Leroy “Lee” Lovett (1919-2013) was one of the top ranking musicians in his native Philadelphia, where he began studying piano at the age of five. He wrote arrangements for most of the top local dance bands in the midforties. He only left his hometown to enter the big dance band scene in New York around 1945, where he wrote for some of the best orchestras in town, and helped shape Cat
Anderson’s swinging big band in 1947.
Between 1949 and 1950 he played and recorded with the bands of Lucky Millinder and Big John Greer, and arranged for Tab Smith and Mercer Ellington. It was about then that Lovett decided to enter the recording field, and started handling sessions for Atlantic, Herald, Mercury, Columbia and RCA-Victor. In February 1951, he joined the new Johnny Hodges band that would become one of the finest jazz combos of the early ‘50s. The original group included such stellar...