(b. 16 March 1930 -- d. 16 November 2001)
was an accomplished
best known for his years as
from 1963-65 and 1968-78.
In the 1980's Flanagan's talents as a soloist
recognition through his many solo
. His style was a lyrical
Flanagan was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1930, studying clarinet
at the age of six, until switching to piano at age 11. He grew up
and cut his teeth in the active Detroit scene playing with the likes
of vibraphonist Milt Jackson, trumpeter Thad Jones,
drummer Elvin Jones, and guitarist Kenny Burrell.
He moved to
New York City in 1956 where he recorded with such talents as bassist
Oscar Pettiford, trombonist J.J. Johnson,
trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison and
tenor sax giant Coleman Hawkins.
From 1956 through 1968 Flanagan made
more than 100 recordings, many of them essential for the serious collector.
My friend, who studied under Kenny Barron said that Barron recommended
that his students listen to and learn from Tommy Flanagan's playing.
Since 1978 Flanagan performed almost exclusively in a piano trio
setting. One notable and frequent collaborator is bassist George Mraz
with whom Flanagan has a wonderful raport; the two have an uncanny
ability to follow one another's creative leads.
Tommy Flanagan died on 16 November 2001 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in
New York City from complications due to an aneurysm he suffered
about a decade before. R.I.P.