Bobby Hutcherson Biography

27 January 1941, Los Angeles, California, USA. After formal tuition on piano, Hutcherson switched to playing jazz vibraphone when he heard records by Milt Jackson. He worked briefly on the west coast then, in 1961, moved to New York, where he established himself as an inventive, forward-thinking musician. He played with many of the outstanding artists of the 60s, among them Archie Shepp, Billy Mitchell, Eric Dolphy, Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill and McCoy Tyner. Hutcherson made many records, sometimes as sideman (including the important Out To Lunch! album with Dolphy), but regularly led his own groups, which often featured tenor saxophonist Harold Land, with whom he co-led a quintet from 1968-71.

By now back on the west coast, Hutcherson played with Gerald Wilson and remained based in San Francisco through the 70s, though he also toured around the world. In the late 80s, often playing in all-star bebop revival groups, Hutcherson continued to make numerous records, bringing his superb technique to bear upon an eclectic choice of material that demonstrated his awareness of his jazz roots. Despite this late flurry of activity, Hutcherson undeservedly remains one of the lesser known of contemporary jazzmen.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.