Benny Bailey

Benny Bailey

Dexter Gordon, left, with Bailey at the Village Vanguard, June 1977
Background information
Birth name Ernest Harold Bailey
Born (1925-08-13)August 13, 1925
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died April 14, 2005(2005-04-14) (aged 79)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Genres Jazz, bebop, hard bop
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Trumpet, piano, flute
Years active 1940s–?
Labels Argo, Candid, Concord, MPS, Freedom, Enja, Ego Records, Gemini Records, Jazzcraft Records, TCB Records, Laika Records
Associated acts Bull Moose Jackson, Scatman Crothers, The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band, Quincy Jones, Tony Coe, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Freddie Redd

Ernest Harold "Benny" Bailey (13 August 1925 14 April 2005) was an American bebop and hard-bop jazz trumpeter.[1]


Bailey was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He had some training in piano and flute in his youth, but switched to trumpet, and concentrated on the instrument while at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He was influenced by his hometown colleague, Tadd Dameron, seven years his elder, and subsequently had a significant influence on other prominent Cleveland musicians including Bill Hardman, Bobby Few, Albert Ayler, Frank Wright and Bob Cunningham. Bailey also played with "Big T" Tony Lovano - Joe Lovano's father.

In the early 1940s he worked with Bull Moose Jackson and Scatman Crothers.[1] He later worked with Dizzy Gillespie and toured with Lionel Hampton.[2] During a European tour with Hampton he decided to stay in Europe and spend time in Sweden. This Swedish period saw him working with Harry Arnold's big band.[1] He tended to prefer big bands over small groups and became associated with several big bands in Europe including the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band. Later he began to work with Quincy Jones and that led to a brief return to the United States in 1960. During this time, he was invited to the studio as part of Freddie Redd's sextet to record the Blue Note Records album Redd's Blues after meeting the pianist during a tour in Sweden, where Bailey had been residing at the time. Shortly thereafter, he returned to Europe first to Germany, and later to the Netherlands, where he would settle permanently.

In 1969 he played on Eddie Harris and Les McCann's album Swiss Movement, recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, even though it was not his usual style of music, and including a memorable unrehearsed solo on the Gene McDaniels' song "Compared to What". Then in 1988 he worked with British clarinetist Tony Coe[1] and kept producing albums until 2000 when he was in his mid-70s.

Bailey died at home in Amsterdam on April 14, 2005.[1]


With Count Basie

With the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band

With Eric Dolphy

With Stan Getz

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Benny Golson

With Dexter Gordon

With Quincy Jones

With Freddie Redd

With Sahib Shihab

With Randy Weston

With Jimmy Witherspoon

With Phil Woods

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Benny Bailey - Obituary". The Telegraph. 11 May 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  2. Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. pp. 27–28. ISBN 0-141-00646-3.

External links

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