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A Birth of Jazz

A YouTube History of Music

Modern Jazz 3



Tracks are listed in chronological order by year, then alphabetically.

Listings do not reflect proper order by month or day: later oft precedes earlier.

Not on this page? See history tree below.



Toshiko Akiyoshi    Mose Allison

Paul Bley    Hadda Brooks    Dave Brubeck    Ray Bryant    Milt Buckner    Ralph Burns
Sonny Clark    Nat King Cole    Eddie Costa
Tadd Dameron    Wild Bill Davis    Blossom Dearie    Kenny Drew
Bill Evans    Gil Evans
Dick Farney    Victor Feldman    Clare Fischer    Tommy Flanagan
Red Garland    Erroll Garner    Vince Guaraldi
Al Haig    Sir Roland Hanna    Barry Harris    Hampton Hawes    Skitch Henderson    Jutta Hipp    Elmo Hope    Shirley Horn
Ahmad Jamal    Hank Jones    Duke Jordan
Wynton Kelly    Stan Kenton
Michel Legrand    John Lewis    Ramsey Lewis
Junior Mance    Dodo Marmarosa    Marian McPartland    Dave McKenna    Thelonious Monk
Phineas Newborn
Duke Pearson    Oscar Peterson    Terry Pollard    Bud Powell    Mel Powell    André Previn
Sun Ra    Freddie Redd    Wally Rose    Jimmy Rowles    George Russell
Shirley Scott    George Shearing    Horace Silver    Nina Simone    Jimmy Smith    Martial Solal    Lou Stein    Ralph Sutton
Billy Taylor    Cecil Taylor    Sir Charles Thompson    Bobby Timmons    Lennie Tristano    Bobby Troup
Mal Waldron    George Wallington    Cedar Walton    Randy Weston    Mary Lou Williams    Claude Williamson



Featured on this page loosely in order of first recording or record release (as possible):


Mary Lou Williams

1936 Nat King Cole
1937 George Shearing
1939 Gil Evans
1940 Sir Charles Thompson
1941 Mel Powell    Wally Rose
1942 Dave Brubeck    Stan Kenton    Jimmy Rowles
1943 Dodo Marmarosa
1944 Ralph Burns    Dick Farney    Victor Feldman    Erroll Garner    Bud Powell    Thelonious Monk
1945 Hadda Brooks    Wild Bill Davis    Red Garland    Al Haig     Oscar Peterson    André Previn    Billy Taylor
1946 Skitch Henderson    Hank Jones    Duke Jordan    Sun Ra     John Lewis    Lou Stein
1947 Tadd Dameron    Hampton Hawes    Junior Mance    George Russell    George Wallington
1948 Milt Buckner    Elmo Hope    Marian McPartland    Terry Pollard
1949 Kenny Drew   Phineas Newborn    Ralph Sutton    Lennie Tristano    Claude Williamson
1950 Paul Bley    Barry Harris    Dave McKenna
1951 Ahmad Jamal    Wynton Kelly
1952 Blossom Dearie    Jutta Hipp    Horace Silver    Mal Waldron
1953 Toshiko Akiyoshi    Sonny Clark    Vince Guaraldi    Martial Solal    Bobby Troup
1954 Eddie Costa    Bill Evans    Michel Legrand    Jimmy Smith    Randy Weston
1955 Ray Bryant    Freddie Redd
1956 Ramsey Lewis   Cecil Taylor    Bobby Timmons
1957 Mose Allison    Clare Fischer    Tommy Flanagan    Nina Simone
1958 Sir Roland Hanna    Shirley Scott
1959 Shirley Horn    Duke Pearson    Cedar Walton


  Together with saxophone, piano is the main instrument of modern and progressive jazz. This page is intended to list pianists releasing their first recordings before 1960. Other early jazz pianists can be found under Early Jazz, Swing Jazz and Jazz Orchestration.



Birth of Modern Jazz: Mary Lou Williams

Mary Lou Williams

Mary Lou Williams (aka First Lady of Jazz) first recorded with Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy (Early Jazz 1) in 1929. From that time onward, throughout the swing era and the decades preceding her death in 1981 she was one of those children that's got its own. The two tracks below for year 1945 are from her album, 'Zodiac Suite'. The three tracks for 1963 are from the album, 'Black Christ of the Andes'.

Mary Lou Williams   1930


Mary Lou Williams   1936

   Mary's Special

   Overhand (New Froggy Bottom)

Mary Lou Williams   1944

   Russian Lullaby

Mary Lou Williams   1945



Mary Lou Williams   1963

   Dirge Blues

   A Grand Night For Swinging

   Miss D.D.

Mary Lou Williams   1974


Mary Lou Williams   1976

   Dat Dere

   Free Spirits



Nat King Cole made his first recordings in 1936 (none found) with his brother, bassist Eddie Cole. The next year he formed the King Cole Trio with bassist Wesley Prince and guitarist Oscar Moore. Vocals by Nat King Cole can be found at Jazz 8. Yet more Nat King Cole in a Birth of Rock & Roll 2 and under guitarist Oscar Moore in Jazz 7.

Nat King Cole   1938



   With Plenty of Money

Nat King Cole   1939

   Black Spider Stomp

   Blue Lou

   Rhythm Serenade


   Russian Lullaby

Nat King Cole   1940


   Central Avenue Breakdown

      With Lionel Hampton

   Early Morning Blues

   French Toast

   A Ghost Of A Chance

      With Lionel Hampton & Helen Forrest

   Jivin' with the Notes

   King Cole Blues

   Love Is My Alibi

   Pogo Stick Bounce

Nat King Cole   1941

   Fudge Wudge

   Let's Try Again

   Windy City Boogie Woogie

      Live performance

Nat King Cole   1944

   What Is This Thing Called Love

Nat King Cole   1947

   How High the Moon

Nat King Cole   1957

   Tea For Two


Birth of Modern Jazz: Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole

Photo: William P. Gottlieb


Birth of Modern Jazz: George Shearing

George Shearing

Photo: Bettmann/Corbis

Blind pianist George Shearing's first recording in 1937, simply titled 'Piano Solo', is unfound for this history. However, two years later he formed his own quintet, among his first releases 'Lullaby Of Birdland' (below) and 'September In the Rain'.

George Shearing   1949

   Lullaby of Birdland

   I'll Be Around


   September In the Rain

   Swedish Pastry

George Shearing   1956

   Latin Escapade

George Shearing   1961

   Let There Be Love

      Vocal: Nat King Cole

   The Nearness Of You

      Vocal: Nancy Wilson

George Shearing   1974




Birth of Modern Jazz: Gi Evans

Gil Evans

Canadian pianist, Gil Evans, born in Toronto, Ontario in 1912, was an arranger, composer and bandleader whose first recorded arrangement, 'Strange Enchantment', was for Skinnay Ennis, released in 1939 (unfound). Albeit Evans was a fine pianist, he was even more highly regarded as an arranger and composer, thus on this page concerning orchestration. Evans was particularly noted for "third stream" jazz or, fusion of classical with jazz improvisation. Evans' family had moved to Berkeley, then Stockton, California, where Evans began plunking the keys in hotels while in high school. He formed his first band, a dectet, with Ned Briggs in junior college, which became the house band at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa Beach for two years. Retaining Evans at piano, vocalist Skinnay Ennis took over leadership of that band in 1937, moving it to Hollywood to play on the Bob Hope radio show. It was 1941 when Claude Thornhill hired Evans as an arranger for his orchestra. In 1947 Evans met Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and pianist John Lewis at salons he held at his apartment in New York City. Thus arose the Miles Davis nonet which recorded 'The Birth of the Cool' between '49 and '50 on which Evans arranged 'Moon Dreams' and 'Boplicity'. ('The Birth of the Cool' wasn't released, however, until 1957.) Evans did freelance arranging in the fifties for such as Helen Merrill, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Billy Butterfield and Gerry Mulligan. Working again with Davis in 1957, the result was the 1957 issue of 'Miles Ahead'. The pair then collaborated on the release of "Milestones' and 'Porgy and Bess' in 1958, followed by 'Sketches of Spain' in 1960 and 'Quiet Nights' in 1962. (Per above, 'Miles Ahead', 'Milestones' and 'Sketches of Spain' are good examples of "third stream" jazz.) Evans' first issue as a bandleader was 'Gil Evans & Ten' in 1957, featuring soprano saxophonist, Steve Lacy. In like Flint, due largely to his work with Davis, Evans began collaborating with the crème de la crème of jazz: sax men Cannonball Adderley and Lee Konitz, guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassists Ron Carter and Paul Chambers, and vibraphonist Milt Jackson to cite only a few. In 1966 he arranged for gentle Brazilian vocalist, Astrud Gilberto, on her album, 'Look to the Rainbow'. In 1974 he released 'The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix' with electric guitarists, John Abercrombie and Ryo Kawasaki. In 1983 Evans began a five-year residency on Monday nights at the Sweet Basil jazz club in Greenwich Village. Evans arranged the soundtracks for the films, 'Absolute Beginners' and 'The Color of Money', each released in 1986. In 1987 he recorded with Sting. He died in March the following year of pneumonia in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Evans plays keyboards on most of the recordings below not otherwise indicated.

Gil Evans   1941

   Somebody Nobody Loves

      Piano: Claude Thornhill   Vocal: Lillian Lane

Gil Evans   1942

   Buster's Last Stand

      Piano: Claude Thornhill

   Moonlight Bay

      Piano: Claude Thornhill

Gil Evans   1946

   Portrait of a Guinea Farm

      Piano: Claude Thornhill

Gil Evans   1947

   A Beautiful Man

      Piano: Claude Thornhill


      Piano: Claude Thornhill

Gil Evans   1956

   'Round Midnight

      Album: 'Around About Midnight'

      Piano: Red Garland   Trumpet: Miles Davis

Gil Evans   1957

   Miles Ahead

      Album Side A

      Piano: Wynton Kelly   Trumpet: Miles Davis

   Miles Ahead

      Album Side B

      Piano: Wynton Kelly   Trumpet: Miles Davis


   Just One of Those Things

   Nobody's Heart


Gil Evans   1960

   La Nevada

      Album: 'Out of the Cool'

Gil Evans   1962

   Bulbs/Into the Hot

      Album: 'Into the Hot'   Piano: Cedar Walton

Gil Evans   1964

   The Time of the Barracudas

      Album: 'The Individualism of Gil Evans'

Gil Evans   1966

   Once Upon a Summertime

      Album: 'Look to the Rainbow'

      Vocal: Astrud Gilberto

Gil Evans   1972

   Day By Day

      Album: 'Satin Doll'   Vocal: Kimiko Kasai

Gil Evans   1974


      Original composition: Jimi Hendrix

   Crosstown Traffic

      Original composition: Jimi Hendrix


      Live in Perugia

Gil Evans   1976

   Barcelona Jazz Festival



      Live In Warsaw

Gil Evans   1981

   Love Your Love

      Album: 'Where Flamingos Fly'   Recorded: 1971

Gil Evans   1983

   Friday the 13th

      Live performance

   Stone Free

      Live performance

Gil Evans   1984

   Soul Intro/The Chicken

      Live   Bass: Jaco Pastrious

Gil Evans   1986

   Bud and Bird

      Album: 'Bud and Bird'


      Live in Milano

   Little Wing

   Voodoo Chile

      Live in Milano

Gil Evans   1987

   Little Wing

      Live with Sting



Sir Charles Thompson first recorded piano in 1940 with Lionel Hampton (Swing Jazz 1), two among several below.

Sir Charles Thompson   1940


      With Lionel Hampton

   Open House

      With Lionel Hampton

Sir Charles Thompson   1945

   If I Had You

      Alto sax: Charlie Parker   Tenor sax: Dexter Gordon

      Trumpet: Buck Clayton

   The Street Beat

      Alto sax: Charlie Parker   Tenor sax: Dexter Gordon

      Trumpet: Buck Clayton

   Takin' Off

      Alto sax: Charlie Parker   Tenor sax: Dexter Gordon

      Trumpet: Buck Clayton

   20th Century Blues

      Alto sax: Charlie Parker   Tenor sax: Dexter Gordon

      Trumpet: Buck Clayton

Sir Charles Thompson   1954

   These Foolish Things

Sir Charles Thompson   1984

   Happy Boogie


Birth of Modern Jazz: Sir Charles Thompson

Sir Charles Thompson


Mel Powell was not only a great jazz pianist, but a classical composer as well (a couple of his compositions for strings included below). Powell was working professionally by age 14 in New York City. At about age 16 (1939) he was playing with Bobby Hackett (Jazz 5) and arranging for Gene Krupa (Jazz 2). The earliest recordings found of him are with Benny Goodman (Jazz 2), all the tracks below for 1941.

