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Longineu Parsons

Longineu Parsons

I think when musicologists look back on the 20th century, they will say that the last third was about funk as being the dominant rhythm for the whole world,” says trumpeter Longineu Parsons, a paid-up member of the jazz avant garde. “That means that James Brown is one of the most important musical figures in the whole world for the last third of the 20th century.”

Born in 1950, Parsons studied classical trumpet and played R&B in “all the cut ’em up-shoot ’em up joints in Alabama, Georgia, south Florida.” At 19, Parsons went jazz 24-7 (“I was hearing a sound that wasn’t restricted by meter or anything else.”) and by the late ’70s he was gigging with Sun Ra. In 1980, Parsons recorded a self-titled album that few outside of the Parisian underground heard. Discouraged, he went back to school, earning a Masters degree in classical composition from the University of Florida, where he is now an assistant professor. In ’92, a second album, Work Song, did bubkas. Enter Lady Luck.

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