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Joanne Brackeen

Joanne Brackeen

Piano, Composer
July 26, 1938 --

Joanne Brackeen



"One night we were playing in Atlanta, Georgia, and this guy hollered up at me, 'Hey there, boy, how come you got a white girl [Brackeen] up there on the piano?' I just looked him straight in the eye and said 'Sorry, sir, I thought I just had a pianist.'"

--Art Blakey


Joanne Brackeen attended the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, but taught herself jazz piano by listening to recordings by Frankie Carle and imitating his solos. During the late 1950s she worked in Los Angeles with Teddy Edwards, Harold Land, Dexter Gordon, and Charles Lloyd. She married the saxophonist Charles Brackeen in the early 1960s and moved with him to New York in 1965. There she began to attract attention as a pianist with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1969-72) and with Joe Henderson's group (1972-75). From 1975 to 1977 she spent an eventful period as a memeber of Stan Getz's quartet, which brought a wider audience for her playing, much critical acclaim, and offers to record as a leader.

Thereafter Brackeen has performed, toured, and recorded with her own groups, working principally in a trio format with such sidemen as Eddie Gomez, Cecil McBee, Sam Jones, Clint Houston, Billy Hart, Jack DeJohnette, and Freddie Waits.

Brackeen has become a major figure among contemporary jazz pianists. Although clearly influenced by McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea, she was also inspired by the music of Ornette Coleman. Her approach to playing is unique, particularly in regard to rhythmic development, and she has increasingly recorded her own compositions. Her compositions on the album Special Identity are typical of her writing, which makes use of complex harmonies and a variety of moods.

--BILL DOBBINS, The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz


A selected discography of Joanne Brackeen albums.




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Joanne Brackeen CDs on AmazonJoanne Brackeen CDs on eBay
The Hard Bop Academy Book, 2002Joanne Brackeen LPs on eBay
Joanne Brackeen DVD / VHS on eBay
Joanne Brackeen BOOKs on eBay



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