Oscar Pettiford

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Oscar Pettiford, appearance at the New York jazz club Aquarium, approx. November 1946.
Photograph by William P. Gottlieb .

Oscar Collins Pettiford (born September 30, 1922 in Okmulgee , Oklahoma , † September 8, 1960 in Copenhagen ) was a jazz musician , arranger and composer who played the double bass and cello and is considered one of the most important musicians of modern jazz . Oscar Pettiford, known as OP by his colleagues, was a pioneer of bebop with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie . Like Jimmy Blanton (whose legitimate successor he was considered to be in New York in the 1950s) and like Charles Mingus , he helped make the double bass a solo instrument in jazz. In 1950 he also introduced the cello, to which he transferred the pizzicato playing of the bass, as a solo instrument to jazz.


Early years

Oscar Pettiford, whose family both African-American has and Indian roots was the son of a veterinarian Harry "Doc" Pettiford and a music teacher in an Indian Reservation born. His mother was a Choctaw , and his father was half Cherokee and half African American.

The disused Minneapolis train station

However, the family moved to Minneapolis when Pettiford was three years old. His father gave up his job as a veterinarian and founded an orchestra to which his wife and all eleven children belonged over time. Pettiford sang in this band, played the piano from 1933 and bass from 1936 and toured the US Midwest with this family orchestra until 1941 , when the ensemble disbanded through the marriage of their daughters. Down Beat magazine mentioned the Swing City and Pettiford family band in 1938 , which was a high school student attraction. His brothers Ira and Alonzo later played with Jay McShann ; his sister Marjorie (1916–1986) alto saxophone with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm . Oscar's older sister Leontine played an important role in this group. She played piano and woodwind and wrote most of the arrangements. The bassist later recalled an early encounter with Duke Ellington :

“One night Duke Ellington heard me at an after-hour jam session and he approached me and asked if I would like to join his band. That was before Blanton. But I was only 14 or 15 then and that was against the law as it was then. I couldn't play with him like that. Then when I was 17 I heard Jimmy Blanton. I was crazy about him. [...] Then when Blanton died, that was the trigger for me to come out and get things moving. I was impressed by Blanton - and by Adolphus Alsbrook , a bass player from Minneapolis. "

In March 1937, two musicians of the Cab Calloway Orchestra, Milt Hinton and Ben Webster , became aware of the young Pettiford when they heard the fourteen-year-old bassist at a session after their show. They immediately invited Pettiford to come to the theater so that the other musicians could hear him.

Oscar played in Minnesota University's boogie woogie club in his spare time . In September 1939 he took part in a jam session at the Harlem Breakfast Club in Minneapolis and played with Jerry Jerome , Charlie Christian and the pianist Frankie Hines. (" I Got Rhythm "). In 1942 he appeared in a trio at a concert organized by Dimitri Mitropoulos , conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra . The three musicians wrote a piece for it called "Beat Me, Dimitri". That year he also met Coleman Hawkins , to whose guest appearance in Duluth he had traveled with his bass. During the sound check he met the saxophonist who asked him to play for him. Hawkins was impressed and invited the young bassist to play along that evening. He and Pettiford had been friends since then.

After working for some time in local orchestras in Minneapolis - such as the quartet of Bob Benham and his brother Ira's band - he was discovered by Charlie Barnet on a visit to Minnesota in early 1943 and had his first professional engagement in his orchestra as second bassist alongside Chubby Jackson . With him he composed the "Concerto for Two Basses".

Bebop years

In February 1943 he had a jam session with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie (" Sweet Georgia Brown ") at the Savoy Hotel in Chicago . In the same year Pettiford went to New York with the Barnet Orchestra, where he left the band in May and replaced Nick Fenton as the house bassist in Minton's Playhouse , the jazz bar that was the focal point of the new, at the time revolutionary, jazz bar when the bebop was created Music was. He then played in Roy Eldridge's quintet at the Onyx Club.

In December he took part in three recording sessions of Coleman Hawkins for the Signature label ; he played in a rhythm section with Eddie Heywood and Ellis Larkins on piano and Shelly Manne on drums. As a soloist, Pettiford particularly excelled at the session on December 23rd in “ Crazy Rhythm ” and the Gershwin ballad “The Man I Love”.

78s by Oscar Pettiford & His 18 All Stars. "Worried Life Blues" 1945, with Dizzy Gillespie, Don Byas , Trummy Young , Benny Morton , Johnny Bothwell , Serge Chaloff , Clyde Hart , Al Casey , Shelly Manne , Rubberlegs Williams

After the first sessions at Minton's Playhouse, Pettiford and Dizzy Gillespie led the first bebop quintet of the 52nd Street Jazz Club in 1944 - with Gillespie, Don Byas and Budd Johnson , George Wallington and Max Roach and he was also on Coleman Hawkins' recordings with the young bebop musicians present ("Rainbow Mist").

