Sunday, October 16, 2011

R.I.P.: Marty Harris

Marty Harris; Pianist Performed with Jazz and Pop Greats
Los Angeles Times
October 16, 2011

Marty Harris, 77, a pianist who performed with such jazz and pop greats as Benny Goodman and Diana Ross, died of colon cancer Thursday at his Toluca Lake home, said his wife, Bonnie.

Born Dec. 9, 1933, in New Jersey, Harris was reared in Florida and studied the piano in high school. He served in the Navy in the early 1950s and moved to the San Fernando Valley in 1961.

Since the 1950s, he had played with such jazz names as Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Bob Cooper and Anita O'Day. Harris also accompanied the singer Tom Jones and had frequently performed locally with trumpeter and singer Jack Sheldon.

Drawn to the rhythms of jazz from a young age, Harris told The Times in 1997: "I liked the beat; it just felt good. Then someone showed me how to play a little bit, and I got to be pretty good."

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