Dunlop, Frankie [Francis] (Buffalo, 6 Dec 1928)




He began studying drumming at the age of ten, and played his earliest professional engagement when he was 16. In 1950 he made his first recording, with Moe Koffman. After army service he led his own group in Buffalo and worked with the saxophonist Skippy Williams (1954). He then moved to New York, where he played at the Five Spot with John Coltrane in Thelonious Monk's quartet. This engagement was terminated after only three weeks because Dunlop did not have a local union card. After touring briefly with Charles Mingus he played with Sonny Rollins's trio for six months (1958) and toured with Maynard Ferguson's big band (1958-60). He then worked with the singer Lena Horne and toured with Duke Ellington's band (1960); Ellington was using two drummers at this time. During a further three years with Monk he traveled to Europe (October 1961) and Japan (April 1963) and made several recordings. After working with Rollins again (1966-7) he played in Broadway shows (1966-73), then worked with Earl Hines (1973-4) and Lionel Hampton (intermittently, 1975-81). Dunlop is a sensitive ensemble player, and asserts that his highly individual melodic style originated during his second year with Ferguson and matured during his association with Monk.


Jeff Potter


The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan Reference Ltd 1988