In 1944 the bassist was already a sought-after session musician; This year he worked on recordings of Earl Hines , Sonny Greer , Tiny Grimes , Billie Holiday , Helen Humes , Louis Armstrong , Clyde Hart , Ike Quebec , the Art Tatum Trio, Sammy Price and a jam session of the Esquire All Stars in the Metropolitan Opera , in which one of his compositions was also played, "For Bass Faces Only", which was later adopted by Ray Brown , Dizzy Gillespie and Gil Fuller and became famous as a "One Bass Hit".

In the track "Blue Skies", which he recorded with Ben Webster in April '44, the bassist created a short statement that was "perfectly balanced". In July, two tracks were created in a duo with Clyde Hart, "Don't Blame Me" and "Dedicated to JB", on which the bassist can be heard with longer solos - unfortunately these two recordings are still considered lost. In the spring and summer of 1944 he worked with Billy Eckstine , during whose recordings with the predecessor of the Eckstine big band he had the opportunity for a “sensational solo” in the piece “I Got a Date with Rhythm”.

In January 1945 he accompanied the blues singer and dancer Rubberlegs Williams on his "Empty Bed Blues" with an orchestra under his direction ; He then played for Boyd Raeburn until the spring of 1945 .

In California, after filming with Coleman Hawkins and Howard McGhee (The Crimson Canary) , recording with the orchestra of Johnny Bothwell and appearing with an all-star formation around Vic Dickenson , Les Paul and Willie Smith , Pettiford founded the pianist in late 1945 Spaulding Givens and guitarist Chuck Norris started their own trio that performed in California and Nevada.

After recordings with Wynonie Harris ("Everybody's Boogie") and Johnny Otis & The Jubilee All-Stars , he played in the Duke Ellington Orchestra from November 1945 , where he stayed until March 1948. In the 1940s, for example, he held the two key positions that a bassist could achieve at the time: the founding of the first bebop group on New York's 52nd Street and the successor to the late Jimmy Blanton at Ellington. In addition, Pettiford was one of the All Stars of Esquire and Metronome magazines in 1943, 1944 and 1945

Oscar Pettiford and Junior Raglin , appearance at the New York Jazz Club Aquarium, approx. November 1946.
Photograph by William P. Gottlieb .

the post war period

"With Oscar Pettiford Ellington made one of his most famous bass records," wrote Der Spiegel at the time. “It was a kind of double concerto: for clarinet and bass. The piece was called 'Air conditioned jungle', […] that is, a 'jungle with automatic cooling air supply' ”.

During his membership in the Ellington Orchestra, he also took part in the recordings of Johnny Hodges , Earl Hines and the rhythm and blues band of Ivory Joe Hunter . In 1948 Oscar Pettiford was a member of Erroll Garner's and then George Shearing's trios, which appeared in the Three Deuces . At the turn of 1948/49 he played in the club The Clique (which was soon to be called Birdland ) with a short-lived all-star formation under his direction, in which Fats Navarro , Kai Winding , Lucky Thompson , Milt Jackson , Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke played. The Down Beat wrote about their appearance in late January 1949: "The crowd enthusiastically celebrated the extreme bop of Pettiford's All-Stars."

Ellington 1965

From February 1949 he played five months with Woody Herman . Here he was already busy playing the cello , which he intensified when he did not have the strength to play bass after a broken arm. After appearances with the " Serge Chaloff All-Stars" in mid-1949, it came to collaboration with the band of Louie Bellson and Charlie Shavers in 1950 ; Quartet recordings were then made with Duke Ellington, in which cello versions of “ Perdido ” and “Blues For Blanton” were recorded. In April 1951 he recorded a 78 under his own name for the French label Swing ("Swingin 'Till The Girls Come Home"); in the summer of 1951 he was one of the trio of Wynton Kelly , and took with him a few titles for Blue Note on (New Faces, New Sounds) on. The United Service Organizations (USO) sent the Oscar Pettiford group (with JJ Johnson and Howard McGhee ) to Korea and Japan in late 1951 / early 1952 to perform as part of troop support. His sessions with McGhee and Johnson, recorded in Guam , later appeared on the Savoy LP South Pacific Jazz

Pettiford's introduction of the cello into jazz music rated "Experts on this side and the other side of the Atlantic [...] as an event in the history of jazz", wrote Der Spiegel in 1951:

