In the early '70s, Charles Tolliver was one of the brightest young trumpeters in jazz. He studied at Howard University and then moved to New York in 1964, playing and recording with Jackie McLean.
Tolliver was on quite a few excellent advanced hard bop records in the mid-'60s, played with Gerald Wilson's Orchestra in Los Angeles (1966-1967), and was a member of Max Roach's group at the same time (1967-1969) as the compatible Gary Bartz. In 1969, Tolliver formed a quartet called Music Inc. that often featured pianist Stanley Cowell and was on a few occasions expanded to a big band. Tolliver and Cowell founded the Strata East label in 1971, which released many fine records in the 1970s. Although it was an era when there was a serious shortage of talented young trumpeters (prior to the rise of Wynton Marsalis), Tolliver after the mid-'70s maintained a low profile.