Victor Feldman

Last updated

Victor Feldman
Victor Feldman 1976.jpg
Feldman in San Francisco, 1976
Background information
Birth nameVictor Stanley Feldman
Born(1934-04-07)7 April 1934
Edgware, London, England
Died12 May 1987(1987-05-12) (aged 53)
Woodland Hills, California, United States
Genres Jazz
Instruments Vibraphone
Associated acts Miles Davis
Lighthouse All-Stars
Steely Dan

Victor Stanley Feldman (7 April 1934 – 12 May 1987) was an English jazz musician who played mainly piano, vibraphone, and percussion. He began performing professionally during childhood, eventually earning acclaim in the UK jazz scene as an adult. Feldman emigrated to the United States in the mid-1950s, where he continued working in jazz and also as a session musician with a variety of pop and rock performers.


Early life

Feldman was born in Edgware on 7 April 1934. [1] He caused a sensation as a musical prodigy when he was "discovered", aged seven. His family were all musical and his father founded the Feldman Swing Club in London in 1942 to showcase his talented sons. [2] Feldman performed from a young age: "from 1941 to 1947 he played drums in a trio with his brothers; when he was nine he took up piano and when he was 14 started playing vibraphone". [1] He featured in the films King Arthur Was a Gentleman (1942) and Theatre Royal (1943). In 1944, he was featured at a concert with Glenn Miller's AAAF band, as "Kid Krupa" (in reference to drummer Gene Krupa). [3] He also "took a prominent role in the musical Piccadilly Hayride" (1946–1948). [1]

Professional life and Career

His drums teacher Carlo Krahmer encouraged Feldman to play the vibraphone which he did first in the Ralph Sharon Sextet and later in the Roy Fox band.[ citation needed ] Feldman played with Vic Lewis and Ted Heath. [1] Feldman played with Sharon from late 1949 to 1951, including for performances in Switzerland. [1] There were further overseas trips with Ronnie Scott (to Paris in 1952), and Harry Parry (to India). [1] He also played with Parry in the UK from October 1953 to January 1954. [1] From 1954, when he recorded with Jimmy Deuchar, and played again with Scott, "he was working mainly as a pianist and vibraphonist; his early vibraphone playing showed the influence of Milt Jackson". [1]

He was a notable percussionist, but it was as a pianist and vibraphone player that he became best known. [4]

Before leaving the UK to work in the US, Feldman recorded with Ronnie Scott's orchestra and quintet from 1954 to 1955, which also featured other important British jazz musicians such as Phil Seamen and Hank Shaw. It was Scott who recommended that Feldman emigrate to the US,[ citation needed ] which he did in 1955. [5] Once there, his first steady work was with the Woody Herman Herd. [5] He had frequent return trips to the UK over the following years. [5] His 8-week visit in 1956–57 included studio recording sessions and club appearances. [5] After Herman he joined Buddy DeFranco for a short time. [1] In 1958, he had his own working band on the west coast, which included the innovative bassist Scott LaFaro. His 1958 album The Arrival of Victor Feldman includes LaFaro and Stan Levey on drums. He recorded with many jazz artists, including Benny Goodman, George Shearing, Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis, most notably on Davis' 1963 album Seven Steps to Heaven, the title tune being his own composition. Davis invited Feldman to join his group full-time, but Feldman declined, preferring the stability of studio work to the career of a touring musician. [6] The 5-CD Shelly Manne Black Hawk set, originally released on LP in September 1959, is a good representation of Feldman's unmistakable driving "comping" behind the soloists, helping to define the session as a valuable hard bop genre element.

In 1957, Feldman settled in Los Angeles permanently and then specialised in lucrative session work for the US film and recording industry. He also branched out to work with a variety of musicians outside of jazz, recording with artists such as Frank Zappa in 1967, Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell in the 1970s and Tom Waits and Joe Walsh in the 1980s. It is Feldman's percussion work on Steely Dan's song "Do It Again" that gives the song its Latin groove. Feldman appears on all seven Steely Dan albums released in the 70s and 1980 in the band's first incarnation.

