Jazz pianist & vocalist Bobby Few died.....

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Jazz pianist & vocalist Bobby Few died.....

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Bobby Few (October 21, 1935 – January 6, 2021) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in the Fairfax neighborhood of the city's East Side. Bobby died aged 85.


He was an American jazz pianist and vocalist. Upon his mother's encouragement, he studied classical piano but later discovered jazz upon listening to his father's Jazz at the Philharmonic records. His father became his first booking agent and soon Few was gigging around the greater Cleveland area with other local musicians including Bill Hardman, Bob Cunningham, Cevera Jefferies, and Frank Wright. He was exposed to Tadd Dameron and Benny Bailey as a youth and knew Albert Ayler, with whom he played in high school.

As a young man, Few also gigged with local tenor legend Tony "Big T" Lovano - Joe Lovano's father. In the late 1950s Few relocated to New York, where he led a trio from 1958 to 1964; there, he met and began working with many world-class musicians, including singer Brook Benton, and saxophonists Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, and Ayler.

Few played on several of Ayler's albums and also recorded with Alan Silva, Noah Howard, Muhammad Ali, Booker Ervin, and Kali Fasteau. Some of Few's various playing styles were described by Kevin Whitehead: "He can play delicate single-note melodies, roll out lush romantic chords, rap out explicitly Monkish close-interval clanks - though he's a busier pianist than Monk - or roil around in classic freestyle, using a sustain pedal to shape the density of his sound".

In 1969 he moved to France and rapidly integrated the expatriate jazz community, working frequently with Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray, Steve Lacy, and Rasul Siddik. From 2001, he toured internationally with American saxophonist Avram Fefer, with whom he recorded four critically acclaimed CDs.

Keys & Chords 12-01-2021

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