Jerry Fuller

Jerry (Lynn) Fuller. Drummer, b Calgary 5 Apr 1939, d Toronto 13 Jul 2002.

Fuller, Jerry

Jerry (Lynn) Fuller. Drummer, b Calgary 5 Apr 1939, d Toronto 13 Jul 2002. His father, (James) Jerry Fuller (saxophonist, clarinetist, arranger, b Banff, Alta, 17 Jul 1911), took the family in 1944 to Vancouver, where he led the house band at the Cave until 1947 and later was an arranger for Ricky Hyslop, George Calangis, and other CBC conductors. The younger Fuller played drums as a child in Calgary and studied 1957-8 with Jim Blackley in Vancouver. He attended the Westlake College of Modern Music in Los Angeles 1958-9, then worked in Vancouver jazz clubs (eg, The Cellar) and with the bands of Ralph Grierson and Paul Perry at resort hotels in western Canada.

After playing 1962-3 in Montreal with Maury Kaye, Fuller settled in Toronto, where he worked in lounge groups, hotel orchestras, jazz bands, and studio orchestras. He was a member 1969-72 and intermittently after 1985 of the Boss Brass, and played in the jazz groups of Art Ayre, Ed Bickert, Ron Collier, Jim Galloway, Sonny Greenwich, Doug Hamilton (Brass Connection), Moe Koffman, Lorne Lofsky, Kirk MacDonald, and others. As a sideman in local clubs (Bourbon Street, East 85th, George's Spaghetti House, etc) he accompanied more than 50 noted US jazz musicians, among them Pepper Adams, Ruby Braff, Al Cohn, Paul Desmond, Lee Konitz, Red Rodney, and Zoot Sims. In 1991 he introduced his own quartet with MacDonald (tenor saxophone), Phil Dwyer (tenor and saxophones, piano), and Neil Swainson (bass). Fuller continued to back up various musicians until 2002, mainly in Toronto but also occasionally in Montreal, and in Victoria in 2000. He took part in a CBC radio tribute to Duke Ellington in 1999.

Fuller played drums on the 1967 recording Duke Ellington: North of the Border (CMC ACDM 1425). He also recorded with Collier, Bickert, the Boss Brass, Desmond (see Bickert discography), Koffman, MacDonald (The Revellers, 1990, Unity 121), Swainson, Peter Appleyard, Jon Ballantyne, George Shearing (see Swainson discography), Don (D.T.) Thompson, Don (W.) Thompson, and others, and accompanied Oscar Peterson on recordings (including An Oscar Peterson Christmas, 1995, Telarc) and in TV and concert appearances. In the 1990s he recorded The Atlantic Sessions (Koch International) in Halifax with MacDonald, Spectrum (Justin Time) with Chris Mitchell in Montreal, Burnin' the House Down (Barbarian) in Victoria, and various Toronto sessions. Mark Miller has described Fuller's playing style as 'surging, at times bullish' (The Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada).


Further Reading

  • Miller, Mark. 'Jerry Fuller is working well in the shadows,' Toronto Globe and Mail, 7 Mar 1981

    Sutherland, Greg. 'Jerry Fuller: a rhythm section wonder,' The Jazz Report, vol 2, Dec 1988-Jan 1989

    Clery, Val. 'Heart of jazz scene beats in drummer,' Toronto Star, 21 Mar 1989

    Miller, Mark. The Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada (Toronto 2001)

    Canadian Jazz Discography