South African expatriate multi-instrumental jazz musician Johnny Dyani wrote a song called "Musician's Musician." It appears on at least two albums I know of.

The title sounds as though it might be a tribute to someone. Does anyone know whom?

EDIT: for reference, some Dyani versions:

  • @JohnnyBones: Why the jazz tag? This question is not about the genre.
    – unor
    Apr 8 '15 at 18:32
  • 1
    Because it's about a Jazz musician, and if someone is filtering by the Jazz tag they might know the musician in question.
    – Johnny Bones
    Apr 8 '15 at 19:09
  • @JohnnyBones: I see. I created a Meta discussion on how we want to use such genre tags. Maybe you want to chime in :)
    – unor
    Apr 9 '15 at 21:00
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    Johnny Dyani had a great admiration for Charles Mingus, but on the album Mbizo where I think "Musician's Musician" first appeared, there is also a song called "Dedicated To Mingus". So probably not him. On another albums there are other specific dedications to musicians : "Saud (Dedicated To McCoy Tyner", and "Dedicated Abdullah Ibrahim". a mystery indeed.
    – Angst
    Mar 23 '17 at 21:34

I believe the reference is to Thelonious Monk. The opening phrases of "Musician's Musician" are very close to the opening phrases of "Ask Me Now," by Monk. The comparison is heard readily with the solo piano version of "Ask Me Now" on "Solo Monk."

  • interesting! Thanks for the suggestion. It seems like a reasonable description of Monk, and I hear it in the very first phrase. Since it's not a cover, maybe not surprising that it goes elsewhere right after, though. I'd be interested in something more definitive if it can be found... Feb 4 '19 at 17:07
  • Monk was definitely a textbook "musician's musician" (a person whose reputation is top rank among fellow musicians, but whose popular appeal to the general audience is limited, often because their work is complex or challenging or obscure). In fact, he was even described that way by Steve Allen. Feb 4 '19 at 17:35

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