John Hicks (pianist)

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John Hicks
John Hicks.jpg
Hicks in 2006
Background information
Birth nameJohn Josephus Hicks Jr.
Born(1941-12-21)December 21, 1941
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
DiedMay 10, 2006(2006-05-10) (aged 64)
New York City, New York
Genres Jazz, hard bop, bebop, free jazz, modal jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, educator
Years active1958–2006
Associated acts Jazz Messengers, Woody Herman, Betty Carter, Mingus Dynasty Band, Elise Wood

John Josephus Hicks Jr. (December 21, 1941 – May 10, 2006) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. He was leader of more than 30 recordings and played as a sideman on more than 300. [1]


After early experiences backing blues musicians, Hicks moved to New York in 1963. He was part of Art Blakey's band for two years, accompanied vocalist Betty Carter from 1965 to 1967, before joining Woody Herman's big band, where he stayed until 1970. Following these associations, Hicks expanded into freer bands, including those of trumpeters Charles Tolliver and Lester Bowie. He rejoined Carter in 1975; the five-year stay brought him more attention and helped to launch his recording career as a leader. He continued to play and record extensively in the United States and internationally. Under his own leadership, his recordings were mostly bebop-influenced, while those for other leaders continued to be in a diversity of styles, including multi-year associations with saxophonists Arthur Blythe, David Murray, David "Fathead" Newman, and Pharoah Sanders.

Early life

Hicks was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 21, 1941, [2] the oldest of five children. [3] As a child, he moved with his family around the United States, as his father, the Rev John Hicks Sr, took up jobs with the Methodist church. [2] His family was middle class: "I was brought up as a decent human being, where you had aspirations and there were expectations", he commented. [2] His mother, Pollie, [1] was his first piano teacher, [4] after he began playing aged six or seven in Los Angeles. [2] [5] He also took organ lessons, sang in choirs and tried the violin and trombone. [2] Around the age of 11, once he could read music, Hicks started playing the piano in church. [6]

His development accelerated once his family moved to St. Louis, when Hicks was 14 and he settled on the piano. [2] There, he attended Sumner High School [7] and played in schoolmate Lester Bowie's band, the Continentals, [8] which performed in a variety of musical styles. [9] Hicks cited influences "from Fats Waller to Thelonious Monk to Methodist church hymns", [4] as well as local pianists. [2] He was initially interested in the blues-based compositions of Horace Silver and popular songs such as "I Got Rhythm" and "There Will Never Be Another You", for their easily recognised harmonies. [10]

Hicks worked summer gigs in the southern United States with blues musicians Little Milton and Albert King. [2] His stint with Little Milton provided his first professional work, in 1958; Hicks stated that his playing in a variety of keys improved because the venue's piano was so out of tune that he had to transpose each piece that they played. [5] Hicks studied music in 1958 at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, [2] [7] where he shared a room with drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson. [11] He also studied for a short time at the Berklee School of Music in Boston before moving to New York in 1963. [2]

Later life and career


In New York, Hicks first accompanied singer Della Reese. [12] He then played with Joe Farrell and toured with trombonist Al Grey and tenor saxophonist Billy Mitchell. [2] In 1963 he was also part of saxophonist Pharoah Sanders' first band, [13] and appeared on CBC Television backing vocalist Jimmy Witherspoon. [14] After periods with Kenny Dorham and Joe Henderson, Hicks joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1964. [4] His recording debut was with Blakey in November that year on the album 'S Make It . [15] [16] Early in 1965, Hicks toured with Blakey to Japan, France, Switzerland, and England. [5] [16] Blakey encouraged his band members, including Hicks, to compose for the band, [17] although they also played compositions by previous members of the band. [18] He stayed with Blakey for two years, [2] during which time his playing was compared with that of McCoy Tyner, for the level of energy displayed and for some of the intervals that they used. [19]

Playing with vocalist Betty Carter in the 1970s gave Hicks more exposure. Betty Carter.jpg
Playing with vocalist Betty Carter in the 1970s gave Hicks more exposure.

