Born: January 3, 1931 | Died: July 12, 1993 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
John Jenkins is from Chicago where he was born on January 3, 1931 and has been another pupil of the famous Capt. Walter Dyett of Du Sable High. Johnny Griffin, Clifford Jordan and John Gilmore were among his schoolmates. Jenkins began on clarinet and six month later switched to alto. His baptism of fire came in 1949 at the Roosevelt College sessions promoted by Joe Segal and he continued to play at these swinging affairs during his next seven years in Chicago. He also played at local clubs like the Bee Hive. In 1955, John did a week apiece in Chicago and Cleveland with Art Farmer when Gigi Gryce was unable to be present. In December of that same year, he fronted his own quartet at Chicago's Bee Hive during the Christmas holidays. Concerts and sessions for Joe Segal were the main items on the agenda in 1956; musicians as Ira Sullivan and Johnny Griffin were among the participants. A short stay with Charlie Mingus's group opened the New York phase in March of 1957. In that year, he recorded extensively with the Who's Who of the NY scene: Hank Mobley, Kenny Burrell, Sonny Clark, Clifford Jordan, Paul Quinichette, Sahib Shihab, Jackie McLean, Donald Byrd and Bobby Timmons. His alto playing shows the influence of Charlie Parker and Jackie McLean. After 1957, he disappeared from the recording scene, only returning once in 1990 at a big band session for Clifford Jordan. (short bio based on liner notes by Ira Gitler)
As a Side Musician
As a Leader/Co-Leader
Jackie McLean/John Jenkins: Alto Madness
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, May 3, 1957.
Tracks: Easy Living; Windy City; Pondering; The Lady Is A Tramp; Alto Madness; Bird Feathers*.
Personnel: John Jenkins, Jackie McLean: alto sax; Wade Legge: piano; Doug Watkins: bass; Art Taylor: drums.
Note: *Track first appeared on Various Artists: Bird Feathers (Prestige/New Jazz), then was added as bonus on reissue.
Jenkins, Jordan And Timmons
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, July 26, 1957.
Tracks: Cliff's Edge; Princess; Soft Talk; Tenderly; Blue Jay.
Personnel: John Jenkins: alto sax; Clifford Jordan: tenor sax; Bobby Timmons: piano; Wilbur Ware: bass; Dannie Richmond: drums.
John Jenkins With Kenny Burrell
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, August 11, 1957.
Tracks: Chalumeau; From This Moment On; Motif; Everything I Have Is Yours; Sharon; Blues For Two.
Personnel: John Jenkins: alto sax; Sonny Clark: piano; Kenny Burrell: guitar; Paul Chambers: bass; Dannie Richmond: drums.
John Jenkins/Donald Byrd: Star Eyes
NYC, September 10, 1957.
Tracks: Rockaway; Orpheus; Honey-Chile; Darn That Dream; Star Eyes.
Personnel: Donald Byrd: trumpet; Curtis Fuller: trombone; John Jenkins: alto sax; Tommy Flanagan: piano; Doug Watkins: bass; Art Taylor: drums.
Note: All tracks except "Darn That Dream" originally issued as Jazz Eyes (Regent/Savoy).
As a Side Musician
The Prestige All Stars
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, April 14, 1957.
Tracks: The Eagle Flies; Bunin; Reiteration; Song Of A Star; Staggers.
Personnel: Idrees Sulieman: trumpet; John Jenkins: alto sax; Teddy Charles: vibes; Mal Waldron: piano; Addison Farmer: bass; Jerry Segal: drums.
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, April 21, 1957.
Tracks: Easy To Love; Fit For A Hanker; Hi Groove, Low Feedback; Time After Time; Dance Of The Infidels.
Personnel: Donald Byrd: trumpet; John Jenkins: alto sax; Hank Mobley: tenor sax; Bobby Timmons: piano; Wilbur Ware: bass; Philly Joe Jones: drums.
On The Sunny Side
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, May 10, 1957.
Tracks: Blue Dots°; On The Sunny Side Of The Street; Cool-Lypso°.
Personnel: Curtis Fuller°: trombone; Sonny Red°, John Jenkins: alto sax; Paul Quinichette: tenor sax; Mal Waldron: piano; Doug Watkins: bass; Ed Thigpen: drums.
Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, June 2, 1957.
Tracks: St. Johns°¹; Not Guilty¹; Blue Shoes¹; Beyond The Blue Horizon°¹; Ju-Ba°.
Personnel: Lee Morgan°: trumpet; Curtis Fuller¹: trombone; John Jenkins: alto sax; Clifford Jordan: tenor sax; Ray Bryant: piano; Paul Chambers: bass; Art Taylor: drums.
The Jazz We Heard Last Summer
Herbie Mann/Sahib Shihab
NYC, June 6, 1957.
Tracks: SWTWTFSS Blues; Rockaway; The Things We Did Last Summer.
Personnel: John Jenkins: alto sax; Clifford Jordan: tenor sax; Sahib Shihab: baritone sax; Hank Jones: piano; Addison Farmer: bass; Dannie Richmond: drums.
The Chicago Sound
NYC, October 16, 1957.
Tracks: Mamma-Daddy°; Desert Sands°; 31 St. And States°; Lullaby Of The Leaves°; Latin Quarter°; Be-Ware°; Body And Soul¹; The Man I Love¹.
Personnel: John Jenkins: alto sax; Johnny Griffin: tenor sax; Junior Mance: piano; Wilbur Ware: bass; Wilbur Campbell°, Frankie Dunlop¹: drums.
Note: Also issued as Johnny Griffin/Wilbur Ware: The Chicago Cookers (Jazzland).
Play What You Feel
Live at Condon's, NYC, December 1990.
Tracks: Third Avenue; Angelica; Old Bo; I Waited For You; Evidence; I'll Be Around; Bearcat; Down Through The Years; Charlie Parker's Last Supper; Don't Get Around Much Anymore.
Personnel: Dizzy Reece, Dean Pratt, Don Sickler, Joe Gardner: trumpet; Kiane Zawadi: trombone; John Jenkins, Charles Davis: alto sax; Clifford Jordan, Lou Orensen, Junior Cook, Willie Williams: tenor sax; Robert Eldridge: baritone sax; Ronnie Mathews: piano; Ed Howard: bass; Tommy Campbell: drums.
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