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Jimmy Amadie

Philadelphia born Jimmy Amadie is a veteran jazz pianist, called "a serious keyboard talent" by Billboard Magazine and one of "America's leading jazz educators" by Jazz Forum Magazine. While Amadie's skill and musicianship have been compared to Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones, his determination to overcome devastating obstacles has equally inspired. Jimmy Amadie is known today as a musician and music educator, but his first love was competitive sports. Jimmy was a good athlete and participated in the citywide Sand Lot Sports League playing baseball, the Pop Warner Conference for football, and learned to box at Lighthouse Boys Club. Sports related injuries prevented Amadie from further competition. He then devoted all of his time to music. Amadie studied classical piano at the Brahms Conservatory of Music. He came to jazz piano in his early twenties when he toured with The Woody Herman Band, accompanied Mel Torme, and played with legends like Red Rodney, Charley Ventura, and Coleman Hawkins. He was the leader of the house trio at the famous Red Hill Inn in Pennsauken, NJ for three years and later brought his trio to New York's Copacabana. During these years, playing up to 70 hours a week, Amadie's hands developed a severe form of tendonitis. His condition was so extreme that he could not play for over thirty years. This resulted in the loss of his livelihood as a performer. He then turned to writing. He authored two textbooks, "Harmonic Foundation for Jazz and Popular Music" (1981) and "Jazz Improv: How to Play It and Teach It" (1990). Amadie's books are widely utilized and sections have been translated into Italian, French, German, and Japanese. Remarkably, after seven bouts of reconstructive surgery, physical therapy, and sheer perseverance, Amadie returned to the piano. His first album, "Always With Me," (1994) was recorded a few minutes at a time, separated by long periods of rest. Jimmy continues to record on a regular basis and his efforts have produced seven albums for which he arranged all of the music and composed many originals. Over time, he has improved his endurance and now can complete an album in just two sessions. Amadie's recent recordings include, "Let's Groove" featuring Phil Woods, and "The Philadelphia Story" featuring Benny Golson, Randy Brecker, and Lew Tabackin. His new 2010 release, "Kindred Spirits", features Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano and Lew Tabackin. Amadie is a master teacher. He has taught students at all levels: high school, college and professional musicians as well as private students in his studio.

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Extended Analysis

Jimmy Amadie Trio: Live At The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Read "Jimmy Amadie Trio: Live At The Philadelphia Museum of Art" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

In a period of profound artistic expansion and change in jazz, with labels like ECM, Winter & Winter and Pirouet and countless self- produced recordings erasing and redrawing genre lines, is it even proper (or even necessary) to celebrate the time tested, the mainstream, the old fashioned purveyors of the music? Is there a need for one more traditional piano trio recording featuring a collection of standards stepped on more than times than black tar in Nuevo Larado? For an ...

Album Review

Jimmy Amadie: Let's Groove!

Read "Let's Groove!" reviewed by Jim Santella

Let's Groove! provides a tribute to Mel Tormé through a comfortable collection of originals and songs associated with the great jazz singer. Four veterans of the jazz world give each selection plenty of personality. Pianist Jimmy Amadie turns out yet another treasure trove of straight-ahead delights with a closely-knit musical partnership that has existed for many years. The program includes sensual ballads as well as hard-driving romps. Tormé loved to interpret music both ways. Here Phil Woods lends a hand, ...

Multiple Reviews

Jimmy Amadie: In a Trio Setting & Live at Red Rocks

Read "Jimmy Amadie: In a Trio Setting & Live at Red Rocks" reviewed by AAJ Staff

By Stephen McGrath

Jimmy Amadie In a Trio Setting: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra TP Recordings 2002

Mr. Amadie has accomplished what some might call his “impossible dream." Once a promising pianist, Amadie was struck with severe tendonitis early in his professional career. Not to say Mr. Amadie didn't have many professional triumphs, playing with the likes of Woody Herman's band, Mel Torme, and Red Rodney to name a few. But it became too ...

