Walter Bishop Jr.
|Walter Bishop Jr.|
|Also known as||Ibrahim ibn Ismail|
October 4, 1927|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||January 24, 1998
New York City
|Labels||Black Lion, Prestige, Xanadu, Black Jazz, Muse, East Wind, Pony Canyon, Red, DIW|
|Associated acts||Milt Jackson, Stan Getz, Charlie Parker, Oscar Pettiford, Kai Winding, Miles Davis|
Walter Bishop Jr. (October 4, 1927 – January 24, 1998) was an American jazz pianist.
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. At some point prior to moving from New York to Los Angeles, Bishop met and married the former Valerie Isabel Paul. They then moved to Los Angeles. According to an only son, Jay Blotcher, whom Mrs. Valerie Bishop gave up for adoption (not the son of Walter Bishop, Jr) prior to meeting Bishop, Valerie Bishop worked as an assistant for Ike and Tina Turner in California. Valerie Bishop is the Valerie Bishop Tina Turner refers to personally and in the movie Whats Love Got To Do With It, that turned Tina Turner on to Buddhism. It is not known the date Valerie and Bishop separated and/or divorced.
In the 1980s Bishop 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 japzz 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 (Jazztime) also released as Milestones (Black Lion)
- 1962: A Pair of "Naturals" (Operators) - LP shared with Peter Yorke Orchestra
- 1963: Summertime (Cotillion)
- 1965: The Walter Bishop Jr. Trio / 1965 (Prestige) compiles A Pair of "Naturals" and Summertime
- 1964–68: Bish Bash (Xanadu)
- 1972: Coral Keys (Black Jazz)
- 1973: Keeper of My Soul (Black Jazz)
- 1974: Valley Land (Muse)
- 1975: Soliloquy (Seabreeze)
- 1976: Old Folks (East Wind)
- 1977: Soul Village (Muse)
- 1977/78: Hot House (Muse) released 1979
- 1978: Cubicle (Muse)
- 1978: The Trio (with Billy Hart, George Mraz)
- 1988: Just in Time (Interplay)
- 1989: Ode to Bird (Interplay)
- 1991: Midnight Blue (Red)
- 1994: What's New (DIW)
- 1993: Speak Low Again (with Paul Brown, Al Harewood)
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2012)
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 Charlie Parker
- Swedish Schnapps (Verve 1951) side 2
- Fiesta (Verve 1952)
- Charlie Parker Plays Cole Porter (Verve 1954)
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 Archie Shepp
- On Green Dolphin Street (Denon, 1978)
With Sonny Stitt
- Broadway Soul (Colpix, 1965)
With Harold Vick
- Commitment (Muse, 1967 )
- 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.
- "What's Love Got to Do with It (film)". Wikipedia. 2018-01-10.