The world of jazz took a hit yesterday as news spread that trumpeter Eddie Gale died on Friday, July 8, after losing his battle with cancer. He was 78.
Photo Credit: Jazz News
Gale was born in Brooklyn in 1941. An innovator of his time, he had the opportunity to play with top jazz musicians like pianist Bud Powell and fellow trumpeter Kenny Dorman. As his reputation grew, he found himself at jam sessions with legendary drummers like Art Blakey and Max Roach and saxophonists Illinois Jacquet, Sonny Stitt and Jackie McLean.
In the early 60’s Gale was still in his 20’s when he connected with bandleader/composer Sun Ra. In time, the two would develop a long-standing professional relationship and Gale ended up touring and recording with Ra’s Arkestra throughout the 60’s and 70’s. He also played on many of Ra’ studio albums including Secrets of the Sun (1965) and 70’s recordings Lanquidity, The Other Side of the Sun and On Jupiter.
Gale also worked with Blue Note records collaborating with many of their artists. He played on Larry Young’s Of Love and Peace and Cecil Taylor’s Unit Structures which also featured jazz legends alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Andrew Cyrille.
The jazz trumpeter also took the helm as a bandleader. In the late 60’s he pioneered recordings such as Ghetto Music and Black Rhythm Happening both of which were released on Blue Note.
Blue Note took to Instagram to pay tribute to Gale. They posted the following statement yesterday. We're saddened to announce that #EddieGale, the pioneering Brooklyn-born trumpeter, has passed away aged 78. Gale began his career as a sideman with Sun Ra & appeared on avant-garde classics of the Blue Note catalog including Cecil Taylor’s "Unit Structures" & Larry Young’s "Of Love And Peace," before forging his path as a bandleader on Blue Note with two visionary late-60s albums: "Ghetto Music" & "Black Rhythm Happening." Read more about his incredible legacy at bluenote.com & listen to his music via the link in our bio.
Gale was also active behind the scenes and worked as an advocate for musicians. He spearheaded Jazz Musicians’ Self-Help Healthcare fundraisers donating proceeds to the Jazz Foundation of America, a non profit that helps jazz and blues musicians in need of emergency funds.
For two decades, Gale was also responsible for the production of the annual Concerts for World Peace and Peace Poetry contest and annual Concerts for Inner Peace in America and the World.
Gale’s last release was a 50th anniversary edition of his Ghetto Music album which came out in 2017. He is survived by three of his siblings, his wife Georgette and his six children Donna, Marc, Chanel, Djuana, Gwilu and Teyonda as well as his 12 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. RIP to a jazz legend.