Victor Feldman
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Victor Feldman

Victor Feldman
Victor Feldman 1976.jpg
Feldman in San Francisco, 1976
Background information
Victor Stanley Feldman
Born (1934-04-07)7 April 1934
Edgware, London, England
Died 12 May 1987(1987-05-12) (aged 53)
Woodland Hills, California, United States
Genres Jazz
Instruments Vibraphone, drums, percussion, piano
Miles Davis, Lighthouse All-Stars, Steely Dan

Victor Stanley Feldman (7 April 1934 - 12 May 1987) was an English jazz musician who played mainly piano, vibraphone and percussion.

He began performing professionally during childhood, eventually earning acclaim in the UK jazz scene as an adult. Feldman immigrated to the United States in the mid-1950s, where he continued working in jazz and also as a session musician with a variety of pop and rock performers.

Early history

Feldman caused a sensation as a musical prodigy when he was "discovered", aged seven. His family were all musical and his father founded the Feldman Swing Club in London in 1942 to showcase his talented sons.[1] Feldman's first professional appearance was playing drums at No. 1 Rhythm Club as a member of the Feldman Trio with brothers Robert on clarinet and Monty on piano accordion. He featured in the films King Arthur Was a Gentleman (1942) and Theatre Royal (1943). In 1944 he was featured at a concert with Glenn Miller's AAAF band, as "Kid Krupa" (in reference to drummer Gene Krupa).[2] His drums teacher Carlo Krahmer encouraged Feldman to play the vibraphone which he did first in the Ralph Sharon Sextet and later in the Roy Fox band. He worked in India in 1952 and 1953 in a band led by pianist Eddie Carroll. He was a notable percussionist, but it was as a pianist and vibraphone player that he became best known.[3]

Later jazz and US session work

Before leaving the UK in 1955 to work in the US, Feldman recorded with Ronnie Scott's orchestra and quintet from 1954 to 1955, which also featured other important British jazz musicians such as Phil Seamen and Hank Shaw. It was Scott who recommended that Feldman emigrate to the US, which he did in 1957. Once there, his first steady work was with the Woody Herman Herd. From there he went on to join Buddy DeFranco. In 1958, he had his own working band on the west coast, which included the innovative bassist Scott LaFaro. His 1958 Album The Arrival of Victor Feldman includes LaFaro and Stan Levey on drums. He recorded with many jazz artists, including Benny Goodman, George Shearing, Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis, most notably on Davis' 1963 album Seven Steps to Heaven, the title tune being his own composition. Davis invited Feldman to join his group full-time, but Feldman declined, preferring the stability of studio work to the career of a touring musician.[4] The 5-CD Shelly Manne Black Hawk set, originally released on LP in September 1959, is a good representation of Feldman's unmistakable driving "comping" behind the soloists, helping to define the session as a valuable hard bop genre element.

In 1957 Feldman settled in Los Angeles permanently and then specialised in lucrative session work for the US film and recording industry. He also branched out to work with a variety of musicians outside of jazz, recording with artists such as Frank Zappa in 1967, Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell in the 1970s and Tom Waits and Joe Walsh in the 1980s. Feldman died at his home, aged 53, following a heart attack.[5] In 2009, he was inducted in the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.[6]

Feldman's vibraphone soloing is featured extensively on the Grammy Award-winning The Music from Peter Gunn, with AllMusic writing, "There's some particularly impressive work by drummer Shelly Manne and vibes player Victor Feldman, whose cool, understated playing seems to deliberately recall that of Milt Jackson."[7]

It is Victor Feldman's percussion work on Steely Dan's song "Do It Again" that gives the song its Latin groove.


