American jazz pianist (born March 16, 1930, Detroit, Michigan, USA –– died November 16, 2001, New York City, New York, USA).
Particularly remembered as an accompanist of Ella Fitzgerald and player on Giant Steps by John Coltrane. He played on a number of critically acclaimed recordings, such as Sonny Rollins' Saxophone Colossus, The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery , and Art Pepper's Straight Life .
Flanagan's style was both modest and exceptionally musical. He embodied many of the most important qualities associated with jazz: swing, harmonic sophistication, melodic invention, bluesy feel and humour. Interestingly, he appeared on a number of highly innovative albums. (His awkward solo, recorded on the extremely fast and harmonically complex title-track of Giant Steps, is an infamously rare instance of the usually unflappable pianist being caught off-guard.)
During his career, Flanagan was nominated for four Grammy Awards — two for Best Jazz Performance (Group) and two for Best Jazz Performance (Soloist).