Born in 1937, Horacee Arnold began playing the drums in 1957. The Kentucky native was studying art and music at Los Angeles City College when he heard Max Roach in concert–an experience that cemented his decision to set aside art and architecture for music. He immersed himself in drumming and worked with composer and educator, David Baker, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Back in Louisville Ky, Max Roach invited “the little Max Roach” (as band members called him because of the Roach-like phrasing and use of space) to sit in with his band. In 1960, Roach also lined up some New York gigs for his protégé with Sarah Vaughan, Alvin Ailey, and Charles Mingus.
The Mingus Period was a very revealing time for me. Tumultuous – exhilarating, and extremely rewarding. Working with Charlie Mingus gave me a broader understanding of the historical attributes of Jazz as personified in Mingus’ music. Like Duke Ellington the history of this music is profoundly woven into the fabric and of both men. “The Ultimate Performance experience of my life, Simply Amazing”. Horacee Arnold What I remember most about playing with Bud Powell was the elevating quality of his playing, the beautifully constructed lines each one more stunning than the previous. This was something I had never experienced. The honor of playing with Bud, a virtuoso jazz pianist at this level was especially rewarding and a great privilege.