Fournier was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, into a Creole family. He left college to join a big band led by King Kolax. After Kolax downsized to a quintet, Fournier moved to Chicago in 1948, where he played with such musicians as Buster Bennett, Paul Bascomb and Teddy Wilson. As house drummer at the Bee Hive club on Chicago’s South Side in 1953-55, he accompanied many visiting soloists, including Lester Young, Ben Webster, Sonny Stitt, J.J. Johnson, Earl Washington and Stan Getz.
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