Lou Levy (pianist)

Lou Levy

Stan Getz & Lou Levy (Amsterdam, 1959)
Background information
Born (1928-03-05)March 5, 1928
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died January 23, 2001(2001-01-23) (aged 72)
Dana Point, California
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Piano
Years active 1947–2000
Labels Nocturne, Warner Bros., RCA, Atlantic, Verve
Associated acts Supersax

Louis A. "Lou" Levy (March 5, 1928 January 23, 2001) was an American jazz pianist


Levy was born to Jewish parents in Chicago and started playing piano when he was twelve. His chief influences were Art Tatum and Bud Powell.

A professional at age nineteen, Levy played with Georgie Auld (1947 and later), Sarah Vaughan, Chubby Jackson (1947–1948), Boyd Raeburn, Woody Herman's Second Herd (1948–1950), Tommy Dorsey (1950) and Flip Phillips. Levy left music for a few years in the early fifties and then returned to gain a strong reputation as an accompanist to singers, working with Peggy Lee (1955–1973), Ella Fitzgerald (1957–1962), June Christy, Anita O'Day and Pinky Winters. Levy also played with Dizzy Gillespie, Shorty Rogers, Stan Getz, Terry Gibbs, Benny Goodman, Supersax and most of the major West Coast players. Levy recorded as a leader for Nocturne (1954), RCA, Jubilee, Philips, Interplay (1977), and Verve.

Levy died of a heart attack in Dana Point, California at the age of 72.[1]