“Oscar doesn't play his cello the way you normally play it. He plays it 'pizzikato'. He doesn't paint, he plucks. Just like he was plucking his bass recently. The cello is not intended to replace the bass. That is why Oscar uses cello and bass together in his ensemble. The contrast between the plucked bass and the equally plucked cello is once again what one has been looking for in jazz music for years: a 'new sound', a new sound. "

In 1952, during a quartet session with bassist Harry Babasin for Discovery in Hollywood, the piece "Monti Cello" was composed with a bass-cello duet with Babasin. In the following years Pettiford was a freelance musician in New York, worked with his own groups (including an engagement at Cafe Bohemia in 1955) and also with a larger orchestra ( The OP Orchestra in Hi-Fi, Vol 1 & 2 on ABC Paramount ). His big band recordings, with arrangements by Gigi Gryce , Lucky Thompson and Oscar Pettiford himself, produced a sound that was unfamiliar at the time; Harp ( Betty Glamann ) and French horns ( Julius Watkins and David Amram ) have been integrated.

On Charles Mingus' debut label, a number of tracks were recorded in 1953 in which Mingus played bass and Pettiford cello (The New Oscar Pettiford Sextet) . In the 1950s he was the busiest bass player on the jazz scene; Pettiford worked with the musicians Miles Davis ( Miles Davis Volume 1 , 1952 and 1955), Teddy Charles , Kenny Dorham , Art Blakey , Joe Puma , Clark Terry , Urbie Green , Lee Konitz , Gil Mellé , Bernard Peiffer , Sonny Stitt , Lionel Hampton , Ray Charles , Phineas Newborn , Joe Newman , Sonny Rollins (Freedom Suite) and singers Mildred Bailey , Helen Humes , Chris Connor , Helen Merrill and many more. The critic Joachim-Ernst Berendt wrote about his trio recordings with Thelonious Monk and Rollins :

"[...] the sounds that Oscar wins in the second part of" Caravan "and are then adopted by Monk anticipate something that the jazz world only learned to hear consciously many years after this 1955 recording: the iridescent sounds of Bill Evans and Scott LaFaro . There was a similarly fascinating collaboration in the second movement of the Freedom Suite between Pettiford and Max Roach . The two adjust to each other so perfectly that Max Roach's playing wins the melodiousness and sensitivity of the Oscars and that Oscars playing sounds percussive like a drum kit. "

In 1956 Pettiford's piece "Bass Reflex" was written for a formation under the direction of Leonard Feathers and Dick Hymans ( Hi Fi Suite , MGM ); It was an unusual blues composition in 5/4 time, three years before Dave Brubeck's and Paul Desmond'sTake Five ”. In 1957 he performed with a quintet made up of Ray Copeland , Sahib Shihab , Dick Katz and Paul Motian and Osie Johnson in Harlem's Small's Paradise . He made a guest appearance in Birdland with a big band formation. In April 1958, Billboard Magazine announced the opening of a new club, New Jazzspot, with Pettiford and his quintet, which included Johnny Coles , Sahib Shihab and Hod O'Brien ; Harpist Betty Glamann joined “ Willow Weep for Me ”. That summer he performed with the Rex Stewart and Ellington Alumni All-Stars at the Newport Jazz Festival . After a last concert in July on Long Island , bassist Duke Ellington left for good.

The years in Europe

Lee Konitz, 2007

Pettiford came to Europe in September 1958 with a Jazz from Carnegie Hall tour group organized by Norman Granz . The tour started with a concert in London's Victoria Theater; in this group played Zoot Sims , Lee Konitz , JJ Johnson , Kai Winding , Phineas Newborn , Red Garland , Kenny Clarke and Pettiford; the bassist has occasionally appeared in a trio, for example with Konitz or Newborn in Berlin, and in a quartet with Sims in the Jazzkeller Frankfurt .

During the group's concert in Stuttgart, he met the producer and journalist Joachim-Ernst Berendt , who invited him to Baden-Baden . He stayed in town after the tour ended when he - u. a. at jam sessions in Sweden - saw how much his music was valued.

Dusko Goykovich

After the tour was over, he worked first in Paris with Donald Byrd and Bobby Jaspar , then with Gerd Dudek in the Karl Blume quintet and finally with the tenor saxophonist Hans Koller , the drummer Jimmy Pratt and the guitarist Attila Zoller , later in Austria, where he then had a car accident.

The Hans Koller-Oscar Pettiford Quartet was one of the most important groups on the German jazz scene at this time. In Baden-Baden, in collaboration with Joachim-Ernst Berendt, there were radio productions for Südwestfunk (The Radio Tapes) with Kenny Clarke. The rhythm section consisting of Kenny Clarke and Pettiford played in many combinations with guest musicians, such as Roger Guérin or Dusko Goykovich, and performed in the course of a few months . a. at the NDR jazz workshop in Hamburg. Until the spring of 1959 he stayed in Baden-Baden, where he had rented an apartment. On a trip to Vienna during the Christmas season in 1958, Oscar Pettiford and Hans Koller had an accident in a car. After his recovery, recordings were made in Vienna in January 1959 with the Hans Koller group (Vienna Blues) .

