December 2, 1935 – June 28, 2008
|Birthplace||New York, NY|
Ronnie Mathews was born in Brooklyn, NY. He studied at Brooklyn College, and also with pianist/composer/arranger Hall Overton starting in 1953, then continuing his music education at Manhattan School Of Music from 1955-1958. He played with Gloria Lynne (1958-1960) and started his small group jazz recording career with Charles Persip And The Jazz Statesmen for Bethlehem records on April 2, 1960. He also performed with Kenny Dorham in 1960 and 1961, as well as recording in 1961 on sessions with leaders Clifford Jordan (February 14), Roland Alexander (June 17), his own trio session for Savoy (June 19, unissued), Bill Hardman (October 18), and Junior Cook (December 4).
On September 24, 1962, Ronnie recorded with Sonny Stitt. In 1963 he recorded with Roy Haynes, Jimmy Heath, his own LP for Prestige ("Doin' The Thang," December 17) and one more date with Sonny Stitt. On May 7, 1964, he played on Freddie Hubbard's "Breaking Point" album, and the following year recorded with Lee Morgan and Max Roach. Ronnie's performing and recording career expanded over the next four decades. Some recording highlights include: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Louis Hayes, Clark Terry, Woody Shaw, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin—the list goes on and on.
A personal note from Don Sickler: I was blessed to have him involved with many of my own projects for three decades. His recordings reveal his mastery of the piano, and of the idiom he choose to play in. His death in 2008 was a great loss.