[Dixielandjazz] Pianist Jack Keller, RIP
Mon, 30 Sep 2002 14:01:19 -0400
It is with sorrow and regret that I have to let you know that Jack
Keller, who suffered a stroke a month or so ago, went into a coma on
Friday and died yesterday.
Jack was one of the great jazz players. A New Yorker, he started on
trombone and played 'bone in an Army band with Billy Butterfield. Before
he came to Florida after WWII, he was on the "Tonight Show" band with
Doc Severinsen and did a lot of arranging for him.
For years, Jack was the pianist on Don Goldie's band, working with
clarinetist Ernie Goodson, trombonist Hank Bredenberg, bassist Mark
Trail and drummer "Red" Hawley. He was with Don on many appearances on
the Miami PBS TV station, and was Butter's choice for a TV special
called "Some of That Jazz". For a couple of months, he worked with my
River Liffey Saloon Jazz Band at Dicey Riley's in Fort Lauderdale, and
was chosen by leaders of several first rate pickup bands that have been
featured at Hot Jazz & Alligator Gumbo Society sessions.
Jack was a kind and gentle person. He looked for all the world like a
benign Baptist preacher. His playing was more modern than traditional
Dixieland because he possessed both an incomparable knowledge of chords
and structure and had the facility to play any great idea that came into
A memorial service will be held for Jack at T.M. Ralph Funeral Home,
72nd Avenue at 4th Street, in Plantation, Florida (suburban Fort
Lauderdale) from 5 to 8 pm on Wednesday October 2.
Jack is survived by wife Peggy, daughter Rosemary, son Brad - another