Alvin Queen
August 16, 1950
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Zoro










Alvin Queen...
Alvin Leroy Queen was born in New York on August 16, 1950. He started playing drums when he was eight years old: he would shine shoes to pay for drum lessons. Still on his early 'teens, he would lie about his age to get into the Jazz clubs, and received on stage tuition by Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Art Taylor or Elvin Jones. Alvin met John Coltrane when he was twelve, and Horace Silver when he was fourteen, and was already enough of a player to be allowed to sit in with them.

In 1968 he started working with Horace Silver, and the next year he became a regular member of the George Benson Quartet, appearing on the Johnny Carson Show. In 1969 Alvin worked with Stanley Turrentine, and was featured on several TV shows.

In November 1970, trumpet star Charles Tolliver hired Alvin for his first European tour. Alvin stayed with Tolliver on and off for about eight years: during this period he also worked with Milt Jackson, Leon Thomas, Pharoah Sanders and Wild Bill Davis. By 1979, Alvin decided to settle in Europe, and moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where he has been residing for the last twenty years.

In 1982 Alvin founded his own record company, Nilva Records, and for the next decade produced records for Bill Saxton, John Collins, Junior Mance, Ronnie Mathews, Ray Drummond, John Hicks and may others.

During the eighties, and until his untimely death, Alvin was a member of the Kenny Drew Trio, which also featured the Danish bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. This trio became immensely popular both in Japan and Europe, recording several CD's and VT’s for the Japanese label Alpha Records.

Alvin also worked and recorded through the early nineties with tenor saxophone stars such as George Coleman, Johnny Griffin or Bennie Wallace. One of the most versatile drummers in the world of Jazz, Alvin was equally at ease playing with veterans of the Swing Era, such as Red Richards, Wild Bill Davis or Harry Sweets Edison.

In the last decade, Alvin has remained one of the most in demand freelance drummers in the world of Jazz: he can be found working in Tokio, New York and Barcelona in within the same week, and the list of musicians he has worked with would easily fill up this page.

A lot of the young players, like Roy Hargrove, Jesse Davis or Russell Malone have been very interested in working with Alvin, who represents a link between the great masters of the fifties and sixties and the world of contemporary Jazz.

--

A crisp, powerful, and swinging drummer, Alvin Queen hasn't recorded as often as his talents merit, but what he's done is consistently engaging and demanding. Queen worked with George Benson and Stanley Turrentine, then traveled to Europe with Charles Tolliver's quartet. During the '70s, he worked with the group Music Inc., co-led by Tolliver and Stanley Cowell. Queen departed America in 1979 for Switzerland, and established Nilva Records. He then toured France with Plas Johnson and Harry Edison, and recorded with John Collins and Junior Mance in the '80s; while also working in Zurich with a trio led by Wild Bill Davis and recording with another led by Lonnie Smith. He also did his own dates. Queen has no sessions currently available on CD, but can be heard on reissues by Music Inc. ~ Ron Wynn and Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide



















performed with:

John Coltrane
Oscar Peterson
Eric Alexander
Terence Blanchard
Manny Boyd
Dee Dee Bridgewater
Arnett Cobb
Dolo Cocker
Al Cohn
George Coleman
Bob Cunningham
Dee Daniels
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
Jessie Davis
Buddy de Franco
Dorothy Donegan
Kenny Drew
Mercer Ellington
Robin Eubanks
Art Farmer
Jimmy Garrison
Dizzy Gillespie
Eddie Gomez
Dexter Gordon
Al Grey
Johnny Griffin
Roy Hargrove
Milt Jackson
Plas Johnson
Guy Lafitte
Jack Lesberg
Kevin Mahogany
Wynton Marsalis
Branford Marsalis
Christian McBride
Jay McShann
Mulgrew Miller
Joe Newman
Horace Parlan
Nicolas Payton
Niels Henning Osted Pederson
Red Richards
Freddy Roach
David Sanchez
Pharaoh Sanders
Bill Saxton
Zoot Sims
Carrie Smith
Terell Stafford
Lou Tabackin
Buddy Tate
Leon Thomas
Mickey Tucker
Stanley Turrentine
Warren Vache
Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
Bennie Wallace
Peter Washington
Randy Weston
Joe Lee Wilson
Reggie Workman

.....and many more































© Philippe Haulet
Gouvy 2006 - Benny Green Trio & Harry Allen - Alvin Queen





© Philippe Haulet


























© Jos Knaepen


© Mark Wohlrab



Adam Schroeder - Terrell Tafford - Alvin Queen - Berlin 2004



© Woomy Schmidt












Elvin Jones - Alvin Queen



Alvin Queen - Dizzy Gillespie - Wynton Marsalis



Paris: Oscar Peterson Concert:
Aurelien PK (Drummerworld Forum Member) and Alvin Queen



© Cathy Caraveo