVIN QUEEN & NEW ROTTERDAM JAZZ ORCHESTRA Northsea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Charles Tolliver began his professional career and simultaneously his recording debut with the saxophone giant Jackie McLean on Blue Note Records in 1964. Since then he has become one of the all time preeminent trumpeters in Jazz as well as one of its most gifted composer/arranger bandleaders. He is also a Grammy nominated recipient for his Blue Note Records recording “With Love”.
With a career that has spanned five decades he has recorded and/or performed with such renowned artists as Roy Haynes, Hank Mobley, Willie Bobo, Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Booker Ervin, Gary Bartz, Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Oliver Nelson, Stanley Cowell, Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, Louis Hayes, Roy Ayers, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, and owned the trumpet chair with the great Max Roach for some years.