In the period 1965 to 1967, Hicks worked on and off with vocalist Betty Carter; [20] her liking for slow ballads helped him develop his sense of time. [17] He then joined Woody Herman's big band, where he stayed until 1970, [4] [21] playing as well as writing arrangements for the band. [2] Hicks also began recording as a sideman with a wide range of leaders – in the 1960s these included Booker Ervin, Hank Mobley, and Lee Morgan – a trend that continued for the remainder of his career. [5] [15] From 1972 to 1973, Hicks taught jazz history and improvisation at Southern Illinois University. [22] From the 1970s, he also played in more avant garde bands, [23] beginning with recordings led by Oliver Lake and performances and recordings in the Netherlands with Charles Tolliver. [5] He played with Blakey again in 1973. [2] Hicks' debut recording as leader was on May 21, 1975, in England. [24] The session resulted in two albums – the trio Hells Bells , with bassist Clint Houston and drummer Cliff Barbaro, and the solo piano Steadfast [24] – that were released by Strata-East Records several years later. [25] [26]

Hicks reunited with Carter in 1975, including accompanying her in a musical play, Don't Call Me Man, that year. [27] After recording with Carter on her Now It's My Turn in 1976, Hicks returned to her band full-time; this raised his profile and led to his own recording – After the Morning . [4] His sideman recording also continued, including with Carter Jefferson (1978) and Chico Freeman (1978–79). [5] Hicks was dismissed in 1980 by Carter, a forceful bandleader, for drinking. [28]


Some Other Time in 1981, with bassist Walter Booker and drummer Idris Muhammad, revealed more of Hicks as a composer, and included his best-known song, "Naima's Love Song". [4]

Hicks was the leader of groups from the mid-1970s onwards. [5] His small groups included a quartet featuring Sonny Fortune, Walter Booker, and Jimmy Cobb (1975–82, from 1990); a group featuring the flutist Elise Wood (with or without a drummer); and other groups featuring Gary Bartz, Vincent Herring, trombonist Craig Handy, bassists Curtis Lundy or Ray Drummond and drummers Idris Muhammad or Victor Lewis. [5] His quintets and sextets included Robin Eubanks and Tolliver (both from 1982), Branford Marsalis (1982–4), Hannibal Peterson (from 1983), Wynton Marsalis (1983–4), Craig Harris (1985–6), Eddie Henderson (1985–6, 1988–90), and Freeman (1985–8). [5] A big band was created in autumn 1982 and revived on occasion subsequently. [5] He played in the UK with Freeman's band in 1989. [29]

From 1983, the flautist Elise Wood was frequently a member of his groups. [4] As a duo, they played mostly jazz, but also some classical music. [30] They formed a business partnership – John Hicks-Elise Wood, Inc. – and toured the US, Europe and Japan in the 1980s. [31]

He also freelanced, including with players such as Arthur Blythe, David Murray, and Pharoah Sanders. [2] During the 1980s, was a sideman for Richie Cole (1980), Arthur Blythe (In the Tradition), David Murray, Hamiet Bluiett, Art Davis, and Pharoah Sanders; recording with as Ricky Ford (1980, 1982), Alvin Queen (1981), Peter Leitch (1984), Herring (1986), and Bobby Watson (1986, 1988). [5] In 1984, he had a big band that rehearsed; a sextet from it played concerts. [32] From around 1989 into the 1990s, he played with the Mingus Dynasty band, including for performances of the symphony Epitaph. [5] He recorded two albums in Japan in 1988 – the trio East Side Blues and the quartet Naima's Love Song , with altoist Bobby Watson added. [33] [34] By now making regular appearances at jazz festivals internationally, [21] Hicks continued to perform in New York City. [35]


Hicks divorced his wife, Olympia, in the early 1990s. [2] The couple had a son and daughter (Jamil Malik and Naima). [3]

