Jerry Fuller (drummer) was born on April 5, 1939 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He passed away July 13, 2002 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He came from a musical family, his father Jerry was a saxophonist who led a big band at the Palliser Hotel in Calgary from 1937 through 1944. The family then moved to Vancouver and his dad became the leader at the Cave from 1944 into 1947.
There Jerry, who had begun to take drum lessons in Calgary from Bruce Bristowe, his dad’s drummer, continued his studies with the noted drum teacher, Jim Blackley. It was then on to L.A. for studies at Westlake College in 1958-59.
In the late 50s, like many a young Western musician, Fuller worked with the band of Paul Perry, P. J.’s dad, at Sylvan Lake, a summer resort described as being half way between Edmonton and Calgary. The senior Perry’s band had been the senior Fuller’s rival in Calgary and it was here that the two sons hooked up musically.
At the Cellar in Vancouver, Jerry and P. J., along with multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson and Dale Hillary, another fiery alto player, were the local “hard bop” heavies. From Montreal, Jerry and his new wife moved on to Toronto in 1963 and by the end of that decade Fuller had worked at George’s Spaghetti House, in the studios with Rick Wilkins and recorded a Ron Collier project that had Duke Ellington guesting on piano.
Jerry, beginning with Bourbon Street in 1973, got to play with many a touring American heavy – Pepper Adams (who he had played with at Loyola College in Montreal with Maury Kaye and Fred McHugh), Zoot Sims, Paul Desmond and Lee Konitz among them – in a succession of spots including “The Toronto Alive!” broadcasts from the Trader’s Lounge of the Eaton Centre with pianist Ian Bargh and Jim Galloway, the Montreal Bistro and the Top O’ The Senator.