His family moved from the island of Jamaica to Brooklyn,
New York City when Kelly was four, and he started his
professional career as a teenager, initially as a member
of R&B groups. After working in the big band and small
groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, he was a member of Miles
Davis' Quintet from 1959 to 1963.
Wynton Kelly was one of the most prolific sideman
pianists of his era, performing on scores of jazz albums,
and led albums under his own name for the Riverside
and Vee-Jay labels. After leaving Davis's group, along
with Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb, he formed a trio
which worked regularly during the 1960s.
A superb accompanist loved by Miles Davis and
Cannonball Adderley, Wynton Kelly was also a distinctive
soloist who decades later would be a strong influence on