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Ernie Wilkins

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Name  Ernie Wilkins

Role  Musical Artist
Ernie Wilkins Ernie Wilkins Wikipedia

Died  June 5, 1999, Copenhagen, Denmark
Albums  Day In Day Out (Digitally Remastered)
Music group  Almost Big Band (1980 – 1991)
Similar People  Joe Newman, Marshal Royal, Osie Johnson, Manny Albam, Frank Wess

Savoy 1519 big maybelle with ernie wilkins orc jim

Ernest Brooks Wilkins Jr. (July 20, 1922 – June 5, 1999) was an American jazz saxophonist, conductor and arranger who spent several years with Count Basie. He also wrote for Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, and Dizzy Gillespie. He was musical director for albums by Cannonball Adderley, Dinah Washington, Oscar Peterson, and Buddy Rich.


Dinah washington tain t nobody s business if i do feat ernie wilkins and his orchestra

Early career

Wilkins was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In his early career he played in a military band, before joining Earl Hines's last big band. He worked with Count Basie from 1951 to 1955, eventually leaving to work free-lance as a jazz arranger and songwriter. His success declined in the 1960s, but revived after work with Clark Terry, leading to a tour of Europe.

Final years in Denmark

Eventually Wilkins settled in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he would live for the rest of his life. There he formed the Almost Big Band so he could write for a band of his own formation. The idea was partly inspired by his wife Jenny. Copenhagen had a thriving jazz scene with several promising jazz musicians as well as a well-established community of expatriate American jazz musicians which had formed in the 1950s and now included representatives like Kenny Drew and Ed Thigpen who joined the band along with Danish saxophonist Jesper Thilo. The band released four albums, but after 1991 he became too ill to do much with it. He died in Copenhagen.

Wilkins was responsible for orchestral arrangements on 1972's self-titled album by Alice Clark, on Mainstream Records, a highly sought-after collectible today.

Ernie Wilkins died on June 5, 1999 of a stroke.

Awards and honors

  • 1981 Ben Webster Prize
  • Wilkins has a street named after him in southern Copenhagen, "Ernie Wilkins Vej" (eng. Ernie Wilkins Street).


  • Ernie Wilkins-Kenny Clarke Septet (Savoy, 1955)
  • Flutes & Reeds (Savoy, 1955)
  • Top Brass (Savoy, 1955)
  • Trumpet Album (Savoy, 1955)
  • The Drum Suite (RCA Victor, 1956) with Manny Albam
  • Day In, Day Out (1960)
  • The Big New Band of the '60s (Fresh Sound, 1960)
  • Here Comes the Swingin' Mr. Wilkins (Everest, 1960)
  • Ernie Wilkins & the Almost Big Band (Storyville, 1980)
  • Almost Big Band Live (Matrix Music Marketing, 1981)
  • Live! At the Slukefter Jazz Club (Matrix Music Marketing, 1981)
  • Montreux (SteepleChase, 1983)
  • On the Roll (SteepleChase, 1986)
  • Kaleidoduke (Polygram, 1995)
  • Hard Mother Blues (P-Vine, 2007)
  • Kinda Dukish (Gazell, 2012)
  • As sideman/arranger

    With Count Basie

  • The Count! (Clef, 1952 [1955])
  • Basie Jazz (Clef, 1952 [1954])
  • Dance Session (Clef, 1953)
  • Dance Session Album#2 (Clef, 1954)
  • Basie (Clef, 1954)
  • With Louis Bellson

  • Let's Call It Swing (Verve, 1957)
  • Drummer's Holiday (Verve, 1958)
  • With Maynard Ferguson

  • Maynard '63 (Roulette, 1962)
  • With Dizzy Gillespie

  • Jazz Recital (Norgran, 1955)
  • World Statesman (Norgran, 1956)
  • Dizzy in Greece (Verve, 1957)
  • With Al Grey

  • Struttin' and Shoutin' (Columbia, 1976 [1983])
  • With Joe Newman

  • All I Wanna Do Is Swing (RCA Victor, 1955)
  • Soft Swingin' Jazz (Coral, 1958)
  • As composer/arranger

    With Ernestine Anderson

  • My Kinda Swing (Mercury, 1960)
  • With Count Basie

  • Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings (Clef, 1955) with Joe Williams
  • April in Paris (Verve, 1956)
  • Metronome All-Stars 1956 (Clef, 1956) with Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Williams
  • One O'Clock Jump (Verve, 1957) with Joe Williams and Ella Fitzgerald
  • Me and You (Pablo, 1983)
  • With Ray Brown

  • Ray Brown with the All-Star Big Band (Verve, 1962)
  • With Jimmy Cleveland

  • Cleveland Style (EmArcy, 1958)
  • A Map of Jimmy Cleveland (Mercury, 1959)
  • With Al Cohn

  • The Natural Seven (RCA Victor, 1955)
  • That Old Feeling (RCA Victor, 1955)
  • With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

  • Trane Whistle (Prestige, 1960)
  • With Maynard Ferguson

  • Maynard '62 (Roulette, 1962)
  • With Dizzy Gillespie

  • Birks' Works (Verve, 1957)
  • With Freddie Green

  • Mr. Rhythm (RCA Victor, 1955)
  • With Milt Jackson

  • Big Bags (Riverside, 1962)
  • With Harry James

  • Wild About Harry! (Capitol T-874/ST-874, 1957)
  • The New James (Capitol T-1037/ST-1037, 1958)
  • Harry's Choice! (Capitol T-1093/ST-1093, 1958)
  • Harry James and His New Swingin' Band (MGM E-3778/SE-3778, 1959)
  • Harry James...Today! (MGM E-3848/SE-3848, 1960)
  • The Spectacular Sound Of Harry James (MGM E-3897/SE-3897, 1961)
  • The Solid Gold Trumpet Of Harry James (MGM E-4058/SE-4058, 1962)
  • Harry James Twenty-fifth Anniversary Album (MGM E-4214/SE-4214, 1964)
  • The King James Version (Sheffield Lab LAB 3, 1976)
  • Comin' From A Good Place (Sheffield Lab LAB 6, 1977)
  • With Quincy Jones

  • The Great Wide World of Quincy Jones (Mercury, 1959)
  • With Sam Jones

  • Down Home (Riverside, 1962)
  • With Charles McPherson

  • Siku Ya Bibi (Day of the Lady) (Mainstream, 1972)
  • Today's Man (Mainstream, 1973)
  • With Joe Newman

  • The Count's Men (Jazztone, 1955)
  • Salute to Satch (RCA Victor, 1956)
  • I Feel Like a Newman (Storyville, 1956)
  • The Midgets (Vik, 1956)
  • The Happy Cats (Coral, 1957)
  • Joe Newman with Woodwinds (Roulette, 1958)
  • With Herb Pomeroy

  • The Band and I (United Artists, 1958) with Irene Kral
  • With Sarah Vaughan and the Count Basie Orchestra

  • Count Basie/Sarah Vaughan (Roulette, 1960)
  • With Dinah Washington

  • In the Land of Hi-Fi (EmArcy, 1956)
  • With Charles Williams

  • Stickball (Mainstream, 1972)
  • Dizzy gillespie and ernie wilkins almost big band from 1983 in the tivoli gardens

    Ernie wilkins top brass and trumpets all out


    Ernie Wilkins Wikipedia

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