Jazz artist whose chord voicings and musicality were influenced by Thelonious Monk and the hard bop, post-bop genres.
He was stationed at West Point in New York after being drafted in 1943 by the Army. This placed him square in the middle of the New York jazz club scene.
His career fell apart in 1963 after a drug overdose caused a breakdown. He rebounded and went on to have a productive second career.
His parents did not approve of his interest in jazz, and he ended up taking classical piano lessons from the time he was seven until the age of 16.
He served as Billie Holiday's accompanist during her final years.