As leader

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1948-54 The Young Vic Esquire With various
1955 Suite Sixteen Tempo Some quartet; some septet; some big band
1956 Victor Feldman in London, Vol 1 Tempo Some tracks quartet with Terry Shannon (piano), Pete Blannin and Lennie Bush (bass; separately), Phil Seamen (drums); one track quartet with Dizzy Reece (trumpet), Bush (bass), Seamen (drums)
1956 Transatlantic Alliance Tempo With various
1956-57 Victor Feldman in London, Vol 2 Tempo With various
1957 Vic Feldman on Vibes Mode Most tracks quartet, with Carl Perkins (piano), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), Stan Levey (drums); some tracks sextet, with Frank Rosolino (trombone), Harold Land (tenor sax) added
1958 The Arrival of Victor Feldman Contemporary Trio, with Scott LaFaro (bass), Stan Levey (drums)
1959 Latinsville! Contemporary With various
1960-61 Merry Olde Soul Riverside Most tracks trio, with Sam Jones and Andy Simpkins (bass; separately), Louis Hayes (drums); some tracks quartet, with Hank Jones (piano) added
1962 Stop the World I Want to Get Off World Pacific Trio, with Bob Whitlock (bass), Lawrence Marable (drums)
1962 A Taste of Honey and a Taste of Bossa Nova Infinity Some tracks quartet with Nino Tempo (tenor sax), Bob Whitlock (bass), Colin Bailey (drums); some tracks quartet with Buddy Collette (tenor sax, flute), Leroy Vinnegar (bass), Ron Jefferson (drums); some tracks quintet, with Clifford Scott (flute, tenor sax), Laurindo Almeida (guitar), Al McKibbon (bass), Chico Guerrero (drums)
1962 Soviet Jazz Themes va Some tracks sextet with Harold Land (tenor sax), Nat Adderley (cornet), Joe Zawinul (piano), Bob Whitlock (bass), Frank Butler (drums); some tracks sextet with Land (tenor sax), Carmell Jones (trumpet), Herb Ellis (guitar), Whitlock (bass), Butler (drums)
1964 Love Me with All Your Heart Vee Jay With unknown others
1964 It's a Wonderful World Vee Jay Quartet, with Bill Perkins (flute), Monty Budwig (bass), Colin Bailey (drums)
1965 His Own Sweet Way Ronnie Scott's Jazz House Trio, with Rick Laird (bass), Ronnie Stephenson (drums); in concert
1967 Victor Feldman Plays Everything in Sight Pacific Jazz Feldman plays all instruments
1967 The Venezuela Joropo Pacific Jazz Most tracks with Bill Perkins (flute, alto flute), Dorothy Remson (harp), Emil Richards (vibes, marimba), Al Hendrickson (guitar), Max Bennett (bass), Larry Bunker (timbales), Milt Holland (maracas, percussion); some tracks with Perkins (flute, alto flute), Dennis Budimir (guitar), Monty Budwig (bass), Colin Bailey (drums)
1970? Smooth TBA As Victor Feldman's Generation Band
1973? Your Smile with Larance Marable, Bob Whitlock
1973? Seven Steps to Heaven Choice Quartet, with Tom Scott (alto sax, tenor sax, flute, alto flute), Chuck Domanico (bass), John Guerin (drums)
1977? The Artful Dodger Concord With Jack Sheldon (trumpet, vocals), Monty Budwig and Chuck Domanico (bass; separately); Colin Bailey (drums)
1977? In My Pocket
1978 Together Again Yupiteru with Monty Budwig (bass), Shelly Manne (drums)
1982? Soft Shoulder Nautilus As Generation Band; with various
1982? Secret of the Andes Palo Alto With Hubert Laws (flute), Lee Ritenour (guitar), Abraham Laboriel (electric bass), Harvey Mason (drums), Alex Acua and Milt Holland (percussion)
1983 To Chopin with Love Highlight Trio, with John Patitucci (bass), Trevor Feldman (drums)
1984? Call of the Wild As Generation Band; with various
1984 Fiesta TBA With Chuck Mangione (flugelhorn, trumpet), Chick Corea (keyboards), Dianne Reeves (vocals)
1985? High Visibility As Victor Feldman's Generation Band; with various

Main source:[9]

As sideman

With Pepper Adams

With Cannonball Adderley

With Nat Adderley

With Curtis Amy

With James Clay

With Bob Cooper

With Miles Davis

With The Doobie Brothers

With The Free Movement

With Woody Herman

With Paul Horn

With Milt Jackson

With J. J. Johnson

With Plas Johnson

With Quincy Jones

With Sam Jones

With Stan Kenton

  • Hair (Capitol, 1969)

With Barney Kessel

With John Klemmer

With Henry Mancini

With Shelly Manne

With Carmen McRae

With Blue Mitchell

With Oliver Nelson

With Art Pepper and Zoot Sims

With Sonny Rollins

With Lalo Schifrin

With Bud Shank

With Boz Scaggs

With Steely Dan

With Joni Mitchell

With James Taylor

With Gino Vannelli

With Harold Vick

With Leroy Vinnegar

With Tom Waits

With Gerald Wilson


  1. ^ Barbara Feldman (16 September 1995). "100 Oxford Street - Arts & Entertainment". The Independent. Retrieved 2012. 
  2. ^ "British-Born Jazz Prodigy Victor Feldman Dies". Los Angeles Times. 1987-05-14. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ Jazz, All About. "Victor Feldman - Part 1: The Arrival". All About Jazz. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ See Bob Belden's liner notes to the 2005 reissue of Seven Steps to Heaven. Columbia/Legacy CK 93592
  5. ^ "British-Born Jazz Prodigy Victor Feldman Dies". Los Angeles Times. 14 May 1987. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The Music of Peter Gunn (Original Soundtrack)". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ "Victor Feldman". Discogs. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ "Victor Feldman Catalog". Retrieved 2018. 

External links

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