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Dick Sheridan and John Bunch, 2007
December 1, 1921|
Tipton, Indiana, U.S.
March 30, 2010 (aged 88)|
New York City
|Associated acts||Tony Bennett, Kenny Davern, Maynard Ferguson|
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.
Later life and career
During World War II he enlisted in the Air Corps and became a bombardier on a B17 Flying Fortress. He and his ten-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.
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. In 1956 he 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. He settled in New York in 1958, where he joined Eddie Condon and Maynard Ferguson. He recorded with Ferguson and many smaller groups.
In 1966 Bunch joined Tony Bennett as pianist and musical director, and stayed in the employ of the singer until 1972. During that time he appeared on Bennett's 1972 series for Thames Television, Tony Bennett at the Talk of the Town. After that, he resumed his jazz work, performing and recording with Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Pearl Bailey, and Scott Hamilton. He led a trio, mostly in England, and made many recordings as a leader, most notably with the New York Swing Trio with Bucky Pizzarelli and Jay Leonhart.
|1975||John's Bunch||Progressive||With Urbie Green (trombone), Al Cohn (tenor sax), Milt Hinton (bass), Mousey Alexander (drums)|
|1975||John Bunch Plays Kurt Weill||Chiaroscuro||Solo piano; reissue added solo piano tracks recorded in 1991|
|1977?||Jubilee||Audiophile||Trio, with Cal Collins (guitar), George Mraz (bass)|
|1977||John's Other Bunch||Progressive||With Warren Vaché (trumpet), Scott Hamilton (tenor sax), Michael Moore (bass), Connie Kay (drums)|
|1977?||Slick Funk||Famous Door|
|1987?||The Best Thing for You||Concord||Trio, with Phil Flanigan (bass), Chuck Riggs (drums)|
|1994?||Plays Rodgers & Hart||LRC||As New York Swing; quartet, with Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar) Jay Leonhart (bass), Joe Cocuzzo (drums)|
|1994?||Tributes Cole Porter||LRC||As New York Swing; quartet, with Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar) Jay Leonhart (bass), Joe Cocuzzo (drums)|
|1994?||Tributes Jerome Kern||LRC||As New York Swing; quartet, with Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar) Jay Leonhart (bass), Dennis Mackrel (drums)|
|1995||Struttin'||Arbors||Duo, with Phil Flanigan (bass)|
|1996||New York Swing||Chiaroscuro||Trio, with Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar) Jay Leonhart (bass); in concert|
|1997||World War II Love Songs||Groove Jams||Trio, with Michael Moore (bass), Butch Miles (drums)|
|2001?||Love in the Spring||Koch|
|2001||A Special Alliance||Arbors||Trio, with Dave Green (bass), Steve Brown (drums)|
|2002?||Manhattan Swing: A Visit With Duke Ellington||Arbors||Trio, with Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar), Jay Leonhart (bass)|
|2003||An English Songbook||Chiaroscuro||Solo piano|
|2003||Tony's Tunes||Chiaroscuro||Trio, with Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar), Jay Leonhart (bass)|
|2006||At the Nola Penthouse: Salutes Jimmy Van Heusen||Arbors||Trio, with Dave Green (bass), Steve Brown (drums)|
|2008||Plays the Music of Irving Berlin (Except One)||Arbors||Some tracks trio, with Frank Vignola (guitar), John Webber (bass); some tracks quartet, with Frank Wess (flute) added|
|2009||Do Not Disturb||Arbors||Trio, with Frank Vignola (guitar), John Webber (bass)|
With Maynard Ferguson
With Gene Krupa
With Bucky Pizzarelli
With Donnie O'Brien
- Donnie O' Brien Meets Manhattan Swing: In a Basie Mood (Arbors)
With Kenny Davern
- Chatter Jazz (RCA Victor, 1959)
- http://www.jazzbymail.com/ViewArtist.aspx?iAID=1150&sAN=John+Bunch Archived October 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- Nate Chinen (April 1, 2010). "John Bunch, pianist with Goodman and Bennett, dies at 88". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-23.
John Bunch, a jazz pianist whose elegant style led to prominent sideman posts with Benny Goodman and Tony Bennett as well as an accomplished solo career, died on Tuesday in Manhattan, where he lived. He was 88. His death, at Roosevelt Hospital, was caused by melanoma, said Cecily Gemmell, his wife and only immediate survivor. ...