Nat Towles

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Nat Towles (born August 10, 1905 in New Orleans , † January 1963 in Berkeley ) was an American jazz bassist and band leader.

Live and act

The son of bassist Phil "Charlie" Towles gained his first musical impressions from his father and first played guitar and violin before switching to bass. He had his first appearances with Gus Metcalf's Melody Jazz Band , after which he was engaged by musicians such as Buddie Petit , Red Allen and Jack Carey and performed with the Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra .

In 1923 he formed his first band, the Creole Harmony Kings , with whom he toured Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. During this time he also performed with the pianist Fate Marable . In 1929 he left New Orleans with Thomas Benton's band , but soon led his own group again. In 1934 he worked with the pianist Ethel Mays .

Since the mid-1930s Towles led the student band at Wiley College in Austin , Texas . In this role he had a formative influence on younger musicians such as the pianist Duke Groner and the trombonist Buddy McLewis .

With his own band he became a musician in the Dreamland Ballroom in Omaha in 1936 . The young Neal Hefti composed and arranged some pieces for the group. In the early 1940s Towles went on tour with his band again; a highlight was a performance in New York's Apollo Theater in 1943 .

In the mid-1950s, Towles settled in California, where he opened a bar in 1959 and died of a heart attack a few years later. A number of well-known jazz saxophonists emerged from his bands, including Jimmy Heath , Oliver Nelson , Buddy Tate , Paul Quinichette , Elvin Shepherd , Buster Bennett and Preston Love .

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