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Bobby Timmons


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(1935 – 1974)

Robert Henry “Bobby” Timmons (Philadelphia, December 19, 1935 - New York City, March 1, 1974) was an American and composer. He is best known for his role as sideman in Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (1958 - 1959) and as the composer of a.o. “Moanin’”, “Dat Dere”, and “This Here”, typical of his distinctive gospel soul-jazz style.

Timmons was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of a minister. Both of his parents, plus several aunts and uncles, played the piano. From an early age Timmons studied music with an uncle, Robert Habershaw, who also taught McCoy Tyner. After graduating from high school Timmons was awarded a scholarship to study at the Philadelphia Musical Academy. He played as a church organist when young; this influenced his later jazz playing. His first professional performances were in his local area.
Timmons moved to New York in 1954. He played with Kenny Dorham in 1956, making his recording debut with the trumpeter in a live set in May of that year. He went on to play with Chet Baker in 1956–57 (Scott LaFaro was part of this band for a time), Sonny Stitt in 1957, and Maynard Ferguson in 1957–58. Timmons became best-known as a member of Art Blakey’s band the Jazz Messengers, which he was first part of from July 1958 to September 1959, including for a tour of Europe. By late 1958 Timmons was sharing bandmate Lee Morgan’s East Sixth Street apartment and the pair had bought a piano, allowing Timmons to practice and Morgan to work on composing. From around the time he joined Blakey, Timmons, along with fellow band members, was a heroin user. After leaving Blakey, Timmons joined Cannonball Adderley’s band, in October 1959.


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  • PeaceloveK

    And.....His sound is veery goood.

    5 Oct 2014 Reply
  • PeaceloveK

    I absolutely love his improvisations and his own composition. It's bluesy and masterly. Sorry for my bad English.

    5 Oct 2014 Reply
  • Cat_007

    cool sound)

    2 Feb 2014 Reply
  • bainer

    never enough love here. happy belated bobby.

    24 Dec 2011 Reply
  • rainylee800

    Maybe you can catch his lights and shadows from a recording with Dexter Gordon. Though his play has some distinct limitations, he is the unique one. That`s why I like him.

    15 Sep 2011 Reply
  • YeshuaTheGreat

    11 shouts... what a disgrace. Amazing composer and amazing pianist.

    26 Jun 2011 Reply
  • Zhendr

    Great musician

    21 Nov 2009 Reply
  • peeanolover

    Love the album he did with the "Jazz Messengers" and everything he plays.

    10 Feb 2009 Reply
  • SirAlecHendrix

    Bobby Timmons—now connected to the brandnew group ➤ Round Midnight

    26 Sep 2008 Reply
  • sk0ds


    15 Sep 2008 Reply
  • schizodanny

    Those Prestige sessions of his are divine.

    12 Apr 2008 Reply
  • EdwardJH

    My favorite pianist.

    16 Dec 2006 Reply
  • SpoonThe

    moanin' does sound better on blakey's album, but the rest of this here is bobby timmons is amazing.

    17 Sep 2006 Reply
  • Sushi_Brother

    Soul-Jazz/Hard Bop! Love the albums Chun King and This here is Bobby Timmons

    26 Jul 2006 Reply

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