|Birth name||Gerald Foster Wiggins|
May 12, 1922|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||July 13, 2008
Encino, California, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, arranger|
Gerald Foster Wiggins, Sr. (May 12, 1922 – July 13, 2008) was a jazz pianist and organist.
Later life and career
Wiggins began as a professional playing accompaniment to comedian Stepin Fetchit. Wiggins worked with Louis Armstrong and Benny Carter. He was in the military from 1944 to 1946. In the 1940s he moved to Los Angeles, where he played music for television and film. He also worked with singers like Lena Horne (1950–51), Kay Starr, 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. "In the 1960s he worked as a music director and vocal coach in film studios."
Wiggins was perhaps best known for his trio, with other members Andy Simpkins and Paul Humphrey, among others. He also appeared in an episode of 227 and an episode of Moesha, in both cases he played a pianist. "He appeared regularly at American jazz parties and festivals and occasionally at Japanese and European festivals and was in demand for recording sessions."
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.
- 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
With Benny Carter
- Cosmopolite (Norgran, 1954)
With Buddy Collette
With Tal Farlow
With Mel Brown
- Chicken Fat (Impulse!, 1967)
With Teddy Edwards
- Heart & Soul (Contemporary, 1962)
With Paul Horn
- House of Horn (Dot, 1957)
With Illinois Jacquet
- Illinois Jacquet and His Orchestra (Verve, 1956)
- Vacher, Peter "Wiggins, Gerry". The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd edition). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved February 1, 2016. (Subscription required).
- "Gerald Wiggins: Leading Los Angeles Jazz Pianist". The Times. July 25, 2008.