Last thursday the great pianist Claude Black died at the age of 80 years: Toledo jazz legend Claude Black dies at 80 (Toledoblade)”.
When he was thirteen, his mother and sister were shot by his stepfather. He was then raised by his grandmother, who gave him the first piano lessons, and an uncle, who was friends with all kinds of jazz musicians such as Fats Waller. Black Horn played in a school band, including Donald Byrd, but exchanged Horn in the part for trombone, with the Horn because you couldn’t singen. When he was sixteen he had his first professional gig in a club in Detroit. He then played in different groups and later on, he met bassist Clifford Murphy, with whom he would collaborate for forty years, including many years in his club. In the 1950s he played with Charlie Parker, Stan Getz and Wes Montgomery, in the 1960s he toured with Dakota Staton and Aretha Franklin. He also played with Earl Bostic. In 1973 he settled in Toledo, where he later taught at the University of Toledo. Black has also played with Jon Hendricks and Wynton Marsalis, among others, and recorded with David Fathead Newman and Oliver Jackson.
Claude Black Jazz Benefit Concert, University Toledo, 31 january 2012: