Back in the day, I'd plan a late night to catch Mr. Curson's late night sessions several times over the years.
I understand he led a monthly jam at Trumpets in Montclaire NJ in more recent years.
A fabulous 'under the radar' player RIP
By JOHN S. WILSON Published: October 12, 1990
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Curson and Friends
Ted Curson and Friends, Blue Note, 131 West Third Street (475-8592). The fiery and provocative trumpeter Ted Curson, who eight years ago established the late-night jam session at the Blue Note that kept the music going until the early hours of the morning, has reclaimed his musical territory there after a three-year absence. He is once again taking the stage through tomorrow, following the last set by the headline act, with a constantly changing collection of the notable musical friends he has collected since he arrived in New York in the early 1960's and became a leading voice in Charles Mingus's volatile and venturesome group. Tonight and tomorrow, after Billy Eckstine has sung his final note, Mr. Curson and his friends are to take over until 4 A.M.
i am very sorry to hear this news. during the early '60s, he would visit his father who lived across the street from me. i got to see him at one of the last NY IAJE meetings. we had a nice conversation reminiscing about those days/years. i remember i was a bit concerned to see how obese he can become. he was a wonderful musician.
Many years ago when I was on air at WBGO, I got a call from someone (I thought very reliable) that Ted Curson had died. It was before the internet and I made a couple more phone calls to confirm before I went and announced his death and played tribute through his music. The next day I got a call from Ted that he had taken sick in Finland and rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated. Over the years, whenever we would run into each other, we would laugh of that day on WBGO. Sadly, today it is not a rumor. Wonderful spirit and wonderful musician, and I will miss him.
It had been quite a while since he performed last, no? It had been so long since I heard anything from him I thought he'd died already. The first I heard him was when Arista Freedom included Tears for Dolphy in their swamp the market push and remember it was easier on my inexperienced ears than a lot of others in the flood. Then of course subsequently heard him on Mingus records.
Never had that Tears for Dolphy record, for some reason. Just picked up an mp3 and it sounds fantastic. Knew his work with Cecil and Mingus as well as a couple of his 60's/70's LPs. Never did hear him live though. R.I.P.