Mel Powell   1941

   Caprice XXIV Paganini

   If I Had You

   Oomph Fah Fah

Mel Powell   1942

   Blue Skies

   When Did You Leave Heaven?

Mel Powell   1945

   I Got Rhythm

      Clarinet: Benny Goodman   Vibes: Red Norvo

Mel Powell   1948

   Let's Steal Some Apples

      Film: 'A Song Is Born'

      Clarinet: Benny Goodman   Vibes: Lionel Hampton

Mel Powell   1954

   After You've Gone

   Lighthouse Blues

Mel Powell   1959

   Settings for String Quartet

Mel Powell   1982

   String Quartet

Mel Powell   1987

   I Can't Get Started

   Stomping at the Savoy


Birth of Modern Jazz: Mel Powell

Mel Powell

  Although Wally (Waller) Rose cut more than a hundred records there is little to found of him at You Tube with the exception of when he played with Lu Water's Yerba Buena Jazz Band. Born in Oakland in 1913, upon graduation from high school Rose found employment as a pianist on cruise ships. In 1940 he joined Lu Water's band (who had played trumpet on cruise ships) with which he first recorded in 1941. Alike Ralph Sutton (lower on this page) Rose kept ragtime piano alive throughout the decades following its demise in general. The first four tracks below are with Lu Waters.

Wally Rose   1941

   Irish Black Bottom

   Maple Leaf Rag

Wally Rose   1942

   Black and White Rag

   Fidgity Feet

   Temptation Rag

Wally Rose   1953

   Ace In the Hole

       Vocal: Clancy Hayes   Trumpet: Bob Skobey

       Trombone: Buck Hayes

Wally Rose   1995

   Grizzly Bear Rag


Birth of Modern Jazz: Wally Rose

Wally Rose


Born in 1920 in Concord, California, pianist Dave Brubeck is thought to have made his first recording in 1942: 'I've Found A New Baby' (available on CD, 'Jazz at the College of the Pacific, Vol. 2'). He met his future partner, Paul Desmond, in the army in 1944. Upon release from the service the pair met again in California in 1948 and produced their first recordings together with Brubeck's octet, an audition for NBC on the Fantasy label, those three tracks being 'How High the Moon', 'Playland-At-The-Beach' and 'Serenade'. Sessions on which Bob Cummings replaced Paul Desmond on alto sax were 'Prisoner's Song', 'Schizophrenic Scherzo', 'Rondo', 'I Hear A Rhapsody', 'You Go To My Head', 'Laura' and 'Closing Theme'. While Desmond left for NYC to play with Jack Fina, Brubeck put together a trio with Ron Crotty on bass and Cal Tjader on drums, which first four recordings, made in September 1949, were 'Blue Moon', 'Tea For Two', 'Indiana Coronet 103' and 'Laura'. Upon Desmond's return to California in 1950 the pair formed a quartet. That quartet's first recordings were scheduled in August 1951: 'A Foggy Day', 'Lyons Busy', 'Somebody Loves Me' and 'Crazy Chris (Crazy Time)'. Brubeck's portrait appeared on 'Time' magazine's cover in 1954. He and Desmond played together in their quartet until 1967, after which Brubeck began composing orchestral and choral pieces with Christian themes. (He would become a Catholic in 1980.) A recipient of several prestigious awards, Brubeck died of heart failure in Norwalk, Connecticut, in December 2012. Dave Brubeck is also found under Paul Desmond in Modern Jazz Saxophone.

Dave Brubeck   1948

   Prisoner's Song

      Alto sax: Bob Cummings

Dave Brubeck   1949


     Dave Brubeck Trio


     Dave Brubeck Trio

Dave Brubeck   1950

   Fugue on Bop Themes

      Alto sax: Paul Desmond

   Let's Fall In Love

     Dave Brubeck Trio

Dave Brubeck   1951


      Alto sax: Paul Desmond

   Lyons Busy

      Alto sax: Paul Desmond

Dave Brubeck   1953

   How High the Moon

      Alto sax: Paul Desmond


   Over the Rainbow

      Alto sax: Paul Desmond

   Tea For Two

      Alto sax: Paul Desmond

   The Way You Look Tonight

      Alto sax: Paul Desmond

Dave Brubeck   1954


      Alto sax: Paul Desmond

Dave Brubeck   1959

   Blue Rondo à la Turk

      Alto sax: Paul Desmond

Dave Brubeck   1961

   Take Five

      Live performance   Saxophone: Paul Desmond

   Unsquare Dance

Dave Brubeck   1963

   Blue Rondo à la Turk

      Live at Carnegie Hall   Saxophone: Paul Desmond

Dave Brubeck   1964

   Theme From 'Mr. Broadway'

      Alto sax: Paul Desmond

Dave Brubeck   1965


Dave Brubeck   1971

   All the Things You Are

      Live with Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan

Dave Brubeck   1972

   Take Five

      Live performance   Saxophone: Paul Desmond

Dave Brubeck   1975

   The Duets

      Album   Alto sax: Paul Desmond


Birth of Modern Jazz: Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck

Birth of Modern Jazz: Stan Kenton

Stan Kenton

Photo: Dave DeCaro

Pianist and band leader Stan Kenton started his career playing with dance bands in the thirties. In 1941 he formed his own band and booked the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa, California. Among his first recordings, also that year (released 1942), is 'Gambler's Blues' below.

Stan Kenton   1942

   This Love of Mine

      Film: 1944    Vocalist: Cyd Charisse

Stan Kenton   1945


      Film    Vocalist: June Christy

Stan Kenton   1952


Stan Kenton   1953

   Harlem Nocturne

   Over the Rainbow

Stan Kenton   1954


Stan Kenton   1956


   El Congo Valiente

   Malibu Moonlight

   Polka Dots and Moonbeams


Stan Kenton   1958


Stan Kenton   1977

   Artistry In Rhythm

   Send In the Clowns



Birth of Modern Jazz: Jimmy Rowles

Jimmy Rowles

Born in 1918 in Spokane, Jimmy Rowles studied at Gonzaga College (now University) before moving to Los Angeles in 1942, where he connected with sax man, Lester Young, and made his debut recordings with the same in June. Those were several tracks, known as 'Session #8', broadcasted from Billy Berg's Trouville Club, also joined by Billy Holiday on a couple of them. Rowles also worked as a studio musician, backing such as Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Les Brown and Tommy Dorsey in those early days. Rowles' next recordings with Billy Holliday were also radio broadcasts, in June of 1949, for the Armed Forces Radio Services. Rowles issued tracks in 1953 with drummer, Lou Bellson, also privately recording with saxophonist, Charlie Parker and trumpet player, Chet Baker, at the University of Oregon. In 1955 he began recording steadily with Billy Holiday for a few years. In 1957 he laid grooves with Benny Carter. Among other vocalists whom Rowles backed on piano were Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. Rowles traded the West Coast for NYC in 1973, where he worked with Zoot Sims and Stan Getz. In 1983 he began collaborating with young pianist, Diana Krall, she said to have begun singing with his encouragement. Among Rowles' compositions are 'The Peacocks" and those appearing on the album, 'A Timeless Place', released by vocalist, Jeri Brown, in 1994. He died of cardiovascular disease in 1996 in Burbank, California. All tracks for year 1955 below are with Billy Holiday.

Jimmy Rowles   1942

   Benny's Bugle

      With Lee & Lester Young

Jimmy Rowles   1953

   Black Coffee

      Vocal: Peggy Lee

   For Europeans Only

      With Louie Bellson

Jimmy Rowles   1954

   Lady Be Good/Serenade In Blue/So Far So Good


Jimmy Rowles   1955

   Come Rain Or Shine

   A Fine Romance

   Everything Happens To Me

   Gone With The Wind

   I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You

   I Don't Want To Cry Anymore

   I Get a Kick Out of You

   I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues

   It Had To Be You

   Nice Work If You Can Get It

   Prelude To A Kiss

   What's New

   When Your Lover Has Gone

Jimmy Rowles   1956

   Sonny Speaks

Jimmy Rowles   1957

   Comes Love

      Vocal: Billy Holiday

   Just One of Those Things

      Vocal: Billy Holiday

   I'm Coming Virginia

      Trumpet: Benny Carter

Jimmy Rowles   1958

   The Blues

Jimmy Rowles   1974

   A House Is Not A Home

      Vocal: Sarah Vaughan

   Sunday Monday Or Always

Jimmy Rowles   1975

   I'll Never Be the Same

      Sax: Stan Getz

Jimmy Rowles   1976

   While We're Young

Jimmy Rowles   1978


      Bass: Ray Brown

   My Ideal/Close Your Eyes

      Bass: Ray Brown

   That's All/Looking Back

      Bass: Ray Brown

Jimmy Rowles   1981

   Live at Montreux

      Concert   Vocal: Ella Fitzgerald


      Guitar: Joe Pass

   'Tis Autumn

      Guitar: Joe Pass

Jimmy Rowles   1997

   These Foolish Things

      Recorded 1990?   Vocal: Jane Birkin



Birth of Modern Jazz: Dodo Marmarosa

Dodo Marmarosa

Bebob pianist Dodo Marmarosa began his professional career in 1941 by joining the Johnny Scat Davis Orchestra at age 15, then got hired by Gene Krupa (Jazz 2) to play in his orchestra in 1942. When Krupa dissolved that band in 1943 Marmarosa began touring with Charlie Barnet (Jazz 2), with whom he made his debut recordings that same year ('The Moose' and 'Strollin'').

Dodo Marmarosa   1943

   The Moose

      With Charlie Barnet


      With Charlie Barnet

Dodo Marmarosa   1944


      With Charlie Barnet

Dodo Marmarosa   1945

   These Foolish Things

      With Lester Young

Dodo Marmarosa   1946

   Bird Lore

      Alto sax: Charlie Parker

   How High The Moon

      Tenor sax: Lucky Thompson

   Moose the Mooche

       Alto sax: Charlie Parker


       Alto sax: Charlie Parker

Dodo Marmarosa   1947

   Cosmo Street

   Relaxin' At Camarillo

       Alto sax: Charlie Parker

Dodo Marmarosa   1950

   My Foolish Heart

Dodo Marmarosa   1958

   Moose The Mooche


Dodo Marmarosa   1961

   Everything Happens To Me

   Mellow Mood

   On Green Dolphin Street



Arranger, composer, band leader and pianist Ralph Burns took his major break from Woody Herman by joining Herman's First Herd in 1944, with which he first recorded and began contributing arrangements and compositions. Burns later released his first collection, 'The Free Forms', in 1950. Unfortunately neither is his second album, 'Jazz Recital', found for this history. However, Burns released several albums in 1955, 'Bijou' among them. (It was only two years before Burns released his initial album that Columbia Records introduced the first long-playing record in 1948.)

Ralph Burns   1946


Ralph Burns   1949

   Summer Sequence

      Recorded 1946 & 1947

Ralph Burns   1955


      Album: 'Bijou'

Ralph Burns   1960

   Love For Sale


Birth of Modern Jazz: Ralph Burns

Ralph Burns

Photo: William P. Gottlieb

Birth of Modern Jazz: Dick Farney

Dick Farney


Brazilian vocalist Dick Farney was also a fine piano player, making his debut as a singer on a Rio De Janeiro radio station in 1937. His first recording was 'The Music Stopped' in 1944. Because that and other examples of his music are featured in Modern Jazz Song we index only two examples of his piano playing below.

