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Saturday, April 13, 2013

John Coltrane w/ Wynton Kelly

John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb Wynton Charles Kelly (December 2, 1931 – April 12, 1971) was a Jamaican American jazz pianist.[1][2] He is perhaps best known for working with trumpeter Miles Davis from 1959 to 1962 The son of Jamaican immigrants, Kelly was born in Brooklyn, New York. He started his professional career in 1943, before his teens, initially as a member of R&B groups. Around this time he also played organ in local churches.[4] R&B bands that he played with up to 1951 included those led by Ray Abrams, Hot Lips Page, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. Kelly became better known after joining Dinah Washington's band in 1951, going on to record 14 titles for Blue Note in his trio in the same year. After this he played with bands led by Lester Young and Dizzy Gillespie, recording with the latter in 1952. Kelly was drafted into the army in September 1952, and stayed for two years, ending that period with a music performance for an audience of 10,000 in the Chastain Memorial Park Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia. After leaving the military, Kelly worked with Washington again (1955–1957), Charles Mingus (1956–1957), and the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band (1957), before leaving Gillespie and forming his own trio, which then recorded the second album under Kelly's name, more than six years after the first. He would, however, be most famous for his stint with Miles Davis from 1959 to 1963, recording such albums with him as Kind of Blue, At the Blackhawk, and Someday My Prince Will Come. On 1959's Kind of Blue, Kelly replaced Bill Evans on the track "Freddie Freeloader". Kelly likewise appeared on a single track from John Coltrane's Giant Steps, replacing Tommy Flanagan on "Naima". When he left Davis, Kelly took the rest of the rhythm section (bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb) with him to form his trio. This trio also joined Wes Montgomery, appearing on three of the guitarist's albums. Kelly recorded as a leader for Blue Note, Riverside Records, Vee-Jay, Verve, and Milestone. Kelly had a daughter, Tracy, in 1963, with partner Anne. The track "Little Tracy", on the LP Comin' in the Back Door, is named after Kelly's daughter. Tracy Matisak is a now a Philadelphia television personality. Kelly's second cousin, bassist Marcus Miller, also performed with Miles Davis in the 1980s and 1990s. Other cousins are pianist Randy Weston and rapper Foxy Brown. Kelly died in Toronto, Canada, from an epileptic seizure, on April 12, 1971. He had travelled there from New York to play in a club with drummer George Reed and vocalist Herb Marshall. Kelly had a longstanding epilepsy problem, and had to monitor his condition to avoid the danger of swallowing his tongue or dentures during a seizure. An account of his death was given by his friend, Jimmy Cobb: "Wynton called his girlfriend in New York and said, 'You know, I don't feel good.' She said, 'Why don't you go downstairs to the bar and if something happens somebody could tend to you.' We don't know if he did that, because when they found him he was in the room." Kelly was found in his room in the Westminster Hotel on Jarvis Street by Herb Marshall. He was reported to have had almost no money at the time of his death. A memorial concert was held on June 28 in New York and featured numerous well-known musicians of the period  

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