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Jimmy Jones Jimmy Jones

James Henry “Jimmy” Jones was an American jazz pianist and arranger.

As a child, Jones learned guitar and piano. He worked in various orchestras in Chicago from 1936 and played in a trio with Stuff Smith in 1943–45. Following this, he played with Don Byas, Dizzy Gillespie (1945), J.C. Heard (1945–47), Buck Clayton (1946) and Etta Jones. He accompanied Sarah Vaughan from 1947–52, and then again from 1954–57 after a long illness. In 1954 he played on an album with Clifford Brown and accompanied him on his European tour. Around this time, he also played with Helen Merrill and Gil Evans. In 1959, he accompanied Anita O'Day in her appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, and in 1959 also worked with Dakota Staton, Pat Suzuki, and Morgana King.

As a pianist and arranger in New York, he worked in the 1960s with Harry Belafonte, Johnny Hodges, Budd Johnson, Nat Gonella, and Clark Terry. He accompanied Chris Connor on Where Flamingoes Fly, and sat in with the Duke Ellington Orchestra for some of their collaborations with Ella Fitzgerald. Jones did a fine set with his trio (Jimmy Hughart and Grady Tate) at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1966 and he went on tour with Jazz at the Philharmonic in 1967. In the 1970s, he worked with Kenny Burrell and Cannonball Adderley.

In the course of his career, Jones played piano on recordings by Harry Sweets Edison, Ben Webster, Big Joe Turner, Coleman Hawkins, Frank Wess, Milt Jackson, Sidney Bechet, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, and Thad Jones, and as an arranger for Wes Montgomery, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Horn, Joe Williams, Billy Taylor and Chris Connor.


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August 17, 2015

Jimmy Jones Trio: 1954

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