Born: July 26, 1931 | Died: March 21, 2008 Primary Instrument: Piano
Patti Bown (Media, Pennsylvania) was an American jazz pianist.
Bown began playing piano at age two; her sister was a classical pianist who married Gerald Valentine. She studied piano while attending university in Seattle, and played in local orchestras toward the end of the 1940s. From 1956 she worked as a soloist in New York City, playing early on in sessions with Billy Eckstine and Jimmy Rushing. She released an album under her own name, Patti Bown Plays Big Piano, in 1958 for Columbia Records. The next year, she recorded in a trio with Ed Shaughnessy, and later in the year played in the orchestra of Quincy Jones on a tour of Europe. While there she also played with Bill Coleman in Paris. In the 1960s she worked extensively in the studios, recording with Gene Ammons, Oliver Nelson, Cal Massey, Duke Ellington, Roland Kirk, George Russell, and Harry Sweets Edison. She also recorded with soul musicians such as Aretha Franklin and James Brown, and acted as musical director for the bands accompanying Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan.
In the 1970s, Bown worked as a pianist in orchestras on Broadway and composed for film and television. She lived in Greenwich Village for the last 37 years of her life, and played regularly at the nightclub Village Gate.