Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

MONCUR, Grachan III

(b 3 June '37, NYC) Trombonist, composer. His father Grachan Moncur (b 2 Sep. '15, Miami FL; d there 3 Nov. '96) played bass for his half- brother Al Cooper in the Savoy Sultans, also recorded with Teddy Wilson small groups, on an Ike Quebec session at Blue Note '45 etc. Grachan III was raised in Newark NJ, studied at Julliard; his style became wholly contemporary but based on classic smoothness of mainstream jazz trombone. He worked with Ray Charles, Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet early '60s, Jackie McLean, Sonny Rollins, Archie Shepp etc. Own albums incl. Evolution '63 (sextet with McLean) and Some Other Stuff '64 (quintet with Wayne Shorter) on Blue Note; quartet tracks from Village Vanguard on 2-disc Impulse set '65 with drummer Beaver Harris (b William Godvin Harris, 20 April '36, Pittsburgh PA; they later had co-op band 360 Degree Music Experience with Dave Burrell); other tracks in the set by Cecil Taylor, etc. Moncur also acted in and wrote music for James baldwin's play Blues For Mr Charlie '64-5. Two LPs on French Byg label '69 incl. New Africa with Shepp, Burrell, bassist Alan Silva, Roscoe Mitchell, Andrew Cyrille: later called African Concepts on Affinity. He wrote and recorded Echoes Of Prayer '74 with Jazz Composers Orchestra Association on JCOA (see Carla Bley); then returned to Newark as teacher and drug counsellor. He played there with organist Big John Patton, and they made a quintet LP Soul Connection '83 on a Nilva label. Moncur also worked with Frank Lowe (Decision In Paradise '84 on Soul Note), Cassandra Wilson and others.