Gilmore, John (E.)

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Gilmore, John (E.)

Gilmore, John (E.), avant-garde jazz saxophonist and percussionist; b. Summit, Miss., Sept. 28, 1931; d. Philadelphia, Pa., Aug. 20, 1995. He played tenor sax and clarinet in high school and then in an army band. After studying with Chicago guitarist George Eskridge, he spent one year with the Earl Hines band (1952). He began his association with Sun Ra in 1953, working almost exclusively with him until his death. Miles Davis hired him for a week in Philadelphia (1955), and considered adding him to his quintet before choosing John Coltrane instead. Gilmore and Coltrane became friends; Coltrane credited him with inspiring some of the ideas on “Chasin’ the Trane,” although this remark has been taken too literally. He toured with Art Blakey in 1964, including Europe, and made a U.S. tour with Freddie Hubbard. He played drums and percussion with Sun Ra.


Blowing in from Chicago (1957); Dizzy Reece/J. G. (1970).

—Lewis Porter

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Gilmore, John (E.)

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