Feldman's vibraphone soloing is featured extensively on the Grammy Award-winning The Music from Peter Gunn , with AllMusic writing, "There's some particularly impressive work by drummer Shelly Manne and vibes player Victor Feldman, whose cool, understated playing seems to deliberately recall that of Milt Jackson." [7]

Feldman died of a heart attack in 1987 at his home in Los Angeles, aged 53, following an asthma attack. [5]

In 2009, he was inducted in the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. [8]


As leader

Year recordedTitleLabelPersonnel/Notes
1948–54The Young VicEsquireWith various
1955 Suite Sixteen Tempo/Contemporary Some quartet; some septet; some big band
1956Victor Feldman in London, Vol 1 Tempo Some tracks quartet with Terry Shannon (piano), Pete Blannin and Lennie Bush (bass; separately), Phil Seamen (drums); one track quartet with Dizzy Reece (trumpet), Bush (bass), Seamen (drums)
1956Transatlantic Alliance Tempo With various
1956–57Victor Feldman in London, Vol 2 Tempo With various
1957 Vic Feldman on Vibes Mode Most tracks quartet, with Carl Perkins (piano), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), Stan Levey (drums); some tracks sextet, with Frank Rosolino (trombone), Harold Land (tenor sax) added
1958 The Arrival of Victor Feldman Contemporary Trio, with Scott LaFaro (bass), Stan Levey (drums)
1959 Latinsville! Contemporary With various
1960–61 Merry Olde Soul Riverside Most tracks trio, with Sam Jones and Andy Simpkins (bass; separately), Louis Hayes (drums); some tracks quartet, with Hank Jones (piano) added
1962 Stop the World I Want to Get Off World Pacific Trio, with Bob Whitlock (bass), Lawrence Marable (drums)
1962 A Taste of Honey and a Taste of Bossa Nova InfinitySome tracks quartet with Nino Tempo (tenor sax), Bob Whitlock (bass), Colin Bailey (drums); some tracks quartet with Buddy Collette (tenor sax, flute), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), Ron Jefferson (drums); some tracks quintet, with Clifford Scott (flute, tenor sax), Laurindo Almeida (guitar), Al McKibbon (bass), Chico Guerrero (drums)
1962 Soviet Jazz Themes Äva Some tracks sextet with Harold Land (tenor sax), Nat Adderley (cornet), Joe Zawinul (piano), Bob Whitlock (bass), Frank Butler (drums); some tracks sextet with Land (tenor sax), Carmell Jones (trumpet), Herb Ellis (guitar), Whitlock (bass), Butler (drums)
1964Love Me with All Your Heart Vee Jay With unknown others
1964It's a Wonderful World Vee Jay Quartet, with Bill Perkins (flute), Monty Budwig (bass), Colin Bailey (drums)
1965His Own Sweet WayRonnie Scott's Jazz HouseTrio, with Rick Laird (bass), Ronnie Stephenson (drums); in concert
1967Victor Feldman Plays Everything in Sight Pacific Jazz Feldman plays all instruments
1967The Venezuela Joropo Pacific Jazz Most tracks with Bill Perkins (flute, alto flute), Dorothy Remson (harp), Emil Richards (vibes, marimba), Al Hendrickson (guitar), Max Bennett (bass), Larry Bunker (timbales), Milt Holland (maracas, percussion); some tracks with Perkins (flute, alto flute), Dennis Budimir (guitar), Monty Budwig (bass), Colin Bailey (drums)
1970?SmoothTBAAs Victor Feldman's Generation Band
1973?Your Smilewith Larance Marable, Bob Whitlock
1973?Seven Steps to HeavenChoiceQuartet, with Tom Scott (alto sax, tenor sax, flute, alto flute), Chuck Domanico (bass), John Guerin (drums)
1977?The Artful DodgerConcordWith Jack Sheldon (trumpet, vocals), Monty Budwig and Chuck Domanico (bass; separately); Colin Bailey (drums)
1977?In My Pocket
1978Together AgainYupiteruwith Monty Budwig (bass), Shelly Manne (drums)
1982Secret of the Andes Palo Alto With Hubert Laws (flute), Lee Ritenour (guitar), Abraham Laboriel (electric bass), Harvey Mason (drums), Alex Acuña and Milt Holland (percussion)
1983Soft ShoulderPalo AltoAs Generation Band; with sons Trevor Feldman (drums), Jake Feldman (bass), and Josh Feldman (management), Tom Scott and various others
1983To Chopin with LoveHighlightTrio, with John Patitucci (bass), Trevor Feldman (drums)
1984Call of the WildTBA Records (division of Palo Alto)As Generation Band; with sons Trevor Feldman (drums), and Josh Feldman (mixing engineer), Tom Scott, Robben Ford and various others
1984FiestaTBAWith Chuck Mangione (flugelhorn, trumpet), Chick Corea (keyboards), Dianne Reeves (vocals)
1985?High VisibilityAs Victor Feldman's Generation Band; with various

