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Oscar Pettiford

Oscar Pettiford was (along with Charles Mingus) the top bassist of the 1945-1960 period, and the successor to the late Jimmy Blanton. In addition, he was the first major jazz soloist on the cello. A bop pioneer, it would have been very interesting to hear what Pettiford would have done during the avant-garde '60s if he had not died unexpectedly in 1960. After starting on piano, Pettiford switched to bass when he was 14 and played in a family band. He played with Charlie Barnet's band in 1942 as one of two bassists (the other was Chubby Jackson) and then hit the big time in 1943, participating on Coleman Hawkins' famous "The Man I Love" session; he also recorded with Earl Hines and Ben Webster during this period. Pettiford co-led an early bop group with Dizzy Gillespie in 1944, and in 1945 went with Coleman Hawkins to the West Coast, appearing on one song in the film The Crimson Canary with Hawkins and Howard McGhee. Pettiford was part of Duke Ellington's orchestra during much of 1945-1948 (fulfilling his role as the next step beyond Jimmy Blanton), and worked with Woody Herman in 1949. Throughout the 1950s, he mostly worked as a leader (on bass and occasional cello), although he appeared on many records both as a sideman and a leader, including with Thelonious Monk in 1955-1956. After going to Europe in 1958, he settled in Copenhagen where he worked with local musicians, plus Stan Getz, Bud Powell, and Kenny Clarke. Among Pettiford's better-known compositions are "Tricotism," "Laverne Walk," "Bohemia After Dark," and "Swingin' Till the Girls Come Home." ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Lost Tapes

2. Sophisticated Lady

3. A Smooth One

4. O.P.

5. Minor Plus A Major

8. My Little Cello

9. The Nearness Of You

12. Blues In The Closet

13. Big Hassle

14. Atlantic

15. All The Things You Are

x

Track List: Chronological Classics: Oscar Pettiford 1951-54

1. Swingin' Till The Girls Come

2. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen

3. Cello Again

4. Ah-Dee-Dong Blues (Oriental Cello Blues)

5. Sonny Boy

6. I'm Beginning To See The Light

7. Too Marvelous For Words

8. Monti Cello

9. In A Cello Mood

10. Blues In The Closet

11. Tamalpais

12. The Pendulum At Falcon's Lair

13. Jackthe Fieldstalker

14. Stockholm Sweetnin'

15. Low And Behold

16. Burt's Pad

17. Marcel The Furrier

18. Ondine

19. Stardust

x

Track List: First Bass

1. Too Marvelous For Words

2. Monticello

3. In A Cello Mood

4. Blues In The Closet

7. Willow Weep For Me

9. Bohemia After Dark

10. The Laverne Walk

11. Stardust

12. All The Things You Are

14. Why Not, That's What

x

Track List: The New Oscar Pettiford Sextet

1. Pendulum At Falcon's Lair

2. Tamalpais Love Song

3. Jack The Fieldstalker

5. Stockholm Sweetnin'

6. Low And Behold

7. I Succumb To Temptation

x

Track List: Another One

1. Kamman's A' Comin'

2. Minor Seventh Heaven

3. Stardust

4. Bohemia After Dark

5. Oscalypso

6. Scorpio

7. Titoro

9. Another One

Comments

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great
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poppa_bear49
PETTIFORD... B A S S ! ! ! What more can be said?
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Pettiford... m u s i c , Brown...musi c , this is where it all comes from...FANTA S T I C ! !
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monti cello! this stuff is dope!!!
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Gotta' love it.
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Pettiford, Brown, Mingus. From them, I sensed their gift of time and space and timbe. So in 1953, I walked away from piano and drums and stood proud with a fretted bass mandolin (the size of a Kay bass). Next was a Kay and later, of course, the bass guitar - fretless toucan and fretted Epiphone. Still playin' at 70, Mr. Pettiford. Thanks for your inspiration and time within time.
D. Gilbert

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