Milt Buckner had a dual career. As a pianist, he largely invented the "locked hands" style (parallel chords) that was adopted by many other players including George Shearing and Oscar Peterson. And as an organist, he was one of the top pre-Jimmy Smith stylists, helping to popularize the instrument.
The younger brother of altoist Ted Buckner (who played with Jimmie Lunceford), Milt Buckner grew up in Detroit and gigged locally, in addition to arranging for McKinney's Cotton Pickers in 1934. He came to fame as pianist and arranger with Lionel Hampton (1941-1948, 1950-1952, and occasionally in later years) where he was a crowd pleaser. During 1948-1950, Buckner led his own bands and, after 1952, he generally played organ with trios or quartets. In later years, he sometimes teamed up with Illinois Jacquet or Jo Jones. Buckner recorded many dates as a leader, particularly for Black & Blue in the 1970s.
- by Scott Yanow
All Music Group