In a contemporary report in the Jazz Podium it was stated in February 1959 under the heading "Hans Koller is playing again" :

“Oscar Pettiford, who was involved in the accident and a. has bitten his tongue through, had to put up with a long hospital stay. 'My collaboration with Hans Koller has now been so consolidated,' he said with a hint of gallows humor, 'that it can be called unforgettable.' In the meantime, some friends of Oscar Pettiford have set up a fund in New York, with the help of which the hospital costs of the injured bassist will be paid. "

The fundraiser in Birdland , New York raised $ 1,200 for Pettiford. Numerous musicians had made themselves available to help cover the hospital costs of the injured bassist by waiving their fees. It played u. a. Sal Salvador with his big band, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and the trombonist Melba Liston with an all girl group , Mary Lou Williams , Gerry Mulligan and other musicians with. In March 1959, JE Berendt produced an episode of his television series Jazz - Heard and Seen for Südwestfunk with an appearance by the Pettiford trio with Jimmy Pratt and Attila Zoller. As a guest of honor of the Kurt Edelhagen Big Band he performed in Cologne's Gürzenich , he played “ Stardust ” and “My Little Cello”, dedicated to his son Cello, with orchestra accompaniment. At the Essen Jazz Days he appeared in alternating line-ups with Martial Solal , Bud Powell and Rolf Kühn .

In his final years (1958–1960) Pettiford gave the German and Scandinavian jazz scene decisive impulses. Hans Koller said of his colleague: "Thanks to Oscar, I understood what the black musicians mean when they always say: 'You tell a story on your instrument when you play.'"

With his composition “My Little Cello” in 1959 he worked on the music of Rolf von Sydow's film And even cheeky ; Benny Bailey , Pettiford and Joe Harris also had an appearance as musicians. From the summer of 1959 until his death, apart from short trips to France and Germany, he lived in Copenhagen, where he worked with Stan Getz , Don Byas , the Swedish pianist Jan Johannsson , the vibraphonist Louis Hjulmand and the trumpeter Allan Botschinsky and others Jazz club Café Montmartre performed. It was there that he made his last own record, My Little Cello (1960).

In February 1960, his Danish wife Jackie gave birth to the twins Cellina and Cellesta. After appearing at the jazz festival in Sanremo with Barney Wilen , he made a guest appearance in the Auditorium Maximum of the Free University of Berlin at the SFB event “Jazz in the German Ether” in a trio with Clarke and Don Byas ; on the cello in a duo with Clarke he played his new composition "Cello for Cello Twins". With Helen Merrill he performed again at the Essen Jazz Days in the Grugahalle ; there was also a final encounter with Coleman Hawkins. "Hardly any critic doubted that the rhythm section Pettiford-Clarke was the real highlight of the festival, whoever accompanied the two"

Gitte Hænning 2005

In July 1960 Pettiford came to Germany for the last time, among other things to remind Berendt of a project for which all the many American jazz musicians who worked in Europe and had become at home were to be gathered. Pettiford “found these Americans in Europe to be an elite” who, for him, “had the task of which he has spoken so often: to pass on the message .” However, Berendt was only able to realize the plan three years later with an SWR concert in Koblenz .

After his return to Copenhagen he worked on Gitte Hænning's single " It Might as Well Be Spring " as arranger; there were also recordings with Stan Getz, Sam Dockery and Art Blakey ("Broadway"). On September 4th, Pettiford gave one last concert at the Copenhagen Art Exhibition. The next day he had to be taken to a hospital; he was paralyzed, then fell into a coma and died on September 8, 1960.

Since it was Oscar Pettiford's wish that his children should not return to America, but rather grow up in Europe, there was a big benefit concert in Paris for the benefit of the children; Erik Wiedemann organized a collection in Copenhagen . After some hesitation, a similar campaign took place in Germany - in the form of a concert lottery of the German Jazz Federation . "The money that was raised in this way was collected in an" Oscar Pettiford Fund ", which was placed under state control in Denmark and ensured the education of the three children Cello, Cellesta and Cellina for years to come."

