Cedar Walton Biography

Cedar Anthony Walton, 17 January 1934, Dallas, Texas, USA. After being taught piano by his mother, Walton studied music formally. In the mid-50s his early career was interrupted by military service, but he was fortunate in that this allowed him to meet and play with several emerging jazz musicians, including Don Ellis. After leaving the armed forces, he played in and around New York with important bop artists such as Kenny Dorham, J.J. Johnson and Art Blakey. He proved an adept accompanist to singers as well as to instrumentalists and in the mid-60s was frequently performing with Abbey Lincoln. Later in the decade he worked with artists such as Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley and George Coleman. In the 70s he worked briefly with Blakey again, and played frequently with Clifford Jordan, but was mostly active as co-leader of groups such as Eastern Rebellion and Soundscapes. A gifted soloist and able accompanist, at home mainly in bop and post-bop settings, Walton’s reputation with the public still lags behind the high regard with which he is held by his fellow artists.

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

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