Norman Simmons

Pianist Norman Simmons is a superior arranger and good accompanist most famous for providing the hit arrangement of "Wade in the Water" for the Ramsey Lewis group.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 6, 1929, Simmons worked in the '50s and '60s for several vocalists, among them Dakota Staton, Ernestine Anderson, and Carmen McRae. He worked in 1960 with the Johnny Griffin-Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis group.

In 1979 Simmons became a regular pianist for Joe Williams, performing with the acclaimed vocalist through the 1990s. Following Williams' death in 1999, Simmons led his first session in quite some time, resulting in the 2000 Savant release Art of Norman Simmons. In 2002 he issued Synthesis, his second effort for Savant. In Private, a Savant date also featuring bassist Lisle Atkinson and drummer Paul Humphrey, arrived in 2004.

Ron Wynn -All Music Guide