Composer, Conductor & Multi-instrumentalist
COMPOSER, CONDUCTOR, MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST
AND IMPROVISING JAZZ FRENCH HORN PIONEER
AVAILABLE FOR CONCERTS, RESIDENCIES AND CLINICS
In 2019, the new 5 CD Box set of David Amram's jazz compositions from his film scores over the past 60 years was released
Ever since meeting, jamming with and being mentored by Dizzy Gillespie in 1951 and Charlie Parker in 1952, David Amram has continued over the past seven decades as one of the first pioneers, along with Julius Watkins, to include the French horn as an improvising voice in jazz. He has also pioneered the use of jazz and the all-embracing philosophy it embodies in every genre of music, as a foundation to inspire all sincere musicians to tell their story while learning, respecting and then performing all true music which is built to last.
Amram has also been acclaimed as a major pioneer of World Music, and has stated publicly that his broad ranging interest of all musics which touch the heart are the foundation of what Bird and Dizzy told him to pursue long ago when he told them of his dreams of becoming a jazz French hornist and a symphonic composer. He credits them with steering him on the path he has pursued and shared with the world ever since those first encounters. To remain open and respectful to all forms of artistic expression and to the people and the cultures who keep these arts alive and share them with others.
As a performer, composer and conductor, Amram has recorded with Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Kenny Dorham, Oscar Pettiford, Machito, Candido, Betty Carter, Curtis Fuller, Pepper Adams, Mary Lou Williams, Thad Jones, Julius Watkins, T.S Monk, Paquito d'Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Curtis Fuller and Albert Mangelsdorff.
He has also performed with Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Gerry Mulligan, Elvin Jones, Stan Getz, Randy Weston, Kenny Burrell, Los Papines, Wynton Marsalis, Nina Simone. Stephane Grappelli, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santa Maria, Bobby Sanabria, Arturo O'Farrell, Jim Pepper and Bill Evans.
Amram has conducted symphony concerts with more than 75 of the world's great orchestra over the past half century, while often inviting the participation of jazz artists as both soloists and as guest composers at his classical concerts, decades before the term `cross-over' was ever used.
From Amram's first film score in 1956 for the documentary film Echo of an Era (with Cecil Taylor playing piano on his first-ever recording); on to the scores for Splendor in the Grass (with soloists Buster Bailey and George Barrow); The Manchurian Candidate (the original film - with stellar performances by Harold Land and Carmell Jones); to Jack Kerouac's Pull My Daisy (with Sahib Shihab and David Amram as soloists and Jack Kerouac narrating); and on up through his most recent films, Barbara Kopple's New Homeland, and Michael Patrick Kelly's Isn't it Delicious, where he included jazz luminaries Paquito d'Rivera, Alex Foster, Earl McKintyre, Jerome Harris and guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Vic Juris, all performing with the classical musicians, he has consistently and artfully woven various musical styles and jazz together in almost all of his scores.
In 2019, Moochin' About Records released the 5 CD Box Set, DAVID AMRAM's Classic American Film Scores (1956 - 2016). The box set contains his jazz-influenced scores from seven of his most celebrated films, including Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass and The Arrangement; John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate and The Young Savages; and Jack Kerouac's Pull My Daisy. In addition, two of his Broadway scores, for Arthur Miller's After the Fall, and Budd Schulberg's On the Waterfront are included.
In 1966, when Leonard Bernstein chose Amram as the New York Philharmonic's first-ever composer in residence, Bernstein encouraged Amram to continue to be an ambassador of music for young people and to always remember to share with them the enduring values of European classical music and the treasures of jazz, Native American and Latin American music -- all of which are of enduring value, based on purity of intent and an exquisite choice of notes.
Amram has been recently honored by being the recipient of The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame's Jay McShann Lifetime Achievement Award, and the New York's Highlights in Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award.
He is the author of three memoirs all published by Routledge Press, Nine Lives of a Musical Cat (2009), Collaborating With Kerouac (2005) and the highly acclaimed Vibrations (1968, 2007).
His archive of manuscripts, personal papers and musical scores have been acquired by the Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts Branch of the New York Public Library.
He is the subject of the award-winning full length feature documentary David Amram: The First Eighty Years, which is available on Vimeo On Demand.
In 2021, Routledge Press will be releasing his next memoir DAVID AMRAM: The Next 80 Years.
Today at 89, Amram continues to follow his muse, and maintain a remarkable pace of composing new classical pieces, while making recordings and performing as a band leader, multi-instrumentalist, guest conductor, soloist and narrator in five languages.
