Wade Legge (February 4, 1934, Huntington, West Virginia – August 29, 1963, Buffalo, New York) was an American jazz pianist and bassist.
Wade lived less than 30 years, his short career an impressive legacy of stimulating work and superb interaction with masters such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, and Charles Mingus. Legge was a fine bassist as well as pianist.
Wade Legge was born in 1934 in Huntington, West Virginia, but soon thereafter moved to Buffalo, New York with his parents, both of whom were musicians. Legge played more bass than piano in his early years, and it was with the bass that he was first noticed by Milt Jackson, who recommended him to Dizzy Gillespie. This led to a Legge up into Gillespie's combo, a good career move as this group was working steadily in the '50s. A half a month into the first tour, the story goes that Gillespie walked in on Legge playing piano and said "I'm switching you off bass." In another version, Legge got the job after showing the current pianist a hipper way to play a bridge. Legge stretched out in this group through 1954, getting his first opportunities to record as a trio leader when in France on Gillespie's dime.
He also did sessions with Joe Roland, Bill Hardman, Pepper Adams, Jimmy Knepper, and Jimmy Cleveland. Legge was one of three pianists recording as a member of the variously staffed Gryce/Byrd Jazz Lab Quintets in 1957.
In August 1963 Wade Legge died of a bleeding stomach ulcer. He was 29 years old.