Dick Farney   1962

   Swanee River




Birth of Modern Jazz: Victor Feldman

Victor Feldman

Born in London in 1934, drummer, vibraphonist and pianist Victor Feldman was a prodigy whose father owned a swing club. Feldman gave his first professional performance at age seven at the No. 1 Rhythm Club in a trio with his brothers Monty (accordion) and Robert (clarinet). He issued his first recordings at age ten (1944) for Parlophone, with his brothers, adding Bert Howard on bass and Vic Lewis on guitar. In catalogue order: 'Drumming Man', 'Sweet Georgia Brown', 'Coolin' Off' and 'Zanzibar' (none found). He next recorded as a leader in 1948, grooving five tracks for the Esquire label: 'Mop-Mop', 'Lady Bird', 'Quaternity', 'Moonlight In Vermont' and 'Gone With The Wind' (none found). His first recordings on vibraphone were in 1951, also for Esquire: 'Ego' and 'Jolly Squire'. Feldman's first name recordings as a pianist occurred in 1955, also for Esquire: 'Stella By Starlight', 'Sue Side Jump', 'Lullaby' and 'Groove For Two'. Unfortunately none of Feldman's recordings in the early fifties are found at YouTube. Feldman first left the United Kingdom for the United States in 1955, emigrating in 1957 to join the Woody Herman's band, then Buddy DeFranco's. He was also a session player for various prominent jazz artists, as well as the film industry upon moving to Los Angeles later that year. Notable collaborations in the early sixties were with Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis. In the seventies Feldman ventured a bit beyond the jazz genre with such as Frank Zappa, Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell. In the eighties he worked with Tom Waits and Joe Walsh. Feldman died of heart attack at his home in Woodland Hills, California, in 1987. The tracks below feature Feldman at piano. See Feldman in Early Modern Jazz Percussion for examples of his work on vibes.

Victor Feldman   1958

   Minor Lament

      Bass: Scott LaFaro   Drums: Stan Levey


      Bass: Scott LaFaro   Drums: Stan Levey

Victor Feldman   1959

   Wonder Why

      With Shelly Manne

Victor Feldman   1961


      With Cannonbal Adderley

Victor Feldman   1965

   Summer Love

      Filmed live

   Swinging On A Star

      Filmed live

Victor Feldman   1977

   Haunted Ballroom

      Album: 'Artful Dodger'   Vocal: Jack Sheldon

Victor Feldman   1984

   With Your Love



Birth of Modern Jazz: Erroll Garner

Erroll Garner

Born in 1923 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Erroll Garner was something of a prodigy, playing piano at three, though he never learned to read music. He began appearing on radio (KDKA) at age seven with a group called the Candy Kids. At age eleven he was playing riverboats along the Alleghany. In 1944 he went to New York, where he made his debut recordings that year. Garner was denied membership in the musician's union because he couldn't read music, which union relented, however, in 1956. Standing only 5'2", Garner preferred to play while sitting atop telephone directories placed on the piano bench. Garner's best known song was 'Misty', which he composed in 1954.

Erroll Garner   1944

   All the Things You Are

   Duke For Dinner

   Easy to Love

   Erroll's Bounce

   Erroll's Reverie

   I Get a Kick Out of You

   I Hear a Rhapsody

   I'm In the Mood For Love

   Opus 1


   Take the 'A' Train

      Radio broadcast

   Sweet Lorraine

Erroll Garner   1945


Erroll Garner   1951


Erroll Garner   1954


Erroll Garner   1955

   I'll Remember April

      Album: 'Concert by the Sea'

Erroll Garner   1962

   Where or When

      Live performance

   Sweet And Lovely/Mack The Knife

Erroll Garner   1964

   My Fair Lady Medley



Erroll Garner   1972

   Earl's Dream

      Live performance



Talk about piano bars, here's a place to go tonight, courtesy of pianist Bud Powell, who first recorded with Cootie Williams (Jazz 5) in 1944, a rendition of Monk's 'Round Midnight', thereafter to become one of the most important jazz pianists.

Bud Powell   1944

   Round Midnight

Bud Powell   1949

   Bouncing With Bud



Bud Powell   1951

   The Last Time I Saw Paris

   A Night In Tunisia



   Over the Rainbow

Bud Powell   1954

   Autumn In New York

Bud Powell   1957



      Bass: George Duvivier   Drums: Art Taylor

   Yardbird Suite

Bud Powell   1958

   Comin' Up

Bud Powell   1959

   Get Happy

      Live performance

Bud Powell   1960

   Tea For Two

Bud Powell   1961

   A Portrait Of Thelonious

   Ruby, My Dear

Bud Powell   1962


      Live performance

   There Will Never Be Another You

      Drums: Kenny Clarke

Bud Powell   1963

   When I Fall In Love


Birth of Modern Jazz: Bud Powell

Bud Powell


Birth of Modern Jazz: Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk

Photo: Herb Snitzer

Thelonious Monk, composer, began his piano career as a teenager touring with an evangelist. He first recorded in 1944 with Coleman Hawkins (Jazz 4), with Blue Note Records in 1947.

Thelonious Monk   1947

   'Round Midnight

   Well You Needn't

Thelonious Monk   1952

   Ask Me Now


      With Max Roach

Thelonious Monk   1963


Thelonious Monk   1966

   Live in Oslo

      Featuring Charlie Rouse



Birth of Modern Jazz: Hadda Brooks

Hadda Brooks

Versatile pianist Hadda Brooks made a reputation for herself as the Queen of Boogie Woogie. Boogie woogie was the southern equivalent of ragtime, likely developing out of eastern Texas. Brooks' first recording in 1945 ('Swingin' the Boogie') is unfound. But another recording from 1945 is listed below ('Blues In B Flat). See A Birth Of Rock and Roll for more Hadda Brooks.

Hadda Brooks   1945

   Blues In B Flat

   The Man I Love

   Riding the Boogie

   Rockin' the Boogie

Hadda Brooks   1948

   Out Of the Blue

Hadda Brooks   1950

   I Hadn't Anyone 'Til You

      From the film 'In a Lonely Place'

Hadda Brooks   1953

   When I Leave the World

Hadda Brooks   1957

   The Thrill Is Gone



Wild Bill Davis began his career with the Milton Larkin Orchestra in 1939 as a guitar player. He then switched to piano to play for Louis Jordan (Rock 1) as a member of the Tympany Five, first recording with Jordan in 1945. Soon thereafter Davis changed to the electric organ. (Unable to find any samples of Davis at piano, all the tracks below are Davis at the instrument for which he is best known.) Davis recorded his first album, 'Sweet and Hot', in 1947. Another, 'On the Loose', followed in 1953. However, the earliest recording by Davis that could be found for this history is not until 1954.

Wild Bill Davis   1954

   Things Ain't What They Used to Be

Wild Bill Davis   1969

   April In Paris

   Satin Doll

Wild Bill Davis   1973

   Snake Rhythm

      With Boogaloo Jones

Wild Bill Davis   1989

   Johnny Comes Lately


Birth of Modern Jazz: Wild Bill Davis

Wild Bill Davis


Pianist Al Haig got his start as a professional musician in 1944 upon meeting Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, both of which with whom he first recorded in 1945. Those recordings readily available at You Tube, we list but one sample below. Haig put together his first group, the Al Haig Trio, ten years later, releasing his first album in 1954.

Al Haig   1945

   Shaw 'Nuff

Al Haig   1954

   Autumn In New York

      Bass: Bill Crow   Drums: Lee Abrams

   Royal Garden Blues

      Bass: Bill Crow   Drums: Lee Abrams

   'S Wonderful/The Moon Was Yellow

       Bass: Bill Crow   Drums: Lee Abrams

   Yardbird Suite

      Bass: Bill Crow   Drums: Lee Abrams

Al Haig   1972

   Body and Soul

      Bass: Jamil Nasser   Drums: Frank Gant

Al Haig   1976

   Prelude to a Kiss

Al Haig   1980

   Foot Prints

      Bass: Reggie Johnson   Drums: Frank Gant


Birth of Modern Jazz: Al Haig

Al Haig

Birth of Modern Jazz: Red Garland

Red Garland

Upon five years of piano study Red Garland began playing professionally in 1945, the same year he first recorded. He produced his first album as a group leader in 1956, 'A Garland of Red'.

Red Garland   1945

   Two Bass Hit

       Composition: John Lewis   Trumpet: Dizzy Gillespie

Red Garland   1956

   A Foggy Day

      Bass: Paul Chambers   Drums: Art Taylor

Red Garland   1957

   C Jam Blues Groovy

      Bass: Paul Chambers   Drums: Art Taylor

   What Can I say, Dear

      Bass: Paul Chambers   Drums: Art Taylor

Red Garland   1958

   Blues In Mambo



   A Tisket, A Tasket



Birth of Modern Jazz: Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson

Photo: Associated Press

Canadian piano virtuoso Oscar Peterson first recorded in 1945 with the Oscar Peterson Trio. (Those Canadians again, who would later bring the likes of Joni Mitchell and Steppenwolf to America, and broadcast, from Quebec, about the best music radio to be heard in the Americas.) Drummer Ed Thigpen often played with Peterson. Peterson also plays with guitarist Herb Ellis, to be found in Jazz 7.

Oscar Peterson   1943

   You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To

      With Ben Webster & Coleman Hawkins

Oscar Peterson   1945

   Oscar's Boogie

Oscar Peterson   1958

   A Gal in Gallico

Oscar Peterson   1961


      Live performance   Trumpet: Lee Morgan



An extraordinary thing occurred in 1945: the first recordings of composer, conductor and pianist André Previn at age sixteen. (Though nothing earlier than 1950 is found for this history there is a CD, titled 'Previn at Sunset', on which some of those recordings can heard.) One of Previn's first loves was jazz, though in 1949 he began composing for Hollywood ('The Secret Garden', for instance). He began conducting in 1962, appointed principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1968.

André Previn   1950

   I Only Have Eyes For You

   Love Is Just Around The Corner

   September In The Rain

   This Heart Of Mine

André Previn   1953

   Squeeze Me

      Original composition: Fats Waller

   Stealin' Apples

      Original composition: Fats Waller

   That's Where The South Begins

      Original composition: Fats Waller

André Previn   1959

   Like Young

André Previn   1961

   I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart

      Original composition: Duke Ellington

André Previn   1962

   The Faraway Part Of Town

   Nobody's Heart

      With Doris Day

   Over the Rainbow

      Original composition: Harold Arlen

André Previn   1964

   The Rain In Spain

   There Will Never Be Another You

André Previn   1970

   The Girl From Ipanema

André Previn   1985

   Rhapsody In Blue

      Original composition: George Gershwin

André Previn   1995

   At The Musikverein


Birth of Modern Jazz: André Previn

André Previn


Billy Taylor, pianist, began his jazz career in New York City with the Ben Webster Quartet in 1944. He cut his first vinyl in 1945 with 'Mad Monk' and 'Alexander’s Ragtime Band', the same year he released his debut album, 'Billy Taylor Piano' (not found).

Billy Taylor   1945

   Alexander’s Ragtime Band

      Bass: All Hall   Drums: Jimmy Crawford

Billy Taylor   1952

   I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free

Billy Taylor   1958

   52nd Street Theme/Confirmation

      Live with Cannonball & Nat Adderly

   Night In Tunisia/Round About Midnight

      Live with Cannonball & Nat Adderly

Billy Taylor   1959

   Biddy's Beat

Billy Taylor   1967

   A Day in the Life of a Fool

      With Earl Coleman

Billy Taylor   1996

   Tea For Two

Billy Taylor   2001


Billy Taylor   2006

   All Alone


Birth of Modern Jazz: Billy Taylor

Billy Taylor

Photo: Tom Marcello


Birth of Modern Jazz: Skitch Henderson

Skitch Henderson

The earliest recordings found for pianist Skitch Henderson were released in 1946. Henderson had commenced his music career as a traveling roadhouse performer in the Midwest, his major break occurring in 1937 upon being asked to accompany Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney on an MGM promotional tour that brought him to Hollywood. Among the highlights of Henderson's career was becoming music director for NBC television in 1951 and founding The New York Pops orchestra in 1983 based at Carnegie Hall. Henderson, however, may likely be best known as bandleader for The Tonight Show from its inception in 1954 as Tonight hosted by Steve Allen. (Other notable members of that orchestra have been guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, drummer Ed Shaughnessy and trumpeter Doc Severinsen who acquired Henderson's position as bandleader in 1966.)