Work and effect

Steve Swallow 2006

Oscar Pettiford was impressed by Jimmy Blanton and Adolphus Alsbrook. Under the impression of the experimental sessions in Minton's Playhouse "(he) changed from swing bassist to one of the most prominent modern bassists." With the use of the bass as a soloist in modern jazz , he exerted a great influence with his extraordinary instrumental possibilities and passionate musical commitment out for younger bass players like Paul Chambers , Charles Mingus, Steve Swallow or Buell Neidlinger : He called him the "king" of his instrument. “In my opinion he was the greatest bass player that ever lived. The man was a monster - he had the most wonderful intonation and time. ”Oscar Pettiford established the bass as a solo instrument in jazz through his playing. Cook / Morton see in him the link between Blanton and Mingus, who is almost the same age. "Had he lived longer, he would be seen as the more influential player today."

As the central bassist of bebop and sought-after sideman of cool jazz , hard bop and mainstream jazz musicians, Pettiford was one of the initiators of the fundamental innovations in jazz around 1944, alongside Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Christian , on whose style Pettiford played heavily was based. His style had an impact on the bass playing of Mingus, Jimmy Garrison and Reginald Workman because of its expressiveness and emotionality . The virtuosity of playing by Scott LaFaro , Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius also benefits from the “emancipation of the bass” by the generation of Jimmy Blanton, Ray Brown and Oscar Pettiford. Critic Ralph Gleason stated that his influence in the 1960s was "probably more successful than any other bass soloist since Jimmy Blanton".

He gave the cello , which until then had been regarded as a secondary instrument and had only recently been introduced into jazz by Harry Babasin , a completely new position in jazz . Analogous to Ellington's duo recordings with Blanton in 1940, ten years later the pianist recorded a quartet with Pettiford on the cello. Under the influence of Pettiford's cello playing, Sam Jones and Ray Brown in particular continued his impulses. Since Pettiford there have always been bassists who choose the cello as a secondary instrument and often even prefer it temporarily, such as Ron Carter and Peter Warren .

Commenting on his achievements as the leader of big bands and arranger, Joachim Ernst Berendt said : “Like few others, Oscar was a 'chamber jazz musician'. But he's also longed for the big band all his life. There is a lovable irony in how Oscar tries again and again to bring chamber music character into these swinging, massive big band sounds . He did this primarily by using Janet Putman's harp, and anyone who has heard Oscar talk about this harp sound knows that he paid at least as much attention to it as to swing and solos. "

"Oscar Pettiford's human influence is perhaps even greater than the musical," wrote Der Spiegel in 1951 about his influence. “Similar to Robert Schumann , he set up a kind of musical 'house and life rules', albeit for jazz. Here is a selection: 'Put all your love in your instrument. If it relates to music, choose your environment carefully. Watch your behavior, your way of life. The wrong environment is as deadly as death. '"

His colleagues paid tribute to the musician, who died early, with a series of compositions dedicated to him; Mention should be made of Ellington's “Air Conditioned Jungle”, which was recorded in November 1947, as well as the posthumous “OPOP” (later also “Oscar Pettiford junior”) by Charles Mingus and “Pettiford Bridge” by Don Cherry .

Discographic notes

Original albums

Pettiford's first LP release under his own name was a 10-inch album for Charles Mingus' label Debut , which was expanded to a 12-inch LP in 1959 with pieces from a 1949 session with Serge Chaloff . The bassist then recorded three LPs for Bethlehem Records from 1954 , initially Basically Duke , followed by Bass by Pettiford / Burke with six pieces in a quintet line-up, coupled with eight numbers by bassist Vinnie Burke and his quartet. In 1955 the third Bethlehem album was created under his own name, Another One , in which Oscar Pettiford played with Donald Byrd, Ernie Royal, Bob Brookmeyer, Gigi Gryce and Jerome Richardson. The album contains his composition "Bohemia After Dark", named after the club in Greenwich Village and the jazz standard "Stardust", which Pettiford played in a duo with pianist Don Abney , and "Minor Seventh Heaven", in which Pettiford switched to the cello.

In 1956 several albums with a larger line-up for ABC-Paramount emerged , such as the Oscar Pettiford Orchestra in Hi-Fi and OP's Jazz Men (The Oscar Pettiford Orchestra) , as well as a drumless trio with Lucky Thompson ( Lucky Thompson Featuring Oscar Pettiford, Vol. 1 (ABC-Paramount ABC 111)). Two previous 10-inch LPs were re-released on the MCA CD Deep Passion . After moving to Europe, the Danish branch of Debut recorded The New Oscar Pettiford Trio with Louis Hjulmand and Jan Johansson, which was later re-released by OJC . His last album, My Little Cello , was released posthumously on Fantasy Records .

Posthumous editions and compilations

The label Black Lion Records released after Pettifords death from the late 1960s recordings from recent years in Europe, such as Vienna Blues - The Complete Session , 1959 Hans Koller, Attila Zoller and Jimmy Pratt arose; Montmartre Blues (1959-1960), a. a. with Allan Botschinsky and the recording of the Essen Jazz Festival , The Complete Essen Jazz Festival Concert , in which Pettiford played with Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke.

