The Leaders (3)

Profile:
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
Aliases:
Members:
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Artist

Albums

The Leaders (3) - Mudfoot album art The Leaders (3) Mudfoot (Album) BlackHawk Records Japan 1986 Sell This Version
The Leaders (3) - Out Here Like This... album art The Leaders (3) Out Here Like This... (Album) Black Saint Italy 1988 Sell This Version
The Leaders (3) - Unforeseen Blessings album art The Leaders (3) Unforeseen Blessings (Album) Black Saint Italy 1989 Sell This Version
The Leaders (3) - Slipping And Sliding album art The Leaders (3) Slipping And Sliding (Album) Sound Hills Records Japan 1994 Sell This Version
DMCHR 71060 The Leaders (3) - Spirits Alike album art The Leaders (3) Spirits Alike(CD, Album) Double Moon Records DMCHR 71060 Germany 2006 Sell This Version

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