John Bunch

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John Bunch
Dick Sheridan and John Bunch.jpg
Dick Sheridan and John Bunch in 2007
Background information
Birth name John Bunch
Born (1921-12-01)December 1, 1921
Tipton, Indiana, U.S.
Died March 30, 2010(2010-03-30) (aged 88)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupations Pianist
Instruments piano
Associated acts Tony Bennett
Kenny Davern
Maynard Ferguson

John Bunch (December 1, 1921 – March 30, 2010) was an American jazz pianist.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Born and raised in Tipton, Indiana, a small farming community, he studied piano with George Johnson, a well-known Hoosier jazz pianist. By the age of 14 he was already playing with adult bands in central Indiana.

During World War II he enlisted in the Air Corps and after intense training became a bombardier on a B17 Flying Fortress. He and his 10-man crew were transferred to combat duty in England, flying bombing missions over Germany. His plane was shot down 2 November 1944, and Bunch was taken prisoner.

In prison camp he learned to arrange for big bands, and after the war, he applied for university training as a music major, but was refused because he couldn't sight read classical music. He worked later in factories and insurance, but in 1956 moved to Los Angeles where he immediately was accepted by jazz musicians such as Georgie Auld and Jimmie Rowles, who later recommended him to Woody Herman. After many one-nighters, John settled in New York in 1958, where he joined with Eddie Condon, as well as the be-bop gang of Maynard Ferguson. He recorded with Maynard and many smaller groups.

In 1966 he joined Tony Bennett as pianist and musical director, and stayed in the employ of the singer until 1972. After that stint, he resumed his jazz work with Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Pearl Bailey, and Scott Hamilton all the while going on many world tours and making many recordings with them. Later Bunch was a trio leader, mostly in England. He made many recordings as a leader, most notably with the New York Swing Trio alongside Bucky Pizzarelli and Jay Leonhart. Bunch's most recent record labels had been Chiaroscuro and Arbors Records.

Bunch was still active in Europe and the United States during his final years. He died of melanoma in Roosevelt Hospital, Manhattan, New York City, on March 30, 2010. He leaves a widow, Cecily Gemmell.[3]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Buck Clayton and Tommy Gwaltney's Kansas City 9

With Bucky Pizzarelli

With Donnie O'Brien

  • Donnie O´Brien Meets Manhattan Swing: In a Basie Mood (Arbors Records)

With Kenny Davern

References[edit]

External links[edit]