Edgar Bateman, RIP


We were sad to hear that talented jazz drummer Edgar Bateman, Jr. passed away last week at the age of 81. We were fortunate enough to meet him and record a brief interview with Edgar in November at the home of his gracious son, Edgar Bateman, III. In the short time we spent with him, Edgar recounted how he first became interested in playing the drums:

My sister started drumming before I did. In fact, my mother belonged to an organization called the Elks. And they started a drum corps. And I was kind of sickly when I was young so I wasn’t allowed to participate in stuff like that. So my sister was going to drum practice, you know, and she came home one day and was showing me the stuff they were learning on the snare drum. And we got an oatmeal box. Well, that’s how it started.

Edgar Bateman, Jr. appears on W. Eugene Smith’s recordings made at 821 Sixth Avenue in the first three months of 1964. One of these recordings is now featured as track 7 on our Chaos Manor playlist. It features Bateman playing “Yesterdays” with Roland Kirk, various horns; Jay Cameron, baritone saxophone; Edgar Bateman, drums on January 4, 1964. Along with Kirk and Cameron, Bateman played in the loft with the likes of Paul Bley, Eddie Dehaas, Jimmy Stevenson, Roland Alexander, and Ira Jackson. These sessions came between 1963 recording dates with Eric Dolphy and Makanda Ken McIntyre and a March 1964 session with Walt Dickerson.

Read more at Ethan Iverson’s Do The Math

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