Surgery – Denzil Best

A classic minor-key bebop riff tune at a laid-back medium tempo.

Denzil Best

April 27, 1917 – May 25, 1965

Drummer and composer Denzil Best started on the piano at age six. Then he took up trumpet and played trumpet with Chris Columbus in 1940, also in early sessions at Minton's. Denzil seemed to be on his way as a trumpet player until a lung disease in 1940 and 1941 put an end to that career. Denzil then started gigging on piano and bass, and in 1943 started concentrating on the drums. On February 8, 1944, he made his first recording on drums under the leadership of Ben Webster, with Hot Lips Page and Clyde Hart. On July 27, 1944, he started recording with Coleman Hawkins, first in a band with Charlie Shavers and Clyde Hart, and then with Buck Clayton on October 17. On October 18, he was on another Charlie Shavers session, this time with Coleman Hawkins as a sideman. And the next day, Best recorded with Coleman Hawkins as leader again, with Thelonious Monk on piano. Read more...

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