Home > John Collins, 1985

The name John Collins is synonymous, with good taste in jazz. Having the tenacity to remain in jazz for more than 50 years is one thing and to continue as a major influence in his demanding art, is quite another.

John Collins has managed to do both, as few others before him have done. Born September 20, 1912, John Elbert Collins began his musical career at a very young age. His initial tutelage was under his mother, Georgia Gorham. John Collins was a professional guitarist by age 17 and began to accompany his mother in her musical bookings. His early style was most affected by two of his original inspirations, Charlie Christian and George Van Epps.

From his early days with Art Tatum, Lester Young, Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson and Dizzy Gillespie, he has continued to enhance every musical group, that he has been a part of including the golden years (1951-1965) with the Nat “King” Cole Trio.

John Collins list of credits read like a “Who’s Who” of jazz; recording with the likes of Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Lorez Alexandria, among countless others.

His first solo album, recorded in Paris, France, ‘The Incredible John Collins’ (Niva Records), is simply – marvelous.

We are sorry to report that John passed away 10-4-01.