Wynton Kelly

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    Wynton Kelly

    Wynton Kelly ( Jamaica , December 2 , 1931 – Toronto , Canada , 12 April 1971 ) was an American jazz pianist and composer.

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    After a childhood in Brooklyn , Wynton Kelly began professionally in 1943. He worked with the rhythm and blues orchestras of Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Hal Singer. He then accompanied singer Dinah Washington from 1951 to 1954 .

    From 1951 , he recorded a few titles for Blue Note . He also accompanies Lester Young and the following year Dizzy Gillespie . After his military service from 1952 to 1954 , he became one of the most sought-after accompanists on the jazz scene.

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    He accompanies the greatest hard bop soloists such as Sonny Rollins , Cannonball Adderley and Johnny Griffin . In 1959 he was recruited by Miles Davis .

    Wynton Kelly remained there until 1963, continuing after his departure his collaboration with bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb .

    Together, they formed one of the best rhythm sections in the history of jazz . From 1958 to 1963 , he recorded many discs under his name and participated in no fewer sessions as a sideman.

    Wynton Kelly died of an epileptic seizure on 12 April 1971 at the age of 39.


    A pianist of great subtlety, his playing is deeply rooted in the roots of the blues .

    Cannonball Adderley said of him, ” He’s a wonderful soloist, capable of playing the subtle stuff as well as swinging. Wynton is also the best accompanist in the world. ” He was an influential pianist in the style of hard bop rhythms.

    An extraordinary accompanist and distinctive soloist (decades later he would be a strong influence on Benny Green, among many others), Wynton Kelly was also one of the most prolific musicians of his time.

    His participation in the recording of Kind of Blue, considered by many to be the best album in the history of jazz, made him go down in history, and his impeccable and elegant style created a school among many pianists. His early death deprived jazz of one of its most inventive figures, and critics have highlighted the scant attention his enormous figure has received.

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    John Coltrane & Wynton Kelly – On Green Dolphin Street

    Wynton Kelly – Dark Eyes


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    As a leader

    1951: Piano Interpretations (Blue Note)
    1958: Piano (Riverside)
    1959: Kelly Blue (Riverside)
    1959: Kelly Great (Vee-Jay)
    1960: Kelly at Midnight (Vee-Jay)
    1961: Wynton Kelly! (Vee-Jay)
    1961: Someday My Prince Will Come (Vee-Jay)
    1963: Comin' in the Back Door (Verve)
    1964: It's All Right! (Verve)
    1965: Undiluted (Verve)
    1965: Smokin' at the Half Note (Verve)
    1965: Blues on Purpose (Xanadu Records)
    1967: Full View (Milestone Records)
    1968: Last Trio Session (Delmark) 

    As a sideman

    With Julian Cannonball Adderley

    Things Are Getting Better (1958)
    Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago (1959)
    Cannonball Takes Charge (1959)
    African Waltz (1961)
    The Cannonball Adderley Quintet Plus (1961) 

    With Nat Adderley

    Much Brass (1959)
    That's Right! (1960)
    Naturally! (1961) 

    With Lorez Alexandria

    Alexandria the Great (1964)
    More of the Great (1964) 

    With Gene Ammons

    Night Lights (1970) 

    With Walter Benton

    Out of This World (1960) 

    With Bob Brookmeyer

    Jazz is a Kick (1960) 

    With Joy Bryan

    Make the Man Love Me (1961) 

    With Donald Byrd

    Off to the Races (1958) 

    With Betty Carter

    Out There (1958) 

    With Paul Chambers

    Go... (1959)
    1st Bassman (1960) 

    With James Clay

    The Sound of the Wide Open Spaces!!! (1960) 

    With Jimmy Cleveland

    Cleveland Style (1957) 

    With John Coltrane

    Coltrane Jazz (1961) 

    With King Curtis

    The New Scene of King Curtis (1960)
    Soul Meeting (1960) 

    With Miles Davis

    Kind of Blue (1959)
    Someday My Prince Will Come (1961) 

    With Dizzy Gillespie

    Dizzy and Strings (1954)
    Dizzy Atmosphere (1957)
    Birks' Works (1957)
    Dizzy in Greece (1957)
    Dizzy Gillespie at Newport (1957) 

    With Benny Golson

    Benny Golson's New York Scene (1957)
    The Modern Touch (1957)
    Turning Point (1962) 

    With Paul Gonsalves

    Gettin' Together! (1960) 

    With Dexter Gordon

    The Jumpin' Blues (1970) 

    With Grant Green

    First Session (1960) 

    With Johnny Griffin

    Introducing Johnny Griffin (1956)
    A Blowin' Session (1957) 

    With Eddie Harris

    Cool Sax, Warm Heart (1964) 

    Avec Jimmy Heath

    On the Trail (1964) 

    With Bill Henderson

    Bill Henderson Sings (1959) 

    With Joe Henderson

    Four (1968)
    Straight, No Chaser (1968) 

    With Ernie Henry

    Seven Standards and a Blues (1957)
    Last Chorus (1957) 

    With Billie Holiday

    Lady Sings the Blues (1956) 

    With Helen Humes

    Swingin' with Humes (1961) 

    With Illinois Jacquet

    The Blues That's Me (1969) 

    With Eddie Jefferson

    Letter From Home (1962) 

    With JJ Johnson

    The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson Volume 2 (1954) 

    Avec Elvin Jones & Philly Joe Jones

    Together! (1961) 

    With Sam Jones

    The Chant (1961) 

    With Roland Kirk

    Domino (1962) 

    With Steve Lacy

    Soprano Saxophone (1957) 

    With Abbey Lincoln

    That's Him (1957)
    It's Magic (1958) 

    With Booker Little

    Booker Little (1960) 

    Avec Chuck Mangione

    I Remember (1962) 

    With Blue Mitchell

    Big 6 (1958)
    Blue Soul (1959)
    Blue's Moods (1960)
    A Sure Thing (1962) 

    With Hank Mobley

    Peckin' Time (1958)
    Soul Station (1960)
    Roll Call (1961)
    Workout (1961)
    Another Workout (1961) 

    With Wes Montgomery

    Bags Meets Wes! (1961)
    Full House (1962)
    Smokin' at the Half Note (1965) 

    With Lee Morgan

    Here's Lee Morgan (1960) 

    With Mark Murphy

    Rah (1961) 

    With David Newman

    Staight Ahead (1960) 

    With Art Pepper

    Gettin' Together (1960) 

    With Sonny Red

    Out of the Blue (1959) 

    With Dizzy Reece

    Star Bright (1959) 

    With Wayne Shorter

    Introducing Wayne Shorter (1959) 

    With Sonny Rollins

    Sonny Rollins, Vol. 1 (1956)
    Newk's Time (1957) 

    With Don Sleet

    All Members (1961) 

    With Frank Strozier

    Fantastic Frank Strozier (1959) 

    With Art Taylor

    A.T.'s Delight (1960) 

    With Teri Thornton

    Devil May Care (1960) 

    With Phil Upchurch

    Feeling Blue (1967) 

    With Dinah Washington

    Back to the Blues (1962) 
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