Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Organist Melvin Rhyne's greatest fame was his participation on four Wes Montgomery Riverside sessions (including Montgomery's first and last album for the label). Fortunately, Rhyne survived long enough, after some lean years, to return to the major-league jazz scene and record some CDs of his own. Born in Indianapolis, Rhyne (a largely self-taught pianist) was an important part of the city's jazz scene. He played with the then-unknown Roland Kirk during 1955-1956, and soon switched to organ. He also had opportunities to back a series of blues (including T-Bone Walker and B.B. King) and R&B artists. Rhyne was part of Montgomery's group for most of 1959-1964. In 1969, he moved to Madison, WI, and four years later he relocated to Milwaukee, where he remained active if obscure for the next two decades. In 1990, he emerged, recording with Herb Ellis and Brian Lynch. Mel Rhyne went on to record two excellent sets for Criss Cross, including a quartet session that has Joshua Redman as his sideman, and has shown that he is an excellent soul-jazz and hard bop soloist in his own right.