Thursday, September 12, 2013

Obscure Jazz Guitar Great Ronnie Singer

Ever heard of Ronnie Singer? I hadn't. This amazing jazz guitarist apparently committed suicide at the tender age of 24. Not much music remains. The only stuff that remain of Ronnie are old live bootlegs recorded by Jimmy Gourley in New York from the 1950’s. A few clips clips are on Youtube. Outstanding bebop playing. Can't believe I never heard of him before ....  Sad story though. It reads: "Sadly Ronnie was a big heroin addict and he and his wife committed suicide by asphixia in a gas oven when he was only 24 years old."

And: "Ronnie Singer (ca. 1929 - ca. 1953) was a Chicagoan bebop guitarist. He played with great jazz players like saxophonists Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, trumpeter Red Rodney, guitarist Jimmy Gourley, pianist Lou Levy, drummer Al Levitt, etc. He moved to New York in the late forties / early fifties to play with clarinetist and band leader Artie Shaw.... A copy of the tapes (music below) belonged to the late great bebop guitarist Jimmy Gourley (from Saint Louis, Missouri), contemporary and friend of Ronnie Singer, who considered him as his greatest influence, ahead of Jimmy Raney and Charlie Christian."

More music here:

Source: Jamie Holroyd 


  1. Every tasteful bebop guitar lick right there, for the taking.

  2. After listening and reading more about Ronnie, I would like to say that I have always wondered why the guitar players never seemed to compete well with the rest of the band, but I can't say that about Ronnie. So tasteful and melodic. Take that you horn players. This is perfection in my book, could not be better. I can see why you like him, Dick, this is how it's done.