The late Wynton Kelly was one of the best loved pianists in Jazz. His chief era of fame was when he replaced Bill Evans in Miles Davis' ground breaking quintet. Kelly joined in 1959 and played through to 1962. He then toured with bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb after they both left the Davis fold. Kelly had a beautiful touch on the piano and there was an innate joy and lyricism in his playing plus a great blues feel. Kelly knew how to accompany singers, he worked a long time with the great Dinah Washington.Horn players loved him and he was a sideman on many important record dates. His output under his own name was rather sparse but he did put out great trio recordings. This date is a bit different as it features two then young horn players. Trumpeter Lee Morgan was only 21 when he did this session in August of 1959 but he was already a veteran having played with Dizzy Gillespie's big band and was member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter shows a very adventurous side to his playing on this, his first time in the recording studio. He soon became a member of the Messengers not long after this session. Bassist Paul Chambers and the great Philly Joe Jones on drums were Kelly's favourites and they add to the energy of this session. Kelly, as always, is elegant and superb and that's why the ablum is called "Kelly Great!". Five tunes make up the date; two by Shorter (his first recorded compositions), one by Kelly (a blues) and one by Morgan plus an obscure standard called "June Night" that has a great bounce feel. One fine date in the life of Wynton Kelly and the Feature tonight. Wynton Kelly died quite young of a heart attack brought on by an epileptic fit....he was only 39 on April 12,1971 and was mourned throughout the Jazz world.
Blue in Two
Walt Weiskopf · Day In Night Out
Walk in the Woods
Lean and Mean.
Jackie McLean · Makin' The Changes
Chasin' The Bird
Jill Townsend · Tales From The Sea
Art Blakey · Moanin'
I'll Remember Clifford
Art Blakey · Blakey in Paris
Along Came Betty
Art Blakey · Blakey at the Club
Benny Golson · The Philadelphians
Anthony Braxton · Braxton at Berlin Jazz
Wynton Kelly · Kelly Great!
Mama "G" aka Nelly Bly