After moving to New York in 1971, he played with the Collective Black Artists big band and Mary Lou Williams. He was also in groups led by Charles Mingus, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Tito Puente. In 1972 he played a free jazz concert at Town Hall with Anthony Braxton and was featured with him on an album of the same name. In 1973 John recorded with Abdullah Ibrahim and worked with Miles Davis - and later recorded with him in 75.
His credits also include such major artists as The Mingus Big Band, Gil Evans, McCoy Tyner, World Saxophone Quartet, Kenny Barron, Freddie Hubbard, Nat Adderly, Jerry Gonzalez And The Fort Apache Band, and George Russell. Concert reviews attest that Stubblefield is a powerful" and irresistible" soloist who has stood out with such ensembles as the McCoy Tyner Big Band and the Mingus Dynasty Big Band.
While still young in Little Rock, he discovered Don Byas, the great tenor saxophonist with the Basie Band. Byas had married into a Little Rock family. Some years later after leaving Arkansas for Chicago, Stubblefield connected with the man he says is responsible for inspiring him to take up tenor. Another musical force in his life was another Arkansas resident William Grant Still. Although Still was a symphonist and chamber music composer, his themes are rooted in spirituals and blues; he was a master of clear melodic expression and deep feeling.
Stubblefield has had his own quartet since 1980, and his first album as a leader was Midnight Sun in 1976. In addition to dozens of albums and CDs as a sideman, he has ten releases as a leader with his most recent Morning Song in 1993.
This concert at Sweet Rhythm on June 2 is being done to raise funds for John Stubblefield who is hospitalized and gravely ill.
The John Stubblefield Fundraiser Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004
8pm - 11pm
Sweet Rhythm, 88 Seventh Avenue South (Bleeker/Grove)
Featuring: MINGUS DYNASTY / JOE LOVANO / GEORGE COLEMAN / KENNY BARRON
Host: TODD BARKAN