- Category : Entertain-Music-Instrumentalist
- Type : GE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Laws 4
American hard bop jazz pianist. He came to prominence as a member of drummer Art Blakey's band before establishing a long career as a bandleader and composer. Many of his compositions have been adopted as jazz standards, including "Firm Roots", "Bolivia" and "Cedar's Blues".
From an early age, Walton began emulating recordings by Nat King Cole, Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. He played with the Jazztet, led by Benny Golson and Art Farmer, from 1958 to 1961. In April 1959, he recorded an alternate take of "Giant Steps" with John Coltrane, though he did not solo.
In the early 1960s, Walton joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers as a pianist-arranger for three years, demonstrating a keen sense of arranging in originals such as "Ugetsu" and "Mosaic". By the late 1960s he was part of the house rhythm section at Prestige Records, releasing his own recordings. He also recorded with Sonny Criss, Pat Martino, Eric Kloss, Charles McPherson, Abbey Lincoln, and Lee Morgan. During the mid-1970s, he led the funk group Mobius.
In January 2010, he was inducted into the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters.
Walton died on August 19, 2013, at his home in Brooklyn, New York at the age of 79.