Warner Seals

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This artist played tenor saxophone in jazz bands for most of his life. His wife, Gladys Seals (who lived to be 100 years old), was also a saxophone player, favoring the alto. Neither Seals left much in…
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This artist played tenor saxophone in jazz bands for most of his life. His wife, Gladys Seals (who lived to be 100 years old), was also a saxophone player, favoring the alto. Neither Seals left much in the way of an imprint in terms of recordings. Discographers have sorted out at least one recording session involving Warner Seals that took place in 1927. Gladys Seals belonged to the musicians' union in New York City as well as Harlem's New Amsterdam Music Society, but doesn't seem to have made any recordings at all.

Warner Seals began playing in a trio in his hometown of Huntington, WV, while still a teenager. He turned professional after landing a gig on a cruise ship. Subsequently, the saxophonist was part of historic jazz bands such as Tom Howard's Melody Lads, Joe Steward's Band, and Marion Hardy's Alabamians. The latter outfit brought Seals in contact with jazz genius when the great pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton took over its leadership in the late '20s. The group shifted its base of operations to New York City and Seals remained there for the balance of his life.

Prior to shifting down to part-time music happenings, Seals was associated with players such as the fine violinist Eddie South. In the '40s Seals took a day job manning the reception post for a Wall Street broker, continuing to play jazz well into the '60s. He, too, became involved in the New Amsterdam Music Society, at one point serving as corresponding secretary. Warner Seals died in the '70s. Gladys Seals, who worked for many years as a cashier, survived until 2002.