One of the most popular jazz musicians of his day who experimented with style and sound to create standards like "Freedom Jazz Dance" and "Listen Here."
Some of his early work was a jazz take on the theme from the movie Exodus. It became a widely popular radio piece which, to his critics, meant he sold out.
He continued mixing jazz with funk, earning acclaim from both commercial markets and criticism for such popularity.
He was born in Chicago, Illinois.
In his first professional job, he got to play piano on sessions with Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and other jazz greats.