Mel Lewis

Genres: Jazz
Tags: jazz 60s 70s usa bop drums post-bop 50s blue note under 2000 listeners drummer grammy winner grammy nominee Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Artist Compilations: Thad Jones & Mel Lewis
Links: allmusic discogs VIAF wikidata wikipedia


Melvin Sokoloff, 10 May 1929, Buffalo, New York, USA, d. 3 February 1990, New York City, New York, USA. Following in the footsteps of his father, Lewis took up drumming as a child and was playing professionally by his early teens. In 1948, he joined Boyd Raeburn’s modern big band, then played in a number of well-known dance bands of the late swing era, including those of Ray Anthony and Tex Beneke. In 1954, he was hired by Stan Kenton and then worked in the west coast film studios, with the big bands of Bill Holman and Woody Herman, later performing with various small jazz groups until the end of the decade. In the 60s, he played with numerous bands, including those led by Gerry Mulligan, Benny Goodman and Dizzy Gillespie.

Settling in New York, Lewis established a musical partnership with Thad Jones, which in 1965 resulted in the formation of the Jazz Orchestra, a big band formed from the many fine jazz players living in the city and...

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