Mike Melvoin

Mike Melvoin - © www.opendoormanagement.com

born on 10/5/1937 in Oshkosh, WI, United States

died on 22/2/2012 in Burbank, CA, United States

Alias Michael Melvoin

Mike Melvoin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Mike Melvoin (May 10, 1937 – February 22, 2012) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. He served as chairman and president of The Recording Academy and worked as a prolific studio musician, recording with Frank Sinatra, John Lennon, The Jackson 5, Natalie Cole, and The Beach Boys. Melvoin was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for "All or Nothing at All" from his album It's Always You.[1]


Melvoin was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and began playing the piano at the age of three. He studied English at Dartmouth College, graduating in 1959, but decided to pursue a career in music.[2] After moving to Los Angeles in 1961, he played with Frank Rosolino, Leroy Vinnegar, Gerald Wilson, Paul Horn, Terry Gibbs, Joe Williams, Peggy Lee and others. He released his debut album as a bandleader, Keys to Your Mind, in 1966 on Liberty Records. Melvoin played in clubs in Los Angeles, and accompanied singer Bill Henderson and played with Herb Ellis and Plas Johnson on Concord Jazz releases.

Melvoin worked extensively as a studio musician, performing on the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (1966), Frank Sinatra's That's Life (1966), the Jackson 5's ABC (1970), John Lennon's "Stand by Me" (1975), Tom Waits' Nighthawks at the Diner (1975), and Barbra Streisand's "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" (1976). He worked in the early 1970s as a music director on The Partridge Family recordings, often playing keyboard, and also began composing for film and television including contributing scores to Fame and MacGyver.

His children, Wendy (of Prince's band The Revolution, and later of Wendy & Lisa), Susannah and Jonathan all became professional musicians.

Melvoin was the first active musician to serve as the head of NARAS. When NARAS introduced category changes to the Grammys in 2011, he opposed them.[3]

Melvoin died in Burbank, California on February 22, 2012 of cancer, at age 74.[3]


As leader

  • Keys to Your Mind (Liberty, 1966)
  • Between the Two (Liberty, 1968)
  • The Plastic Cow Goes Moooooog (Dot, 1970)
  • Redeye (Voss, 1988)
  • The Capitol Sessions (Naim, 1999)
  • Oh Baby (City Light, 2002)
  • It's Always You (City Light, 2003)
  • Like Jazz (City Light, 2003)
  • Playing the Word (City Light, 2006)
  • You Know (City Light, 2006)

As sideman

With Lucio Battisti

  • Io tu noi tutti (Numero Uno, 1977)

With Judy Collins

  • Who Knows Where the Time Goes (Elektra, 1968)

With Stan Getz

  • Children of the World (Columbia, 1979)

With Thelma Houston & Pressure Cooker

  • I've Got the Music in Me (Sheffield Lab, 1975)

With Milt Jackson

  • Memphis Jackson (Impulse!, 1969)

With Quincy Jones

  • The Hot Rock OST (Prophesy, 1972)

With Oliver Nelson

  • Sound Pieces (Impulse, 1966)

With Joe Pass

  • Guitar Interludes (Discovery, 1969)

With Rock Flowers

  • Rock Flowers (Wheel/RCA, 1971)
  • Naturally (Wheel/RCA, 1972)

With Lalo Schifrin

  • Music from Mission: Impossible (Dot, 1967)
  • More Mission: Impossible (Paramount, 1968)
  • Mannix (Paramount, 1968)
  • Bullitt (soundtrack) (Warner Bros., 1968)
  • Rock Requiem (Verve, 1971)
  • Gypsies (Tabu, 1978)

With Bud Shank

  • Bud Shank Plays Music from Today's Movies (World Pacific, 1967)

With Gábor Szabó

  • Light My Fire (Impulse!, 1967) with Bob Thiele
  • Wind, Sky and Diamonds (Impulse!, 1967)
  • 1969 (Skye, 1969)

With Leroy Vinnegar

  • Leroy Walks Again!! (Contemporary, 1963)
  • Jazz's Great Walker (Vee Jay, 1964)

With Tom Waits

  • Nighthawks at the Diner (Asylum, 1975)


  1. ^ Barker, Andrew (February 27, 2012). "Musician Mike Melvoin dies at 74". Variety. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Mike Melvoin Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
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