Main source: [9]

As sideman

With The Youngbloods

With Dane Donohue

With Pepper Adams

With Cannonball Adderley

With Leo Sayer

With Candi Staton

With Michael Franks

With Glenn Frey

With Deniece Williams

With Kim Carnes

With Dion DiMucci

With Gordon Lightfoot

With Marvin Gaye

With Jim Messina

With Mary MacGregor

With Michael Nesmith

With Sam Phillips

With Billy Preston

With Maria Muldaur

With Dusty Springfield

With Dan Hill

With Willie Tee

With Nat Adderley

With Patti Austin

With Livingston Taylor

With Curtis Amy

With James Clay

With Yvonne Elliman

With Rita Coolidge

With Bob Cooper

With Stephen Bishop

With B.B. King

With Michael Martin Murphey

With Christopher Cross

With Stephanie Mills

With Miles Davis

With Kiki Dee

With Betty Wright

With Dalbello

With Dionne Warwick

With Olivia Newton-John

With José Feliciano

With Melanie

With Valerie Carter

With Bobby McFerrin

With Amy Grant

With Peter Allen

With Karla Bonoff

With Cher

With Lulu

With Neil Diamond

With Buddy DeFranco

With Jackie DeShannon

With Carly Simon

With Al Jarreau

With The Doobie Brothers

With Liza Minnelli

With The Free Movement

With Solomon Burke

With Thelma Houston

With Jimmy Webb

With Woody Herman

With Paul Horn

With Milt Jackson

With Peggy Lee

With J. J. Johnson

With Plas Johnson

With Brenda Russell

With Randy Newman

With Quincy Jones

With Sam Jones

With Stan Kenton

With Barney Kessel

With Minnie Riperton

With Melba Moore

With Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

With John Klemmer

With Henry Mancini

With Shelly Manne

With Carmen McRae

With Blue Mitchell

With Nicolette Larson

With Wendy Waldman

With Oliver Nelson

With Art Pepper and Zoot Sims

With Sonny Rollins

With Lalo Schifrin

With Bud Shank

With Rickie Lee Jones

With Boz Scaggs

With Steely Dan

With Joni Mitchell

With Albert Hammond

With James Taylor

With Gino Vannelli

With Harold Vick

With Leroy Vinnegar

With Tom Waits

With Gregg Allman Band

With Gerald Wilson

With Elton John

With Frank Zappa

With Jean Luc Ponty and Frank Zappa

With Joe Walsh

Related Research Articles

Joe Zawinul

Josef Erich Zawinul was an Austrian jazz keyboardist and composer. First coming to prominence with saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, Zawinul went on to play with Miles Davis and to become one of the creators of jazz fusion, a musical genre that combined jazz with rock. He co-founded the groups Weather Report and The Zawinul Syndicate. He pioneered the use of electric piano and synthesizer, and was named "Best Electric Keyboardist" twenty-eight times by the readers of Down Beat magazine.

Frank Rosolino was an American jazz trombonist.

Larry Carlton American guitarist (b1948)

Larry Eugene Carlton is an American guitarist who built his career as a studio musician in the 1970s and '80s for acts such as Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell. He has participated in thousands of recording sessions, recorded on hundreds of albums in many genres, for television and movies, and on more than 100 gold records. He has been a member of the jazz fusion group the Crusaders, the smooth jazz band Fourplay, and has maintained a long solo career.

