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|Born||(1923-05-15)May 15, 1923|
|Origin||Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.|
|Died||September 30, 2002(2002-09-30) (aged 79)|
|Associated acts||Ella Fitzgerald, Ruby Braff, Eartha Kitt, Chris Connor, Beverly Kenney|
Ellis Larkins (May 15, 1923 – September 30, 2002) was an American jazz pianist born in Baltimore, Maryland, perhaps best known for his two recordings with Ella Fitzgerald: the albums Ella Sings Gershwin (1950) and Songs in a Mellow Mood (1954). He was also the leader in the first solo sides by singer Chris Connor on her album Chris (1954).
Larkins was the first African American to attend the Peabody Conservatory of Music, a well-known institute in Baltimore. He began his professional playing career in New York City after moving there to attend the Juilliard School. Following school Larkins performed jazz piano with Billy Moore and Edmond Hall. He recorded with Coleman Hawkins, Mildred Bailey, and Dicky Wells in the 1940s. In the 1950s he recorded with Ella Fitzgerald, Ruby Braff, and Beverly Kenney. His 1960s work included recordings or performances with Eartha Kitt, Joe Williams, Helen Humes, Georgia Gibbs and Harry Belafonte.
Though he was best known as an accompanist, Larkins recorded several solo albums in the 1950s. In the 1970s he performed regularly at several New York venues, including Gregory's, a small bar on the Upper East Side.
|Lost in the Wood||Stanyan||Trio, with Al McKibbon (bass), Panama Francis (drums)|
|1952||Blues in the Night||Decca||Solo piano; DL 5391, subtitled The Melodies of Harold Arlen|
|1954||Perfume and Rain||Storyville||Solo piano|
|1956?||Manhattan at Midnight||Decca||Trio, with Art Ryerson (guitar), Beverly Peer (bass)|
|1958?||Blue and Sentimental||Decca||Some tracks duo, with Joe Benjamin (bass); some tracks quartet|
|1977||A Smooth One||Black & Blue||Trio, with George Duvivier (bass), J. C. Heard (drums)|
|Ellis Larkins||DGTL||Some tracks solo piano; some tracks trio, with Bill Popp (bass), Jackie Williams (drums)|
|1992||Ellis Larkins at Maybeck||Concord Jazz||Solo piano; in concert|
With Ruby Braff
- Ellis Larkins & Ruby Braff: Duets Volume 1, (Vanguard)
- Ellis Larkins & Ruby Braff: Duets Volume 2, (Vanguard)
- Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins: 2 Part Inventions in Jazz, (Vanguard/Pye)
- Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins: The Grand Reunion, (Chiaroscuro)
- Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins: Calling Berlin, Vol. 1 (Arbors)
- Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins: Calling Berlin, Vol. 2 (Arbors)
With Ella Fitzgerald
- Ella Sings Gershwin (Decca, 1950)
- Songs in a Mellow Mood (Decca, 1954)
- "You Turned the Tables on Me", "Nice Work If You Can Get It", "I've Got a Crush on You" on Newport Jazz Festival: Live at Carnegie Hall (Pablo, 1973)
With Sonny Stitt
With Joe Williams
- That Holiday Feelin (Verve, 1990)
With Anita Kert Ellis
- A Legend Sings (Red Onion, 1979)
- "Jazz Profiles – Ellis Larkins". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- Dryden, Ken. "Ellis Larkins: Perfume and Rain". AllMusic. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
- Yanow, Scott. "Ellis Larkins: Manhattan at Midnight". AllMusic. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
- Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 866. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
- Dryden, Ken. "Ellis Larkins: Ellis Larkins". AllMusic. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
- Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1996). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (3rd ed.). Penguin. p. 788. ISBN 978-0-14-051368-4.
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