Walter Bishop Jr.
|Walter Bishop Jr.|
|Also known as||Ibrahim ibn Ismail|
|Born||October 4, 1927
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||January 24, 1998
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Associated acts||Milt Jackson, Stan Getz, Charlie Parker, Oscar Pettiford, Kai Winding, Miles Davis|
Bishop was born in New York City on October 4, 1927. He had at least two sisters, Marian and Beverly. His father was composer Walter Bishop, Sr. In his teens, Bishop Jr.'s friends included future jazz musicians Kenny Drew, Sonny Rollins, and Art Taylor. He was brought up in Harlem. He left high school to play in dance bands in the area. In 1945–47 he was in the Army Air Corps. During his military service in 1947 Bishop was based near St Louis and met touring bebop musicians.
Later life and career
Later in 1947, he returned to New York. That year (or 1949) he was part of drummer Art Blakey's band for 14 weeks and recorded with them. Bishop developed his bebop playing in part by playing in jam sessions at Minton's Playhouse.
He recorded with Milt Jackson and Stan Getz in 1949, then played with Charlie Parker (1951–54), Oscar Pettiford, Kai Winding, and Miles Davis (1951–53). At this time he was also a drug addict, which led to imprisonment and the withdrawal of his New York City Cabaret Card. In 1956, he recorded with Hank Mobley. "At some point he became a Muslim and took the name Ibrahim ibn Ismail, but he did not use this publicly." In the early 1960s he also led his own trio with Jimmy Garrison and G. T. Hogan.
After studying at The Juilliard School with Hall Overton in the late 1960s, Bishop taught music theory at colleges in Los Angeles in the 1970s. In the 1980s he taught at the University of Hartford. By this time, he made frequent appearances at clubs and festivals in New York. He also wrote a book, A Study in Fourths, about jazz improvisation based on cycles of fourths and fifths. His debut recording as a leader was in the 1960s. He continued performing into the 1990s.
- 1961: Speak Low also released as Milestones (Black Lion Records)
- 1965: The Walter Bishop Jr. Trio / 1965 (Prestige Records) also released as Summertime (Cotillion Records)
- 1964–68: Bish Bash (Xanadu Records)
- 1972: Coral Keys (Black Jazz Records)
- 1973: Keeper of My Soul (Black Jazz)
- 1974: Valley Land (Muse Records)
- 1976: Old Folks (East Wind Records)
- 1977: Soul Village (Muse)
- 1978: Cubicle (Muse)
- 1978: The Trio (with Billy Hart, George Mraz)
- 1979: Hot House (Muse)
- 1988: Just in Time (Pony Canyon
- 1989: Ode to Bird
- 1991: Midnight Blue (Red)
- 1994: What's New (DIW Records)
- 1993: Speak Low Again (with Paul Brown, Al Harewood)
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With Gene Ammons
With Art Blakey
With Rocky Boyd
- Ease It (Jazztime, 1961)
With Miles Davis
With Kenny Dorham
With Curtis Fuller
- Boss of the Soul-Stream Trombone (Warwick, 1960)
- The Magnificent Trombone of Curtis Fuller (Epic, 1961)
- Fire and Filigree (Bee Hive, 1978)
With John Handy
- Jazz (Roulette, 1962)
With Milt Jackson
- Meet Milt Jackson (Savoy, 1949)
With Ken McIntyre
- Looking Ahead (New Jazz, 1960)
With Jackie McLean
With Blue Mitchell
With Hank Mobley
- Mobley's 2nd Message (Prestige, 1956)
With Oscar Pettiford
- The New Oscar Pettiford Sextet (Debut, 1953)
With Dizzy Reece
- Soundin' Off (Blue Note, 1960)
With Charlie Rouse
- Takin' Care of Business (Jazzland, 1960)
With Sonny Stitt
- Broadway Soul (Colpix, 1965)
With Harold Vick
- Commitment (Muse, 1967 )
With Zoot Sims
- The Brothers (Prestige, 1949)
- Greene, Philip; Kernfeld, Barry "Bishop, Walter Jr.". The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd edition). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved February 18, 2016. Subscription required.
- Ratliff, Ben (January 29, 1998) "Walter Bishop Jr., 70, Jazz Pianist Who Rode Be-Bop's First Wave". The New York Times. p. B9.