Album Review

Jimmy Amadie Trio: Live at Red Rock Studio: A Tribute to Tony Bennett

Read "Live at Red Rock Studio: A Tribute to Tony Bennett" reviewed by Joshua Weiner

If I keep harping on this, I'm going to get a reputation as a curmudgeon. But the continuing practice of slapping together several unrelated tunes and, in an attempt to get noticed, wrapping around them a weakly coherent concept which, as often as not, invokes a famous and well-loved jazz personality, has got to stop. I will, however, forgive Jimmy Amadie for doing whatever he can to promote his new album, Live at Red Rock Studio: A Tribute to Tony ...

Album Review

Jimmy Amadie: In A Trio Setting

Read "In A Trio Setting" reviewed by Jim Santella

Pianist Jimmy Amadie interprets each classic, Sinatra-type standard on In A Trio Setting with a crystalline touch and his usual buoyant swing. His improvisation carries the trio along natural paths with a universal sense of time.

The salute to Frank Sinatra is coincidental, but it does represent the range of this artist, who took five years and two more operations to complete the project. Jimmy Amadie has acute tendonitis in both hands. Pretty tough for a pianist. ...


A Fireside Chat With Jimmy Amadie

Read "A Fireside Chat With Jimmy Amadie" reviewed by AAJ Staff

To say that Jimmy Amadie is 'remarkable' would be an understatement. Amadie has suffered from sever tendentious for the better part of his life and virtually twice my own. This kind of pain has been career ending in sports. What makes his story even more 'remarkable' is Amadie is not a wide receiver for the Eagles. He is a pianist, a jazz pianist. His hands are his tools to his trade and they barely function. Amadie's 'remarkable' journey is one ...

Album Review

Jimmy Amadie: Savoring Every Note

Read "Savoring Every Note" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Should someone decide to write a sequel to John F. Kennedy's book, Profiles in Courage, and need suitable nominees for inclusion, here's mine. To the best of my knowledge, no pianist -- in fact, no musician -- has endured more hardship or overcome larger obstacles in the pursuit of aesthetic expression than Jimmy Amadie. I am moved almost to tears whenever I hear this courageous gentleman play, knowing how much he has suffered to do so. For those who are ...

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Pianist and Educator Jimmy Amadie Passes Away at Age 76 After Long Battle with Cancer

Pianist and Educator Jimmy Amadie Passes Away at Age 76 After Long Battle with Cancer

Source: Michael Ricci

Jimmy Amadie, the celebrated jny: Philadelphia pianist and educator known for his contributions in improvisational jazz theory, passed away on December 10, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. He was 76. His death comes after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007. Amadie was known not only for his supreme musicality, but also for his unrelenting fighting spirit. As a rising jazz pianist in the late 1950s, Amadie toured with the Woody Herman Band, accompanied Mel Torme, and played with some of ...



The Jazz Session #193: Jimmy Amadie

The Jazz Session #193: Jimmy Amadie

Source: AAJ Staff

Pianist Jimmy Amadie has recorded seven albums, despite being able to play for just a couple hours every few months as a result of severe problems with his hands. On his most recent record, Kindred Spirits (TP Recordings, 2010), Amadie is joined by Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano and Lew Tabackin, among others. In this interview, Amadie talks about the long road back to playing; his subsequent battle with cancer; and his desire to have his music judged against the master ...



Pianist Jimmy Amadie Features Three Saxophone Giants, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, and Lew Tabackin, on "Kindred Spirits"

Pianist Jimmy Amadie Features Three Saxophone Giants, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, and Lew Tabackin, on "Kindred Spirits"

Source: DL Media

ON MAY 11, PIANIST JIMMY AMADIE WILL RELEASE HIS 7TH CD, KINDRED SPIRITS ON TP RECORDINGS, FEATURING SAXOPHONISTS LEE KONITZ, JOE LOVANO AND LEW TABACKINVeteran pianist Jimmy Amadie adds another chapter to his remarkable life story with Kindred Spirits, featuring an all-star lineup on a tailor-made selection of blazing swing and tender ballads. Each track features a collaboration with one of three saxophone giants: Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, and Lew Tabackin. As always, Amadie calls ...





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