Tom Scott (musician) American jazz musician

Thomas Wright Scott is an American saxophonist, composer, and arranger. He was a member of The Blues Brothers and led the jazz fusion group L.A. Express.

Charles Walter Rainey III is an American bass guitarist who has performed and recorded with many well-known acts, including Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, and Quincy Jones.

Conte Candoli American musician

Secondo "Conte" Candoli was an American jazz trumpeter based on the West Coast. He played in the big bands of Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, and Dizzy Gillespie, and in Doc Severinsen's NBC Orchestra on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He played with Gerry Mulligan, and on Frank Sinatra's TV specials. He also recorded with Supersax, a Charlie Parker tribute band that consisted of a saxophone quintet, the rhythm section, and either a trumpet or trombone.

Airto Moreira Brazilian drummer and percussionist

Airto Guimorvan Moreira is a Brazilian jazz drummer and percussionist. He is married to jazz singer Flora Purim, and their daughter Diana Moreira is also a singer. Coming to prominence in the late 1960s as a member of the Brazilian ensemble Quarteto Novo, he moved to the United States and worked in jazz fusion with Miles Davis and Return to Forever.

Monte Rex "Monty" Budwig was a West Coast jazz double bassist.

Louis Hayes American jazz drummer and band leader (born 1937)

Louis Hayes is an American jazz drummer and band leader. He was with McCoy Tyner's trio for more than three years. Since 1989 he has led his own band, and together with Vincent Herring formed the Cannonball Legacy Band.

Wilton Felder

Wilton Lewis Felder was an American saxophone and bass player, and is best known as a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders, later known as The Crusaders.

Emil Richards was an American vibraphonist and percussionist.

Plas John Johnson Jr. is an American soul-jazz and hard bop tenor saxophonist, probably most widely known as the tenor saxophone soloist on Henry Mancini’s "The Pink Panther Theme". He also performs on alto and baritone sax as well as various flutes and clarinets.

Richie Kamuca

Richie Kamuca, was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.

Don Menza

Don Menza is an American jazz saxophonist, arranger, and composer.

Lawrence Benjamin Bunker was an American jazz drummer, vibraphonist, and percussionist. A member of the Bill Evans Trio in the mid-1960s, he also played timpani with the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra.

Chuck Domanico American jazz bassist

Charles Louis Domanico, better known as Chuck Domanico, was an American jazz bassist who played double bass and bass guitar on the West Coast jazz scene.

Richard Thomas Marotta is an American drummer and percussionist. He has appeared on recordings by leading artists such as Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Paul Simon, John Lennon, Hall & Oates, Stevie Nicks, Wynonna, Roy Orbison, Todd Rundgren, Roberta Flack, Peter Frampton, Quincy Jones, Jackson Browne, Al Kooper, Waylon Jennings, Randy Newman, Peter Gabriel, Kenny G, The Jacksons, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Warren Zevon, and Linda Ronstadt. He is also a composer who created music for the popular television shows, Everybody Loves Raymond and Yes, Dear.

John Joseph Kelson Jr., known professionally as Jackie Kelso, was an American jazz saxophonist, flautist, and clarinetist.

Dennis Matthew Budimir is an American jazz and rock guitarist.

This is the discography for American jazz drummer Shelly Manne.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Larson, Steve; Kernfeld, Barry, Feldman, Victor (Stanley) [Vic], Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J147800 (subscription required)}}
  2. Barbara Feldman (16 September 1995). "100 Oxford Street – Arts & Entertainment". The Independent. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  3. "British-Born Jazz Prodigy Victor Feldman Dies". Los Angeles Times. 14 May 1987. ISSN   0458-3035 . Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  4. Jazz, All About. "Victor Feldman - Part 1: The Arrival". All About Jazz. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Gelly 2014, p. 119.
  6. See Bob Belden's liner notes to the 2005 reissue of Seven Steps to Heaven. Columbia/Legacy CK 93592
  7. "The Music of Peter Gunn (Original Soundtrack)". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  8. Gilbert 10/13/2009, Calvin. "Rascal Flatts Perform With Toto During Musicians Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony". CMT News. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  9. "Victor Feldman Catalog". Retrieved 1 August 2018.