Andrew Cyrille

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Andrew Cyrille
Andrew Cyrille.jpg
photo by Shawn Brackbill
Background information
Birth nameAndrew Charles Cyrille
Born (1939-11-10) November 10, 1939 (age 81)
Origin Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Genres Jazz, avant-garde jazz, post-bop
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader
Instruments Drums
Associated acts Cecil Taylor, David S. Ware, David Murray, Irène Schweizer, Marilyn Crispell, Carla Bley
Andrew Cyrille Andrew-cyrille01.jpg
Andrew Cyrille

Andrew Charles Cyrille (born November 10, 1939) [1] is an American avant-garde jazz drummer. Throughout his career, he has performed both as a leader and a sideman in the bands of Walt Dickerson and Cecil Taylor, among others. AllMusic biographer Chris Kelsey wrote: "Few free-jazz drummers play with a tenth of Cyrille's grace and authority. His energy is unflagging, his power absolute, tempered only by an ever-present sense of propriety." [2]


Life and career

Cyrille was born on November 10, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York into a Haitian family. [3] He began studying science at St. John's University, but was already playing jazz in the evenings and switched his studies to the Juilliard School. [4] His first drum teachers were fellow Brooklyn-based drummers Willie Jones and Lenny McBrowne; through them, Cyrille met Max Roach. Nonetheless, Cyrille became a disciple of Philly Joe Jones, who in some performances such as Time Waits used Cyrille's drum kit. [3]

His first professional engagement was as an accompanist of singer Nellie Lutcher, and he had an early recording session with Coleman Hawkins. [5] Trumpeter Ted Curson introduced him to pianist Cecil Taylor when Cyrille was 18. [5]

He joined the Cecil Taylor unit in 1964, and stayed for about 10 years, eventually performing drum duos with Milford Graves. In addition to recording as a bandleader, he has recorded and/or performed with musicians such as David Murray, Irène Schweizer, Marilyn Crispell, Carla Bley, Butch Morris and Reggie Workman among others. Cyrille is currently a member of the group, Trio 3, with Oliver Lake and Reggie Workman.


As leader

With Trio 3

As sideman

With Muhal Richard Abrams

With Geri Allen

With Ahmed Abdul-Malik

With Billy Bang

With Bill Barron

With Carla Bley

With Jean-Paul Bourelly

With Charles Brackeen

With Anthony Braxton

With Marion Brown

With Dave Burrell

With Kenny Burrell and Coleman Hawkins

With John Carter

With Kenny Clarke, Milford Graves, and Famoudou Don Moye

With Walt Dickerson

With Dave Douglas

With Dave Douglas and Uri Caine

With Marty Ehrlich

With Charlie Haden

With David Haney

With Coleman Hawkins

With Jazz Composer's Orchestra

With Leroy Jenkins

With Oliver Lake

With Jimmy Lyons

With Bill McHenry

With Grachan Moncur III

With David Murray

With Ivo Perelman

With Lonnie Liston Smith

With Horace Tapscott

With Cecil Taylor

With John Tchicai and Reggie Workman

With Bob Thiele Collective

With Mal Waldron

With Reggie Workman

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  1. Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (1999). "Cyrille, Andrew Charles". The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 161.
  2. Kelsey, Chris. "Andrew Cyrille: Biography". Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  3. 1 2 Patmos, Michael (February 1, 2014). "Andrew Cyrille: Drum Dialogue" (PDF). Modern Drummer : 54–59. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  4. Bob Young and Al Stankus (1992). Jazz Cooks. Stewart Tabori and Chang. pp. 92–93. ISBN   1-55670-192-6.
  5. 1 2 Case, Brian (October 4, 1975), "Make like a chimp (or choose your own alternative)", NME , pp. 28–29