Charles Gayle

Charles Gayle, born February 28, 1939, is a jazz pianist, saxophonist and bass clarinetist. He resides in New York. Gayle’s past is not known. Gayle was homeless for approximately 20 years and played saxophone in New York City’s subway stations. He was first known for his trio of albums, Silkheart Records, which he recorded in 1988. He has been a prominent figure in free jazz since then, recording for labels like Black Saint, Knitting Factory Records and FMP. Bennington College has been his music school. Gayle’s music has a spiritual bent and is heavily influenced by the Old and New Testaments. Many of his albums have been dedicated to God. His religious upbringing influenced his music, which is rooted in black gospel music. Gayle attributes his church experiences to John Coltrane and Albert Ayler as well as Thelonious Monk and Art Tatum. He has recorded and performed with Cecil Taylor and William Parker. Gayle released Jazz Solo Piano in 2001. The disc was primarily composed of jazz standards and is considered to be a response by critics who claim that jazz musicians can’t play bebop. Time Zones, Gayle’s second solo piano album, was released in 2006. Select Discography: Spirits Before (Silkheart 1988), Touchin’ on Trane (1991), Repent (1992), Translations (Silkheart 1993), Raining Fire (Silkheart 1993), More Live at Knitting Factory (Knitting Factory 1993), Consecration (Black Saint 1994), Testaments (Knitting Factory 1995), Daily Bread (Victo 1994), Delivered (2.13.61, 1997) Precious Soul (FMP (1997) Jazz Solo Piano (Knitting Factory 2000) Shout! (Cleanfeed 2003) Time Zones at Tomkins Square (2006). As sideman: Sunny Murray duo: Illuminators (Audible Hiss 1996) Cecil Taylor: Always a Pleasure (1993)

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