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John Hicks

John Hicks - ©

born on 12/12/1941 in Atlanta, GA, United States

died on 10/5/2006 in New York City, NY, United States

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John Hicks (jazz pianist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
John Hicks (jazz pianist)

John Josephus Hicks, Jr. (December 21, 1941 – May 10, 2006[1]) was an American jazz pianist and composer, active in the New York and international jazz scenes from the mid-1960s.


Hicks was born in Atlanta, Georgia. As a child, he moved with his family around the United States, as his father took up jobs with the Methodist church.[2] He began playing the piano aged seven; his development accelerated once his family moved to St. Louis, when Hicks was 14.[2] He studied music at Lincoln University in Missouri and Berklee School of Music in Boston before moving to New York in 1963, where he soon found employment with blues singer Big Maybelle.[2]

He was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1964-1965) and occasionally in the 1970s, worked with Betty Carter (1966-1968, 1975-1980), and was in one of Woody Herman's groups (1968-1970). From 1972 to 1973 he taught jazz history and improvisation at Southern Illinois University.[3] From the early 1980s until his death he performed solo and led his own groups, including the Keystone Trio, with Idris Muhammad and George Mraz.

Hicks played and recorded with jazz artists such as Lee Morgan, David Murray, Joe Lovano, David "Fathead" Newman, Pharaoh Sanders, George Mraz, Arthur Blythe, Kenny Barron, and Gary Bartz among others. The pianist recorded the seventh instalment of the "Live at Maybeck Recital Hall" series of solo concerts, which were recorded for Concord Records.

From 1983, the flautist Elise Wood was regularly a member of his groups. The couple married in 2001. Wood survives him, and has led groups dedicated to his music.[4]


As leader

  • Steadfast (May 21, 1975) - Strata-East Records, piano solo. Released on CD 1991. SECD 9008 (Bellaphon 660-51-010)
  • Hell's Bells (1978) - Strata-East Records, with Clint Houston, Cliff Barbaro
  • After the Morning (1979) with Walter Booker, Cliff Barbaro West 54 Records
  • Some Other Time (1981) - Theresa Records
  • John Hicks (1984) - Theresa
  • In Concert (1984) - Theresa
  • Sketches of Tokyo (1986) with David Murray
  • Luminous (1988) - Nilva Records
  • East Side Blues (1988) with Curtis Lundy, Victor Lewis - DIW Records
  • Two of a Kind (1989) - Theresa
  • Power Trio (Novus, 1990) with Cecil McBee and Elvin Jones
  • Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 7 (1991)
  • Beyond Expectations (1994) Reservoir Records
  • Duality (1994) - with Peter Leitch
  • Piece for My Peace (1996)
  • Something to Live For: A Billy Strayhorn Songbook (1998)
  • Hicks Time: Solo Piano (1999)
  • Nightwind: An Erroll Garner Songbook (1999)
  • Impressions of Mary Lou (2000)
  • Music in the Key of Clark: Remembering Sonny Clark (2002)
  • Fatha's Day: An Earl Hines Songbook (2003)
  • Sweet Love of Mine (2006)
  • On the Wings of an Eagle (2007)
  • I Remember You (2009)
  • Passion Flower (2009)

As sideman

With Eric Alexander

  • Solid (1998)
  • Sunday in New York (2005)

With Art Blakey

  • Are You Real (1965)
  • Soul Finger (Limelight, 1965)
  • 'S Make It (Limelight, 1965)
  • Hold On, I'm Coming (Limelight, 1965)
  • Child's Dance (Prestige, 1972)

With Bob Thiele Collective

  • Sunrise Sunset (1990)

With Gary Bartz

  • West 42nd Street (Candid, 1990)

With Lester Bowie

  • Fast Last! (Muse, 1974)

With Arthur Blythe

  • Illusions (Columbia, 1980)
  • Blythe Spirit (Columbia, 1981)
  • Basic Blythe (Columbia, 1988)

With Betty Carter

  • The Audience with Betty Carter (Bet-Car, 1979)

With Booker Ervin

  • Structurally Sound (Pacific Jazz, 1966)

With Chico Freeman

  • The Outside Within (India Navigation, 1978)
  • Spirit Sensitive (India Navigation, 1979)

With Keystone Trio

  • Heart Beats (1996)[5]
  • Newklear Music: The Songs of Sonny Rollins (1997) [6]

With Hank Mobley

  • Hi Voltage (Blue Note, 1967)

With Lee Morgan

  • Taru (Blue Note, 1968)
  • Live In Baltimore: 1968 (Fresh Sound, 2004)

With David Murray

  • Morning Song (Black Saint, 1983)
  • I Want to Talk About You (Black Saint, 1986)
  • Ming's Samba (Portrait, 1988)
  • Fast Life (DIW/Columbia, 1991)
  • Ballads for Bass Clarinet (DIW, 1991)
  • MX (Red Baron, 1992)
  • Jazzosaurus Rex (Red Baron, 1993)
  • Saxmen (Red Baron, 1993)
  • For Aunt Louise (DIW, 1993)
  • David Murray/James Newton Quintet (DIW, 1996)
  • Like a Kiss that Never Ends (Justin Time, 2000)

With Pharoah Sanders

  • Journey to the One (Theresa, 1980)
  • Africa (Timeless Holland, 1987)
  • A Prayer Before Dawn (Evidence, 1987)


  1. [John Hicks (jazz pianist) at All Music Guide Allmusic biography]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Vacher, Peter (May 12, 2006) "John Hicks" The Guardian.
  3. Feather, Leonard & Gitler, Ira (2007) The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, p.317. Oxford University Press.
  4. "Weddings; Elise Wood, John Hicks Jr.", New York Times, 24 June 2001
  5. Allmusic Heart Beats review
  6. Allmusic Newklear Music review

External links

This page was last modified 17.02.2014 16:33:07

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