Funeral set for May 10.
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Trumpeter Benny Bailey, who played with Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton before he became a fixture on the European jazz scene, has died in his home in Amsterdam, friends said today (May 3). He was 79.
Bailey, who lived alone, died April 14 of unknown causes, but the death was announced only on Friday by city officials. U.S. authorities located and notified his family Saturday in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and in Europe, said Rene Van Beeck, a Dutch jazz bassist.
The funeral, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was delayed until May 10 to allow family members to arrive.
Bailey was still active and touring frequently. "I had a gig scheduled with him in two weeks. He was playing the whole time," said Van Beeck. "He was still in great condition. He was doing a lot of tours in Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Norway."
Bailey was best known for his explosive solos on the 1970 album, "Swiss Movement," with Eddie Harris and Les McCann.
Born in Cleveland on Aug. 13, 1925, Ernest Harold Bailey played R&B after studying at the Cleveland Conservatory of Music, but found his niche in bop. He joined Gillespie in 1947, then played five years with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra.
He left Hampton during a European tour in 1953 and decided to stay, spending many years in Sweden with Harry Arnold's big band.
In the late 1950s, he recorded with Stan Getz and Quincy Jones, returning briefly with Jones to America in 1960. He returned to Europe and worked mainly in radio and recording studios in Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere. He toured with many bands, and in 1986 became a member of the Paris Reunion Band.
In 2000, he recorded "The Satchmo Legacy," an album that Van Beeck said was among Bailey's finest work.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.