Mike LeDonne

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Mike LeDonne
Mike-LeDonne DSC00954.jpg
(2016)
Background information
Birth name Michael LeDonne
Born (1956-10-26) October 26, 1956 (age 61)
Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Instruments Piano, Hammond organ
Years active 1988–present
Labels Criss Cross, Savant

Michael LeDonne (born Oct 26, 1956 in Bridgeport, Connecticut) is a jazz pianist and organist known for post-bop and hard bop. He has worked with Benny Golson since 1996 and performs under his own name all over the world.

LeDonne is also known as one of the leading players of the Hammond B3 organ. He was nominated for Best Keyboards 2012 by the Jazz Journalists Association and won the Downbeat critic's poll for "Rising Star" on organ. Since 2001 he has performed every Tuesday evening at Smoke Jazz Club in New York City. Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson described LeDonne as "one of the most promising and talented pianists of this era."[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

His parents ran a music store and his father was a jazz guitarist. His father started booking him gigs from the age of ten. At 21 he graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music and moved to New York City, playing with the Widespread Depression Jazz Orchestra.

Career[edit]

LeDonne made his recording debut in 1988 and joined Milt Jackson's quartet. He performed with the band for 11 years and eventually became the quartet's musical director. He has also worked with many of the masters of jazz history such as Benny Goodman, Sonny Rollins, Bobby Hutcherson, Art Farmer, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Selected discography[edit]

As a leader[edit]

  • 'Bout Time (1988) Criss Cross
  • The Feeling of Jazz (1990) Criss Cross
  • Common Ground (1990) Criss Cross
  • Soulmates (1993) Criss Cross
  • Waltz for an Urbanite (1995) Criss Cross
  • To Each His Own (1998) Double-Time
  • Then & Now (2000) Double-Time
  • Bags Groove (A Tribute to Milt Jackson) (2001) Double-Time
  • Smokin' Out Loud [with Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth] (2003) Savant
  • You'll See! (Live at The Cellar) [with Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth] (2004) Cellar Live
  • Night Song (2005) Savant
  • On Fire (Live at Smoke) [with Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth] (2006) Savant
  • Five Live (Live at Smoke) (2007) Savant
  • The Groover [with Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth] (2009) Savant
  • Keep the Faith [with Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth] (2011) Savant
  • Speak (2013) Cellar Live
  • I Love Music [with Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth] (2013) Savant
  • Awwl Right! [with Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth] (2015) Savant
  • That Feelin' [with Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth] (2016) Savant
  • From The Heart [with Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Joe Farnsworth] (2018) Savant

As a sideman[edit]

With Eric Alexander

  • Gentle Ballads (2004) Venus
  • The Battle (Live at Smoke) [with Vincent Herring] (2005) HighNote
  • Gentle Ballads II (2006) Venus
  • Gentle Ballads III (2007) Venus
  • Lazy Afternoon: Gentle Ballads IV (2008) Venus
  • Revival of the Fittest (2009) HighNote
  • Friendly Fire (Live at Smoke) [with Vincent Herring] (2011) HighNote

With Mike DiRubbo

  • Keep Steppin' (2001) Criss Cross

With Chris Flory

  • For All We Know (1988) Concord
  • Word on the Street (1996) Double-Time
  • For You (2007) Arbors

With Benny Golson

  • Brown Immortal (1997 [rel. 2000]) Keystone/Video Arts [Japan]
  • Remembering Clifford (1998) Milestone
  • Terminal 1 (2004) Concord
  • New Time, New 'Tet (2009) Concord

With Wycliffe Gordon

  • Boss Bones (2007) Criss Cross
  • Cone and T-Staff (2009) Criss Cross

With Scott Hamilton

  • Organic Duke (1994) Concord

With Michael Hashim

  • A Blue Streak (1991) Stash
  • Guys and Dolls (1992) Stash
  • Multi Coloured Blue [a tribute to Billy Strayhorn] (1998) Hep

With Milt Jackson

  • Sa Va Bella (For Lady Legends) (1997) Qwest/WB

With Clifford Jordan

With Alvin Queen

  • I Ain't Lookin' at You (2005) Enja
  • Mighty Long Way (2008) Enja

With Duke Robillard

With Scott Robinson

  • Jazz Ambassador: Scott Robinson Plays the Compositions of Louis Armstrong (2004) Arbors
  • Scott Robinson Plays the Compositions of Thad Jones: Forever Lasting (2007) Arbors

With Jim Rotondi

With Tad Shull

  • Deep Passion (1990) Criss Cross
  • In the Land of the Tenor (1991) Criss Cross

With Greg Skaff

  • Blues For Mr. T (2003) Khaeon [note: reissued in 2004 as Ellington Boulevard on Zoho]

With Gary Smulyan

  • Saxophone Mosaic (1993) Criss Cross
  • Gary Smulyan With Strings (1996) Criss Cross
  • The Real Deal (2002) Reservoir
  • More Treasures (2006) Reservoir
  • Smul's Paradise (2011) Capri

With Jim Snidero

  • Standards Plus (1997) Double-Time
  • Tippin' (2007) Savant

With Benny Waters

  • Birdland Birthday: Live at 95 (1997) Enja

With Cory Weeds

  • Big Weeds (2008) Cellar Live
  • Up a Step: The Music of Hank Mobley (2012) Cellar Live
  • Condition Blue: The Music of Jackie McLean (2014) Cellar Live
  • Let's Groove: The Music of Earth Wind & Fire (2017) Cellar Live

With Laura Welland

  • Dissertations on the State of Bliss (2004) OA2/Origin

With Saori Yano

External links[edit]