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 (aged 70)|
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) after divorcing Bishop in the mid-70s, Valerie Bishop worked as an assistant for Ike and Tina Turner in California. Valerie Bishop is the person who is cited in the Tina Turner memoir "I, Tina" as the person who inspired Tina Turner to pursue Buddhism.
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 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||Jazztime||Trio, with Jimmy Garrison (bass), G.T. Hogan (drums); also released by Black Lion as Milestones|
|1962||A Pair of "Naturals"||Operators||Trio, with Butch Warren (bass), G.T. Hogan (drums); LP shared with Peter Yorke Orchestra|
|1963||Summertime||Cotillion||Trio, with Butch Warren (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)|
|1964–68||Bish Bash||Xanadu||Some tracks trio, with Eddie Khan (bass), Dick Berk (drums); some tracks quartet, with Frank Haynes (tenor sax) added; some tracks trio with Reggie Johnson (bass), Idris Muhammad (drums)|
|1971||Coral Keys||Black Jazz||Most tracks quartet, with Harold Vick (flute, soprano sax, tenor sax), Reggie Johnson (bass), Alan Shwaetz Benger and Idris Muhammad (drums; separately); some tracks quintet, with Woody Shaw (trumpet) added|
|1973||Keeper of My Soul||Black Jazz||With Ronnie Laws (flute, sax), Woody Murray (vibraphone), Gerald Brown (bass, electric bass), Bahir Hassan (drums), Shakur M. Abdulla (congas, bongos)|
|1974||Valley Land||Muse||Trio, with Sam Jones (bass), Billy Hart (drums)|
|1976||Old Folks||East Wind||Trio, with Sam Jones (bass) Billy Higgins (drums)|
|1977||Soul Village||Muse||With Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn), George Young (soprano sax, alto sax), Gerry Niewood (tenor sax, flute), Steve Khan (guitar), Mark Egan (bass), Ed Soph (drums), Victoria (congas, percussion)|
|1977–78||Hot House||Muse||Some tracks trio, with Sam Jones (bass), Al Foster (drums); some tracks quintet, with Bill Hardman (trumpet), Junior Cook (tenor sax) added; released 1979|
|1978||Cubicle||Muse||With Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Rene McLean (soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax), Pepper Adams (baritone sax), Joe Caro (guitar), Bob Cranshaw (Fender bass), Billy Hart (drums), Ray Mantilla (percussion); Mark Egan (Fender bass), Carmen Lundy (vocals) added for one or two tracks|
|1978||The Trio||with Billy Hart, George Mraz|
|1988||Just in Time||Interplay||Trio, with Paul Brown (bass), Walter Bolden (drums)|
|1989||Ode to Bird||Interplay||Trio, with Paul Brown (bass), Walter Bolden (drums)|
|1990||What's New||DIW||Trio, with Peter Washington (bass), Kenny Washington (drums)|
|1991||Midnight Blue||Red||Trio, with Reggie Johnson (bass), Doug Sides (drums)|
|1993||Speak Low Again||Venus||Trio, with Paul Brown (bass), Al Harewood (drums)|
With Gene Ammons
- Shorty & Doc (Swingville, 1961)
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 Bill Hardman
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)
- Live at Rockland Palace (Parker Records, 1952 )
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 (29 January 1998). "Walter Bishop Jr., 70, Jazz Pianist Who Rode Be-Bop's First Wave". Retrieved 9 November 2019.