Like many jazz musicians in the 1990s, Hicks recorded for multiple labels proposing different recording ideas. [36] The resultant recordings included duo sessions with Jay McShann (1992) and Leitch (1994) for the American Reservoir Records, [5] [37] [38] and several trio-based sessions for Japanese labels – the New York Unit with bassist Richard Davis and drummer Tatsuya Nakamura for Paddle Wheel Records, [39] and the New York Rhythm Machine with bassist Marcus McLaurine and drummer Victor Lewis for Venus Records. [40] These were followed by more trio recordings for other labels – the Keystone Trio of George Mraz and Muhammad for the Milestone label from 1995, [5] [41] and a longer-lasting band with Dwayne Dolphin on bass and Cecil Brooks III on drums for HighNote Records from 1997. [16] The last of these included his most commercially successful recordings, which were tributes to other pianists, including Something to Live For: A Billy Strayhorn Songbook , Impressions of Mary Lou , and Fatha's Day: An Earl Hines Songbook . [4] There were five such albums, all linked to Pittsburgh-associated pianist-composers; the other two were Nightwind: An Erroll Garner Songbook , and Music in the Key of Clark for Sonny Clark. [42] [43] Hicks played on five of David "Fathead" Newman's albums for HighNote, [44] and was described in 2000 as the "HighNote house pianist". [45]

There were also more dates as a sideman for Murray, Leitch, Blythe, Freeman, and Roy Hargrove (1989–90, 1995), Bartz (1990), Lake (1991), Steve Marcus and Valery Ponomarev (both 1993), Nick Brignola, Russell Gunn, and Kevin Mahogany (all 1994), the Mingus Big Band (c1995), Fortune (1996), and Jimmy Ponder (1997). [5] As leader, his repertoire in the 1990s was often of familiar standards. [46] He performed in the UK with the Mingus Big Band in 1999, [47] and played on their album Blues and Politics in the same year. [48] The pianist recorded the seventh instalment of the "Live at Maybeck Recital Hall" series of solo piano concerts which were recorded for Concord Records. He was part of Joe Lovano's quartet in 1998, [49] which led to Hicks being part of the saxophonist's nonet from its formation the following year. [50]

Hicks and Wood married in June 2001. [51] He made a rare recording on organ (Hammond B3) on saxophonist Arthur Blythe's Exhale. [52] [53] Over the last decade or so of Hicks life, he recorded several collaborations with Elise Wood to mixed reviews (Single Petal of a Rose, Trio & Strings, Beautiful Friendship). [42]

Towards the end of his life, Hicks taught at New York University and The New School in New York. [21] Asked about his teaching in January 2006, Hicks replied that "I don't care how advanced my students are, I always start them off with the blues. It all comes from there." [6] Early in 2006, Hicks again played in a big band, this time led by Charles Tolliver. [54] In January and February, he toured Israel, chiefly playing Thelonious Monk compositions. [6] Hicks' final studio recording was On the Wings of an Eagle in March 2006. [55] His last performance was at St Mark's United Methodist Church in New York City a few days before he died. [2] He died on May 10, 2006, from internal bleeding. [3] Hicks is buried at South-View Cemetery in his hometown of Atlanta. [56]

Wood survived him, and has led a band dedicated to his music. [57] In the view of AllMusic reviewer Michael G. Nastos, "Hicks died before reaping the ultimate rewards and high praise he deserved". [58] A collection of his papers and compositions, as well as video and audio recordings, is held by Duke University. [59]

Playing style

Fellow pianist George Cables stated that Hicks "was a very strong and energetic player, and a very warm player, very much part of the tradition". [19] Hicks's playing was sometimes criticized as being insubstantial; The Penguin Guide to Jazz commented that "This [...] is missing the point. Almost always, he is more concerned to work within the dimensions of a song than to go off into the stratosphere." [60]

Hicks had a style of his own, containing a "combination of irresistible creativity and responsiveness [...] encompassing swing, hard bop and the avant garde, and made him a first-call choice for many of the most important American modern jazz groups". [2] A reviewer of a 1993 release, Lover Man: A Tribute to Billie Holiday , commented that Hicks "mastered the technique of shaping a piano chord so it sounds like the rising and falling of a breath". [61] A few years later, another reviewer highlighted the "subtle dynamic shadings" of Hicks's left hand, and his "reverence for melody and a sense of musical destination that gives form to his improvisations." [62] As an accompanist, Hicks played delicately, with carefully voiced chords. [63]

Compositions and arrangements

His compositions "are wandering and melodic, suggestive and malleable yet memorable". [57] He "enjoyed writing arrangements for a quintet or sextet, often, like the finest jazz composers, tailoring parts to specific musicians. In the past, these have included artists of the caliber of Bobby Watson and Vincent Herring; more recently he has been working with Javon Jackson and Elise [Wood]". [64]


An asterisk (*) after the year indicates that it is the year of release.

