David Amram’s  Jazz BIO 2018

David Amram’s  Jazz BIO 2018

David Amram’s  Jazz BIO 2018

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 66 years 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.

Over the last 50 years, Amram has been acclaimed as a major pioneer of World Music but 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 and Albert Mangelsdorff.

He has performed with Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Gerry Mulligan, Elvin Jones, Stan Getz, Randy Weston,  Kenny Burrell, Los Papines, Winton Marsalis, Stepane Grappelli, Ray Barretto, Mongo Santa Maria,  Bobby Sanabria, Arturo O’Farrell, Jim Pepper and Bill Evans.

He has conducted symphony concerts for the last 50 years, inviting the participation of  jazz artists as both soloists and as guest composers,decades before the term “cross-over’ was ever used.

 From his first score in 1956 for the documentary film Echo of an Era (with Cecil Taylor playing piano on his first -ever recording) and  the scores for the original 1962  Manchurian Candidate ( with stellar performances by Harold Land and Carmell Jones) , Splendor in the Grass (with soloists Buster Bailey and George Barrow) Jack Kerouac’s Pull My Daisy (with Sahib Shihab as soloist and Jack Kerouac narrating) and ending with the new film Isn’t it Delicious with classical artists joined by jazz luminaries Paquito d’Rivera, Alex Foster,  Earl McKintyre, Jerome Harris  and guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Vic Juris.


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  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  of enduring value, based on  purity of intent and an exquisite choice of notes.

Today at 87 Amram continues to do that, maintaining 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. 


His selected YouTube highlights, schedule and management are listed on his web page www.davidamram.com


Here is a compendium of some of the highlights of my dozens of recordings incorporating jazz where I appeared as a soloist with others,  as well as ones with my own various bands I assembled over the years ad symphonic jazz -oriented works and film scores!!! 

Lionel Hampton, Jazz in Paris: Lionel Hampton & His French New Sound (1955)

Oscar Pettiford Big Band (Jimmy Cleveland, Art FarmerOsie Johnson, Sahib Shihab, Julius Watkins, Tommy Flanigan and David Amram) Paramount Records (1956)

Amram/Barrow Quartet Jazz Studio Six  (with George Barrow, David Amram, Arthur Phipps) 

Decca Records (1957)

Two french horns Two Baritone Saxophones  (with David Amram, Juliua Watkins, Hampton Hawes, Curtis Fuller, Teddy Charles, Sahib Shihab, John Coltrane and Pepper Adams) Prestige Records (1957)

Four French horns (with Julius Watkins, David Amram,  Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson, Matt Matthews, and Dick Katz) Elektra Records (1957)

Kenny DorhamBlue Spring (with Cedar Walton, Cannonball Adderly, Cecil Payne, David Amram. Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb and Philly Joe Jones)  Riverside Records (1959)

The Young Savages Amram’s 1960 film score (with Harold Land, George Morrow Leon Petties, David Amram and a symphony orchestra) Columbia Records (1961)

Splendor in the Grass Amram’s 1960 film score (with Buster Bailey, Eddie Wilcox, George Barrow, Maurice Peress, Rod Leavitt and symphony orchestra) Moochin’ About Recordings (2016)

The Manchurian Candidate Amram’s score for the original 1962 soundtrack, starring Frank Sinatra.

 (With Harold Land, Paul Horn, Jack Nimitiz, Lou Blackburn and symphony orchestra.)