Selected discography

As leader

As sideman

Date Artist Album title Label Notes
1957Manny AlbamThe Jazz Greats of Our Time – Vol. 2Coral
1957Manny AlbamWest Coast Delivery – Jazz Lab Vol. 12Coral
1963Georgie Auld QuintetThe Georgie Auld Quintet Plays the WinnersPhilips
1963Georgie Auld SextetHere's to the LosersPhilips
1962Louis BellsonBig Band Jazz from the SummitRoulette
1966Tony BennettThe Movie Song AlbumColumbiaLevy on three tracks
1956Elmer BernsteinThe Man with the Golden ArmDecca
1997Dee Dee BridgewaterDear EllaVerve
1978Ruth BrownYou Don't Know MeDobre
1955Conte CandoliConte CandoliBethlehem
1976Pete Christlieb / Warne MarshApogeeWarner
1976Pete ChristliebSelf PortraitBosco With Warne Marsh
1977June ChristyImpromptuInterplaySupervised by Bob Cooper
1981Al CohnNonpareilConcord JazzReleased in 1992
1958Bob CooperCoop! The Music of Bob CooperContemporary
1991Bob Cooper QuartetFor All We KnowFresh Sound
1959Herb Ellis w/ Jimmy GiuffreHerb Ellis Meets Jimmy GiuffreVerve
1963Herb Ellis w/ Stuff SmithTogetherEpic
1989Art FarmerCentral Avenue ReunionContemporary
1958Ella FitzgeraldElla in Rome: The Birthday ConcertVerveReleased in 1988
1958Ella FitzgeraldElla Swings LightlyVerve
1959Ella FitzgeraldElla Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin SongbookVerve
1959Ella FitzgeraldGet Happy!Verve
1961Ella FitzgeraldElla in HollywoodVerve
1961Ella FitzgeraldElla Returns to BerlinVerve
1961Ella FitzgeraldClap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!Verve
1957Herb GellerFire in the WestJubilee
1955Stan Getz, Shelly Manne, Leroy Vinnegar, Conte CandoliWest Coast JazzNorgran/Verve
1957Stan Getz QuartetThe Soft SwingVerveReleased 1959. Levy on four tracks
1957Stan GetzThe SteamerVerve
1957Stan GetzStan Getz and the Cool SoundsVerve
1958Stan GetzThe Great English Concert 1958Jazz GrooveSix (of eleven) tracks with Getz (others feat. Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge with nearly the same rhythm section)
1959Stan GetzAward WinnerVerve
1959Stan GetzStan Getz and Gerry Mulligan / Stan Getz and The Oscar Peterson TrioVerveLevy on the two track with Mulligan (see also Gerry Mulligan)
1981Stan GetzThe DolphinConcord Jazz
1981Stan Getz QuartetSpring Is HereConcord JazzReleased in 1992
1957Terry Gibbs and Bill HarrisWoodchoppers' BallPremier Albums
1957Terry GibbsA Jazz Band Ball (Second Set)Mode
1959Terry Gibbs Dream BandThe Sundown Sessions, Vol. 2ContemporaryLive recording, released in 1987
1959Terry Gibbs Dream BandFlying Home, Vol. 3ContemporaryLive recordings, released in 1988. Levy on four tracks
1959Terry Gibbs Dream BandOne More Time, Vol. 6ContemporaryLive recordings, released in 2002. Levy on four tracks
1982Terry Gibbs & His West Coast FriendsMy BuddyAtlas
1955Lionel Hampton and Stan GetzHamp and GetzNorgran
1958Coleman Hawkins and Roy EldridgeThe Great English Concert 1958Jazz GrooveFive (of eleven) tracks (others feat. Stan Getz with nearly the same rhythm section)
1958Coleman Hawkins SeptetLover Man et al.(various labels)Live recordings; two tracks with Levy from the Jazz Festival in Antibes, France: "Undecided" and "Indian Summer"; first released maybe in 1987 or earlier
1960Coleman Hawkins & FriendsBean Stalkin' PabloLive recording from Paris, France, released in 1988; four (of six) tracks with a sextet feat. Levy and Benny Carter
1948fWoody Herman and His OrchestraWoody Herman Second HerdCapitol
1957Quincy JonesGo West, Man!ABC-ParamountLevy on three tracks
1956Peggy LeeBlack Coffee (reissue)DeccaThe four additional tracks for 12" LP release with Levy
1963Peggy LeeMink JazzCapitol
1965Peggy LeePass Me ByCapitol
1955Stan LeveyThis Time the Drums on MeBethlehem
1957Stan LeveyStan Levey QuintetMode
1976Warne MarshAll MusicNessa
1984Warne Marsh QuartetA Ballad AlbumCriss Cross Jazz
1978Charles McPhersonFree Bop!Xanadu
1977Sam MostFlute FlightXanadu
1957Gerry Mulligan w/ Stan GetzGerry Mulligan Meets Stan GetzVerve see also Stan Getz
1954 & 1956Lennie NiehausZounds! (Vol. 2 & 3: The Octet)Contemporary1958 LP release of both octet sessions prev. issued on 7" and 10"
1957Lennie NiehausI Swing for YouEmArcy
1960Anita O'DayIncomparable!Verve
1979Anita O'DayMello'dayGNP CrescendoLevy also arranger
1955Shorty Rogers & His GiantsMartians Stay HomeAtlanticReleased 1980
1955Shorty RogersMartians Come Back!Atlantic
1955Shorty RogersWay Up ThereAtlantic
1956Shorty RogersThe Big Shorty Rogers ExpressRCA Victor
1957Shorty RogersWherever the Five Winds BlowRCA Victor
1958Shorty RogersPortrait of ShortyRCA Victor
1960Shorty RogersThe Swingin' NutcrackerRCA Victor
1959Sonny StittSonny Stitt Blows the BluesVerve
1959Sonny StittSaxophone SupremacyVerve
1959Sonny StittSonny Stitt Swings the MostVerve
1960Sonny StittPreviously Unreleased RecordingsVerveReleased in 1973
1980Sonny Stitt & His West Coast FriendsGroovin' HighAtlasWith Art Pepper
1975SupersaxLive in '75 - The Japanese Tour Vol. 2HindsightReleased in 1999
1977SupersaxChasin' the BirdMPS/Pausa
1979SupersaxDynamite !!MPS/Pausa
1983Supersax & L.A. VoicesL.A.Columbia
1983SupersaxStone BirdColumbia
1993Bennie WallaceThe Old SongsAudioQuestLevy on two tracks
1985Pinky WintersLet's Be BuddiesJacquelineWith Monty Budwig


  1. Ratliff, Ben (31 January 2001). "Lou Levy, 72, Versatile Pianist For Top Singers in Jazz World". The New York Times.
  2. "Lou Levy | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
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