Recordings of his SWF productions with JE Berendt from 1958 to 1960 appeared on the album Radio Tapes (Jazzline), u. a. with Hans Koller, Don Byas, Rolf Kühn, Dusko Goykovich, Lucky Thompson, Hartwig Bartz , Helmut Brandt , Kenny Clarke and the singer Monica Zetterlund . Further recordings from these productions appeared on the CD Lost Tapes Germany 1958/1959 (Jazz Haus).

The album First Bass (IAJRC) contains the session with Harry Babasin from 1953, in a trio with Attila Zoller, recordings of a jam session with Phineas Newborn in 1958 ("Yardbird Suite"), Lee Konitz and Zoot Sims as well as numbers recorded in Europe in 1960. In 2017 the edition Oscar Pettiford Nonet / Big Band / Sextet, New York City 1955–1958 (Uptown) was published. The compilation Bass Hits (Topaz) combines recordings from the years 1943 to 1946, but mostly pieces with Pettiford as a sideman (for example with Ben Webster , Hawkins, Ellington and Gillespie) and a rare Pettiford All-Stars session from January 1945.

Participation as a sideman (selection)

Announcement for the Erroll Garner Trio with JC Heard and Oscar Pettiford at the Three Deuces , around July 1948.
Photography by William P. Gottlieb .
  • The Birdlanders: Vol. 2 (OJC, 1954) with Kai Winding, Al Cohn, Tal Farlow Duke Jordan, Max Roach, Denzil Best
  • Ray Charles / Milt Jachson Quintet: Soul Meeting (Atlantic, 1957/58)
  • Chris Connor & John Lewis Quartet: Chris Connor ( Atlantic , 1956)
  • Miles Davis: The Musings Of Miles ( Prestige )
  • Miles Davis: Miles Davis Volume 1 / Miles Davis Volume 2 ( Blue Note , 1952–1954)
  • Kenny Dorham: Jazz Contrasts (OJC, 1957) Afro-Cuban (Blue Note, 1955)
  • Duke Ellington: Carnegie Hall Concert January 1946 (Prestige)
  • Duke Ellington: Carnegie Hall Concert December 1947 (Prestige), Great Times! (OJC, 1950) (contains " Perdido ", "Blues for Blanton")
  • Tal Farlow; Jazz Masters 41 ( Verve 1955–1958) or Finest Hour (Verve, 1955–1958)
  • Jimmy Hamilton & The New York Jazz Quintet ( Fresh Sound )
  • Coleman Hawkins: Rainbow Mist ( Delmark , 1944), The Hawk Flies High (Prestige / OJC, 1957)
  • Woody Herman: Keeper Of the Flame (Capitol, 1948–1949)
  • JJ Johnson & Kai Winding All Stars: The 1958 European Tour. Rare Live Recordings (RLR 1958, ed. 2007)
  • Lee Konitz / Warne Marsh Quintet (Atlantic, 1955)
  • Thelonious Monk: The Unique, Brilliant Corners , Plays the Music Of Duke Ellington ( Riverside / OJC)
  • Gil Melle: The Blue Note Fifties Sessions (Blue Note, 1956)
  • Phineas Newborn: Here Is Phineas (Atlantic / Koch, 1959)
  • Art Tatum: The Art Of Tatum (ASV, 32-44)
  • Lucky Thompson: Accent On Tenor Sax (Fresh Sound, 1954)
  • George Wallington: The George Wallington Trios (OJC, 1952–1953)

Book publications

  • Oscar Pettiford, Erik Moseholm : Jazz Bass Facing . Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Copenhagen, 1962.


