Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 11 Oct. '29, Houston TX; d 5 June 2002) Reeds, flute. Played tenor sax in backing group on a single by singer Hubert Robinson, Houston '47; degree in music education from Kentucky State College '52; to L.A. '55, recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Gerald Wilson and others. His own albums on Pacific Jazz with varying personnel included Blues Message '60 with Les McCann, Groovin' Blue '61 with Bobby Hutcherson, Meeting Here '61, Way Down '62 with Roy Ayers and Victor Feldman; Tippin' On Through '62 with Ayers. Katanga! '63 is a superb example of West Coast post-bop jazz, Amy's best-known work because of the presence of the mysterious and wonderful Dupree Bolton, who wrote the title track. It seems to have been extremely difficult for black jazz musicians to make a reputation on the West Coast; Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman were among those who headed east, but as Max Harrison wrote (in Jazz Forum, Sep. '87), Amy and Bolton 'knew all about Davis--Coltrane circular rhythm and modular structures, and about Ornette Coleman'. He went on to praise Amy's 'long-breathed, keening soprano solo in ''Lonely Woman'' ... He is incantatory on ''Native Land'', projects a songlike melancholy in ''You Don't Know What Love Is'', and is a singularly apt foil to Bolton ... on ''Katanga'', for instance, the effect is not of a sequence of solos but of a number of almost simultaneously participating voices.' Mustang on Verve '66 had Kenny Barron on piano. Amy also sessioned on pop LPs (the Doors' Soft Parade, Carole King's Tapestry, etc).