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Spotlight on Jazz-Jimmy Raney

February 24, 2011

Jimmy Raney was an American jazz guitarist born in Louisville, Kentucky most notable for his work from 1951–1952 and 1962–1963 with Stan Getz and for his work from 1953–1954 with the Red Norvo trio, replacing Tal Farlow. In 1954 and 1955 he won the Down Beat critics poll for guitar. Raney has worked in a variety of jazz mediums, including cool jazz, bebop, post bop, hard bop and mainstream jazz.

In 1946 he worked for a time as guitarist with the Max Miller Quartet at Elmer’s in Chicago, his first paying gig. Raney also worked in the Artie Shaw Orchestra and collaborated with Woody Herman for nine months in 1948. He also collaborated and recorded with Buddy DeFranco, Al Haig and later on with Bob Brookmeyer. In 1967 alcoholism and other professional difficulties led him to leave New York City and return to his native Louisville. He resurfaced in the 1970s and also did work with his son Doug, who is also a guitarist. Raney suffered for thirty years from Ménière’s disease, a degenerative condition that eventually led to near complete deafness in both ears. Fortunately, his playing remained unaffected. Raney died of heart failure, in Louisville Ky. on May 10 of 1995, just short of his 68th birthday. An obituary in the New York Times referred to Jimmy Raney as ‘one of the most gifted and influential postwar jazz guitarists in the world.’
Here is Jimmy with Everything Happens to Me

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