Skitch Henderson   1946

   Dreamland Rendezvous

   Five Minutes More

      With Ray Kellogg

   Save Me a Dream

      With Ray Kellogg

   Swan Lake

Skitch Henderson   1947

   Army Air Corp

   But None Like You

      With Andy Reed


      With Mancy Reed & Andy Roberts

   A Garden In the Rain

      With Eileen Wilson

   Dream on a Summer Night

   Would You Believe

     With Eileen Wilson

Skitch Henderson   1962

   Sunny Side of the Street

Skitch Henderson   1965


      Album: 'Skitch...Tonight!'

   Night Life

   So What Else Is New



Birth of Modern Jazz: Hank Jones

Hank Jones

Pianist Hank Jones (brother of trumpeter Thad Jones in Jazz 5) was playing professionally by age 13 in Michigan. It was 1944 when he and saxophone player Lucky Thompson took off together for New York City. His first recordings may have been with bop saxophone player Coleman Hawkins, one example below. Four years later Jones put together his first album in 1950. Bassist Ray Brown also features on one of its tracks, 'Ad Lib' below. Jones is also the pianist on 'Opus de Funk' under Milt Jackson in Jazz 9.

Hank Jones   1946

   Bean and the Boys

      Saxophone: Coleman Hawkins

Hank Jones   1950

   Ad Lib

      Bass: Ray Brown   Drums: Buddy Rich

Hank Jones   1958

   My One And Only Love

      Drums: Osie Johnson

Hank Jones   1979

   The Very Thought Of You

Hank Jones   1994


       Live performance   Composition: Joe Henderson



Duke Jordan's first recordings may have been in 1946. He recorded with Roy Eldridge (Swing Jazz 1) that year though wasn't much featured. It was with Charlie Parker (Jazz 4) whom Jordan joined in 1947 that he began to shine as a great pianist.

Duke Jordan   1946

   Jump Through the Window

      With Roy Eldridge

Duke Jordan   1947

   The Bird Gets the Worm

         Saxophone: Charlie Parker

   Bird of Paradise

      Saxophone: Charlie Parker

   Bongo Pop

      Saxophone: Charlie Parker

   Dewey Square

      Saxophone: Charlie Parker

Duke Jordan   1954

   Embraceable You

Duke Jordan   1956

   More Of The Same

      Bass: Doug Watkins   Guitar: Kenny Burrell

Duke Jordan   1960

   Split Quick

      Album: 'Flight to Jordan'

Duke Jordan   1962

   No Problem

Duke Jordan   1973


      Saxophone: Cecil Payne


Birth of Modern Jazz: Duke Jordan

Duke Jordan

Birth of Modern Jazz: Sun Ra

Sun Ra

Born Herman Poole Blount in 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama, pianist Sun Ra first recorded in 1946 with Wynonie Harris: 'Dig This Boogie'/'Lightning Struck the Poorhouse' and 'My Baby's Barrelhouse'/'Drinking By Myself'. Among the more colorful figures in jazz, Sun Ra was a child prodigy composing and sight reading music before he was a teenager. He first played professionally in 1934 when his high school biology teacher, Ethel Harper, formed a band and went on tour. Harper left the tour midway, bequeathing leadership of the band to Ra, who renamed it the Sonny Blount Orchestra. In 1936 he won a music scholarship, but dropped out after his first year in college. In 1942 he was arrested for not complying with the draft, but won deferment in 1943 for a hernia. His recordings in 1946 won him a place in Fletcher Henderson's band the same year. In 1948 he formed a trio with Coleman Hawkins and Stuff Smith. He then formed another group called the Space Trio, the year he changed his name from Blount to Sun Ra, considering Blount a slave name. A while later he began calling his orchestra the Arkestra. The Arkestra toured the West Coast in 1968, Europe in 1970 and Egypt in 1971. Ra was mayhaps most admired for his work with electric keyboards, and perhaps best known for his exotic concerts blending Egyptian and space age themes. Ra died of pneumonia in Birmingham in 1993, but later versions of the Arkestra yet make highly popular concert tours.

Sun Ra   1946

   Dig This Boogie

      With Wynonie Harris

   Drinkin' By Myself

      With Wynonie Harris

   Lightning Struck the Poorhouse

      With Wynonie Harris

Sun Ra   1956


   Sun Song

Sun Ra   1959

   Ancient Aiethopia

   Jazz In Silhouette



Sun Ra   1961


   Space Jazz Reverie

Sun Ra   1976

   Jazz From an Unknown Planet

Sun Ra   1987

   Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw


Sun Ra   1988

   Sound Of Joy

      Aurex Jazz Festival

The Arkestra   2009

   Nancy Jazz Pulsations

      Without Sun Ra   Concert

The Arkestra   2014

   Live at the Jazzhouse in Copenhagen

      Without Sun Ra   Concert

   Love In Outer Space

      Without Sun Ra   Live



Birth of Modern Jazz: John Lewis

John Lewis

After serving in the army, where John Lewis met drummer Kenny Clarke (Jazz 9), he began his professional career as a composer and pianist with Dizzy Gillespie (Jazz 5). The piano for his first composition for Gillespie, 'Two Bass Hit', was played by Red Garland. Lewis would later play with Miles Davis (Jazz 5), for which he his perhaps best known.

John Lewis   1946


      Trumpet: Dizzy Gillespie

John Lewis   1956

   Willow Weep for Me

      Guitar: Sacha Distel

John Lewis   1959

   Delaunay's Dilemma

John Lewis   1979

   I'll Remember April

      Duet with Hank Jones



Composer Lou Stein is said to have worked with Buddy DeFranco (Jazz 5) as a teenager. At age 20 (1942) he began working on the road, notably with Ray McKinley (Jazz 2). He later played with Glenn Miller (Jazz 2) and Charlie Ventura before work as a freelance session pianist, most notably backing Sarah Vaughn (year 1953 in particular, in Jazz 8).

Lou Stein   1946


     With Ray McKinley

Lou Stein   1952


      With Charlie Parker

   Stella By Starlight

      With Charlie Parker

Lou Stein   1954


Lou Stein   1955

   There'll Be Some Changes Made

Lou Stein   1958

   Got a Match


Birth of Modern Jazz: Lou Stein

Lou Stein


Composer, arranger and pianist Tadd Dameron first recorded largely in association with trumpeter Fats Navarro (Jazz 5). His first album as a featured band leader was released in 1948 ('The Dameron Band').

Tadd Dameron   1947

   Lady Bird

      Trumpet: Fats Navarro

   Our Delight

      Trumpet: Fats Navarro

Tadd Dameron   1948

   Good Bait

      Composer:   Count Basie   Trumpet: Fats Navarro

Tadd Dameron   1955

   A Study in Dameronia

      Featuring Clifford Brown

Tadd Dameron   1956

   On A Misty Night

      Saxophone: John Coltrane

Tadd Dameron   1962

   You're a Joy

      Vocalist: Barbara Winfield


Birth of Modern Jazz: Tadd Dameron

Tadd Dameron

Photo: William P. Gottlieb

Birth of Modern Jazz: Hampton Hawes

Hampton Hawes

Hampton Hawes, pianist, found himself playing jazz with big names like Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray, to name but a couple (both in Jazz 4), while yet a teenager. Largely associated with bebop and West Coast jazz, Hawes was also yet a teenager when he first recorded with Howard McGhee (Jazz 5) in 1947 (unfound). His first album release, 'Piano East West', was shared with pianist Freddie Redd in 1952 (also Redd's first release).

Hampton Hawes   1952

   I'll Remember April/Hamp's Paws

      From the album 'Piano East/West'

   Don't Get Around Much Any More

      Bass: Joe Mondragon   Drums: Shelly Manne

   Jumpin' Jacque

      Bass: Joe Mondragon   Drums: Shelly Manne

Hampton Hawes   1955

   All the Things You Are



Hampton Hawes   1958


   Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams

Hampton Hawes   1970

   Blues Improvisation


      Bass: Ray Brown   Drums: Shelly Manne   Sax: Bob Cooper

   Stella By Starlight/Milestone


      Bass: Ray Brown   Drums: Shelly Manne   Sax: Bob Cooper

Hampton Hawes   1976




Birth of Modern Jazz: Junior Mance

Junior Mance

It was 1947 when Junior Mance first recorded with Gene Ammons (Jazz 4), those recordings not found. Mance did, however, record with Lester Young (Jazz 2) in 1949, two tracks of which are below. Mance played professionally as a teenager and was a music major in college, until the opportunity arrived to play with Ammons, which he estimated to be a more enlightened kind of university. Many of the tracks below are live performances.

Junior Mance   1949

   Blues n' Bells

      With Lester Young

   D.B. Blues

      With Lester Young

Junior Mance   1957

   Stella By Starlight

Junior Mance   1961


   You Are Too Beautiful

Junior Mance   1964

   In Mellow Tone

Junior Mance   1966

   St. James Infirmary

Junior Mance   1968

   Before This Time Another Year

   I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free

   That's All

Junior Mance   1970

   Blue Monk

      With Dexter Gordon

   Don't Cha Hear Me Callin' To Ya

      Album 'With a Little Help From My Friends'

   Never Say Naw

      Album 'With a Little Help From My Friends'

Junior Mance   1973

   Tin Tin Deo


Junior Mance   1995

   Slow Fright

Junior Mance   2011

   I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free



Arranger, composer and pianist George Russell got his first taste of big-time jazz at age seven, singing for Fats Waller (Jazz 1). He began his professional career as a drummer for Ben Carter (Jazz 1) before switching to piano, after which he wrote his first composition for Dizzy Gillespie (Jazz 5) in 1947 ('Cubano Be, Cubano Bop').  Despite being plagued with health problems (tuberculosis) which intermittently interfered with his career, Russell also published a book concerning music theory in 1953.

George Russell   1947

   Cubano Be, Cubano Bop

      Percussion: Chano Pozo   Trumpet: Dizzzy Gillespie

George Russell   1959

   East Side Medley

George Russell   1960

   Bent Eagle


Birth of Modern Jazz: George Russell

George Russell



Birth of Modern Jazz: George Wallington

George Wallington

George Wallington got a big break right off the bat at age 19 when he began playing bop with Dizzy Gillespie (Jazz 5) at a nightclub in New York City in 1943, after which he played with a number of major names both in and out the bebop realm. His earliest found recording, however, isn't until 1947. He began recording as a leader, of a trio, in 1949, releasing a collection in 1951. Yet in 1960 the oddest thing occurred, especially for a musician with so much going for him. Wallington suddenly quit the field of music and joined his family's air conditioning business. Well, the music profession isn't easy even at the top. Though one could think the air conditioning business considerably worse, circumstances are unknown. Nevertheless, Wallington later released three more albums, beginning in 1984.

George Wallington   1947


      Allen Eager Quintet

George Wallington   1951

   Polka Dot/Fine and Dandy

      Drums: Max Roach

George Wallington   1953

   I Married an Angel/Tenderly

George Wallington   1954

   Without Reservation

George Wallington   1956

   Billie's Tune

   The End of a Love Affair


   One Night of Love

   What's New?

George Wallington   1957

   All of You

      Tenor sax: Bobby Jaspar

   Dis Mornin'


   Be Bop/Lemon Drop/Salt Peanuts/Groovin' High

George Wallington   1960


   It's All Right With Me



Milt Buckner began his career with the Cotton Pickers before joining Cab Calloway's orchestra. In 1941 he began to accompany Lionel Hampton (Jazz 2) for which he is best known. It is believed Buckner first recorded piano with the Beale Street Boys in 1947. One sample below. (To hear many more of Buckner's first recordings with that group see Beale Street Boys in Doo Wop.) Below, Buckner plays piano on 'Milt's Boogie', vibraphone on 'Where Or When' and organ on 'Limehouse Blues'.

Milt Buckner   1948

   Baby Don't Be Mad At Me

      With the Beale Street Boys

   Fat Stuff Boogie

      With the Beale Street Boys

Milt Buckner   1949

   Milt's Boogie

Milt Buckner   1976

   Where Or When

Milt Buckner   1977

   Limehouse Blues

      Vibraphone: Lionel Hampton


Birth of Modern Jazz: Milt Buckner

Milt Buckner


Elmo Hope began his career with the Joe Morris band. 'The Applejack', below, from 1948, is among the first recordings of him. His first album as a leader was 'Introducing the Elmo Hope Trio', released in 1953.

