Dick Katz (jazz pianist, 1924)

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Richard Aaron "Dick" Katz (born March 13, 1924 in Baltimore , Maryland ; † November 10, 2009 in Manhattan , New York ) was an American jazz musician ( piano , composition , arrangement ), who was also important as a music journalist and producer would have. He was a co-founder of Milestone Records .


Katz first studied music at the University of North Carolina before enlisting in the Navy in 1942, where he was involved in the Battle of Saipan . After the end of World War II, he moved to New York City , where he worked for his father's advertising agency and played with Ben Webster in 1948 . He also studied at the Peabody Institute , at the Manhattan School of Music (music theory and composition) and had piano lessons with Teddy Wilson at the Juilliard School .

In the early 1950s he starred in Minton's Playhouse with Tony Scott , with whom he also recorded. Then he was a member of the house band at Café Bohemia in New York , where he also accompanied Miles Davis . Then he played u. a. with Al Casey and worked in the bands of Ben Webster , Kenny Dorham , Oscar Pettiford and later with Carmen McRae . From 1954 to 1955 he was a member of the quintet of JJ Johnson and Kai Winding ("Jay And Kai").

Katz played in the 1960s with Jim Hall and in the Orchestra USA (1964/65). he worked on Benny Carter's Impulse album Further Definitions and accompanied the singer Helen Merrill on her European tour in 1964 and on recordings ( The Feeling Is Mutual , 1965), for which he also arranged. In the late 1960s he played with Roy Eldridge and Lee Konitz ; In 1968 his album A Shade of a Difference was created . In the 1970s his collaboration with Konitz continued; He also played with Teo Macero , Sonny Stitt and again with Kai Winding, worked as a jazz teacher and producer. In 1966 he founded the Milestone Records label with Orrin Keepnews .

In the 1990s, Katz worked as a pianist and arranger with the American Jazz Orchestra and Loren Schoenberg's Big Band . In 1992 he recorded two albums for the Reservoir label, on which Benny Golson , Ryan Kisor , Steve LaSpina and Ben Riley participated. As an author, he contributed fundamental chapters to Felix C. Lowe's anthology, Jazz Piano (1989).

Katz died of complications from lung cancer .

Discographic notes

Albums under your own name

Albums as a sideman

  • Kai Winding & JJ Johnson: Kai And Jay And Bennie Green with Strings (OJC, 1952–54)
  • Kai Winding & JJ Johnson: K & JJ (Bethlehem, 1955)
  • Milt Hinton : East Coast Jazz / 5 (Rhino, 1955)
  • Kenny Dorham: Kenny Dorham and the Jazz Prophets (Chess, 1956)
  • Sonny Rollins : Sonny Rollins And the Big Brass (Verve, 1958)
  • Benny Carter: Further Definitions (Impulse !, 1961–1966)
  • Ben Webster: Big Ben Time! (Philips, 1963)
  • Ben Webster: Remember ( Mercury 1967)
  • Lee Konitz: The Lee Konitz Duets (OJC, 1967)
  • Lee Konitz: Satori (OJC, 1974)
  • Ruby Braff : The There Eyes ( Sonet Records , 1976)
  • Helen Merrill: Chasin 'the Bird (Emarcy, 1979)
  • Jimmy Knepper : Dream Dancing (Criss Cross, 1986)
  • Nancy Harrow : Secrets (Soul Note, 1990/91)
  • Loren Schoenberg: Out of This World (TBC; 1997)


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary New York Times November 13, 2009
  2. Jazz Piano. A Smithsonian Collection