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, best known as a pianist and percussionist.

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). 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. His vibraphone and conga drum playing were notable, but it was as a pianist that he became best known.[]

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.[2] 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, working 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.[3] In 2009, he was inducted in the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.[4]

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."[5]

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


As leader

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 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. ^ See Bob Belden's liner notes to the 2005 reissue of Seven Steps to Heaven. Columbia/Legacy CK 93592
  3. ^ "British-Born Jazz Prodigy Victor Feldman Dies". Los Angeles Times. 14 May 1987. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "The Music of Peter Gunn (Original Soundtrack)". AllMusic. Retrieved . 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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