Elmo Hope   1948

   The Applejack

Elmo Hope   1953

   Happy Hour

   I Remember You

Elmo Hope   1954

   Later For You

Elmo Hope   1955

   It's a Lovely Day Today

Elmo Hope   1956

   On It

      Tenor sax: John Coltrane & Hank Mobley

Elmo Hope   1957

   So Nice

   Vaun Ex

Elmo Hope   1961

   Eyes So Beautiful As Yours

Elmo Hope   1963

   It Shouldn't Happen to a Dream


Birth of Modern Jazz: Elmo Hope

Elmo Hope


Marian McPartland first recorded in 1948 with her husband, celebrated early jazz cornetist, Jimmy McPartland (Early Jazz 1). McPartland began her career in 1938 as a vaudeville pianist by the stage name of Marian Page. Born in Great Britain, MacPartland met her husband, Jimmy, in Europe during World War II upon his being drafted into the army. They married in 1944, after which Jimmy returned to the States with his bride to resume his musical career. (Marian's first recordings with Jimmy in 1948 are unfound.) Some time later, 1952, Marian formed a trio to play at the Hickory House in New York City for next eight years. In 1969 Marian founded her own record label, Halcyon Records. Bill Crow plays bass on all selections below for year 1955.

Marian McPartland   1955

   Chelsea Bridge

   I Could Write A Book

   Poor Little Rich Girl

   Sand In My Shoes

   Struttin' With Some Barbecue

Marian McPartland   1956

   Dark Eyes

      Saxophone: Stan Getz   Trumpet: Dizzy Gillespie

Marian McPartland   1974

   In a Mist

Marian McPartland   1975



Birth of Modern Jazz: Marian PcPartland

Marian McPartland



Birth of Modern Jazz: Terry Gibbs

Terry Gibbs & Terry Pollard

Pianist Terry Pollard first recorded with Billy Mitchell in 1948. Best known in association with Terry Gibbs, with whom she toured in the fifties, Pollard's first and only album, 'Terry Pollard', appeared in 1955. Considering her enormous talent her early retirement as a professional musician remains unfortunate to jazz.

Terry Pollard   1955

   Autumn Serenade

      Drums: Frank DeVito   Trumpet: Don Fagerquist


      Drums: Frank DeVito   Trumpet: Don Fagerquist

Terry Pollard   1956

   Gibberish/Now's the Time

      Live performance   Vibes: Terry Gibbs



Birth of Modern Jazz: Kenny Drew

Kenny Drew

Kenny Drew, piano, first recorded with Howard McGhee (Jazz 5) in 1949 and would play with several big names before releasing his first album, 'New Faces, New Sounds' in 1953. He released his second album, 'The Ideation Of Kenny Drew', in 1954. Tracks from neither of these albums could be found for this history, thus starting below with his third album, 'Talkin' and Walkin', produced in 1955.

Kenny Drew   1955

   I'm Old Fashioned

      Sax: Joe Maini

      Bass: Leroy Vinnegar   Drums: Larance Marable

   Minor Blues (Blues In a Cardboard Box)

     Sax: Joe Maini

      Bass: Leroy Vinnegar   Drums: Larance Marable

Kenny Drew   1956

   It's Only A Paper Moon

     Bass: Paul Chambers   Drums:   Philly Joe Jones

Kenny Drew   1960


      Bass: Sam Jones   Drums: Louis Hayes

      Sax: Hank Mobley   Trumpet: Freddie Hubbard

   Groovin' the Blues

      Bass: Sam Jones   Drums: Louis Hayes

      Sax: Hank Mobley   Trumpet: Freddie Hubbard


      Bass: Sam Jones   Drums: Louis Hayes

      Sax: Hank Mobley   Trumpet: Freddie Hubbard

Kenny Drew   1964

   A Stranger In Paradise

      Bass: Niels-Henning Pedersen   Drums: Albert Heath

Kenny Drew   1974

   In Your Own Sweet Way

     Bass: Niels-Henning Pedersen   Drums: Albert Heath

Kenny Drew   1980


     Tenor Sax: Warne Marsh

      Bass: Bo Stief   Drums: Aage Tanggaaard



Pianist Phineas Newborn (and his brother Calvin) first recorded in 1949, backing what were BB King's first recordings as well (see A Birth of the Blues). The releases below followed some ten years later.

Phineas Newborn   1959

   C Jam Blues

      Bass: Ray Brown   Drums: Marvin Smith

Phineas Newborn   1961

   Lush Life


      Bass: Sam Jones   Drums: Louis Hayes


Birth of Modern Jazz: Phineas Newborn

Phineas Newborn

Birth of Modern Jazz: Lennie Tristano

Lennie Tristano

Like guitarist Billy Bauer (Jazz 7), some credit blind pianist Lennie Tristano with pushing bebop toward cool jazz. Among his earliest recordings is 'Intuition' in 1949, on which Bauer also plays.

Lennie Tristano   1949


      Saxophone: Wayne Marsh


      Bass: Arnold Fishkin   Drums: Shelly Manne

      Guitar: Billy Bauer   Alto Sax: Lee Konitz

Lennie Tristano   1953

   Descent into the Maelstrom

Lennie Tristano   1955

   Don't Squawk

     With Lee Konitz & Warne Marsh

Warne Marsh   1958

   Live at the Half Note

      Film   With Lee Konitz & Warne Marsh

Lennie Tristano   1965


   You Don't Know What Love Is



Ralph Sutton began his professional career in 1941 with Jack Teagarden (Early Jazz 1). It isn't yet determined if (or with whom) he was first recorded before 1949 we begin with tracks that can be found on the CD, 'The Circle Recordings'. Sutton largely continued the ragtime sound into the modern era of jazz.

Ralph Sutton   1949

   Baby Baby

      With Henry Red Allen

   Black Bottom Stomp

   Dill Pickles/Whitewash Man

   I Dance At Your Wedding/I Got Rhythm

   Muskrat Ramble

      With Max Kaminsky

Ralph Sutton   1953


   Tain't Nobody's Biz-Ness If I Do

Ralph Sutton   1960

   The Cascades

Ralph Sutton   1963

   Yellow Dog Blues

      With Henry Red Allen

Ralph Sutton   1988


      With Ruby Braff

Ralph Sutton   1998

   Eye Opener/Echoes Of Spring


Birth of Modern Jazz: Ralph Sutton

Ralph Sutton

  Upon graduating from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Claude Williamson began his professional career in 1947 playing with Teddy Edwards (Jazz 4), then Red Norvo (Jazz 2), in San Francisco. He first recorded in 1949 with Charlie Barnet (none found, among them, 'Claude Reigns'), after which he worked with vocalist June Christy (Jazz 8) for a couple of years.

Claude Williamson   1950

   A Mile Down the Highway

Claude Williamson   1953


Claude Williamson   1954

   Bouncing with Bud/Bean and the Boys

Claude Williamson   1955

   Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Claude Williamson   1956

   June Bug

Claude Williamson   1977

   All The Things You Are

   I Love You

Claude Williamson   1992

   Robin's Nest

Claude Williamson   1993

   Song for My Father

   Work Song

Claude Williamson   1995



Birth of Modern Jazz: Claude Williamson

Claude Williamson

  It was 1950 when composer and pianist Paul Bley was first recorded on a Canadian television broadcast with tenor saxophonist Brew Moore (unfound). He also recorded with Charlie Parker a short time later but such is also unfound. Bley is featured, however, together with drummer Art Blakey, on an album released in 1953 by bassist Charles Mingus, 'Introducing Paul Bley'. Bley was married for a brief time early in his career to composer and pianist Carla Bley.

Paul Bley   1953

   Spontaneous Combustion

      Bass: Charles Mingus   Drums: Art Blakey


      Bass: Charles Mingus   Drums: Art Blakey

Paul Bley   1961

   Stretching Out

      Bass: Steve Swallow   Clarinet: Jimmy Giuffre

Paul Bley   1962

   When Will the Blues Leave?

Paul Bley   1964


Paul Bley   1965


Paul Bley   1966


Paul Bley   1968

   El Cordobes

   Kid Dynamite

   Mr. Joy

   Nothing Ever Was Anyway


Paul Bley   1972

   El Cordobes/King Korn

Paul Bley   1973

   Ida Lupino

Paul Bley   1977

   Tavia/Longer Than You Know

      Alto sax: Lee Konitz   Guitar: Bill Connors

   Play Blue

      Alto sax: Lee Konitz   Guitar: Bill Connors

Paul Bley   1985

   You Go to My Head

      With Chet Baker

Paul Bley   1988

   If I Loved You

Paul Bley   1992

   Ojos de Gato

Paul Bley   1993



Paul Bley   1996

   Time Will Tell


Birth of Modern Jazz: Paul Bley

Paul Bley

Birth of Modern Jazz: Barry Harris

Barry Harris

Barry Harris is thought to have first recorded in 1950 with Christine Harris and Frank Foster (specifically, 'Hopper Topper' and 'Sante Fe Shuffle', neither found). Harris released his first album as a leader in 1958: 'Breakin' It Up', the earliest recordings of Harris found. All the tracks below for that year are from that release.

Barry Harris   1958

   Allen's Alley

   All the Things You Are


   Embraceable You


   Stranger In Paradise

Barry Harris   1965

   Shiny Stockings

      With Dexter Gordon

Barry Harris   1967

   Even Steven

Barry Harris   1972


      With Sonny Stitt

Barry Harris   1976

   I'll Remember April

      With Dexter Gordon



Birth of Modern Jazz: Dave McKenna

Dave McKenna

Photo: Brian O'Connor

Dave McKenna was played professionally as a teenager with the Boots Mussulli band. At 19 he left home to join the Charlie Ventura Orchestra. His first known recordings are shortly thereafter with Woody Herman's Second Herd (Jazz 2), in 1950, before being drafted in the army. (One of those below, though McKenna isn't at all featured on it.) A humble man, McKenna, who once remarked he wasn't a "bona fide jazz guy", but "just a saloon piano player." McKenna began his solo recording career in 1955.

Dave McKenna   1950

   Starlight Souvenirs

      With Woody Herman

Dave McKenna   1955

   My Heart Belongs to Daddy

      Bass: Max Bennett

   Strike Up The Band

      Bass: Max Bennett

Dave McKenna   1957

   Sweet Sue, Just You

      Tenor sax: Charlie Ventura

Dave McKenna   1962

   Bill Bailey

Dave McKenna   1977

   Oil and Vinegar

Dave McKenna   1979

   Have You Met Miss Jones

Dave McKenna   1983

   Lazy River

Dave McKenna   1993

   42nd Street



Pianist Ahmad Jamal began his career with the George Hudson Orchestra. His first album, released 1951, is unfound.

Ahmad Jamal   1952

   Ahmad's Blues/Billy Boy

      Bass: Eddie Calhoun   Guitar: Ray Crawford

Ahmad Jamal   1958

   I'll Remember April

Ahmad Jamal   1961

   Isn't It Romantic

Ahmad Jamal   1992


      Bass: James Cammack   Drums: David Bowler

Ahmad Jamal   2008


      Bass: James Cammack   Drums: Idris Muhammad


Birth of Modern Jazz: Ahmad Jamal

Ahmad Jamal

Photo: Chuck Stewart

Birth of Modern Jazz: Wynton Kelly

Wynton Kelly

Jamaican pianist Wynton Kelly's first album, 'Piano Interpretations', in 1951 is unfound for this history. But there is a sample of his playing with Dinah Washington the same year in Jazz 8, as well as a solo piece, 'Summertime', below. He is also the pianist on the samples of Wes Montgomery's 1965 release of 'Smokin' At the Half Note' in Jazz 7. Find him under Donald Byrd in Jazz 5as well as Johnny Griffin and Hank Mobley in Jazz 4.

