Violinist was one of the most important musicians to emerge from the AACM and one of the most important innovators on his instrument. Like many of the Association's more famous members, the Chicago native studied under the legendary Walter Dyett at DuSable High School.
After learning the alto saxophone there, he received a music degree (in violin) from Florida A&M, and taught music both in Mobile, Alabama (1961-5) and in the Chicago schools (1965-9). During the latter period, Jenkins joined the AACM. When many of the AACM musicians left during 1969, Jenkins went to Europe with Anthony Braxton & Leo Smith. There, with drummer Steve McCall, they were called the Creative Construction Company. He also played with Ornette Coleman, whose house he & Braxton stayed at when they subsequently moved to New York City.
Playing with Taylor (1970) and Braxton (1969-72), he also worked with Albert Ayler, Cal Massey, Alice Coltrane, Archie Shepp & Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Between 1971-7, he played in his Revolutionary Ensemble, a trio featuring Sirone (Norris Jones) on bass & trombone, and drummer/pianist Jerome Cooper. Thereafter, he toured the US & Europe, led the Mixed Quintet (Jenkins and 4 woodwind players), a blues-based band called Sting, and again played with Cecil Taylor. He appears in Chicago only irregularly, though.
Among his recordings are 3 Compositions of New Jazz (1968; Delmark, Braxton as leader) Lifelong Ambitions (1977; Black Saint; with Muhal Richard Abrams), Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival America (1978; Tomato), Live (1992, Black Saint), Carla Bley's Escalator Over The Hill
Got a correction? Click
Pages linking to this one include: