Lem Winchester: With Feeling
Lem Winchester is among the many jazz musicians who died much too young. In 1960, the vibraphonist left his "day gig" as a police officer to play jazz full time and showed great promise. But tragically, his life ended on January 13, 1961, when he unsuccessfully showed friends a trick with a revolver and blew himself away at the age of 32. Reissued as a limited-edition CD for Fantasy¹s Original Jazz Classics (OJC) series, With Feeling is an enjoyable session Winchester recorded only three months before his death. The Philadelphia native is joined by bassist George Duvivier, drummer Roy Haynes and the Red Garland-influenced pianist Richard Wyands on familiar standards like "My Romance," "Skylark" and "But Beautiful" as well as his own "The Kids" (a bluesy number). Ballads and relaxed tempos prevail, and Winchester is consisently laid back. Influenced by Milt Jackson but striving to develop his own style, the expressive, sophisticated beboper plays with a lot of heart. One can only speculate on where his career would have gone had he lived to see 40, 50 or 60.