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Album Review

Although pianist Walter Bishop had played earlier with Charlie Parker and was quite active throughout the 1950s, this Black Lion session was his first as a leader. Teamed with bassist Jimmy Garrison in his pre-Coltrane period (Garrison's bowed solos sound a bit like Paul Chambers) and drummer G.T. Hogan, Bishop performs six jazz standards which are augmented by three previously unreleased alternate takes; both of these version of "Speak Low" were released for the first time on this 1989 CD. Nothing all that remarkable occurs but fans of bebop-oriented piano trios will enjoy this music. Highlights include "Blues in the Closet," "Speak Low" and one of the first "cover" versions of "Milestones."


Born: April 10, 1927 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Walter Bishop, Jr. was a valuable utility pianist on many a modern jazz session during the bebop era, remaining an active performer until his death at the age of 70 in early 1998. The son of composer Walter Bishop, Sr., he grew up in Harlem's Sugar Hill area, and as a teen counted among his friends Sonny Rollins, Kenny Drew, and Art Taylor; acknowledging Art Tatum, Bud Powell, and Nat King Cole as important influences, Bishop first attracted notice on the Manhattan club circuit around 1947, going...
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Milestones, Walter Bishop Jr.
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