Wynton Kelly   1951


   I'll Never Be Free/I Wanna Be Loved

      With Dinah Washington at Birdland

      Bass: Percy Heath   Drums: Art Blakey


      Piano solo

Wynton Kelly   1959

   On Green Dolphin Street

   Softly, As In A Morning's Sunrise

      Bass: Paul Chambers   Drums: Jimmy Cobb

Wynton Kelly   1961

   Autumn Leaves

      Bass: Paul Chambers   Drums: Jimmy Cobb



Singer Blossom Dearie switched from classical to jazz as a teenager. In 1952, age 28, she took off for France where she formed the group, The Blue Stars of France. Returning to America in 1956, she recorded her first record album the following year. More of Dearie can be found in Modern Jazz Song, including a few of her earlier recordings in France.

Blossom Dearie   1955

   April In Paris


Birth of Modern Jazz: Blossom Dearie

Blossom Dearie


  Born in 1925 in Leipzig, Germany, Jutta Hipp studied painting before moving to West Germany upon Soviet occupation and the establishment of East Germany (German Democratic Republic) in 1949. Among the names with whom she first played piano was tenor saxophonist, Hans Koller, Hipp also forming her first ensemble at that time. Hipp is thought to have grooved her debut recordings in 1952, but nothing earlier than 1954 is found at YouTube, the same year she began working with guitarist, Attila Zoller. Hipp recorded in Germany into 1955, releasing the album, 'Jutta (New Faces - New Sounds From Germany)' that year, then emigrated to the United States, there releasing the album, 'At the Hickory House Vol. 1', the same year. In 1956 she issued 'At the Hickory House Vol. 2', also featuring at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island that year. Also in 1956 she recorded the album, 'Jutta Hipp with Zoot Sims', released the following year. Hipp left the music industry in 1958 to paint, supporting herself in a garment factory. One source explains that she dropped away from the jazz scene due that she didn't possess a business drive, especially as rock music was by that time stealing away jazz audiences: she played piano well enough, but owned small ambition and was socially withdrawn. Another source cites that she suffered PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) due largely to living in Germany during the war years. Though she played weekends until 1960 she gradually fully settled into employment at Wallach’s Clothiers, where she remained until retirement in the nineties. Among the few musicians with whom she remained in contact throughout her life was alto saxophonist, Lee Konitz. Hipp died in 2003 of pancreatic cancer in Queens. Saxophonist, Zoot Sims, performs with Hipp on all tracks for 1957 below.

Jutta Hipp   1954

   Ack Varmeland Du Skona

      Tenor Sax: Joki Freund & Hans Koller


      Bass: Hans Kresse   Drums: Karl Sanner

   Frankfurt Special

      Tenor Sax: Joki Freund & Hans Koller


      Tenor Sax: Joki Freund

   Simon/Cool Dogs/Yogi

      Album: 'Cool Europe'   Tenor Sax: Joki Freund

Jutta Hipp   1957

   Almost Like Being In Love

   Down Home

   Just Blues

   Too Close For Comfort

   S' Wonderful

   These Foolish Things

   Violets For Your Furs


Birth of Modern Jazz: Jutta Hipp

Jutta Hipp


Pianist Horace Silver was discovered by Stan Getz (Jazz 4) in Connecticut in 1950. It isn't clear though whether his debut recording in 1952 was with Stan Getz or the Lou Donaldson Quintet. He plays with Getz below, and with Donaldson in Modern Jazz 4. Silver is also the pianist on 'Split Kick' with Art Blakey in Modern Jazz 9.

Horace Silver   1952

   Prelude To a Kiss

   Potter's Luck

      Saxophone: Stan Getz

Horace Silver   1956

   Señor Blues

Horace Silver   1959

   Blowin' The Blues Away

   Señor Blues

      Live performance

Horace Silver   1962

   The Tokyo Blues

Horace Silver   1963

   Silver's Serenade

Horace Silver   1964

   Lonely Woman

      Album: 'Song For My Father'

Horace Silver   1965

   The African Queen

Horace Silver   1968

   Serenade To a Soul Sister

   Song For My Father

      Live version

   Song For My Father

      Studio version

Horace Silver   1970

   Acid, Pot or Pills

Horace Silver   1972

   In Pursuit of the 27th Man

   Summer In Central Park

Horace Silver   1974

   Liberated Brother

      Umbria Jazz Festival

Horace Silver   1976

   Live at the Umbria Jazz Festival


Horace Silver   1978

   The Gods Of The Yoruba


Birth of Modern Jazz: Horace Silver

Horace Silver

Photo: Dimitri Savitski


  Malcolm Earl "Mal" Waldron took his bachelor degree in music in 1949. He worked with various bands until first recording with Ike Quebec in 1952 (unfound). From 1954 to 1956 Waldron played with Charles Mingus, Lucky Millinder and Lucky Thompson. He also backed Billy Holiday from 1957 until her death in 1959. It was 1956 that Waldron put together his own band and created his debut album, 'Mal-1'.

Mal Waldron   1956


       Album: 'Mal-1'


      Album: 'Mal-1'

Mal Waldron   1959

   Cat Walk

   Left Alone

Mal Waldron   1961

   Left Alone

Mal Waldron   1971

   Warm Canto

   First Encounter

      Album   Bass: Gary Peacock   Drums: Hiroshi Murakami

Mal Waldron   1983

   Right On

Mal Waldron   1986

   Desespoir Agreable

Mal Waldron   1995

   Thy Freedom Come

Mal Waldron   1997

   Free Improvisations

      Live performance

   Peggy's Blue Skylight

      With Steve Lacy


      With Steve Lacy

Mal Waldron   2002

   The Seagulls of Kristiansund

   Soul Eyes


Birth of Modern Jazz: Mal Waldron

Mal Waldron

Birth of Modern Jazz: Toshiko Akiyoshi

Toshiko Akiyoshi

Classical fans of Mitsuko Uchida, meet the Uchida of jazz, Toshiko Akiyoshi, whose recording career began much earlier in 1953 upon discovery by pianist Oscar Peterson. Born in Japan, Akiyoshi's first album (1953), 'Toshiko's Piano' (unfortunately unfound), was performed with guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown and drummer J.C. Heard.

Toshiko Akiyoshi   1957

   Blues For Toshiko

Toshiko Akiyoshi   1958

   The Third Movement

Toshiko Akiyoshi   1975

   Long Yellow Road

      With the Lew Tabackin Big Band

Toshiko Akiyoshi   1976

   Road Time Shuffle

Toshiko Akiyoshi   1996

   Dance of the Gremlins

   Feast In Milano

   Strive For Jive

Toshiko Akiyoshi   2000

   Harvest Shuffle



Sonny Clark, organ and piano, left Pennsylvania for California at age 20 to pursue a career in jazz. He soon met Wardell Gray (Jazz 4) and Oscar Pettiford (Jazz 7), then got a real jump when he began touring Europe and the United States with Buddy DeFranco, after which he settled in New York to play with singer Dinah Washington (Jazz 8). Clark's first recordings may have been in 1953, with saxophonists Frank Morgan and Wardell Gray among them. His first album, 'Oakland', released in 1955, is unfound for this history. He released his second album, 'Dial "S" For Sonny', in 1957. Sadly, Clark died young at age 31. Some say of heart attack. Others say of heroin overdose.

Sonny Clark   1953

   Paul's Case

      Saxophone: Frank Morgan

   So Long Broadway

      Saxophone: Wardell Gray

Sonny Clark   1954

   Blues In the Closet

      With Buddy DeFranco

   A Foggy Day

      With Buddy DeFranco

   The Nearness of You

      With Buddy DeFranco

   Sonny's Idea

      With Buddy DeFranco

Sonny Clark   1957

   Bootin' It

      With Art Farmer

   Love Walked In

   Sonny's Mood

      With Art Farmer

Sonny Clark   1961

   Eric Walks

   Melody For C



Birth of Modern Jazz: Sonny Clark

Sonny Clark

  Vince Guaraldi began performing on piano during college, that early inclination interrupted by service as an army cook during the Korean War. Upon discharge he found employment as an intermission pianist at the Black Hawk in San Francisco, a rather intimidating job due that it was Art Tatum (Jazz 2) for whom he filled in the breaks. Nevertheless, taking courage in the face of the daunting paid off when Guaraldi himself got a major break in 1953, joining the Cal Tjader Trio (Jazz 9) with which he first recorded. Three years later he formed his own trio and cut his first album, 'Vince Guaraldi Trio'. Tjader plays both drums and vibes in tracks below.

Vince Guaraldi   1953


      With Cal Tjader

   Lullaby of the Leaves

       With Cal Tjader

   Three Little Words

       With Cal Tjader


       With Cal Tjader

Vince Guaraldi   1956


      Album: 'Vince Guaraldi Trio'

Vince Guaraldi   1957

   A Flower is a Lovesome Thing


Vince Guaraldi   1962

   Cast Your Fate to the Wind


Birth of Modern Jazz: Vince Guaraldi

Vince Guaraldi

  Born in French Algeria in 1927, Martial Solal first recorded with Django Reinhardt in 1953 (two samples below). He formed the Martial Solal Trio in 1953 as well, releasing his first album , 'French Modern Sounds' in 1954, followed by 'Martial Solal Trio', also recorded in 1953. All cuts below from 1990 onward are live performances.

Martial Solal   1953

   I Cover the Waterfront

      With Django Reinhardt

   Le Soir

      With Django Reinhardt

Martial Solal   1954


Martial Solal   1960


      Album: 'À Bout de Souffle'

   New York Herald Tribune

      Album: 'À Bout de Souffle'

Martial Solal   1965

   On Green Dolphin Street

      Live performance

Martial Solal   1974


Martial Solal   1990


Martial Solal   2007

   Coming Yesterday

   The Last Time I Saw Paris

   Body & Soul/Begin the Beguine

   Tea For Two

Martial Solal   2008

   Piano Solo

Martial Solal   2010

   My Funny Valentine

Martial Solal   2012



Birth of Modern Jazz: Martial Solal

Martial Solal

Photo: Jos L. Knaepen

  Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1918, it isn't known when pianist Bobby Troup first recorded. It is known he had sold a couple compositions in 1941 ('Daddy', recorded by Sammy Kaye and the Andrew Sisters, and 'Snootie Little Cutie', recorded by Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra). It was 1946 when he composed 'Route 66' (Nat King Cole in Rock 2) on his way to Los Angeles. But his first name recordings didn't occur until his release of the album, 'Bobby Troup!', in 1953. Troup had graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics before joining the Marines, promoted to Captain in 1944. Troup was first married to Cynthia Hare (who contributed to lyrics on 'Route 66') in 1942. He later married vocalist Julie London in 1959. Troup also made appearances on film and television. He died in 1999 in Los Angeles.

Bobby Troup   1953

   Lemon Twist

Bobby Troup   1955

   Little Girl Blue

   Love's Got Me In a Lazy Mood

Bobby Troup   1958

   Their Hearts Were Full of Spring

Bobby Troup   1964

   Route 66


   You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To

      Filmed live in Japan   Vocal: Julie London


Birth of Modern Jazz: Bobby Troup

Bobby Troup

Birth of Modern Jazz: Eddie Costa

Eddie Costa

Eddie Costa's first recordings were made in 1954 with guitarist Sal Salvador (unfound, though Salvador will be found in Jazz 7). He released his first recordings as a band leader in 1957, 'I Didn't Know What Time It Was' among them.

Eddie Costa   1956

   Pile Driver

      Bass: Vinnie Burke   Drums: Nick Stabulas

   Sweet and Lovely

      Bass: Vinnie Burke   Drums: Nick Stabulas


Eddie Costa   1957

   I Didn't Know What Time It Was

   Let's Take a Chance On Love

Eddie Costa   1958


   I'll Know

   I've Never Been In Love Before

Eddie Costa   1959



   The House Of Blue Lights

   My Funny Valentine

   What's To Ya

   When I Fall In Love



Birth of Modern Jazz: Bill Evans

Bill Evans

Bill Evans began to play piano in his brother's band at age twelve. Though good at classical, but not improvisation, at that time, nine years later in 1950 he got his first job with Herbie Fields (Jazz 5). Drafted into the Army in 1951, upon discharge Evans cut his first grooves with the Jerry Wald Orchestra in 1954 and 1955. Those albums were 'Jerry Wald And His Orchestra' and 'Listen To The Music Of Jerry Wald' (neither found). Evans later released his first name album, 'New Jazz Conceptions' in 1956. Evans will also be found under Toots Thielemans in Jazz 9.

