Legendary Jazz Pianist Dies
Cedar Walton Had A Long Career As Bandleader & Composer
Posted by Seán Collins on 19 Aug 2013
He was known the world-over as a ‘hard bop’ pianist and was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master. Cedar Walton died Monday, at his home in Brooklyn, at the age of 79.
Born in Dallas, he studied for awhile in New Orleans. As he told the NEA:
NEA: When you went to Denver, did you go specifically intending to study music?
Cedar Walton: Yeah, I’d gone to a school even prior to that, a small school in New Orleans named Dillard University. And me and Ellis Marsalis, the father of Wynton and Bradford, we registered the same day. He wasn’t even playing piano then. I mean, not as much as I was. He was, like most of the musicians I met there, amazingly playing three or four instruments. He might have been studying piano too, but he played bass on a little gig we had there, the one gig I had in New Orleans as a college student.
While in Denver, he met the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and John Coltrane. He would be hired on as a pianist-arranger for Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.
We add our voice of thanks for his artistry.
Here’s a recording of “Blues for Myself.”
There’s more of Walton’s music linked and being discussed in The Music Room.