Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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BAILEY, Benny

(b Ernest Harold Bailey, 13 Aug. '25, Cleveland OH; d 14 April 2005, Amsterdam) Trumpet; a soloist and leadman with roots in bop, he played with Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Quincy Jones; mostly in Europe after '53, where he recorded for Sonet and Metronome in Scandinavia. Big Brass on Candid is a septet album made during a visit to New York '60 with Julius Watkins on French horn, Phil Woods and Tommy Flanagan; Bailey plays very well on it, but there were no more American recordings for 18 years. He was a member of the Clarke/Boland big band; played at the Montreux Jazz Festival with the Swiss Radio Jazz Orchestra and also contributed to the Les McCann/Eddie Harris hit live album Swiss Movement. His own albums made in Sweden and Germany since '56 included Soul Eyes with Mal Waldron '68; Serenade To A Planet with Kenny Clarke, East Of Isar with Sal Nistico and Islands with Eberhard Weber on bass, all '76. Grand Slam was made in NYC '78 with a fine cast: Charlie Rouse, Billy Hart (b 29 Nov. '40, Wash. DC), drums, Richard Wyands (b 2 July '28, Oakland CA), piano, Sam Jones on bass. He co-led the working band Upper Manhattan Jazz Society with Rouse, an album of that title '81 with Al Dailey, Buster Williams and Keith Copeland was released on Enja '85. For Heaven's Sake '89 on Hot House was made in England at the same time as Tony Coe's Canterbury Tales with the same lineup; both are fine albums. On The Corner Meets Benny Bailey '95 on Jazz4ever is with the trio led by pianist Bernhard Pichl, Bailey playing on half the tracks.