Ken Chaney, a long-standing Chicago jazz musician and educator, died last Wednesday at the age of 73.
Chaney's reputation among his fellow musicians is stellar: Everyone praises his musicianship and attitude.
"Ken Chaney was one of the best musicians I ever worked with. And Chaney was cool," said drummer Isaac "Red" Holt.
Holt hired Chaney to play in his group Young-Holt Unlimited in the late 1960s. They had a hit with the song "Soulful Strut."
Chaney was born in Edmonton, Alberta and came to Chicago in the mid-1950s. After leaving Holt’s group in the 1970s, he went on to form and lead his own ensembles, including The Awakening.
Holt said Chaney's musical talents were all over the map.
"Later on he was known as a bebop player because he had the bebop brass around him. But Ken Chaney was a versatile piano player. He could play whatever you wanted to play," Holt said.