Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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BUCKNER, Milt

(b 10 July '15, St Louis MO; d 27 July '77, Chicago) Piano, Hammond organ, composer, leader. With McKinney's Cotton Pickers in Detroit; Lionel Hampton '41--8; own big band; Hampton again '50--52; organ with own trio. Pioneered 'locked hands' piano style, both hands playing parallel chords, as early as '34; it wasn't his fault that it became a clich. Wrote 'Hamp's Boogie Woogie', his own solo feature; also 'The Lamplighter', 'Count's Basement', many more. Played and toured with Illinois Jacquet, Roy Eldridge, Jo Jones, Hampton again in '71, many others; appeared at Newport, Nice, Monterey Jazz Festivals. Own records began '46--7 on Savoy; Capitol LPs '55--7 incl. Rockin' Hammond '56; on Argo '59--61: Mighty High, Please Mr Organ Player, Mighty Mood; The New World Of Milt Buckner '62 on Bethlehem was followed by many LPs on European labels with varying sidemen incl. Jo Jones, Buddy Tate, Arnett Cobb, ex- Ellington drummer Sam Woodyard, many others: Milt Buckner Plays Chords '66 on Saba aka Milt Buckner In Europe on Prestige; also Locked Hands on Saba '68; albums Midnight Slow (several vols issued '67--77), Crazy Rhythm '67, Rockin' Again '72, Black And Blue Stomp '73 (with Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown; Buckner plays both organ and overdubbed piano), Blues For Diane '74, Green Onions '75, Pianistically Yours '75--6, Boogie Woogie USA '77 were all on Black and Blue. Also The Gruntin' Genius '76 on Dutch Riff label, with Sonny Payne on drums, guests Tate, Jacquet, Kai Winding; several other LPs on Jazztone, Riverboat, etc. Rocking style made fans happy, had its infl. on pop. Buckner's brother Theodore Guy 'Ted' (b 14 Dec. '13; d April '76, Detroit) played alto sax in Jimmie Lunceford band '39--43; brother George (d '69) played trumpet; distant relative J. E. 'Teddy' Buckner (b 16 July '09, Sherman TX; d 23 Sep. '94, LA) played trumpet with Hampton, Benny Carter '30s, led small groups on West Coast.