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All Music Guide:
Jimmy Raney was the definitive cool jazz guitarist, a fluid bop soloist with a quiet sound who had a great deal of inner fire. He worked with local groups in Chicago before spending nine months with Woody Herman in 1948. From then on he was in the major leagues, having associations with Al Haig, Buddy DeFranco, Artie Shaw, and Terry Gibbs. His work with Stan Getz (1951-1952) was historic, as the pair made for a classic musical partnership. Raney was also very much at home in the Red Norvo Trio (1953-1954) before spending six years primarily working in a supper club with pianist Jimmy Lyon (1954-1960). After playing with Getz during 1962-1963, he returned to Louisville and was outside of music until resurfacing in the early '70s. During the 1970s, Raney recorded often for Xanadu. He worked frequently with his son Doug Raney (who has a very similar sound on guitar) and was less active in the late '80s and '90s, up until his 1995 death.
Jimmy Raney (20 August 1927–10 May 1995) 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 on May 10 of 1995, just short of his 68th birthday. His obituary in the New York Times called him 'one of the most gifted and influential postwar jazz guitarists in the world.'