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Wise Talk! Discuss Ray Copeland Jazz Trumpeter in the Artists in Residence forums; Dear Professor Wise, I have recently been checking out the Music of Thelonius "Sphere" Monk and wanted to know if ...
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    New Friend Paul Tomashefsky's Avatar
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    Ray Copeland Jazz Trumpeter

    Dear Professor Wise,
    I have recently been checking out the Music of Thelonius "Sphere" Monk and wanted to know if you ever encountered the Trumpeter Ray Copeland along your Journey as a New York Trumpeter. I recently visited the hamshire College (Amherst , MA ) Library where Professor Copeland was once a teacher and read through his doctoral dissertation and his method book Creative Approach to Jazz IMprovisation published back in 1974. He sounds like a very talented and underappreciated Jazz player / Musican. I enjoy listening to him play on the Thelonius Monk Septet recording with Gigi-Gryce and John Coltrane. There's another recording with Ernoe Wilkins "Top Brass" which I cannot find (Yet) that features Ray Copeland, Joe Wilder, and several other Top Jazz Trumpeters. . . Any thoughts on this subject would be appreciated!

    Paul T. Educator and performer
    Westborough, MA
    "Life Beats down and crushes the Soul, and Art reminds You that You have One" Stella Adler

    "Music Washes away the Dust of Every Day Life"
    Art Blakey

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    Re: Ray Copeland Jazz Trumpeter

    iTunes has the "Top Brass" recording for sale.
    I met Ray on a gig he played with Randy Weston, Melba Liston was the Music Director. Ray had some serious chops. I believe you will find Ray with Randy on a Few recordings. Ray also played in the Illinois Jacquet big band. He was quite busy in the studios.
    Wilmer
    Be sure Brain is engaged before putting Mouthpiece in gear.
    S.Suark 1951

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    Re: Ray Copeland Jazz Trumpeter

    Here's Ray's allmusic bio-
    Biography by Ron Wynn
    An accomplished composer and instructor, Ray Copeland was a solid trumpeter from the '40s until the '80s in swing, bebop, hard bop and even with stage bands. He gave many workshops and jazz history courses, and his playing demonstrated a confident, engaging tone and crackling energy, as well as effective range and timbre. Copeland studied classical trumpet and played with various rock and pop groups as a teenager in Brooklyn. He toured in the late '40s with Mercer Ellington and Al Cooper's Savoy Sultans. Copeland played with Andy Kirk and Sy Oliver in the early '50s, and played bebop and swing with Lionel Hampton, Randy Weston, Oscar Pettiford and others in the late '50s. He was featured in the 1959 film "Kiss Her Goodbye." Copeland played in The Roxy Theater Orchestra in the late '50s and early '60s, while also working with Art Blakey, Cat Anderson, Johnny Richards, Louis Bellson and Pearl Bailey. Copeland was one of Ella Fitzgerald's accompanists in 1965. He rejoined Weston in 1966, and toured Africa on State Department-sponsored events in 1967 and Morocco in 1970. He toured Europe with Thelonious Monk in 1968. Copeland played at the 1973 Newport Jazz Festival and continued performing periodically into the '80s. He also led orchestras in New York during the '70s, and his "Classical Jazz Suite in Six Movements" composition premiered at the Lincoln Center in 1970. Copeland worked in Broadway shows and toured Europe with the revue "The Musical Life of Charlie Parker" in 1974. His book "The Ray Copeland Method and Approach to the Creative Art of Jazz Improvisation" was published that same year. Copeland didn't issue any dates as a leader, but can be heard on various reissues by Monk, Weston, Blakey and Anderson.
    Be sure Brain is engaged before putting Mouthpiece in gear.
    S.Suark 1951

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    Re: Ray Copeland Jazz Trumpeter

    Dear WiseOne,
    Thanks for All the info and "Great Web-Page!"

    Yours, in Music___

    Paul T.
    "Life Beats down and crushes the Soul, and Art reminds You that You have One" Stella Adler

    "Music Washes away the Dust of Every Day Life"
    Art Blakey

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    Re: Ray Copeland Jazz Trumpeter

    Quote Originally Posted by wiseone2 View Post
    iTunes has the "Top Brass" recording for sale.
    Wilmer

    Wilmer, thanks for the tip, I just downloaded it. What a terrific session.

    Michael McLaughlin
    Morelia MM

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    Re: Ray Copeland Jazz Trumpeter

    I can't remember the label but if you run across Art Blakey's Big Band in the used bend, BUY IT!!! I believe Mr. Copeland is playing lead on that. It boast an all star line-up that you wouldn't believe!!! I think Melba Listin does many of the arrangements.
    Mr. Wise, you are sssooooo BLESSED! Peace!

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    Re: Ray Copeland Jazz Trumpeter

    I had Ray Copeland as a teacher at Berklee College of Music, he was outstanding as a player and a person.He also appeared on a Cat Anderson record titled Cat on a Hot Tin Roof they had a great trumpet go round on it ,The cut was called Little Man it featured Cat ,Ernie Royal,Snooky Young,Reanold Jones and Ray.You can tell Ray because he liked to do a lot of triple tonging.Some of his best playing was on the Randy Weston Album African Cookbook(rated 5 stars in Down Beat Magazine).Ray was a joy to be around he also has a son that is an excellent drummer named Keith Copeland.He played a beat up old Benge Trumpet and a Yamaha Flugel.

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    Re: Ray Copeland Jazz Trumpeter

    Quote Originally Posted by trumpetgeek View Post
    I can't remember the label but if you run across Art Blakey's Big Band in the used bend, BUY IT!!! I believe Mr. Copeland is playing lead on that. It boast an all star line-up that you wouldn't believe!!! I think Melba Listin does many of the arrangements.
    Mr. Wise, you are sssooooo BLESSED! Peace!

    By all means get it. great music. Ray is indeed playing lead on most of it, as well as a solo on "Ain't Life Grand" however he splits the book with Donald Byrd on a few of the charts. Check out "A Map of Jimmy Cleveland" he plays really solid jazz on almost every selection.

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