World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Clifford Thornton

Article Id: WHEBN0011349499
Reproduction Date:

Title: Clifford Thornton  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Free jazz, Sunny Murray, Joe McPhee, Grachan Moncur III, United States gubernatorial elections, 2006, Dewey Redman, Green National Committee, BYG Actuel, Jazz Composer's Orchestra, Echo (Dave Burrell album)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Clifford Thornton

For the drug policy reform advocate and Green Party politician, see Cliff Thornton.
Clifford Thornton
Genres Avant-garde jazz
Free jazz
Occupations Musician
Instruments Trumpet

Clifford Thornton (September 6, 1939 - November 25, 1989) was an American free jazz trombonist, trumpeter and composer.


Clifford was born in Philadelphia in 1939, and grew up in the city, attending Temple University. His family appears to have had a musical bent (drummer J.C. Moses is a cousin) and Clifford began piano lessons at 7.[1] After a late 50's stint in the army band, Thornton moved to New York City.

He studied with trumpeter Donald Byrd in the mid-1950s and worked with various players such as tuba player Ray Draper. He played with numerous avant-garde jazz bands, appearing as a sideman on records by notable artists Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, and Sam Rivers. His first album, 1967's Freedom & Unity, was recorded the day after John Coltrane's funeral.[2] It included Coltrane associate Jimmy Garrison and also marked the first recorded appearance of Joe McPhee.[3]

Thornton was in Algiers for the 1969 Pan-African Cultural Festival of the OAU, which had an important impact on his political thought,[4] and integrated his musical and political aims. Most of the works recorded under his own name as leader were large-form compositions [5]

He taught at Wesleyan University in the early 1970s; he brought many younger jazz musicians to perform on campus, giving the academic ethnomusicology world more exposure to current American music. Thought to possess radical political leanings, Thornton was denied entry into France in the 1970's.[3] Thornton spent the last 15 years of his life in Europe; he died in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1989.


As leader

As sideman

With Dave Burrell

With Archie Shepp

Jason Guthartz's discography, compiled through 2008, is the most complete on-line listing of Clifford on record.[6]


External links

  • Clifford Thornton at Allmusic
  • Thornton Facebook page

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.