  • Joachim-Ernst Berendt : The Jazz Book , Frankfurt / M, Kruger., 1976
  • ders .: Thank You, Oscar Pettiford . In: A Window from Jazz . Essays, Portraits, Reflexionen, Frankfurt / M., Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag 1978, pp. 135–147
  • See Berendt, 1978, pp. 135 ff.
  • See Berendt, 1978, p. 137.
  • See Berendt, 1978, p. 139 f.
  • See Berendt, 1978, p. 142.
  • Quoted from Berendt, 1978, p. 143.
  • Quoted from Berendt, 1978, p. 145.
  • See Berendt, 1978, p. 146.
  • See Berendt, p. 140.
  • Quoted in Berendt, 1978, p. 139.
  • Berendt, 1978, p. 142.
  • Quoted from Carlo Bohländer, vol. 1., p. 494.
  • ^ Cook, Morton, 6th Edition, p. 1194.
  • ^ Cook, Morton, 6th Edition, p. 1194.
  • ^ Cook, Morton, 6th Edition, p. 1194.
    • Scott DeVeaux: The Birth of Bebop. A Social and Musical History . Berkeley etc., Univ. of California 1997.
    • Teddy Doering: Coleman Hawkins - His life, his music, his records , Waakirchen, Oreos (Collection Jazz), 2002, ISBN 3-923657-61-7
    • See Doering, pp. 145 ff.
      • Leonard Feather : The Jazz Years. Earwitness to an Era . London etc., Pan Books 1988.
      • Jack D. Forbes: Africans and Native Americans. The Language of Race and the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples , University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1993.
      • Coover Gazdar: First Bass. The Oscar Pettiford Discography . Bangalore, India, 1991.
      • Ira Gitler : Swing to Bop. An Oral History of the Transition in Jazz in the Forties . New York etc., Oxford Univ. 1985.
      • Cf. Budd Johnson after Gitler Swing to bop: an oral history of the transition in jazz in the 1940s , p. 119.
        • ders .: The Masters of Bebop. A Listener's Guide . Updated and Expanded (Previously published as: Jazz Masters of the Forties). Da Capo 2001.
        • John Jörgensen & Erik Wiedemann : Jazzlexikon , Munich, Mosaik, (German approx. 1966)
        • See Jörgensen / Wiedemann, p. 287.
        • cit. according to Kunzler, p. 919
        • Quoted from Kunzler, Jazzlexikon, p. 919
          • Brian Priestley: Mingus - a Critical Biography. London, Quartet Books, 1982
          • Cf. Brian Priestley: Mingus - a Critical Biography, pp. 50 ff.
          • See Priestley, Mingus - a critical biography, pp. 143 and 185.
            • Arnold Shaw: 52nd Street. The Street of Jazz (Originally published as The Street That Never Slept). Da Capo 1977.


