Gerald Wiggins

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Helen Humes and Gerry Wiggins at the Village Jazz Lounge in Walt Disney World (photo by Laura Kolb)

Gerald Wiggins (May 12, 1922 – July 13, 2008) was a jazz pianist and organist.

Early life[edit]

Wiggins was born in New York City. He studied classical music, but switched to jazz in his teens.

Later life and career[edit]

Wiggins began as a professional playing accompaniment to Stepin Fetchit. He worked with Louis Armstrong and Benny Carter. In the 1940s he moved to Los Angeles where he played music for television and film. He also worked with singers like Lena Horne, Kay Starr, Nat King Cole, Lou Rawls, Jimmy Witherspoon and Eartha Kitt. In 1960 his best recording as an organist appeared, Wiggin' Out, known for the quality of its music and fresh, clear sound. He recorded only another LP at the organ with saxophonist Teddy Edwards.

He was perhaps best known for his trio, the other two members being Andy Simpkins and Paul Humphrey. He also appeared in an episode of 227[1] and an episode of Moesha,[2] in both cases he played a pianist.

He was sometimes called "The Wig" and his son J. J. Wiggins (now known as Hassan Shakur) is a bassist.

Wiggins died in Los Angeles on July 13, 2008, aged 86.[3]

Selected discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • Wiggin' with Wig (1956) Dig
  • Relax and enjoy it! (1956) Contemporary
  • Reminiscin' with Wig (1957) Fresh Sound
  • The King and I (1957) Challenge
  • Music from "Around the world in 90 days" in modern jazz (1957) Specialty
  • Wiggin' out (1960) Hi-Fi Jazz (as organist)
  • Memory Lane (1964) Ava
  • Wig is here (1977) Black and Blue
  • A beautiful friendship (1977) Black and Blue
  • Live at Maybeck Recital Hall (1990) Concord
  • Soulidarity (1995) Concord

As sideman[edit]

With Buddy Collette

With Tal Farlow

With Mel Brown

With Teddy Edwards

With Paul Horn

With Illinois Jacquet


External links[edit]