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Earl Knight
The Brooklyn-born pianist and organist Joe 'Earl' Knight (* 1920) was the type of player whose function is his style: He helped lay down no-nonsense accompaniment that suited both heavy R&B talent such as singer Wynonie Harris and old-school swing instrumentalists. One player in the latter category was trumpeter Hot Lips Page, credited by some on the Chicago jazz scene with assembling the particularly nifty rhythm grouping of Knight, Carl Wilson, and Bobby Donaldson. Page liked fairly simple chordal accompaniment and Earl provided same; indeed, many florid modern pianists could not play as sparingly as Earl unless they had several of their digits amputated.
The pianist went to work with eclectic bandleader Earl Bostic in 1951 following a four-year stint with Page that had begun in 1947, tucking behind a horn section that included the young John Coltrane. Earl shows up in the esteemed Blue Note catalog on some fine recordings organized by Bennie Green, a highly original trombonist. He also gigged in a similar style of playing with guitarist Kenny Burrell around New York City in the '50s and '60s. Credits under Earl Knight include an excellent session from 1954 captained by tenor saxophonist Lucky Thompson. Earl died in 2008.
© Eugene Chadbourne @


Coleman Hawkins
Jazz Kings JK 1201

Coleman Hawkins, tenor sax
Eddie Bert, trombone
Ernie Royal, trumpet
Sidney Gross, guitar
Earl Knight, piano ,organ
Wendell Marshall, bass
Osie Johnson, drums

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