Bernie Leighton

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Bernie Leighton (January 30, 1921 – September 16, 1994) was an American jazz pianist.

Leighton was born in West Haven, Connecticut. He first played professionally at the end of the 1930s. He played with Bud Freeman, Leo Reisman, Raymond Scott (1940) and Benny Goodman (1940-41) before serving in the Army. Following his discharge, he found much work as a studio sideman, with Dave Tough (1946), Billie Holiday (1949), Neal Hefti (1951), Goodman again, Artie Shaw (1953), John Serry, Sr. (1956), James Moody (1963) and Bob Wilber (1969). He did a tour with Tony Bennett in 1972-73.

While Leighton was best known as a sideman, he also recorded extensively as a leader; he released on Keynote Records in 1946, Mercury Records in 1950, an LP on Columbia Records in 1950, Brunswick in 1951, LPs for Disneyland and Capitol in 1957, and a tribute to Duke Ellington released in 1974.

His instrumental cover of Connie Francis' "Don't Break The Heart That Loves You" on the Colpix label in 1962 reached #101 on Billboard's listing.

Leighton has a cameo role in the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters. He died in Coconut Creek, Florida.

Discography[edit]

With James Moody

With Gerry Mulligan

With Mark Murphy

With Charlie Parker

With John Serry Sr.

References[edit]