Jimmy Raney Day
August 20, 1927 – May 9, 1995
Out of Nowhere
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Guitarist James Elbert Raney was born on August 20, 1927, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Raney got his first guitar at 10 years old and a solid classical foundation from A.J. Giancola. Hayden Causey introduced him to jazz and the brilliance of Charlie Christian’s music lit the fire for him.
As a teenager, he met Al Haig when they both played in the Jerry Wald Band. Haig was Raney’s gateway to bebop.
He played with Max Miller, Artie Shaw, and Woody Herman in the late 1940s.
Raney later gained popularity as a member of vibraphonist Red Norvo’s trio.
One of the most technically gifted guitarists of his time, Raney was proficient in many styles of jazz, including hard bop, mainstream, and cool jazz.
Returning back home to Louisville after that New York City engagement, Raney went deep into the woodshed, drawing inspiration from painstaking studies of the recorded solos of Charlie Parker as well as Bud Powell, Gillespie, and Miles Davis.
The New York Times called him “one of the most gifted and influential postwar jazz guitarists in the world”.