Thursday, July 19, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Oscar Pettiford
Album:The Oscar Pettiford Sextet
Along with Charles Mingus, Oscar Pettiford was the top bassist in bebop's formative years. He was born Sept. 30, 1922 in Okmulgee, OK. He learned piano as a child but switched to bass at age 14 and played in a family band. He was with Charlie Barnet's band in 1942 but became famous in jazz circles for his days with Coleman Hawkins in the mid 40s. He succeeded Jimmy Blanton as Duke Ellington's bassist from 1945-48. In the 50s, he recorded as a sideman and a leader. This 1954 recording is part of a series he did for the French Vogue label. Burt's Pad was written by French pianist Henri Renaud. He travelled to the US to produce jazz albums for Vogue and led The Birdlanders. It was released in the US on Debut and Prestige released a version at one time. The current CD release is on the Vogue label through RCA. Other musicians incluse Al Cohn on tenor sax, Kai Winding on trombone, Tal Farlow on guitar and Max Roach on drums. The whole Vogue series is worth seeking out. Oscar Pettiford played in Thelonious Monk's band in 1955-56. He moved to Copenhagen in 1958 and died on Sept. 8, 1960 at age 37. There's no telling what Pettiford could have done if he had lived. I've posted this clip from the 1945 film The Crimson Canary before but it's the only known footage of Oscar Pettiford in action along with Coleman Hawkins & Howard McGhee.