Artist Catalog

New York Contemporary Five

Formed: August 23 1962
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New York Contemporary Five

The New York Contemporary Five was an avant-garde jazz ensemble active in the first half of the 1960s.

It has been described as "a group which, despite its ... short lease on life, has considerable historical significance", laying "the cornerstone of what might be called the mainstream of free jazz".

The ensemble was formed around 1962, and its early members were Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, John Tchicai, Don Moore, and J.C. Moses. They released four albums in 1962-63, for Fontana and Sonet, and a final album early in 1964 on Savoy Records. The last record featured an altered lineup, with Shepp, Tchicai, Cherry, Ted Curson, Ronnie Boykins, and Sunny Murray. The group disbanded later in 1964.