Vernel Fournier made his name as the deftly understated and highly musical drummer in one of the most famous of all modern jazz trios, led by pianist Ahmad Jamal. His subtle, quicksilver touches with his trademark wire brushes provided the flexible underpinning for a trio which thrived on its supple manipulation of dynamics and use of space.
He was born Vernel Anthony Fournier in New Orleans, and the distinctive rhythmic feel of the city never disappeared from his music. He began playing parade drum at the age of ten with a marching group, the Young Swingsters, and was taught by the New Orleans drummer Sidney Montague while still in school.
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