As leader/co-leader

Year recordedTitleLabelNotes
1975 Hells Bells Strata-East Trio, with Clint Houston (bass), Cliff Barbaro (drums); released 1980
1975 Steadfast Strata-East Solo piano; released 1980
1979 After the Morning West 54 Some tracks solo piano; some tracks duo, with Walter Booker (bass); one track trio, with Cliff Barbaro (drums) added
1981 Some Other Time Theresa Most tracks trio, with Walter Booker (bass), Idris Muhammad (drums); two tracks solo piano
1982 John Hicks Theresa Some tracks solo piano; some tracks trio, with Bobby Hutcherson (vibes), Walter Booker (bass); one track duo, with Olympia Hicks (piano); reissue by Evidence added one track trio, with Olympia Hicks, Idris Muhammad (drums)
1984 In Concert Theresa Most tracks trio, with Walter Booker (bass), Idris Muhammad (drums); some tracks quartet, with Elise Wood (flute) or Bobby Hutcherson (vibes) added; in concert
1985 Inc. 1 DIW Most tracks trio, with Walter Booker (bass), Idris Muhammad (drums); some tracks solo piano
1985 Sketches of Tokyo DIW Duo, with David Murray (tenor sax)
1986–87 Two of a Kind Theresa Duo, with Ray Drummond (bass)
1987 I'll Give You Something to Remember Me By Limetree Trio, with Curtis Lundy (bass) Idris Muhammad (drums)
1985–88 Luminous Nilva Some tracks duo, with Elise Wood (flute); some tracks quartet, with Walter Booker (bass), Jimmy Cobb, Alvin Queen (drums, separately) added; some tracks quintet, with Clifford Jordan (tenor sax) added
1988 East Side Blues DIW Trio, with Curtis Lundy (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)
1988 Naima's Love Song DIW Quartet, with Bobby Watson (alto sax), Curtis Lundy (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)
1989 Oleo CBS/Sony As New York Unit; quartet, with George Adams (tenor sax), Richard Davis (bass), Tatsuya Nakamura (drums)
1989 Rhythm-a-Ning Candid As Kenny Barron-John Hicks Quartet; quartet, with Kenny Barron (piano), Walter Booker (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)
1990 Power Trio Novus Trio, with Cecil McBee (bass), Elvin Jones (drums)
1990 Is That So? Timeless Trio, with Ray Drummond (bass), Idris Muhammad (drums)
1990 Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Volume Seven Concord Jazz Solo piano; in concert
1990 Blue Bossa Paddle Wheel As New York Unit; quartet, with George Adams (tenor sax), Richard Davis (bass), Tatsuya Nakamura (drums)
1991 St. Thomas: Tribute to Great Tenors Paddle Wheel As New York Unit; trio, with Richard Davis (bass), Tatsuya Nakamura (drums)
1991–92 Tribute to George Adams Paddle Wheel As New York Unit; quartet; some tracks with George Adams, Dan Faulk (tenor sax; separately), Richard Davis (bass), Tatsuya Nakamura (drums); some tracks with Javon Jackson (tenor sax), Santi Debriano (bass), Nakamura (drums)
1992 Friends Old and New Novus Most tracks sextet, with Joshua Redman (tenor sax), Clark Terry and Greg Gisbert (trumpet), Ron Carter (bass), Grady Tate (drums); one track septet, with Al Grey (trombone) added
1992 Now's the Time Paddle Wheel As New York Unit; quartet, with Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson (trumpet), Richard Davis (bass), Tatsuya Nakamura (drums)
1992 Crazy for You Red Baron Trio, with Wilbur Bascomb (bass), Kenny Washington (drums)
1992 Over the Rainbow Paddle Wheel As New York Unit; mostly quartet, with Pharoah Sanders (tenor sax), Richard Davis (bass), Tatsuya Nakamura (drums); also released by Evidence as Naima