Bill Evans   1956



   Easy Loving


   I Got It Bad (And That Ain´t Good)

   I Love You

   No Cover, No Minimum

   Our Delight

   Speak Low

   Waltz For Debby

      Sax: Cannonball Adderley

Bill Evans   1961

   Know What I Mean?

      Album   Sax: Cannonball Adderley

Bill Evans   1965

   Jazz 625

      Live concert


      Filmed live



Michel Legrand entered the Paris Conservatory of Music at age ten, where he studied until age eighteen. Upon leaving school he accompanied a number of French popular singers (none found), and also toured with Maurice Chevelier. Legrand recorded his first album, 'I Love Paris', at age 22 (1954). Legrand first recorded jazz in 1958 upon visiting the United States. In addition to jazz piano, Legrand conducted orchestras and wrote film scores.

Michel Legrand   1954

   I Love Paris

   Moulin Rouge

Michel Legrand   1958

   Jitterbug Waltz

      Trumpet: Miles Davis

   Night In Tunisia

      Trumpets: Donald Byrd and Art Farmer


      Sax: Ben Webster

   'Round Midnight

      Trumpet: Miles Davis

Michel Legrand   1959

   Paris In the Spring

     Album: 'Jazz In Paris'

Michel Legrand   1970

   I Was Born in Love With You

      From the film 'Wuthering Heights'

Michel Legrand   1971

   Oum le dauphin

Michel Legrand   1972

   Pieces of Dreams

      With Sarah Vaughan

Michel Legrand   2001

   The Summer Knows

      Sax: Phil Woods

   Watch What Happens

      Sax: Phil Woods

   You Must Believe In Spring

      Sax: Phil Woods


Birth of Modern Jazz: Michel Legrand

Michel Legrand

Birth of Modern Jazz: Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Smith

While James Brown was delivering funk to rock n' roll fans organist Jimmy Smith brought funk to jazz listeners. Born in 1925 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Smith began playing piano as a child. After service in the Navy he studied music at a couple colleges for a couple years before his big break arrived upon joining Don Gardner's outfit in 1951, the same year he began experimenting with the Hammond organ. Smith originally played piano with Gardner, but his first recordings with Gardner's band were on organ in 1954: 'New Kind of Love', 'When You're Gone', 'How Do You Speak To an Angel', 'Sonotone Bounce', 'I'll Walk Alone', 'Going Down Mary', 'It's a Sin To Tell a Lie' and 'I Hear a Rhapsody', all on the Bruce label. Smith began recording as a bandleader for Bluenote in 1956, releasing his first album, 'A New Sound... A New Star...', for that label the same year. He issued his first album for Verve, 'Bashin'', in 1962. Among the major names with whom Smith collaborated in the fifties and sixties were Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell and George Benson. In the seventies he played at his own Jimmy Smith Supper Club in Los Angeles. In 1978 he toured and recorded in South Africa. The eighties and nineties found him emphasizing recording again, also collaborating with various other prominent musicians. Smith moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, in 2004. His wife, Lola, died a few months later, and he himself, of natural causes, in February 2005.

Jimmy Smith   1954

   How Do You Speak To An Angel

      With Don Gardner

   Sonotone Bounce

      With Don Gardner

Jimmy Smith   1958


Jimmy Smith   1962

   Live on Jazz Scene USA

Jimmy Smith   1965

   Live for the BBC


Jimmy Smith   1971

   Dirty Roosta Booga

   First Class


Jimmy Smith   1972

   Root Down (and Get It)

Jimmy Smith   1974

   I Can't Get Enough

      Album: 'Paid in Full'

Jimmy Smith   1977

   Born to Groove

   Give Up The Booty

Jimmy Smith   1988

   Live at the ZDF Jazz Club

      Concert filmed live

Jimmy Smith   1995

   The Sermon

      Filmed live

Jimmy Smith   1996

   Funky Broadway



Birth of Modern Jazz: Randy Weston

Randy Weston

Born in Brooklyn in 1926, pianist Randy Weston ran a restaurant in the latter forties frequented by name jazz musicians, whence he began playing gigs with Bull Moose Jackson and Eddie Cleanhead Vinson. In 1953 he began playing with Kenny Dorham, then with Cecil Payne, beginning in 1954. His first certain recording sessions were in April 1954, with bassist Sam Gill, for the Riverside and Milestone labels. Those eight tracks made their way onto the 10-inch album, 'Randy Weston Plays Cole Porter in a Modern Mood', released the same year. In 1955 he added drummer Art Blakey to his duo with Gill, releasing those six tracks on albums by various titles, again for Riverside and Milestone. That same year he exchanged Blakey for drummer Wilbert Hogan, recording ten tracks, again for Riverside. Unfortunately the earliest recordings by Weston to be found at YouTube aren't until his next recording project in 1956 with Cecil Payne, his first album that year, 'With These Hands', emerging. Among Weston's most significant collaborators during his career was trombonist Melba Liston. In the early sixties Weston began experimenting with African elements in jazz, releasing the album, 'Uhuru Afrika' ('Freedom Africa'), in 1960 (banned in South Africa in 1964). Weston moved to Morocco in 1968 where he worked with Gnawa musicians for the next five years, perhaps the most musically significant period of his life. In 2010 Weston published his autobiography, 'African Rhythms'. Weston issued a prolific number of albums during his career which is yet active as of this writing (9/2014), touring internationally. Weston plays with saxophonist Cecil Payne on all tracks below for year 1956.

Randy Weston   1956

   Don't Blame Me

      Album: 'Modern Art Of Jazz'

   How High the Moon

      Album: 'Modern Art Of Jazz'

   I Can't Get Started

      Album: 'With These Hands'


      Album: 'With These Hands'

   Little Niles

      Album: 'With These Hands'

   It's All Right With Me

      Album: 'Modern Art Of Jazz'

   The Man I Love

      Album: 'Modern Art Of Jazz'

   Once In a While

      Album: 'Jazz a la Bohemia'

   Run Joe

      Album: 'Modern Art Of Jazz'

   Well, You Needn't

      Album: 'Modern Art Of Jazz'

Randy Weston   1958


      Newport Jazz Festival

Randy Weston   1959


      Live at the Five Spot in NYC

Randy Weston   1960

   Uhuru Kwanza

Randy Weston   1972

   African Cookbook

      Album: 'African Cookbook'

   Night In Medina

      Album: 'Blue Moses'

Randy Weston   1973


Randy Weston   1974

   Uhuru Kwanza

      Album: 'Blues to Africa'



Birth of Modern Jazz: Ray Bryant

Ray Bryant

Ray Bryant began playing piano at age six. He began playing professionally with big names such as Coleman Hawkins (Jazz 4), Miles Davis (Jazz 5) and Sonny Rollins (Jazz 4). He first recorded with guitarist Toots Thielemans in August 1955 (unfound). His first album as a band leader, 'Meet Betty Carter and Ray Bryant', was produced in 1955, after which he formed his first trio in 1956. Bryant will also be found under Toots Thielemans in Jazz 7.

Ray Bryant   1955

   I Could Write a Book

      Vocalist: Betty Carter

Ray Bryant   1957

   Blue Changes

      Bass: Ike Isaacs   Drums: Charles Wright

   Golden Earrings

      Bass: Ike Isaacs   Drums: Charles Wright


      Bass: Ike Isaacs   Drums: Charles Wright

Ray Bryant   1958

   Until The Real Thing Comes Along

       Saxophone: Coleman Hawkins

Ray Bryant   1967

   Fox Stalker

   Paper Cup

   Slow Freight

Ray Bryant   1968

   Above the Rock

Ray Bryant   1976

   Good Morning Heartache

Ray Bryant   1989




Birth of Modern Jazz: Freddie Redd

Freddie Redd

Born in 1928 in Harlem, hard bop pianist Freddie Redd was released from active duty in the military in 1949, whence upon he took his first professional gigs in Syracuse, New York. He next headed for NYC where he played with a number of prominent names before making what are thought his first recordings in 1954 with Art Farmer and Gigi Gryce. Redd also issued his first name recordings that year ('Piano - East/West', sharing half the album with recordings made by Hampton Hawes in 1952). In 1956 he toured Sweden with Rolf Ericson and Ernestine Anderson. Redd wrote the score to the 1961 film, 'The Connection', in which he also appeared both as an actor and musician. Briefly afterward he moved to Denmark, then France, returning to the States in 1974 to pursue his occupation in San Francisco. Upon a career of collaborations with not a few top names in jazz, Redd moved to Baltimore in 2011 where, as of this writing, he yet resides.

Freddie Redd   1955

   Blue Lights

      With Art Farmer & Gigi Gryce

   Ready Freddie

      Album: "Introducing Freddie Redd'

Freddie Redd   1956

   People's Park

Freddie Redd   1960

   Blues, Blues, Blues

      Album: 'Shades of Redd'

   Just a Ballad For My Baby

      Album: 'Shades of Redd'

   The Thespian

      Album: 'Shades of Redd'

   O.D. (Overdoes)

      Album: 'The Music From The Connection'


      Album: 'Shades of Redd'

   (Theme For) Sister Salvation

      Album: 'The Music From The Connection'

   Time to Smile

      Album: 'The Music From The Connection'

   Who Killed Cock Robin?

      Album: 'The Music From The Connection'


      Album: 'The Music From The Connection'

Freddie Redd   1961

   Old Spice

Freddie Redd   1977

   Waltzing In

      Album: 'Straight Ahead'

Freddie Redd   2013

   Buckeye Blues

      Filmed live with the Colours Quartet



Pianist Ramsey Lewis released his first album, 'Ramsey Lewis and The Gentlemen of Swing' in 1956.

Ramsey Lewis   1956


Ramsey Lewis   1974

   Sun Goddess

Ramsey Lewis   1977

   Tequila Mockingbird

Ramsey Lewis   1983

   Les Fleur

Ramsey Lewis   1984

   Closer Than Close


Birth of Modern Jazz: Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis

Birth of Modern Jazz: Cecil Taylor

Cecil Taylor

Pianist Cecil Taylor formed his first band in 1955 with saxophonist Steve Lacy (Jazz 4), releasing his first album the next year, 'Jazz Advance'. Taylor was a major figure in the launching of the "free jazz" genre (see Ornette Coleman as well).

Cecil Taylor   1956

   Bemsha Swing

      Bass: Buell Neidlinger Drums: Dennis Charles

   Charge 'Em Blues

      Bass: Buell Neidlinger Drums: Dennis Charles

   Rick Kick Shaw

      Bass: Buell Neidlinger Drums: Dennis Charles


      Bass: Buell Neidlinger Drums: Dennis Charles

   You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To

      Bass: Buell Neidlinger Drums: Dennis Charles

Cecil Taylor   1958

   Excursion On a Wobbly Rail

Cecil Taylor   1965

   Number One (Octagonal Skirt and Fancy Pants)

      Alto Sax: Jimmy Lyons

      Bass: Henry Grimes   Drums: Sunny Murray



Birth of Modern Jazz: Bobby Timmons

Bobby Timmons

Pianist Bobby Timmons got his start as a professional musician with trumpeter Kenny Dorham and the Jazz Prophets in 1956, then later joined drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (Jazz 9). He released his first album, 'This Here Is Bobby Timmons', in 1960, the three tracks below for that year from that record.

Bobby Timmons   1956

   Autumn In New York

      With the Jazz Prophets

   K.D.'s Blues

      With the Jazz Prophets

Bobby Timmons   1958


      With the Jazz Messengers   Live


      With the Jazz Messengers   Studio

Bobby Timmons   1960

   Dat Dere

      Bass: Sam Jones Drums: Jimmy Cobb

   My Funny Valentine

      Bass: Sam Jones Drums: Jimmy Cobb

   This Here

      Bass: Sam Jones Drums: Jimmy Cobb

   My Funny Valentine

      With the Jazz Messengers



Pianist and vocalist Mose Allison released his first two albums, 'Back Country Suite' and 'Local Color', in 1957. Allison heard jazz so differently that, at the time, it's surprising he was able to find a record producer at all. More extraordinary piano by Mose Allison can be found in A Birth of Modern Jazz Song.

