Cedar Walton – jazz pianist

John Pitcher writes an article about jazz pianist Cedar Walton in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (click here), regarding Cedar Walton’s upcoming solo piano appearance in the Rochester International Jazz Festival, this coming Saturday. From the article:

[…] Yet as a soloist and leader, Walton has always been unfairly underrated. Despite having preceded pianist McCoy Tyner in Coltrane’s band and having played with saxophonist Shorter during what is indisputably the greatest incarnation of the Jazz Messengers, Walton’s name rarely seems to share the same exalted space on the marquee with either Tyner or Shorter (both of whom, unlike Walton, are headlining Eastman Theatre shows at the Rochester jazz fest).

Perhaps Walton missed his bid for immortality when he declined to play on most of the main tracks for Coltrane’s classic 1960 Giant Steps. Tyner, on the other hand, played on all of Coltrane’s 1965 A Love Supreme, and it cemented his reputation.

“I had to pass on a lot of the songs on Giant Steps because Trane was playing too fast and I couldn’t match him,” Walton recalls. “Trane worked like an obsessed man who was in pursuit of something, and in the process it turned him into a virtuoso.”

Gallery 41 has an online audio interview with Cedar Walton (click here), and Jazztimes has another online audio interview with Cedar, including a discussion of music clips (click here).

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