1992 Single Petal of a Rose Mapleshade Some tracks duo, with Elise Wood (flute); some tracks trio or quartet, with Jack Walrath (trumpet), Walter Booker (bass) added
1992 After the Morning DSMSolo piano; in concert
1992 The Missouri Connection Reservoir Duo, with Jay McShann (piano, vocals); one track solo piano
1992 Blues March: Portrait of Art Blakey Venus As New York Rhythm Machine; trio, with Marcus McLaurine (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)
1992 Moanin': Portrait of Art Blakey Venus As New York Rhythm Machine; trio, with Marcus McLaurine (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)
1993 Beyond Expectations Reservoir Trio, with Ray Drummond (bass), Marvin "Smitty" Smith (drums)
1993 Lover Man: A Tribute to Billie Holiday Red Baron Trio, with Ray Drummond (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)
1994 Gentle Rain Sound HillsTrio, with Walter Booker, (bass) Louis Hayes (drums)
1994 Duality Reservoir With Peter Leitch (guitar)
1994 Akari ApollonAs New York Unit; quartet, with Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson (trumpet), Richard Davis (bass), Tatsuya Nakamura (drums)
1994 In the Mix Landmark Quintet, with Vincent Herring (alto sax, soprano sax), Elise Wood (flute), Curtis Lundy (bass), Cecil Brooks III (drums)
1995 Piece for My Peace Landmark Some tracks solo piano; one track trio, with Curtis Lundy (bass), Cecil Brooks III (drums); one track quintet, with Bobby Watson and Vincent Herring (alto sax) added; most tracks sextet, with Elise Wood (flute) added; one track duo, with Wood (flute)
1995 Heart Beats Milestone As Keystone Trio; with George Mraz (bass), Idris Muhammad (drums) [65]
1997 Newklear Music Milestone As Keystone Trio; with George Mraz (bass), Idris Muhammad (drums) [66]
1997 Something to Live For: A Billy Strayhorn Songbook HighNote Trio, with Dwayne Dolphin (bass), Cecil Brooks III (drums)
1997 Nightwind: An Erroll Garner Songbook HighNote Trio, with Dwayne Dolphin (bass), Cecil Brooks III (drums)
1997 Cry Me a River Venus Trio, with Dwayne Burno (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)
1997 Trio + Strings Mapleshade With Elise Wood (alto flute), Steve Novosel (bass), Ronnie Burrage (drums), Steve Williams (drums), Rick Schmidt (cello), Debbie Baker (viola), Charles Olive and Tom Ginsberg (violin)
1998 Impressions of Mary Lou HighNote Trio, with Dwayne Dolphin (bass), Cecil Brooks III (drums)
1998 Ow! Paddle Wheel As New York Unit; quartet, with Javon Jackson (tenor sax), Richard Davis (bass), Tatsuya Nakamura (drums)
1998* Hicks Time Passin' ThruSolo piano
2000 Beautiful Friendship HiWoodDuo with Elise Wood (flute)
2001 Music in the Key of Clark HighNote Trio, with Dwayne Dolphin (bass), Cecil Brooks III (drums)
2003 Fatha's Day: An Earl Hines Songbook HighNote Trio, with Dwayne Dolphin (bass), Cecil Brooks III (drums)
2003* Besame Mucho IJEAs New York Unit; trio, with Santi Debriano (bass), Tatsuya Nakamura (drums)
2005–06 Twogether HighNote Most tracks duo, with Frank Morgan (alto sax); some tracks solo piano
2006 On the Wings of an Eagle Chesky Trio, with Buster Williams (bass), Louis Hayes (drums)
2006 I Remember You HighNote Solo piano; in concert
2006 Sweet Love of Mine HighNote Some tracks quartet, with Javon Jackson (tenor sax), Curtis Lundy (bass), Victor Jones (drums); some tracks quintet, with Elise Wood (flute) added; some tracks sextet, with Ray Mantilla (percussion) added

