Gerald Wiggins - firm touch, all-around musicianship - the go-to session guy.

Gerald Wiggins Quintet – Live In Paris – 1977 – Past Daily Downbeat.

Gerald Wiggins – firm touch, all-around musicianship – the go-to session guy.

Gerald Wiggins Quintet – Live at Espace Cardin, Paris – January 23, 1977 – Radio France Musique –

Gerald Wiggins Quintet this weekend. Recorded live in Paris at Espace Cardin on January 23, 1977 and broadcast by Radio France.

Gerald Wiggins originally studied Classical, but was introduced to Jazz while still in his teens and he never looked back.

He began his career accompanying comedian Stepin Fetchit. Wiggins worked with Louis Armstrong and Benny Carter. He was in the military from 1944 to 1946. In the 1940s, he moved to Los Angeles, where he played music for television and film. He also worked with singers like Lena Horne (1950–51), Kay Starr, and Eartha Kitt. In 1960, his best recording as an organist appeared, Wiggin’ Out, known for the quality of its music and fresh, clear sound. He recorded another LP at the organ with saxophonist Teddy Edwards. “In the 1960s he worked as a music director and vocal coach in film studios,” including “a lengthy stint as vocal coach for Marilyn Monroe.” In the 1970s he often collaborated with vocalist Helen Humes.

Wiggins was known for his trio with Andy Simpkins and Paul Humphrey, among others. He also appeared in an episode of 227, and an episode of Moesha, in both cases he played a pianist. “He appeared regularly at American jazz parties and festivals and occasionally at Japanese and European festivals and was in demand for recording sessions.” Late in his career, Wiggins recorded for Concord Records which according to The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz “demonstrate his firm touch, all-round musicianship, and sense of swing.”

On this concert he’s joined by Harry “Sweets” Edison on trumpet – Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis on tenor sax – Major Holley on bass and Oliver Jackson on drums.

All recorded and preserved for posterity by Radio France, so you can get comfy and enjoy on a Sunday. Cool, no?

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