Playing down to earth solos on many way-out Dizzy Gillespie sides, the tenor saxophonist Ray Abrams was part of the Abramson family musical dynasty. He was born Raymond Abramson in New York City in the early '20s. His younger brother Lee Abramson, who became Lee Abrams, was a jazz drummer who roamed in pretty much the same musical territory, best described as the foothills leading from the plush swing lowlands to the bebop mountain peaks, an image served well by some of the notes Gillespie hit. The brothers were both trained by their talented father, who played both clarinet and violin. Ray Abrams began working in local combos around Brooklyn, where the family had relocated shortly before the younger son's birth. The Clark Monroe band which held forth at the Uptown House turned out to be a good band to get into; as for the formative years of bop, this was one of the bands Charlie Parker got into during one of his first bites at the Big Apple. In a true tribute to Parker, bop researchers angrily toss cymbals at each other during heated debates over what the first bebop record was, but in some versions of the genre's history, Abrams is credited with playing on it.