As sideman

Year recordedLeaderTitleLabel
1998 Eric Alexander Solid! Milestone
2005 Eric Alexander Sunday in New York Venus
1989 Ray Anderson What BecauseGramavision
1996 Ray Appleton Killer Ray Rides AgainSharp Nine
1998 Harold Ashby Just for You Mapleshade
2001 Billy Bang Vietnam: The Aftermath Justin Time
2004 Billy Bang Vietnam: Reflections Justin Time
1990 Gary Bartz West 42nd Street Candid
2001 Mickey Bass Live at the Jazz Corner of the WorldEarly Bird
1986Abdul Zahir BatinLive At The Jazz Cultural TheaterCadence Jazz
2004 Roni Ben-Hur Signature Reservoir
1993 Dick Berk East Coast Stroll Reservoir
1999 Alex Blake Now Is the Time: Live at the Knitting FactoryBubble Core
1964 Art Blakey 'S Make It Limelight
1965 Art Blakey Are You RealMoon
1965 Art Blakey Soul Finger Limelight
1965 Art Blakey Hold On, I'm Coming Limelight
1972 Art Blakey Child's Dance Prestige
2001* Johanne Blouin Everything Must Change Justin Time
1983 Hamiet Bluiett Bearer of the Holy FlameBlack Fire
1984 Hamiet Bluiett Ebu Soul Note
1980 Arthur Blythe Illusions Columbia
1981 Arthur Blythe Blythe Spirit Columbia
1988* Arthur Blythe Basic Blythe Columbia
1993 Arthur Blythe Retroflection Enja
1993 Arthur Blythe Calling Card Enja
2001 Arthur Blythe Blythe Byte Savant
2002 Arthur Blythe Exhale Savant
1990 Bob Thiele Collective Sunrise Sunset Red Baron
2005–06Richard BoulgerBlues TwilightB-1 Music
1974 Lester Bowie Fast Last! Muse
1991 Teresa Brewer Memories of Louis Red Baron
1994* Nick Brignola Like Old Times Reservoir
2000 Cecil Brooks III Live at Sweet BasilSavant
2000 Cecil Brooks III Live at Sweet Basil, Volume TwoSavant
1998 Jeri Brown Zaius Justin Time
1998 Jeri Brown I've Got Your Number Justin Time
1976 Betty Carter Now It's My Turn Roulette
1979 Betty Carter The Audience with Betty Carter Bet-Car
1992 Betty Carter It's Not About the Melody Verve
2003 James Carter Gardenias for Lady Day Columbia
1989 Michael Carvin Revelation Muse
1980 Richie Cole Side by Side Muse
1998 Larry Coryell Monk, Trane, Miles & Me HighNote
2000 Larry Coryell Inner Urge HighNote
1985 Art Davis Life Soul Note
2001* Richard Davis The Bassist: Homage to Diversity Palmetto
1987* Paquito D'Rivera Manhattan Burn Columbia
1966 Booker Ervin Structurally Sound Pacific Jazz
1980 Ricky Ford Flying Colors Muse
1982* Ricky Ford Interpretations Muse
1975 Sonny Fortune Awakening Horizon
1996Sonny Fortune From Now On Blue Note
1999Sonny Fortune In the Spirit of John Coltrane Shanachie
1978 Chico Freeman The Outside Within India Navigation
1978–79Chico Freeman Spirit Sensitive India Navigation
1978–79 Chico Freeman Still Sensitive India Navigation
1989 Chico Freeman and Arthur Blythe LuminousJazz House
1998 Mac Gollehon Live at the Blue Note Half Note
1994 Thurman Green Dance of the Night Creatures Mapleshade
1971 Earl Grubbs and Carl Grubbs The Visitors - Earl Grubbs - Carl Grubbs Cobblestone
1994 Russell Gunn Young Gunn Muse
1989 Roy Hargrove Diamond in the Rough Novus
1995 Roy Hargrove Family Verve
1997 Roy Hargrove Habana Verve
1986* John Hazilla Chicplacity Cadence Jazz
1994*Norman HedmanFlight of the SpiritMonad
1968 Woody Herman Light My FireCadet
1969 Woody Herman Heavy ExposureCadet
1986–89 Vincent Herring American ExperienceNimbus
1978 Carter Jefferson The Rise of Atlantis Timeless Muse
1993*Sofia LaitiInspiraMidnight Sun
1971 Oliver Lake Ntu: Point from Which Creation BeginsArista
