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Tina Brooks: Tina Brooks was an American hard bop, blues, and funk tenor saxophonist and composer. ... was a man called Harold. The sax player became 'Teeny' Brooks because of his youthful appearance and this became Tina after someone misheard the nickname one day.
Tina Brooks is best known for his work for Blue Note Records between 1958 and 1961, recording primarily as a sideman with Kenny Burrell, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, Freddie Redd, and Jimmy Smith. Around the same period, Tina Brooks was McLean's understudy in The Connection, a play by Jack Gelber with music by Redd, and performed on an album of music from the play on the Felsted Label.
Tina Brooks recorded five sessions of his own for Blue Note (including one jointly with McLean). The first session was recorded on March 16, 1958 at the Van Gelder Studio in Hackensack, New Jersey, and featured promising young trumpeter Lee Morgan alongside seasoned professionals such as Sonny Clark, Doug Watkins and Art Blakey. Despite the calibre of the players and the quality of the output, Minor Move was not released for more than two decades, several years after Tina Brooks had died. This started an unfortunate trend, as three of his four other sessions (Street Singer, Back to the Tracks and The Waiting Game) did not appear during his lifetime. The exception was True Blue, a session recorded on June 25, 1960 with Freddie Hubbard, Duke Jordan, Sam Jones and Art Taylor. The release of True Blue coincided with the release of Hubbard's Blue Note debut album, Open Sesame (also featuring Tina Brooks), and was not actively promoted.
Tina Brooks did not record after 1961. Plagued by heroin dependency, and gradually deteriorating health, he died of liver failure aged just 42.
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