Bob Corwin's first half-century of jazz piano begins with him furtively following the swaying palms of progressive bebop mastermind Lennie Tristano but winds up in a more relaxed mode with Corwin seemingly taking it easy under the swaying trees in Palm Springs. Biographers are fond of mentioning the musical influences from within the Corwin family -- a father who played piano for silent movies, a brother who played in big bands -- without mentioning the actual name of either party. As for the brother, scholars attempting to establish the existence of family dynasties in the jazz scene may want to hold off. The only people named Corwin who show up on jazz discographies besides the pianist are Carl Corwin, a reed player in mostly Latin bands, and Scott Corwin, an R&B drummer. Both became active in the '80s, and neither appear to be actually related to Bob Corwin. If there was a brother, he apparently didn't play on too many records.
Bob Corwin's major musical cachet is a solo album entitled Quartet, recorded for Riverside in 1956. He has continued to star in the occasional project; in 1997, he and singing partner Shari Lynn put out Miss You, Mr. Mercer, a tribute to the great songwriter Johnny Mercer. Corwin's feel for the composers most favored by jazz improvisers was part of his excellent rapport with leaders with whom he made fine recordings, such as trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker and singer Anita O'Day. He also collaborated regularly with multi-instrumentalist Don Elliott, one of the first bandleaders to offer Corwin stage time after he completed his studies. The pianist's associates in his later Palm Springs years include Danny Flahive, with whom he performs standards in a duo setting. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi