EDDIE HIGGINS

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EDDIE HIGGINS

Mesaj  Admin Bir Çarş. Nis. 18, 2012 11:07 pm

EDDIE HIGGINSEdward Haydn Higgins (February 21, 1932 - August 31, 2009) was a jazz pianist, composer and orchestrator.








Biography

Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Higgins initially studied privately with his mother. He started his professional career in Chicago, Illinois, while studying at the Northwestern University School of Music. An elegant and sophisticated pianist, his encyclopedic harmonic approach and wide range of his repertory made him one of the most distinctive jazz pianists to come out of Chicago, gaining the respect of local and visiting musicians for his notable mastery of the instrument. Higgins also had the unusual ability to sound equally persuasive in a broad span of music, whether he was playing traditional swing, exciting bebop or reflexive ballads, providing the tone and stylistic flavor of each styles, as both a soloist and as accompanist.

For more than two decades Higgins worked at some of Chicago's most prestigious jazz clubs, including the Brass Rail, Preview Lounge, Blue Note, Cloister Inn and Jazz Ltd. His longest and most memorable tenure was at the long gone London House, where he led his jazz trio from the late 1950s to the late 1960s, playing opposite the greatest jazz stars of this period, including Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Errol Garner, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson and George Shearing, among others. Eddie's time spent at the London House Restaurant was with two of the best sidemen that Chicago has produced, bassist Richard Evans and drummer Marshall Thompson. Thompson was a very articulate drummer and teacher as well as a recording performer. One particularly notable event that took place at the London House was Richard Evans introducing drummer Maurice White to jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis. After his stint with Ramsey, Maurice went on to form the renowned group Earth, Wind and Fire. At the time of this introduction, Maurice was a studio drummer at Chess Records. Eddie also worked for Chess records as a producer.

During his stay in Chicago, Higgins also recorded a significant number of albums under his auspices and many more as a sideman with a wide variety of musicians, ranging in style from tenor saxophonists Coleman Hawkins to Wayne Shorter; trumpeters Bobby Lewis to Freddie Hubbard, and trombonists Jack Teagarden to Al Grey. His versatility was captured on stage and records, backing up singers and leading his own projects as both pianist and orchestrator, working in every jazz circle from dixieland to modal styles.

In 1970, Higgins moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and began spending winters in Florida and summers on Cape Cod, where he played in local clubs. Since the early 1980s, he traveled widely on the jazz festival circuit and has performed frequently in Europe and Japan. His releases on the Japanese Venus label earned him number one in jazz sales on more than one album.

In 1988, Higgins and jazz singer and pianist Meredith d'Ambrosio were married and became a popular team at clubs and festivals, as well as recording for Sunnyside Records. In 2009, dates in Japan and Korea were on his calendar of upcoming concerts, which were suspended due to a long illness.

Higgins died in Fort Lauderdale at the age of 77.

Discography

As Leader
1986 - By Request (Solo Art) with Milt Hinton, Bobby Rosengarden
1990 - Those Quiet Days (Sunnyside) with Kevin Eubanks, Rufus Reid
1994 - Zoot's Hymns (Sunnyside) with John Doughten, Phil Flanigan, Danny Burger
1997 - Haunted Heart (Sunnyside) with Ray Drummond, Ben Riley
1998 - Speaking Of Jobim (Sunnyside) with Jay Leonhart, Terry Clarke
1999 - Time On My Hands (Arbors Records) solo

As Sideman
Meredith D'Ambrosio: Love Is Not A Game (Sunnyside, 1990); Shadowland (Sunnyside, 1992); Because Of Spring (Sunnyside, 1994)
Chuck Hedges Just For Fun (Arbors Records)
George Masso: The Wonderful World of George Gershwin (Nagel-Heyer, 1992)
Lee Morgan: Indestructible Lee (Affinity, 1960)
Sandy Mosse: Relaxin´ With Sandy Mosse (Argo/Fresh Sound, 1956)
Wayne Shorter: Wayning Moments (Vee Jay, 1962)
Sonny Stitt: Sonny's Last Recordings (Kingdom Jazz, 1981)
Cy Touff: Touff Assignement (Argo/Fresh Sound, 1958)
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