Victor Feldman, 1934-1987
Originally a drummer (dubbed “Kid Krupa” because of his precocious talent at age seven), Feldman worked with his brothers in a jazz band at the family operated No. 1 SWING CLUB in London when he was nine. At this time he began playing piano and, at age 14, the vibraphone. It is as a pianist and vibist that he become best known. He recorded with English tenor sax player Ronnie Scott and studied at the London College of Music.
1955 saw Feldman emigrate to the United States, where he toured with Woody Herman and later joined Howard Rumsey’s All Stars. His finest work was perhaps with Cannonball Adderly on such albums as AT THE LIGHTHOUSE and QUINTET PLUS, both on Riverside records. One of the better works from his pre-U.S. period is SUITE SIXTEEN on Contemporary. His most famous composition, “Seven Steps to Heaven,” was recorded by Miles Davis on the album of the same title.
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Photograph by Roger Kallins. Courtesy of Patricia Darlington.