Below is a compendium of some of the highlights of David Amram's dozens of recordings incorporating jazz where he appeared as a soloist with others, as well as ones with his own various bands he assembled over the years for his symphonic jazz-oriented works, film scores and festival and college apparances.:
- Lionel Hampton, Jazz in Paris: Lionel Hampton & His French New Sound (with Nat Adderley, Benny Bailey, David Amram, Maurice Meunier, William Boucaya, Rene Utreger, Guy Pederson, Jean Baptiste-Reillers, and Sasha Distel). Verve/Jazz in Paris Records (1955)
- Oscar Pettiford Big Band (Jimmy Cleveland, Art Farmer, Osie Johnson, Sahib Shihab, Julius Watkins, Tommy Flanagan, and David Amram). Paramount Records (1956)
- Amram/Barrow Quartet Jazz Studio Six (George Barrow, David Amram, Arthur Phipps and Al Harewood). Decca Records (1957)
- Two French Horns Two Baritone Saxophones (David Amram, Julius Watkins, Hampton Hawes, Curtis Fuller, Teddy Charles, Sahib Shihab, John Coltrane and Pepper Adams). Prestige Records (1957)
- Four French Horns (Julius Watkins, David Amram, Milt Hinton, Dick Katz, Osie Johnson, and Matt Matthews). Elektra Records (1957)
- Kenny Dorham, Blue Spring (Cedar Walton, Cannonball Adderley, Cecil Payne, David Amram. Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb and Philly Joe Jones). Riverside Records (1959)
- David Amram and Friends No More Walls (Pepper Adams, Jerry Dodgion, Candido, Al Harewood, Ali Hafid, George Mgrdichian, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Midhat Serbagi, and Lynn Shefield). Flying Fish/Rounder Records (1971)
- Triple Concerto for Woodwind, Brass and Jazz Quintets and Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic conducted by David Zinman, with the David Amram quintet (Pepper Adams, Jerry Dodgion, Herb Bushler, and Al Harewood ). RCA Red Seal (1973)
- David Amram Havana/New York Live in Cuba 1977 (with Paquito de Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Los Papines, Ray Mantilla, Eddie Gomez, Thad Jones, Pepper Adams and Billy Hart). Flying Fish/Rounder Records (1977)
- David Amram At Home/Around the World (Paquito de Rivera, Candido, Odetta, Pepper Adams,Victor Venegas, Candido, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Patty Smythe, Ali Hafid, and George Mgrdichian). Flying Fish/ Rounder Records (1978)
- David Amram Latin Jazz Celebration (Paquito d'Rivera, Machito, Jerry Dodgion, Pepper Adams, David Fathead Newman, George Barrow, Joe Wilder, Jimmy Knepper, Candido, Steve Berrios, Myra Casales). Elektra/Musician Records/Wounded Bird CD (1982)
- David Amram Quartet Live at Musikfest (Paquito d'Rivera, Vic Juris, Akira Tana, Victor Venegas, and David Amram). New Chamber Music Records (1990)
- T.S. Monk, Monk on Monk (T. S. Monk, Roy Hargrove, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Christian McBride, David Amram, Ron Carter, Bobby Watson, Grover Washington Jr. Nnenna Freelon, Dave Holland, Howard Johnson, Kevin Mahogany, Ronnie Mathews, Danilo Perez, Bobby Porcelli, Dianne Reeves, Wallace Roney, Arturo Sandoval, Eddie Bert, and Don Sickler). Warlock Records (1997)
Film and Theatrical Scores:
- PULL MY DAISY - Directed by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie, Narrated by Jack Kerouac, Starring Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, David Amram, Peter Orlovsky, Larry Rivers, Alice Neel, Dody Miller, and Delphine Seyrig, with David Amram's film score for the 1959 original film soundtrack (Jerry Dodgion, Pepper Adams, David Amram, Midhat Serbagi, Herb Bushler, Al Harewood, Marvin Feinsmith, Lynn Sheffield, Sahib Shihab, Arthur Phipps, Ronald Roseman, Jane Taylor, and Anita Ellis). Moochin' About Records (2019)
- THE YOUNG SAVAGES - Directed by John Frankenheimer, starring Burt Lancaster, Shelly Winters, and Telly Savalas, with David Amram's 1960 film score for the soundtrack (Harold Land, George Morrow Leon Petties, David Amram, and a symphony orchestra). Initially released by Columbia Records in 1961. Later re-released by Moochin' About Records (2019)
- SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS - Directed by Elia Kazan, Starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, with David Amram's film score for the original 1960 film soundtrack (Buster Bailey, Eddie Wilcox, George Barrow, Maurice Peress, Rod Leavitt, David Amram, and symphony orchestra). Moochin' About Records (2019)
- THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE - Directed by John Frankenheimer, and Starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, and Angela Lansbury with David Amram's score for the original 1962 film soundtrack (Harold Land, Paul Horn, Jack Nimitiz, Lou Blackburn, and symphony orchestra). Moochin' About Recordings (2019)
- THE ARRANGEMENT - Directed by Elia Kazan, Starring Kirk Douglas, Faye Dunaway, and Deborah Kerr, with David Amram's score for the original 1969 film soundtrack (Richard Davis, George Barrow, Thad Jones. Jerry Dodgion, Pepper Adams, and David Amram). Moochin' About Recordings (2019)
- ISN'T IT DELICIOUS - Directed by Michael Patrick Kelly, Starring Keir Dullea and Kathleen Chalfont, with David Amram's Score for the 2016 film soundtrack (Earle McKintyre, Gene Harris, Erik Lawrence, Patience Higgins, Jerry Dodgion, Alex Foster, Kevin Twigg, Rene Hart, Adam Amram, Adira Amram, David Amram, and Shug Moreno). Moochin' About Records (2019)
- ON THE WATERFRONT - Budd Schulberg's 1995 Broadway Play, with David Amram's Score (Jimmy Owens, Slide Hampton, Jerry Dodgion, Victor Venegas Vic Juris, Al Harewood, Candido, and David Amram). Moochin' About Records (2019)
- AFTER THE FALL - Arthur Miller's 1964 Broadway Play, with David Amram's Score (Pepper Adams, Jerry Dodgion, David Amram, Candido, Al Harewood, Herb Bushler). Moochin' About Records (2019)
Copyright © 2019 by David Amram
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