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Walter Norris, RIP.

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My dear friend Nitzan Kremer informed me that the pianist Walter Norris passed away 2 days ago. Nitzan got this information from his friend, the Italian pianist Tony Pancella. Mr. Norris was born on December 27, 1931.

Walter Norris on AMG. RIP Mr. Norris.

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Very sad news!

He was the pianist on Ornette Coleman's debut album on Contemporary.

His Maybeck recital is one of the best from that remarkable Concord recording series.

I have not seen anything about this on the net yet!

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RIP Walter. Thanks for all the music left to the world.

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Very sad! r.i.p. Walter Norris.

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The first time I encountered his name was when I was listening to Mel Lewis & Thad Jones orchestra.

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Just four days younger than my Mom! RIP Walter.

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His brilliant reharmonizations were mind-boggling. I caught him in the late '80s or early '90s, a rare visit from Europe, where he played a solo concert at the JVC festival in NY (the solo piano series also featured Dave McKenna, the one time I saw him). He had an interesting history--Ornette, Mingus, Jones-Lewis, but he really flowered after he moved to Berlin. His quartet album, Sunburst, with Joe Henderson is fabulous--not just a great album, but some of Henderson's best playing too.

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Interesting player, to say the least. That "Sunburst" album with Henderson is a gem -- as you say, some of of the best Henderson there is.

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Sunburst found its way to my CD player (and, subsequently, iPod) many times over the years.

Drifting (Enja) is a good one, too.

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Drifting (Enja) is a good one, too.

That's the one I fell in love with, twelve or so years back - amazing album!

Spinning "Winter Rose" now... got to find me a copy of "Sunburst", it seems. Never heard of that one before!

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They may not have "fit", but I've always enjoyed his solos on Something Else. And a third :tup for Drifting.

Thanks, Mr. Norris.

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It's very sad to hear this. I discovered Norris' playing a few months ago upon buying Love Every Moment. I ordered his Elements in Motion from his website, and he included a postcard with a little note thanking me for my order and saying that he hoped that it'd give me listening pleasure (as a side note, he had beautiful penmanship). I enjoyed it, and found a copy of Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 4, which is my favorite from what I've heard of the Maybeck series.

RIP to an underrated master.

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I heard him live once. He was playing with Charles Mingus. It was at a club in Evanston, Amazing Grace. Mingus stopped the band after a Norris solo and loudly commented "now that's how you play piano". Indeed.

Edited by rpklich

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Ich telefonierte heute abend mit seiner Witwe. Er hat bis zuletzt gearbeitet und ist in der Nacht von Freitag auf Samstag friedlich im Schlaf gestorben.

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Are there any recordings with Mingus? Bootlegs?

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Are there any recordings with Mingus? Bootlegs?

I've never heard it, but apparently there's one date. Norris was with Mingus very briefly between Danny Mixon and Bob Neloms. I saw the other two with Mingus, but not Norris.

Charles Mingus Group 76-1113

----------------------------------------------------------------

November 13, 1976 Stony Brook University, Long Island, Ny

Jack Walrath tp; Ricky Ford ts; Walter Norris p; Charles Mingus b;

Dannie Richmond dr

a. For Harry Carney 13:00

b. Remember Rockefeller At Attica 11:00

c. Sue's Changes INC 31:00

d. Cherokee 1:00

Soundboard recording 60'

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Ich telefonierte heute abend mit seiner Witwe. Er hat bis zuletzt gearbeitet und ist in der Nacht von Freitag auf Samstag friedlich im Schlaf gestorben.

Danke! "I talked to his widow on the phone tonight. He worked just until the very end and left us peacefully in the night from Friday to Saturday."

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When I heard him in Evanston w/ Mingus, the sax player was Paul Jeffrey.

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His brilliant reharmonizations were mind-boggling. I caught him in the late '80s or early '90s, a rare visit from Europe, where he played a solo concert at the JVC festival in NY (the solo piano series also featured Dave McKenna, the one time I saw him). He had an interesting history--Ornette, Mingus, Jones-Lewis, but he really flowered after he moved to Berlin. His quartet album, Sunburst, with Joe Henderson is fabulous--not just a great album, but some of Henderson's best playing too.

thanks for the tip re Sunburst , found a copy , it's a really good session.

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His brilliant reharmonizations were mind-boggling. I caught him in the late '80s or early '90s, a rare visit from Europe, where he played a solo concert at the JVC festival in NY (the solo piano series also featured Dave McKenna, the one time I saw him). He had an interesting history--Ornette, Mingus, Jones-Lewis, but he really flowered after he moved to Berlin. His quartet album, Sunburst, with Joe Henderson is fabulous--not just a great album, but some of Henderson's best playing too.

thanks for the tip re Sunburst , found a copy , it's a really good session.

Mine's still on its way... guess it will arrive while I'm on vacation next week.

Does sound exciting, for sure!

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I missed this thread before. Playing Hues of Blues in Mr. Norris' honor.

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That's sad to hear. My discovery of him was also through the Maybeck recording. In fact it was at Maybeck when I attended the recording of Jaki Byard. After the date there were copies of a few of the Maybeck series in the room outside of the recording space and one of them was Walter's so on the urging of a friend I bought it. It led me on a collecting spree

of his albums that included Sunburst, Lush Life, Drifting and Love Every Moment. Later on a friend "sold" me a bunch of jazz records that included a copy of The Trio on Riverside with Howl Gaylor and Billy Bean on bass and guitar respectively.

The only time I got to see him was at a large outdoor concert for Carl Jefferson in Concord

where many artists from the label played songs for Carl and the crowd and Norris was one of them. I'd love to have heard a full concert from him but he seemed to rarely visit the U.S. or at least the West Coast so I never go the chance.

His style comes across as being a little overly analytical imo and that might not appeal to everyone but he was certainly very talented.

I'll be spinning a few of his albums today in his honor. It sounds like he left this mortal coil about as well as one could hope. RIP.

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