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The Leaders

Band, US
Jazz
A.k.a. The Leaders Trio

The Leaders is an American avant-jazz supergroup, formed by tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman, originally active in 1983–1994, and reunited in 2006. The band went through a few personnel changes in the early years. In the original line-up, Freeman played with Arthur Blythe on alto saxophone and Don Cherry on trumpet, backed with a rhythm section by Don Pullen (piano), Cecil McBee (bass) and Famoudou Don Moye (drums and percussion). Pullen was replaced with Hilton Ruiz, and eventually Kirk Lightsey, while A.E.C's trumpeter Lester Bowie took over Cherry's duties in the third, and most prolific, reincarnation. The Leaders released three albums on Black Saint and BlackHawk Records in the 1980s, as well as Slipping And Sliding CD on Japanese label Sound Hills Records in 1994. The sextet was met with mixed reviews – while each member independently was a universally recognized mastodon of the 80's free jazz, some critics characterized The Leaders as being more of a novelty. The rhythm section of the ensemble also released one album, Heaven Dance, as The Leaders Trio on Sunnyside label in 1989. In 2006, Chico Freeman decided to revive The Leaders, and invited Eddie Henderson to take Lester Bowie's place, with Bobby Watson (2) on alto saxophone, and Cecil McBee (the only other original 'Leader' in the band), Fred Harris (2) (piano) and Billy Hart (drums) forming a rhythm section. The reunited sextet recorded and released Spirits Alike album on German label Double Moon Records. Original members (1983) Chico Freeman – tenor saxophone Arthur Blythe – alto saxophone Don Cherry – trumpet Don Pullen – piano Cecil McBee – bass Famoudou Don Moye – drums Second incarnation (1984) Chico Freeman – tenor saxophone Arthur Blythe – alto saxophone Don Cherry – trumpet Hilton Ruiz* – piano Cecil McBee – bass Famoudou Don Moye – drums Final 3rd incarnation (1985–94) Chico Freeman – tenor saxophone Arthur Blythe – alto saxophone Lester Bowie* – trumpet Kirk Lightsey* – piano, flute Cecil McBee – bass Famoudou Don Moye – drums, percussion * New members with asterix The reunited Leaders (2007) Chico Freeman* – tenor & soprano saxophone Bobby Watson – alto saxophone Eddie Henderson – trumpet Fred Harris – piano Cecil McBee* – bass Billy Hart – drums * Original members with asterix

        
Members
PortraitEddie Henderson
tr, fh *1940 US
PortraitDon Cherry
tr, cor 1936-1995 US
PortraitLester Bowie
tr 1941-1999 US
PortraitArthur Blythe
as *1940 US
PortraitBilly Hart
dr *1940 US
PortraitHilton Ruiz
p 1952-2006 US
PortraitCecil McBee
b *1935 US
PortraitDon Pullen
p 1941-1995 US
PortraitChico Freeman
ts *1949 US
PortraitKirk Lightsey
p *1937 US
PortraitBobby Watson
as *1953 US
PortraitFamoudou Don Moye
perc, dr *1946 US
Fred Harris
p
Popular Tracks   
Tit for Tat on Skinheads on the Dancefloor, Vol. 11 - Killing Rocksteady Shots by Various Artists
(It's A) Rat Race - Vocal on Rat Race by The Leaders
Someday Someway on Skinheads on the Dancefloor, Vol. 9 - Hot Shot Rocksteady by Various Artists
Someday Someway on Explosive Rock Steady by Various Artists
(It's A) Rat Race - Instrumental on Rat Race by The Leaders
Cool T. on Out Here Like This... by The Leaders
Zero on Out Here Like This... by The Leaders
Hip Dripper on Unforeseen Blessings by The Leaders
In A Minute on Unforeseen Blessings by The Leaders
Peacemaker on Unforeseen Blessings by The Leaders

Track list and 30sec audio provided by


Band Membership
Discography
Title Artist Year Type
Spirits AlikeThe Leaders2006Album
Slipping And SlidingThe Leaders1994Album
Unforeseen BlessingsThe Leaders1989Album
Out Here Like This...The Leaders1988Album
MudfootThe Leaders1986Album
External Links
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Acknowledgements
To all the music fans that are contributing on Discogs, MusicBrainz and Wikipedia. Thanks to Franz Flückiger for providing Storygram used to visualize band membership and together with Stefan Guggisberg for the visual data mining application ArtistAnalytics.
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