            1. Oscar Pettiford felt more like an Indian than a Negro, Berendt, Fenster aus Jazz, p. 136
            2. DER SPIEGEL mentioned in its 1951 edition the episode when the young Oscar came to bass: “One day father Pettiford got into trouble with his bass player, the only musician who did not belong to the family. Because no one else could be found at the moment, little Oscar should try the big double bass. So far he has been able to beat the piano and work on the drums a bit. So it would be okay. An old bass was found by chance in the corner of the place where they were playing. Oscar's father only had to pay $ 25 for it, the bass had just been in a car accident. Today, when Oscar is a famous man, he says that he never had to play as virtuoso in his life as he did on the broken bass. He used taut cords instead of strings. Strings were hard to come by back then. They cost more than Pettiford's family band could afford. "
            3. ^ Note from Brian Priestley , Jazz Rough Guide, p. 506.
            4. ^ Marian McPartland : Marian McPartland's Jazz World: All in Good Time . 2003, p. 143
            5. Around 1940/41 Ray Brown had lessons with her in Pittsburgh.
            6. ^ After F. Büchmann-Möller: Someone to Watch Over Me. The Life and Music of Ben Webster. Original source: “On March 18, 1937,… Calloway's orchestra began a four-month tour… One evening after the show, during their stay in Minneapolis, Hinton and Ben went to a nightclub in St. Paul where they heard a fourteen- year-old bassist named Oscar Pettiford. They were so impressed that they invited him to the theater the next day to let the other musicians from Calloway's band hear his gifted playing. ” Quoted in: OP bis 1945 at themenschmidt.de ( Memento from February 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) on April 6, 2010.
            7. with the drummer Sidney Smith and the pianist Kenny Green. Source: Chuck Haga: Leigh Kamman: Polishing the image of jazz. Star Tribune Sep 2, 2002.
            8. Source: Chuck Haga: Leigh Kamman: Polishing the image of jazz . Star Tribune, September 2, 2002. OP until 1945 at themenschmidt.de ( Memento from February 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ). Accessed April 6, 2010.
            9. Coleman Hawkins & His Orchestra, with Dizzy Gillespie, Vic Coulson, Ed Vandever tp, Leo Parker , Leonard Lowry as, Coleman Hawkins, Don Byas , Ray Abrams ts, Budd Johnson ts, bs, Clyde Hart p, Oscar Pettiford b, Max Roach dr. They recorded the tracks Bu-Dee-Daht, Yesterdays, Woody 'n You, Bu-Dee-Daht .
            10. With Gillespie, Bill Coleman , Benny Harris , Trummy Young , Vic Dickenson , Benny Morton , Johnny Bothwell , Don Byas , Serge Chaloff , Clyde Hart , Al Casey and Shelly Manne .
            11. With the Esquire All Stars he made one of his first recordings in December 1943 (LP: Esquire Swing Sessions , Decca PD 12005)
            12. Quoted from Down Beat, January 28, 1949: "Crowd Gives Enthusiastic Welcome To Extreme Bop By Pettiford All-Stars."
            13. Howard McGhee (tp) JJ Johnson (tb) Rudy Williams (ts) Clifton Best (g) Oscar Pettiford (b) Charlie Rice (d), 1951. The tracks Royal Garden Blues, St. Louis Blues , Mood Indigo , Lady Be Good and Harvest Time . See Jazzdisco org.
            14. Source: Jazz in hollywood.com . Retrieved April 6, 2010.
            15. The Oscar Pettiford Orchestra in 1956 included Ernie Royal , Art Farmer (tp), Jimmy Cleveland (tb), Julius Watkins , David Amram (fr-h), Gigi Gryce (as, arr), Lucky Thompson (ts, arr), Jerome Richardson (ts, fl), Danny Bank (bs), Tommy Flanagan (p), OP (b, cello) and Osie Johnson (dr) at.
            16. On Pettiford's big band productions around 1956/57, Joachim-Ernst Berendt said: “Like few others, Oscar was a 'chamber jazz musician'. But he's also longed for the big band all his life. There is amiable irony in how Oscar tries again and again to bring chamber music character into these swinging, massive big band sounds. ” Ralph Gleason said: “ Now, Oscar has returned to the big band scene. This is in perfect keeping with pace setters and experimenters in all the arts. Today the big band is at its lowest ebb in a decade. And yet and yet… “ (Source: Liner notes from OP Complete Big Band Studio Recordings ).
            17. In a sextet with Julius Watkins , Phil Urso , Walter Bishop junior , Percy Heath , Mingus and Pettiford was u. a. his compositions "The Pendulum at Falcon's Lair", "Low and Behold" and "Jack the Fieldstalker" recorded.
            18. On the album Plays Duke Ellington (July, 1955, with Kenny Clarke)
            19. Jazz Podium No. 4 / VIII. Year, April 1959.
            20. March 2, 1959: “Jazz Heard and Seen, 13”: George Lewis' New Orleans Jazz Band; Oscar Pettiford Trio with Attila Zoller, g, and Jimmy Pratt, dr Jazzbrief Darmstadt Retrieved April 6, 2010.
            21. Oscar Pettiford in the Internet Movie Database (English)
            22. The performers of the SWF concerts in Koblenz in 1963 were Kenny Clarke, Lou Bennett , Bud Powell, Idrees Sulieman , Jimmy Gourley , Bill Smith, Herb Geller , Bob Carter, Jimmy Woode , Don Byas, Albert Nicholas , Peanuts Holland , Nelson Williams. A few recordings appeared on two Impulse albums ! Records (AS 36 & 37).
            23. Gunther Schuller mentions in his work The Swing Era that Blanton was not the pioneer of playing the arco bass, but that the 23-year-old slam Stewart used this technique in his recordings with Slim Gaillard as early as 1938, which he also used through the accompanying singing. In: Gunther Schuller: The Swing Era The Development of Jazz 1930–1945 , 1989, p. 111.
            24. The bassist and composer Erik Moseholm (1930–2012), later director of the Rytmisk Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, is one of Pettiford's European adepts; Moseholm also wrote a kind of textbook, Jazz Bass Facing , which deals with the various stages of development of Pettiford's solo and compositional style.
            25. (with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, Julius Watkins at the French horn, pianist Duke Jordan and drummer Ron Jefferson).
            26. ↑ In addition to Deep Passion , the edition The Complete Studio Recordings also contains additional live material from New York's Birdland from this period.
            27. See Pettiford article in Cook / Morton (Penguin Guide to Jazz); Brian Priestley (Jazz Rogh Guide) as well as in Allmusic

            Web links

            Commons : Oscar Pettiford  - collection of images, videos and audio files
            1. Information in the biography and sessionography
            2. Information in the biography and sessionography
            3. Information in the biography and sessionography
            4. Information in the biography and sessionography
            5. Information in the biography and sessionography
            6. Information in the biography and sessionography
            7. Information in the biography and sessionography
            8. Information in the biography and sessionography
            9. Information in the biography and sessionography
            • Oscar plucks better . In: Der Spiegel . No. 24 , 1951, pp. 39-40 ( Online - June 13, 1951 ).
            1. Oscar plucks better, issue of June 13, 1951 DER SPIEGEL, No. 24/1951.
            2. Oscar plucks better, issue of June 13, 1951 DER SPIEGEL, No. 24/1951.
            3. Oscar plucks better, issue of June 13, 1951 DER SPIEGEL, No. 24/1951.
            This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on May 8, 2010 .