1991 Oliver Lake Again and Again Gramavision
1984–88 Peter Leitch Exhilaration Reservoir
1990* Peter Leitch Mean What You Say Concord Jazz
1992* Peter Leitch From Another Perspective Concord Jazz
1993 Peter Leitch A Special Rapport Reservoir
1995 Peter Leitch Colours and Dimensions Reservoir
1999 Peter Leitch California ConcertJazz House
2005 Amy London When I Look in Your Eyes Motéma Music
1999 Joe Lovano 52nd Street Themes Blue Note
2002 Joe Lovano On This Day ... Live at The Vanguard Blue Note
2005 Joe Lovano Streams of Expression Blue Note
1999* Curtis Lundy Against All Odds Justin Time
2001 Curtis Lundy Purpose Justin Time
1994 Kevin Mahogany Songs and Moments Enja
1993 Steve Marcus Smile Red Baron
1993 Chris McNulty Time for LoveAmosaya
1989 Charles Mingus Epitaph Columbia
1997* Mingus Big Band Live in Time Dreyfus
1999* Mingus Big Band Blues and Politics Dreyfus
2004 Mingus Big Band I Am ThreeSunnyside
1991* Mingus Dynasty Next Generation Performs Charles Mingus' Brand New Compositions Columbia
1966 Blue Mitchell and Sonny Red Baltimore 1966 Uptown
1967 Hank Mobley Hi Voltage Blue Note
1968 Lee Morgan Taru Blue Note
1968 Lee Morgan Live In Baltimore: 1968 Fresh Sound
1997 Bob Mover TelevisionUnidisc
1980s Tisziji Munoz Visiting This PlanetAnami
1980s Tisziji Munoz Hearing VoicesAnami
1983 David Murray Morning Song Black Saint
1986 David Murray I Want to Talk About You Black Saint
1988 David Murray Ming's Samba Portrait
1991 David Murray Fast Life DIW/Columbia
1991 David Murray Ballads for Bass Clarinet DIW
1991 David Murray David Murray/James Newton Quintet DIW
1992 David Murray MX Red Baron
1993 David Murray Jazzosaurus Rex Red Baron
1993 David Murray Saxmen Red Baron
1993 David Murray For Aunt Louise DIW
1993 David Murray Love and Sorrow DIW
2000 David Murray Like a Kiss that Never Ends Justin Time
1998 David "Fathead" Newman Chillin' HighNote
2000 David "Fathead" Newman Keep the Spirits Singing HighNote
2002 David "Fathead" Newman The Gift HighNote
2003 David "Fathead" Newman Song for the New Man HighNote
2004 David "Fathead" Newman I Remember Brother Ray HighNote
1997 Jimmy Ponder James Street HighNote
1998 Jimmy Ponder Ain't Misbehavin' HighNote
1998 Jimmy Ponder A Guitar Christmas HighNote
1993 Valery Ponomarev Live at Sweet Basil Reservoir
1981 Alvin Queen Ashanti Nilva
1985 Alvin Queen Jammin' Uptown Nilva
1995 Michael Rabinowitz Gabrielle's BalloonJazz Focus
1990The Reunion Legacy BandThe Legacy Early Bird
1979 Pharoah Sanders Journey to the One Theresa
1981 Pharoah Sanders Rejoice Theresa
1981 Pharoah Sanders Pharoah Sanders Live... Theresa
1987 Pharoah Sanders Africa Timeless
1987 Pharoah Sanders A Prayer Before Dawn Theresa
1984 Bill Saxton Beneath the Surface Nilva
1995 Archie Shepp Blue Ballads Venus
1996 Archie Shepp True Ballads Venus
1998 Archie Shepp True Blue Venus
1996 Archie Shepp Something to Live For Timeless
1966 Sonny Simmons Staying on the Watch ESP
1999 James Spaulding Escapade HighNote
1972 Charles Tolliver Live at the Loosdrecht Jazz Festival Strata-East
2001*Barry WallensteinTony's Blues Cadence Jazz
1997*Frederick Washington, Jr.Lilac: Volume 1Passin' Thru
1986 Bobby Watson Love Remains Red
1988* Bobby Watson No Question About It Blue Note
2006* Ed Wiley, Jr. About the SoulSwing
2005 Steve Williams New IncentiveElabeth
1995Dave YoungTwo by Two: Volume One Justin Time
1996*Dave YoungSide by Side, Volume Three Justin Time

