There is an air of mystique, an alluring attraction in jazz circles, to those highly talented musicians who shone brilliantly for a short duration, then slipped into obscurity. Jazz organist Baby Face Willette is certainly one of those figures.
Roosevelt Willette, born on September 11, 1933, was the son of a minister who was introduced to the organ, as many others, in church, an influence which would define his style and direction. In the early 50’s he played with various gospel and R&B groups, and reportedly put out a couple of singles around this time. He worked his way to Chicago in the late ‘50’s and eventually went to New York and got involved with the jazz scene there.