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Edward Gale Stevens Jr. (August 15, 1941 – July 10, 2020), better known as Eddie Gale, was an American trumpeter known for his work in free jazz, especially with the Sun Ra Arkestra.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Gale studied trumpet with Kenny Dorham. He recorded with Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Larry Young, and Elvin Jones, and performed with John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, Booker Ervin, and Illinois Jacquet. In the early 1960s he was introduced to Sun Ra by drummer Scoby Stroman. He spent many hours exposed to Sun Ra's philosophy about music and life. Eddie explains, "Playing with Sun Ra is a great experience--from the known to the unknown. You play ideas on your instrument that you never imagine. His music provoked me to explore the use of trills, for instance, and the placement of whole tones and then a space chord--ideas you do not find in the
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EDDIE GALE Discography

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EDDIE GALE Eddie Gale's Ghetto Music album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Eddie Gale's Ghetto Music
Avant-Garde Jazz 1968
EDDIE GALE Black Rhythm Happening album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Black Rhythm Happening
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
EDDIE GALE A Minute With Miles album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Minute With Miles
Post Bop 1993
EDDIE GALE Afro Fire album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Afro Fire
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 2004
EDDIE GALE Ancestors Wailing (with Lars Hidde) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ancestors Wailing (with Lars Hidde)
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 2010
EDDIE GALE Ghetto Music - The Remake and Beyond (After 45 Years) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ghetto Music - The Remake and Beyond (After 45 Years)
World Fusion 2014

EDDIE GALE EPs & splits

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EDDIE GALE Inner Peace Suite album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Inner Peace Suite
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013

EDDIE GALE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

EDDIE GALE re-issues & compilations

EDDIE GALE Eddie Gale's Ghetto Music : The Remake and Beyond 50th Year Anniversary Collector's Edition album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Eddie Gale's Ghetto Music : The Remake and Beyond 50th Year Anniversary Collector's Edition
World Fusion 2017

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EDDIE GALE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


EDDIE GALE Eddie Gale's Ghetto Music

Album · 1968 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
For those into Sun Ra music, Eddie Gale is not unknown, but by the time he started to take matters into his own hands, it was the late 60’s and the jazz scene was changing quickly. Although his first solo career only lasted two albums (he would return as solo/leader in the 90’s), it’s an understatement to say that his works were certainly groundbreaking and unfortunately all too obscure to the mainstream for his Ghetto Music and the follow-up Black Rhythm Happening) sank more or less without a trace, despite both of them being released on the Blue Note label and were recorded with RVG.

The line-up is an ambitious sextet, with two drummers and two bass players and Lyle and Gale on winds. Furthermore, he embarked an 11-person vocal/choir section under the guidance of wife Joan and Elaine Beiner. The musical concept took on another dimension live, since the stage was also a bit theatrical and representing Gale’s life experience and made to transport you.

Opening on the astounding The Rain, which opens on Brit/Celtic folk ambiances with a crystalline voice (that of Mrs Gale), once the band kicks in , we’re on a totally different dimension, where the singers’ choirs vocals are chilling on a dramatic background double-drum and stupendous sax and trumpet interventions. This is absolutely grandiose, and I can only shudder to think what this would’ve given on stage. The following Fulton Street (not the Frisco avenue) is a very different ballgame, opening on drums and winds rolls and blows, then going totally frantic and tense and slightly dissonant with Gale’s trumpet and Lyle’s sax. Obviously life was restless in the streets, and it’s not the two basses and two drums solos coming later in that will make it any easier, despite some chants. A much more sombre affair with the sad Understanding, where Gale’s trumpet is almost sinister and Lyle’s sax is grieving just as bad, and male lower voices of the voice section only accentuate this.

On the flipside, the opening Walk With thee opens on a martial (almost bolero-like) beat with some spiritual chants and heavy brass sonics. Once the groove settled, Gale goes slightly dissonant. There is some joy and exuberance in this piece and the feel is slightly gypsy/circus-like at times. The album’s 13-mins+ highlight is Coming of Gwilu (that’s Joann and Eddie’s baby), and the opening savannah’s sounds pricks your attention. Past the intro, the two drums then a bass ostinato build up the piece, but we remain on the black continent and Beiner’s lead vocals being answered by the choirs over wild percussions is quite poignant. The piece takes a few minutes before reaching its nucleus when the song announces through Beinner’s voice the happy event (Gwilu’s birth) to the village and Gale’s solemn trumpet blows the hatch roofs from the huts. I don’t know if Gale ever went to Africa, but it certainly feels like I did after listening to such breathtaking evasion and soundscapes .

I’m not exactly sure how come this album is still an obscure gem, but maybe the fact that Blue Note label enthusiasts prefer albums from Herbie, Wayne or Miles might occult the exposure of Gale. No doubt that this kind of outstanding and groundbreaking explorations of Gale might have found more exposure with the Impulse “New Thing” , just like Tyner Africans adventures two years later like Assante or Expansions might have found another echo. Definitely worth exploring, but be aware that this kind of “jazz thing” could turn you away from your old standard classics. When listening to his music, it’s little wonder Gale came from Sun Ra’s galaxy.

EDDIE GALE Black Rhythm Happening

Album · 1969 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
Gale’s second album is more or less the logical continuity of Ghetto Music, in both sonics and musicians taking part into it (more or less unchanged), despite a somewhat different format (four of the eight tracks around or below three minutes). Recorded and released the following year, still on Blue Note, Black Rhythm Happening does feature some guests, the better-known being Elvin Jones and the Noble singers are under the leadership of Fulumi Prince, this time.

Opening on the short title track, with some banter, rants and jeering over a (un-credited) electric guitar in a happy mood piece. The following even-shorter Gleeker (whatever that is) features heavy brass and wild drums, while wife Joann handles lead vocals. The slow-starting Song Of Will features slow plaintive chants before a brass blast over dissonant drums and bass blows it apart. Ghetto Love Song is a poignant song Mexico Thing has an expected Spanish feeling, mainly induced by Gale’s trumpet

Opening the flipside, Ghetto Summertime is an intense piece with that guitar coming back for added tension while Gale’s trumpet blows a mean tune. It Must Be You sports a slight Middle-Eastern flavour in its bass line. The album’s Teyonda centrepiece closes the album and it is a haunting and tense piece, but halfway through, the declamation of the Zodiac signs and a mumbo-jumbo astrological monologue shows its late-60’s origins.

Despite plenty of qualities of its own, BRH fails to match its predecessor’s success, partly because the surprise is now gone, but the shorter tracks are often not bringing the same flavour that the longer ones did in GM. Nevertheless, Gale’s second solo album is still an excellent disc, but sadly it would be his last for the next 30 years, and from what I heard his three “recent” albums don’t hold the same sense of urgency that these two did.

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