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Wynton Charles Kelly was an American jazz pianist and composer. He is known for his lively, blues-based playing and as one of the finest accompanists in jazz. He began playing professionally at the age of 12 and was pianist on a No. 1 R&B hit at the age of 16. His recording debut as a leader occurred three years later, around the time he started to become better known as an accompanist to singer Dinah Washington, and as a member of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's band. This progress was interrupted by two years in the United States Army, after which Kelly worked again with Washington and Gillespie, and played with other leaders. Over the next few years, these included instrumentalists Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Wes Montgomery, and Sonny Rollins, and vocalists Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, and Abbey Lincoln.

Tommy Flanagan American jazz pianist

Thomas Lee Flanagan was an American jazz pianist and composer. He grew up in Detroit, initially influenced by such pianists as Art Tatum, Teddy Wilson, and Nat King Cole, and then by the newer bebop musicians. Within months of moving to New York in 1956, he had recorded with Miles Davis and on Sonny Rollins' landmark Saxophone Colossus. Recordings under various leaders, including the historically important Giant Steps of John Coltrane, and The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, continued well into 1962, when he became vocalist Ella Fitzgerald's full-time accompanist. He worked with Fitzgerald for three years until 1965, and then in 1968 returned to be her pianist and musical director, this time for a decade.

Ray Bryant American pianist

Raphael Homer "Ray" Bryant was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger.

Mulgrew Miller American jazz pianist

Mulgrew Miller was an American jazz pianist, composer, and educator. As a child he played in churches and was influenced on piano by Ramsey Lewis and then Oscar Peterson. Aspects of their styles remained in his playing, but he added the greater harmonic freedom of McCoy Tyner and others in developing as a hard bop player and then in creating his own style, which influenced others from the 1980s on.

Craig Taborn American musician (born 1970)

Craig Marvin Taborn is an American pianist, organist, keyboardist and composer. He works solo and in bands, mostly playing various forms of jazz. He started playing piano and Moog synthesizer as an adolescent and was influenced at an early stage by a wide range of music, including by the freedom expressed in recordings of free jazz and contemporary classical music.

John Esposito (pianist) Musical artist

John Esposito is an American jazz pianist of advanced bebop tendencies. Known as a composer for his own groups and a versatile sideman capable of all styles from stride piano to free improvisation, he is a pianist highly influenced by modernism, and capable of playing off of several rhythmic and harmonic levels at once. As manifested in music for his quintet and trio, Esposito's compositions are couched in an expansion of bebop harmony, often using rhythmic schemes of complex and subtle metric modulation. Some of his pieces are transformations of jazz standards rendered unrecognizable by such techniques as running the chord progression backwards, or using a complex system of chord substitutions.

Geoffrey Keezer is an American jazz pianist.

Heart Beats is an album by the Keystone Trio – pianist John Hicks, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Idris Muhammad.

Moanin': Portrait of Art Blakey is an album by the New York Rhythm Machine, led by pianist John Hicks.

Blues March: Portrait of Art Blakey is an album by the New York Rhythm Machine, led by pianist John Hicks.


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