Dr. Longineu Parsons
The career of Longineu Parsons, with its many musical pieces and parts, serves as a metaphor for what he calls “the disorder of the human tribe.” The whole of Longineu Parsons is greater than the sum of his parts, and he has made it his mission – and the mission of his own Tribal Disorder Records – to use music as “a force against disorder in the human tribe.”
In his own life and career, this “disorder” has come in the form of widely diverse musical passions and pursuits. Growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, Parsons instinctively plays the blues as a native language. After cutting his teeth playing hometown gigs starting in junior high, he toured on the Chitlin Circuit for a few years before attending Florida A&M University for his undergraduate degree. There, two pivotal experiences would help set his course. The first was that he heard the John Coltrane album “Expression” – it opened his ears and changed his life. Though he was already into Miles Davis and “Bitches Brew,” something was different about this. Secondly, he met the famous trumpeter (and FAMU alum) Nat Adderley. Nat took Longineu under his wing and over time, mentor and protégé became lifelong friends. Longineu is honored to play Nat’s cornet as his main horn.
A stint as the trumpet player in the hit Broadway musical Bubbling Brown Sugar led to a US tour with the show followed by six months in Paris. Having vowed to stay in Europe if he ever got a gig there, Longineu made good on this promise and stayed for four years, during which time he joined Sun Ra’s band and toured with a number of other artists. He returned to New York in the early 1980’s as part of the “avant garde crowd” – and this membership only provided motivation to stay rooted in tradition and to be able to “out-bop the beboppers.” Leveraging the technique developed through his classical training, the traditional jazz experience of his youth, and the feel developed through his days on the Chitlin Circuit, Parsons presents a comprehensive arsenal of jazz not often heard. He has performed and recorded with an impressive list of music greats including Nat Adderley, Cab Calloway, Frank Foster, Billy Harper, Philly Joe Jones, Herbie Mann, David Murray, Sam Rivers, Cecil Taylor, Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson, and others. His advanced degrees in classical trumpet performance and composition may suggest a middle-aged turn away from jazz, but that’s not at all the case. Parsons views music holistically – he doesn’t see different things, and may have a jazz influence in a classical piece or vice versa. New music includes that which came before it, but also the other things on planet Earth that are happening in music and sound. He sees no conflict between musics – just problem-solving by putting different genres together.
Dr. Longineu Parsons II is Professor of Music at Florida A&M University and is President of Tribal Disorder Records. 2019 brought a trio of album releases that included “Work Song – 25th Anniversary Edition” (co-produced by Nat Adderley and featuring performances by Adderley and the legendary Sam Rivers), “To Satchmo with Love,” and “21 Blue – Blues for the 21st Century” (with Ted Shumate).
Longineu is currently touring with The Longineu Parsons Ensemble featuring Nat Adderley, Jr.
Released in 2019, Work Song – 25th Anniversary Edition is co-produced by Nat Adderley and features performances by Adderley and the legendary Sam Rivers.
Tribal Disorder addresses the disorder of which the human tribe is woefully afflicted. This music is composed of many of the human elements, which though seemingly incongruous, are actually harmonious in a radical sort of way.
After all, it is radical for humans of different cultures, religions, nations, races, etc., to get along harmoniously. We are taught from birth how to dislike and mistrust each other. We learn these things from our parents, our national leaders, our religious leaders, our teachers, our friends and lovers.
Featuring Longineu Parsons on trumpets and Joanna Sobkowska on piano, this is music that traverses boundaries of time and culture. Music from France, Russia, Spain, the Americas, and the African Diaspora.
“Modern versions of blues traditions. Featuring virtuoso performances by Longineu Parsons and Ted Shumate, Live from Heartwood draws from almost a century of blues history. The songs start way back with Louis Armstrong, stop by Howlin’ Wolf’s place, then pick up a funky hit from Pee Wee Ellis, a veteran of James Brown’s band. Throughout, 21 Blue shows the versatility, virtuosity, and confident interpretation to lead the blues idiom into the 21st century for which they’re named.”
Featuring the music of the great Louis Armstrong. Longineu Parsons is one of the world’s finest trumpeters and when he interprets Louis, he goes far beyond what can be studied and learned. The way he touches the trumpet and growls his vocals is as though he is channeling the great master of American music.