 Moochin’ About Recordings (2016)

Elia Kazan’s film The Arrangement starring Kirk Douglas and Faye Dunaway Amram’s score for the  soundtrack, (with Richard Davis, George Barrow, Thad Jones. Jerry Dodgion, and Pepper Adams)

No More Walls: David Amram and Friends (Pepper Adams, Jerry Dodgion, Candido, Al Harewood, Ali Hafid, George Mgrdichian, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Midhat Serbagi, and Lynn Shefield) (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 RedSeal  (1973)

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)

T.S. Monk, Monk on Monk  (with  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)  Audio CD    (1997

David Amram: At Home/Around the World (with Paquito de Rivera, Candido, Odetta, Pepper Adams,Victor Venegas, Candido, Patty Smythe, Ali Hafid, George Mgrdichian Flying Fish/ Rounder Records (1978) 

Latin Jazz Celebration  (with Paquito d’Rivera,Machito, Jerry Dodgion, Pepper Adams, David Fathead Newman, George Barrow, Joe Wilder, Jimmy Knepper, Candido, , Steve Berrios, Myra Casales, 

Amram’s Score for Broadway drama “On the Waterfront”(with Jimmy Owens, Slide Hampton, Jerry Dodgion, Victor Venegas,  Al Harewood) (1995)

Amram’s Score for feature film “Isn’t it Delicious” (with Earle McKintyre, Gene  Harris, Erik Lawrence, Patience Higgins, Jerry Dodgion, Alex Foster, Kevin Twigg, Rene Hart, Adam Amram,

Adira Amram and Shug Moreno. Moochin’ About Records (2016)



The box set, which has been released in the UK to wonderful reviews, will now be released in North America and /Canada at the end of 2018, followed by Europe, Australia, Canada, China and Japan.  In addition to the five CDs, which include highlights of Amram’s score  for John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate and The Young Savages, Elia Kazan’s Splendor in the Grass and The Arrangement, and the entire original soundtrack of Jack Kerouac’s narration with Amram’s music for  Pull My Daisy. The box set  also includes highlight from scores for the Broadway dramatic productions of Arthur Miller’s After the Fall, Budd Schulberg’s  original script for the theatrical version of On the Waterfront and a100 page booklet with notes by Amram as well as  photos about the making of each film.


While artists like  Gerry Mulligan, Stan Kenton and David Sanborn  have recorded the main  themes from  David Amram’s  film scores, this box set includes a dazzling variety of artists from the worlds of jazz, Latin, Middle Eastern and Classical music, performing every note which Amram painstakingly composed, orchestrated, and conducted and in which he often appeared himself as a soloist.

This is the first time that lovers of film soundtracks can hear the original soundtracks of his films in one set, with the brilliant musicians whom Amram chose for each score. 

Jazz luminaries on the various soundtracks include legendary clarinetist Buster Bailey, as well as Harold Land, Jimmy Owens, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Cobb, Pepper Adams, Paquito d’Rivera, Jerry Dodgion, Richard Davis,  Earl McKintyre, Paul Horn, Candido, George Barrow, Vic Juris, Sahib Shihab. Alex Foster, Erik Lawrence , Laurindo Almeida, Joe Gordon, Anita Ellis and Cecil Taylor, (heard while playing on  the first recording Cecil Taylor ever made in the summer of 1956 for Amram’s  score for the documentary film “Echo of an Era”.)

All of the symphonic and chamber musicians were also chosen by Amram, assembled  from members of the New York Philharmonic,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Marlboro Music Festival and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Amram said recently in an interview.

“I have always been a composer, NOT a film score composer. Over the  past  sixty years, I have occasionally composed scores for films which I felt had lasting value and for which I knew I would have the freedom and the time to create music with the the same loving care as I still do every day when composing  symphonies, operas, concertos and chamber works and when playing with creative artists from the worlds of jazz and global music..

Many of the highlights of the original scores for some of the films are finally made available to hear for the first time. Some were created over a half a century  ago,

Hearing them, remastered and appearing in this box set makes me realize that  it was worth the wait.

It is rewarding to hear the creativity of the all great players with whom i was fortunate enough to have had for each score, and finally gives the world the chance to hear their voices being heard.

I am grateful that after sixty years,  it is possible for today’s young  composers, performers and a new generation of film makers to see that creating music to enhance a film is an art, and that  joyous collaborations among artists who love their work can bring out the best in everyone involved.” 

The best way to order the entire box set with the 100 page booklet is to access

Order Classic American Film Scores here….


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