Bobby Timmons


Although almost forgotten today, Bobby Timmons was partly responsible for the commercial success of both Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and Cannonball Adderley's Quintet. For Art Blakey (who he was with during 1958-9), Timmons wrote the classic "Moanin'" and, after joining Adderley in 1959, his song "This Here" (followed later by "Dat Dere") became a big hit. Timmons was born in 1935 in Philadelphia and after emerging from the Philadelphia jazz scene, he moved to New York where in 1954 he worked with Kenny Dorham (1956, he appeared on the Blue Note/ Dorham Classic At the Cafe Bohemia), Chet Baker, Sonny Stitt and the Maynard Ferguson Big Band. In the summer of 1958 he joined Art Blakey's group and in the autumn of 1959 he moved on to Adderley's band. Adderley saw to it that Timmons signed with the Riverside label to make albums as a leader, the first being This Here is Bobby Timmons. The recordings under his own name (mostly in a trio setting) reveal a much more complete stylist than his playing with Baker, Adderley and Blakey would suggest. In fact, Bobby Timmons became so famous for the gospel and funky blues cliches in his music that his skills as a Bud Powell-inspired bebop player were all but forgotten. He was however a highly talented and versatile musician influenced by not only Powell but also by Wynton Kelly. He himself was an example for later players such as Les McCann, Ramsey Lewis and much later Benny Green. With his own trio he was never able to gain the commercial success that he helped his former bosses achieve and, partly due to alcoholism, Timmons' career gradually declined. He died at age 38 from cirrhosis of the liver.
Recommended Recordings
Go to Bobby Timmons' page at emusic for free MP3 downloads
This Here Is Bobby Timmons Riverside/OJC
Moanin' Blues Prestige
Soul Time Riverside
Easy Does It Riverside/OJC
Bobby Timmons Trio In Person [Live] Riverside/OJC
Sweet and Soulful Sounds Riverside
Born to Be Blue Riverside/OJC
Workin' Out Prestige
From the Bottom Riverside
The Soul Man / Soul Food Phantom
Chun-King JVC
In Person [Live] JVC
Some of the Best Contemporary Jazz Pianists
Joe Zawinul
Brad Meldau
Bill Charlap
Benny Green
Kenny Barron