Gerald Cleaver Profiled

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Gerald Cleaver has been one of the most forward-looking drummers in jazz for over 20 years. Born in Detroit in 1963 to a father from Ohio (via Kentucky) and a mother from Mississippi, he was the youngest of seven children. He grew up listening to a vast range of music, absorbed not just from older brothers and cousins but from the Motor City’s legendarily open musical culture, which also inspired techno pioneers like Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Robert Hood, Jeff Mills, and Kevin Saunderson. “Maybe in certain parts of the country it was like this too, but Detroit, it was easy to just be free-form,” he says. “Like the free-form radio station was going strong, WABX; I remember the call letters, where you could hear anything, you’d hear someone like Pharaoh [Sanders] [or] Sid Vicious, and Black folks listened to a lot of stuff. It wasn’t so segmented like it is now…It was a real mixing, like a cauldron of things.”