Desert Island Jazz
Cedar Walton (2012)
Cedar Walton has played jazz for so long and at so high a level that it is impossible to do his career justice in a few paragraphs.

Cedar was born in Texas to a mother who was an aspiring pianist: she took him to hear a lot of music while he was young.

On a family vacation while in his teens, the Waltons visited the University of Denver and, Cedar says, liking the fact that the dorms were co-ed, he decided to attend. After starting as a composition major, he switched to music education.

In 1955, Cedar and a friend left school for New York City. He did a stint in the army, stationed in Germany, and afterwards resumed his career in the Big Apple.

In 1960, Cedar joined the Jazztet with Art Farmer and Benny Golson, and in 1961 he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers--on the same day as Freddie Hubbard. It was at that time his compositions began to be noticed: many of his tunes have become jazz standards.

After the Messengers, Cedar became the house pianist for Prestige Records, appearing on countless recordings, and performing with his own trio and a Who's Who of jazz from then until now.

Cedar has always been forward-thinking in his playing and composing, and became an NEA Jazz Master in 2010.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Duke Ellington and His Orchestra Happy Birthday, Duke Take the "A" Train Laser Light
# 2 Miles Davis Porgy and Bess Summertime Columbia
# 3 Ahmad Jamal Cross-Country Tour: 1958-1961 But Not for Me GRP
# 4 Chaka Khan, Chick Corea, et al. Echoes of an Era High Wire--The Aerialist Elektra
# 5 Art Tatum 20th Century Piano Genius Yesterdays Verve
# 6 Erroll Garner Concert by the Sea Where or When Columbia
# 7 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Three Blind Mice, Vol. 1 That Old Feeling Blue Note
# 8 Cedar Walton Cedar Walton Plays Hallucinations Delos
         
Book A newspaper subscription
         
Luxury Item "A chiropractor"
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