Catlett first studied saxophone and clarinet in Seattle, then switched to the double bass as the main instrument. As a saxophonist he began his career in the band of Bumps Blackwell, which included Quincy Jones , Ernestine Anderson and Ray Charles around 1950 . In the early 1950s, the bass became his main instrument; he then played with Horace Henderson 1956/57, Johnny Smith 1958/59, and Cal Tjader 1959. With the Quincy Jones Big Band he then went on a European tour in 1959/60 ( Freeand Easy ); in the 1960s he played with Curtis Fuller / Freddie Hubbard , Junior Mance , Chico Hamilton , Johnny Griffin and Eddie Lockjaw Davis . From 1961 to 1964 he was a member of the Count Basie Orchestra ; 1964/65 he was a member of the Maynard Ferguson Big Band. In 1965 he appeared with Coleman Hawkins and Barry Harris in New York's Five Spot . In the second half of the 1960s he was one of Louis Armstrong's All Stars, but also played with Roy Eldridge , Roland Hanna and Tyree Glenn . In the 1970s he worked as a freelance musician in New York. In 1978 he returned to Seattle, where he worked from then on as a bassist and saxophonist with local groups, including Michael Bisio , but also performed with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (album SRJO Live , 2002).
In the course of his career, Catlett has also worked on recordings by Bill Coleman ( From Boogie to Funk , 1960), Ella Fitzgerald ( Ella and Basie , 1963), Benny Bailey , Coleman Hawkins ( Wrapped Tight , Impulse 1965), Frank Wess , Mel Tormé and Phil Woods with. In 1991 he was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame .
- Richard Cook & Brian Morton : The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings , Penguin, London 2006 ISBN 0-141-02327-9 (8th ed.)
- Leonard Feather , Ira Gitler : The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press, New York 1999, ISBN 0-19-532000-X .
- Literature by and about Buddy Catlett in the catalog of the German National Library
- Buddy Catlett at Allmusic (English)
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Catlett, George James (real name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||American jazz bassist and saxophonist|
|DATE OF BIRTH||May 13, 1933|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Long Beach , California|
|DATE OF DEATH||November 12, 2014|
|Place of death||Seattle , Washington|