Jimmy Raney

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Jimmy Raney
Birth nameJames Elbert Raney
Born(1927-08-20)August 20, 1927
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedMay 10, 1995(1995-05-10) (aged 67)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
GenresJazz, cool jazz
Years active1944–1994
LabelsPrestige, Xanadu, Criss Cross

James Elbert Raney (August 20, 1927 – May 10, 1995)[1] was an American jazz guitarist, born in Louisville, Kentucky, United States,[2] known for his work from 1951 to 1952 and then from 1953 to 1954 with the Red Norvo trio (replacing Tal Farlow) and, during the same time period, with Stan Getz. In 1954 and 1955, he won the DownBeat Critics' Poll for guitar.[3] Raney worked in a variety of jazz mediums, including cool jazz, bebop, post bop, hard bop, and mainstream jazz.

In 1946, he worked for a time as guitarist with the Max Miller Quartet at Elmer's in Chicago, his first paying gig. Raney also worked in the Artie Shaw Orchestra and collaborated with Woody Herman for nine months in 1948. He also collaborated and recorded with Buddy DeFranco, Al Haig and later on with Bob Brookmeyer. In 1967, alcoholism and other professional difficulties led him to leave New York City and return to his native Louisville.[4] He resurfaced in the 1970s and also did work with his son Doug, who was also a guitarist.[1]

Raney lived with Ménière's disease for thirty years, a degenerative condition that led to near deafness in both ears, although this did not stop him from playing. He died of heart failure in Louisville on May 10, 1995. His obituary in The New York Times called him "one of the most gifted and influential postwar jazz guitarists in the world".[5]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Bob Brookmeyer

With Teddy Charles

With Stan Getz

With Red Norvo

  • Red Norvo Trio (Fantasy, 1955)
  • The Red Norvo Trios (Fantasy, 1957)
  • Chamber Jazz (MCA Coral, 1975)

With others

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Jimmy Raney | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
  2. ^ Kernfield, Barry (Ed.): The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. London Macmillan. 2nd ed. 2002, Vol. 3 p. 357
  3. ^ "Down Beat Critics Poll". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011.
  4. ^ "Jimmy Raney". Classic Jazz guitar. Archived from the original on October 25, 2006.
  5. ^ Watrous, Peter (May 16, 1995). "Jimmy Raney, 67, a Guitarist Known for Versatility in Jazz". The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2020.

External links[edit]