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Tommy Flanagan Trio

Known for his flawless and tasteful playing, Tommy Flanagan received long overdue recognition for his talents in the 1980s. He played clarinet when he was six and switched to piano five years later. Flanagan was an important part of the fertile Detroit jazz scene (other than 1951-1953 when he was in the Army) until he moved to New York in 1956. He was used for many recordings after his arrival during that era; cut sessions as a leader for New Jazz, Prestige, Savoy, and Moodsville; and worked regularly with Oscar Pettiford, J.J. Johnson (1956-1958), Harry "Sweets" Edison (1959-1960), and Coleman Hawkins (1961). Flanagan was Ella Fitzgerald's regular accompanist during 1963-1965 and 1968-1978, which resulted in him being underrated as a soloist. However, starting in 1975, he began leading a series of superior record sessions and since leaving Fitzgerald, Flanagan has been in demand as the head of his own trio, consistently admired for his swinging and creative bop-based style. Among the many labels he has recorded for since 1975 are Pablo, Enja, Denon, Galaxy, Progressive, Uptown, Timeless, and several European and Japanese companies. For Blue Note, he cut Sunset and Mockingbird in 1998, followed a year later by Samba for Felix. Despite a heart condition, Flanagan continued performing until the end of his life, performing two-week stints at the Village Vanguard twice a year, recording and touring. He died on November 16, 2001, in Manhattan from an arterial aneurysm. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Overseas

1. Relaxin' At Camarillo

2. Chelsea Bridge

3. Eclypso

4. Beat's Up

5. Skal Brothers

6. Little Rock

7. Verdandi

8. Delarna

9. Willow Weep For Me

x

Track List: Flanagan's Shenanigans

1. Eclypso (live)

2. Beyond The Bluebird (live)

3. Minor Mishap

4. For Lena And Lennie

5. Flanagan's Shenanigans (live)

6. The Balanced Scales

7. But Beautiful (live)

8. Let's

9. Tin Tin Deo

Comments

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Todays musicians will never ever be able to play like this!
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howard.herrn s t a d t
When I was in Barry's Jazz Workshop in NYC Tommy came out with his wife one night to watch the class. They both just glowed, watching us mostly young people taking in all that jazz from Barry. I got to talk to Tommy a little bit one night at a duo concert with Barry. A real gentleman. He is missed.
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howard.herrn s t a d t
Check out Tommy with Barry Harris on youtube. They were like peas in a pod. Both from Detroit and that Bop tradition. There was great love and respect between them, and it showed when they played duo pianos.
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Back in the late '70's I produced a concert featuring Ella Fitzgerald with Tommy Flanagan as her accompanist. After the show Tommy sat at the piano performing an impromptu concert for the lucky few still hanging around. With eyes closed and smoke wafting from a cigarette, he played masterfully for over an hour. I treasure every minute.
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ezrielkornel
Who are the other 2 members ofhis trio? They deserve mention.
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I took my parents to see Tommy and Ella at De Anza college in 1980!
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It's a shame that music of this quality is so unknown by the millions who consider popular music where it's at. Not knocking pop music. Just saying the quality, expertise and beauty of jazz should be more recognized and appreciated.
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This music makes one feel good!!
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I used to listen to Tommy' beautiful version of Peace every night during my drive home (late 80's to mid-90's) at the beginning of WBUR's regular evening jazz show, Eric in the Evening. It remains one of my very favorite pieces. Check it out.
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Unfortunatel y , I did not get to see him perform. I had tickets, I was waiting in line to get into the theater where he was performing, but then an announcement was made that Mr. Flanagan was sick and wouldn't be able to perform. He passed away shortly after that.
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I'll never forget seeing and hearing him live in NYC 20+ years ago. An unsung master.
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Sweet Soothing Sounds.
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Thanks for the pure enjoyment of listening to quality music Mr. Flanagan. Class act.
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cantstopwont s t o p 5 4
Tommy was surely one of the many unsung heros of the jazz era. I remember his work with Ella and she did not feel he was second to anyone. It makes me feel good to be able to listen to his music.
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Play Beautifly Beautiful Music
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Yes he was underated, but was one of the greatest who ever lived, always had great and talented accompanists on drums and was famous as an accompanist with other vocal performers, including Ella Fitzgerald. His riffs were monumental and greeted with great applause. He was the best of the best.

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