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Lem Winchester

Lem Winchester had great potential as a vibraphonist but it was all cut short by a tragic accident. Influenced by Milt Jackson but developing a sound of his own, Winchester actually played tenor, baritone, and piano before choosing to stick exclusively to vibes. A police officer in Wilmington, Delaware, he made a big impression at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival and was soon recording regularly with such major players as Oliver Nelson, Benny Golson, and Tommy Flanagan. Winchester resigned from the police force in 1960 to be a musician full-time, but then on January 13, 1961, he unsuccessfully demonstrated a trick with a revolver.


Album Review

Lem Winchester: With Feeling

Read "With Feeling" reviewed by AAJ Staff

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 ...

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Video / DVD

Lem Winchester: Lem's Beat

Lem Winchester: Lem's Beat

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Vibraphonist Lem Winchester emerged at the tail end of the 1950s, recording his first leadership album in 1958. He would record only six albums under his name and about eight as a sideman. Music was a second career for Winchester. For 10 years prior to becoming a professional musician, he was a police officer in Wilmington, Del., and carried a Colt service revolver. Winchester's best album is Lem's Beat. Recorded for Prestige's New Jazz label in April 1960, the album ...


Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

With Feeling

Prestige Records


Lem's Beat

Original Jazz Classics


With Feeling

Original Jazz Classics


Another Opus



Lem Winchester And...

Original Jazz Classics



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