Mose Allison   1957

   In Salah

      From the album 'Back Country Suite'


Birth of Modern Jazz: Mose Allison

Mose Allison


Birth of Modern Jazz: Clare Fischer

Clare Fischer

Keyboardist (piano, synthesizer), arranger and composer Clare Fischer put together his first band at age fifteen. Graduating from high school in 1946, Fischer began studying composition in 1947. But he didn't receive his Master in Music until 1955 due to having been drafted into the army. He began his professional career in Los Angeles as an arranger and accompanist (piano) for the Hi-Lo's. 'Tenderly', below, is among Fisher's first arrangements with that group, on which he also conducts the orchestra. 'Agogically So' is another of his arrangements, on which he may also be the accompanist on piano. Fischer released his first album in his own name in 1962, 'First Time Out'.

Clare Fischer   1957


      Arrangement for the Hi-Lo's

Clare Fischer   1958

   Agogically So

      Arrangement for the Hi-Lo's

Clare Fischer   1960

   Over the Rainbow

      Vibes: Cal Tjader

Clare Fischer   1962

   I Love You

      Album: 'First Time Out'

   Nigerian Walk

      Album: 'First Time Out'

Clare Fischer   1963

   There Will Never Be Another You

      Guitarist: Joe Pass

Clare Fischer   1965


Clare Fischer   1980


Clare Fischer   1987

   Cuban Fantasy



Birth of Modern Jazz: Tommy Flanagan

Tommy Flanagan

Be-bop pianist Tommy Flanagan released his first album under his own name in 1957 as the Tommy Flanagan Trio with bassist Wilbur Little and drummer Elvin Jones (Jazz 9). He first recorded the previous year with Kenny Burrell and Oscar Pettiford. Flanagan also plays with guitarist Kenny Burrell in Jazz 7.

Tommy Flanagan   1957


      Bass: Oscar Pettiford   Guitar: Kenny Burrell

   Smoke Signal

      Bass: Oscar Pettiford


      Bass: Wilbur Little Drums: Elvin Jones


      Bass: Wilbur Little Drums: Elvin Jones

   Relaxin' at Camarillo

      Bass: Wilbur Little Drums: Elvin Jones


      Bass: Wilbur Little Drums: Elvin Jones

Tommy Flanagan   1960

   At Dawning

      Sax: Coleman Hawkins

   Then I'll Be Tired Of You

      Sax: Coleman Hawkins


  Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in 1933 in Tryon, North Carolina, composer, pianist and vocalist, Nina Simone began playing piano at age three. Her early influences were classical and gospel. One incident as a child illustrates her later involvement in civil rights: At one recital her parents, who had sat in the front row, were moved to the rear of the hall to make room for white folk. Simone refused to play until her parents were moved back up front. Simone later studied at Julliard. Among her first jobs was at the Midtown Bar & Grill in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where, upon the owner's request, she added singing to piano performances. About that time she changed her name from Eunice Waymon to Nina Simone. ("Niña" is Spanish for little girl. "Simone" was in honor of the French actress, Simone Signoret.) It was 1957 that Simone came out the gate with a group of powerful recordings that made her abilities conspicuous, compiled on an album titled, 'Little Girl Blue' (preceded by the single, 'I Loves You, Porgy'). The problem with poverty is that the condition itself keeps you poor. Not having the wherewithal to wait for royalties, Simone sold her rights for $3000, after which she lost an estimated one million dollars over the years from that record's sales. Simone began addressing racial inequality with song in 1964, upon the release of the live album, 'Nina Simone In Concert'. During that period she advocated violent revolution, Martin Luther King's strategy of protest too slow. Among such songs was her 1965 cover of Billy Holiday's 1939 recording of 'Strange Fruit', concerning the lynching of blacks. Simone moved to Barbados in 1970. She intended to quit the music industry in 1974 with the release of the album, 'It Is Finished', but started to record again in 1978, issuing the album, 'Baltimore'. During the eighties she worked at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. She lived in Switzerland and the Netherlands before calling France home in 1992, the year Simone published her memoirs, 'I Put a Spell On You'. She released her last album, 'A Single Woman', in 1993. Simone died in her sleep in Carry-le-Rouet, France, on the Mediterranean coast, in 2003. Among her longest musical associations through the decades were with guitarist and musical director, Al Schackman, and percussionist, Leopoldo Fleming. Among her awards were the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and honorary degrees from three schools. A statue was erected in her honor in 2010 in her birthplace, Tryon, North Carolina. We list only one performance by Simone below, a concert filmed live in Montreux. Much more piano by Simone will be found in Early Modern Jazz Song.

Nina Simone   1976

   Live at Montreux


Birth of Modern Jazz: Nina Simone

Nina Simone

  Born in 1932 in Detroit, Sir Roland Hanna began studying classical piano at age eleven. Pianist, Tommy Flannigan, was a childhood friend of his. Hanna began playing professionally while yet in high school. Upon graduation he enlisted in the Army for a couple of years, during which time he played in an Army band. Upon release from duty in 1951 Hanna connected with Thad Jones in Detroit. Moving to NYC in 1955, he played with Benny Goodman, then Coleman Hawkins, then Charles Mingus, the latter with whom he recorded in 1959. Hanna isn't known to have entered a session before 1959, though he is recorded on an earlier 1958 television broadcast (below). His first album releases were in 1959: 'Roland Hanna Plays Harold Rome's Destry Rides Again' and 'Easy to Love'. In 1960 Hanna took his bachelor's degree from Julliard, upon which he began backing Sarah Vaughan and Al Hibbler. Significant in the sixties were Hanna's collaborations with Thad Jones, with whom he would work until 1974. In 1968 Hanna began a series of charity concerts in Liberia, resulting in being knighted by Liberian President, William Tubman, in 1970. In 1971 he formed the New York Jazz Quartet with saxophonist, Frank West, then toured the Soviet Union in 1972. In 1988 Hanna composed the soundtrack for the Clint Eastwood film, 'Bird'. During his latter career Hanna taught music, particularly at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in Flushing, New York, where he was a tenured professor. In association with that he founded the RMI record label in 1997. Hanna died of a heart infection in 2002. All tracks below for year 1959 are from the album, 'Roland Hanna Plays Harold Rome's Destry Rides Again', unless otherwise noted.

Sir Roland Hanna   1958

   Lover Come Back

      'Art Ford's Jazz Party'

Sir Roland Hanna   1959

   Anyone Would Love You

      Guitar: Kenny Burrell


      Albums: 'Mingus Dynasty' & 'Mingus - Alternate Takes'

   Easy to Love

      Album: 'Easy to Love'

   Fair Warning

      Guitar: Kenny Burrell

   From This Day On

      Album: 'Easy to Love'

   I Know Your Kind

   I Know Your Love

   I Say Hello

   Like Someone to Love

      Album: 'Easy to Love'

   Rose Lovejoy Of Paradise Alley


      Album: 'Easy to Love'

Sir Roland Hanna   1974

   A Child Is Born


   Take the 'A' Train

Sir Roland Hanna   1976


      Bass: George Mraz

Sir Roland Hanna   1977

   Time For the Dancers

Sir Roland Hanna   1981

   Time For the Dancers

      Filmed live

Sir Roland Hanna   2002

   All Blues

   Portrait Of John Lewis

Sir Roland Hanna   2003

   Body and Soul

      Posthumous release

   Prelude Op.28, No.20

      Posthumous release


Birth of Modern Jazz: Sir Roland Hanna

Sir Roland Hanna

Birth of Modern Jazz: Shirley Scott

Shirley Scott

Shirley Scott played piano on occasion but her preferred instrument was organ. Scott created nine record albums from 1958 to 1960, her first, 'Great Scott!'. None of them are found. 'Satin Doll', below, is from her tenth album, 'Satin Doll'. Scott was married to tenor sax player, Stanley Turrentine, with whom she performed from 1960 to 1969.

Shirley Scott   1958

   In the Kitchen

      Saxophone: Eddie Lockjaw Davis

   Satin Doll

Shirley Scott   1964


      Saxophone: Stanley Turrentine

Shirley Scott   1972

   By the Time I Get to Phoenix



Shirley Horn, a vocalist as well as pianist, formed her first band, a trio, in 1954. Her first known recordings followed five years later with violinist Stuff Smith (Jazz 2) in 1959 (unfound). That was a major break, but when Miles Davis (Jazz 5) found good things to say about her in 1960 people started listening. Horn created her first album, 'Embers and Ashes', that same year. One track from that below. (More Shirley Horn in Jazz 8.)

Shirley Horn   1960

   I Thought About You

Shirley Horn   1992

   Here's to Life


Birth of Modern Jazz: Shirley Horn

Shirley Horn

Photo: John O'Hara



It is thought Duke Pearson first recorded in 1959 with Donald Byrd and Art Pepper (not found). Be as may, he began releasing records in his own name the same year.

Duke Pearson   1959

   Black Coffee


      Album   Alto sax: Jackie McLean   Trumpet: Donald Byrd

   I Love You

   I'm a Fool to Want You

   I'm Glad There is You


Duke Pearson   1961


   Say You're Mine


Birth of Modern Jazz: Duke Pearson

Duke Pearson

Birth of Modern Jazz: Cedar Walton

Cedar Walton

Cedar Walton is thought to have first recorded in 1959 on an alternate take of 'Giant Steps' with John Coltrane (Jazz 4). It was as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (Jazz 9) in the early sixties that Walton began to secure recognition of his considerable talents. All the tracks below for year 1962 are Walton with the Jazz Messengers.

Cedar Walton   1959

   Giant Steps

Cedar Walton   1960

   Blues On Down

      Tenor sax: Benny Golson   Trumpet: Art Farmer

Cedar Walton   1961


      Trombone: JJ Johnson

Cedar Walton   1962



   Sweet 'n' Sour

   This Is For Albert

Cedar Walton   1976

   Blue Monk

      Live performance

Cedar Walton   1982

   God Bless the Child

      Live performance   Trumpet: Freddie Hubbard

   Midnight Waltz

Cedar Walton   1986


      Live performance   Trumpet: Freddie Hubbard



We pause this Birth of Modern Jazz Piano with Cedar Walton. By the time Pearson arrives jazz is well developed beyond big swing orchestra, largely via the introduction of sounds from without the United States in the thirties, then bebop and individualists such as Nat King Cole in the forties. The fifties will have commenced with "cool" jazz ('Birth of the Cool' by Miles Davis representative of such, recorded in 1949-50 though not released until 1957) and be a decade of experiment giving passage to prominent compositions in the sixties announcing that modern jazz has arrived (such as 'Take Five' by Brubeck above). By the time Timmons records his first album keyboardists such as Don Friedman, Big John Patton, Herbie Hancock,  Monty Alexander, Dick Hyman, Ronnie Matthews, Les McCann and McCoy Tyner are in position to take jazz through the sixties, which we leave to a later period of this history.




Early Blues 1: Guitar

Early Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Modern Blues 1: Guitar

Modern Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments


Medieval - Renaissance


Galant - Classical

Romantic - Impressionist

Expressionist - Modern




Country Western


Early Jazz 1: Ragtime - Bands - Horn

Early Jazz 2: Ragtime - Song - Hollywood

Early Jazz 3: Ragtime - Other Instrumentation

Swing Era 1: Big Bands

Swing Era 2: Song

Modern 1: Saxophone

Modern 2: Trumpet - Other Horn

Modern 3: Piano

Modern 4: Guitar - Other String

Modern 5: Song

Modern 6: Latin

Modern 7: Percussion - Other Orchestration

Rock & Roll

Early - Boogie Woogie - R&B - Soul

Other Musical Genres

Doo Wop

The Big Bang - Fifties American Rock

UK Beat

British Invasion

Total War - Sixties American Rock

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Classical - Romantic to Modern

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Jazz Early - Ragtime - Swing Jazz

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Jazz Modern - Piano - String

Jazz Modern - Percussion - Song - Other

Boogie Woogie - Doo Wop - R&B - Rock & Roll - Soul

UK Beat - British Invasion

Sixties American Rock


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