Joe Bonner

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Joe Bonner (April 20, 1948 – November 20, 2014) was a hard bop and modal jazz pianist, influenced by McCoy Tyner and Art Tatum. [1] [2] [3]


He was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and studied at Virginia State College, [4] but indicated that he learned more about music from musicians he worked with. In the seventies he played with Roy Haynes, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw and Billy Harper, among others. [5]

He died of heart disease in Denver at the age of 66. [6]


As leader

Year recordedTitleLabelPersonnel/Notes
1974 The Lifesaver Muse Solo piano
1975Triangle Whynot Trio, with Clint Houston (bass), Billy Hart (drums)
1974–76 Angel Eyes Muse With Billy Harper (tenor sax), Leroy Jenkins (violin), Juini Booth (bass), Jimmy Hopps (drums), Linda Sharrock (vocals)
1979 Parade SteepleChase Trio, with Johnny Dyani (bass), Billy Higgins (drums)
1981 Impressions of Copenhagen Theresa With Eddie Shu (trumpet), Holly Hofmann (flute), Carol Michalowski and Peggy Sullivan (violin), Carol Garrett (viola), Beverly Woolery (cello), Paul Warburton (bass), J. Thomas Tilton (drums)
1983 Devotion SteepleChase Solo piano
1983Suburban Fantasies SteepleChase Duo, with Johnny Dyani (bass)
1985Suite for Chocolate SteepleChase With Khan Jamal (vibraphone), Jesper Lundgaard (bass), Leroy Lowe (drums)
1987The Lost Melody SteepleChase Quartet, with Bob Rockwell (tenor sax), Jesper Lundgaard (bass), Jukkis Uotila (drums)
1988New Life SteepleChase Trio, with Hugo Rasmussen (bass), Aage Tanggaard (drums)
1988?New Beginnings Evidence Most tracks solo piano; some tracks duo, with unknown (bass)
1991Monkisms Capri Solo piano; released around 2001
2001?Lights OutAkashicAs The Bonner Party; quartet, with Prasanna Bishop (saxes), Artie Moore-Acoustic (bass), Charles Ayash (drums)
2003The Art of Jazz PianoBlack OrchardSolo piano
2013?Current EventsCherry Sound


As sideman

With Richard Davis

With Billy Harper

With Azar Lawrence

With Barbara Paris

With Pharoah Sanders

With Woody Shaw

With Harold Vick

With The Visitors

With Stephanie Hancock

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  1. Jeff Tamarkin (1 December 2014). "Pianist Joe Bonner Dies at 66". Jazz Times . Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  2. "Joseph Bonner, Jr. Obituary" . Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  3. "Joe Bonner @ All About Jazz". All About Jazz . Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  4. "Joe Bonner". All About Jazz. Archived from the original on 2011-04-16. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  5. Yanow, Scott. "Joe Bonner Biography". Allmusic . Retrieved 3 April 2010.