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Don Bennett

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  • Years Active: 1990s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

An underground legend in Chicago, Don Bennett has never gotten the recognition he deserves as a pianist and a talent scout. He started piano lessons when he was four and was part of the Chicago jazz scene by the late '50s, inspired by Ahmad Jamal, whom he used to see on a nightly basis. In the 1960s, Bennett moved to Los Angeles, studied with Phineas Newborn, and worked on the local scene with Harold Land, Carmell Jones and Curtis Amy, among others. He cut an album with Amy in the late '60s and led a trio date after returning to Chicago, but neither have ever been released. In 1978, he quit music altogether, working at a variety of day jobs (including as a private investigator) for ten years. In 1988, Bennett returned to jazz with his talents unimpaired. He spent time living in New York and then moved to Holland in 1993. Bennett cut a CD in Chicago in 1990 for the Southport label, which was later reissued by Candid. In addition to such fine players as trumpeter Arthur Hoyle and tenor saxophonist Ed Peterson, Bennett featured the young unknown Art Porter (on alto and soprano) on the bop-oriented material, which included five of the leader's originals.