Bobby Timmons came out of Philadelphia at age 19, with a funky gospel tinged piano style, flavored with blues and hard bop. He would, in a recording career that would only span a short time frame, contribute to some of the best recordings on the legendary Blue Note sessions of the ’50’s , and be a member of two of the premier bands of that time, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and the Cannonball Adderley Quintet.
Robert Henry Timmons was born in Philadelphia in 1935, raised by his grandfather who was a minister in a church. The young Timmons began formal piano lessons at age six, and was the organist at his grandfathers’ church. This early formative period would certainly be a factor in his piano approach. He was be able to innovate and improvise on his gospel foundations and brought them into jazz. He had the lyricism of a Bud Powell in his solos, (who didn’t in the 50’s) combined with a very dominant left hand which was reminiscent of the stride and boogie players, but it was his sense of that down home chording and timing that really identified him.
Read more articles