Addison Farmer was born August 21, 1928 an hour after his twin brother, in Council Bluffs, Iowa reportedly at 2201 Fourth Avenue. Their parents divorced when the boys were four, and their steelworker father was killed in a work accident not long after this. He moved with his grandfather, grandmother, mother, brother and sister to Phoenix, Arizona when he was four.
Addison and his brother moved to Los Angeles, California in 1945 and attended the music-oriented Jefferson High School, where they got music instruction and met other developing musicians such as Sonny Criss, Ernie Andrews, Big Jay McNeely, and Ed Thigpen. They brothers earned money by working in a cold-storage warehouse and by playing professionally. He went on to take bass lessons from Fred Zimmermann, and studied at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music.
By late 1945, Farmer was with Johnny Alston and His Orchestra recording for the Bihari Brothers’ Modern Music label, backing Jeanne De Metz. Shortly afterwards he recorded on the Blue Moon label with Al “Cake” Wichard and King Fleming and worked with Teddy Edwards’s band. He played and recorded in several groups with his brother and in ensembles led by Benny Golson, Gigi Gryce, Mose Allison, Jay McShann, Charlie Parker, Gene Ammons, Bob Brookmeyer, curtis Fuller, Hampton Hawes, Curtis Fuller, Stan Getz, Teo Macero, Sahib Shihab, Mal Waldron and Miles Davis.
Bassist Addison Farmer recorded extensively for the jazz label Prestige before passing away suddenly from bed death on February, 20, 1963 in New York City at the age of 34.
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John Lee Clayton Jr. was born on August 20, 1952 in Venice, California. He began seriously undertaking the study of double bass at age 16, studying with bassist Ray Brown. By age 19, he had become a bassist on Henry Mancini’s television series The Mancini Generation. He later graduated in 1975 from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music with a degree in bass performance.
He toured with the Monty Alexander Trio and the Count Basie Orchestra before becoming the principal bass in the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands. Returning to the States after five years and moved towards jazz and jazz composition. Shortly after his return he founded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with his saxophonist brother Jeff Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton. He and his brother also founded The Clayton Brothers which has featured instrumentalists such as Bill Cunliffe and Terell Stafford.
Clayton has composed and/or arranged for The Count Basie Orchestra, Diana Krall, Whitney Houston, Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Ernestine Anderson, Quincy Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Natalie Cole, Till Bronner, and The Tonight Show Band. He won a Grammy for Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s): “I’m Gonna Live Till I Die” (Queen Latifah) and was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group for Brother To Brother by The Clayton Brothers.
From 1999 to 2001 he served as Artistic Director of the Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic program at the Hollywood Bowl, has conducted the All-Alaska Jazz Band and and has been president over the International Society of Bassists. In addition to performing, bassist John Clayton currently serves as Artistic Director for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Sarasota Jazz Festival, Santa Fe Jazz Party, Jazz Port Townsend Summer Workshop, and Vail Jazz Workshop. He is also an educator, teaching at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
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Cedric Wallace was born August 3, 1909 in Miami, Florida. He moved to New York City in the 1930s, where he first started playing in a band led by Reggie Johnson at the Saratoga Club.
Later in the decade Wallace worked with Jimmie Lunceford before joining Fats Waller’s band from 1938-1942, the association for which he is best known. He played with Waller at the peak of his popularity and plays on many of his biggest hits.
He also recorded with Una Mae Carlisle, Maxine Sullivan, Champion Jack Dupree, Pat Flowers, Gene Sedric, and Dean Martin. Cedric led his own ensemble in New York in the 1940s which featured Eddie Gibbs on bass for a time, and continued to perform well into the 1970s.
Double-bassist Cedric Wallace passed away on August 19, 1985 in New York City.
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David Binney was born on August 2m 1961 in Miami, Florida and was raised in Carpenteria, California. Through his parents love of music he grew up listening to albums by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, and Jimi Hendrix. He took saxophone lessons in Los Angeles, California and at nineteen moved to New York City and studied with saxophonists George Coleman, Dave Liebman, and Phil Woods.
With a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts he recorded his first album, Point Game in 1991 on the Owl label, that led to him starting his own label, Mythology Records before the turn of the century.
He has been of several bands, including Lost Tribe, Jagged Sky, Lan Xang, the Gil Evans Orchestra, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, and Medeski Martin & Wood. Binney has also worked with Adam Rogers, Alex Sipiagin, Ben Monder, Ben Perowsky, Bill Frisell, Bobby Previte, Brian Blade, Cecil McBee, Craig Taborn, David Gilmore, Edward Simon, Eivind Opsvik, Jacob Sacks, James Genus, Jim Black, Jim Hall, Kenny Wollesen, John Escreet, Leni Stern, Lonnie Plaxico, Mark Turner, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Nate Wood, Scott Colley, Steven Bernstein, Thomas Morgan, Tim Lefebvre, Uri Caine and Wayne Krantz.
Alto saxophonist and composer David Binney has recorded more than two-dozen albums as a leader, has recorded a half-dozen as a sideman, currently resides in New York City and continues to compose, perform and record.
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Edward Simon was born July 27, 1969 in Punta Cardón, Venezuela into a musical family as both his brothers, Marlon and Michael Simon are also noted professional musicians. Sent to the United States by his father at the age of fifteen to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, he studied classical piano with Susan Starr. After that, beginning in 1989 he studied with Harold Danko at the Manhattan School of Music and played with Kevin Eubanks and Greg Osby.
His stay in New York City saw Simon playing with Herbie Mann, Paquito D’Rivera, Bobby Hutcherson, Jerry Gonzalez, John Patitucci, Arturo Sandoval, Manny Oquendo, and Don Byron. He was a member of Bobby Watson’s band Horizon from 1989 to 1994, and since 2002 has been a member of the Terence Blanchard Group.
Recording his debut album as a bandleader in 1994, that same year Edward was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. The following year he composed his Rumba Neurotica for the Relache Ensemble and composed his Venezuelan Suite on behalf of Chamber Music America.
He has since performed on several Grammy-nominated jazz albums. Besides his trio he also leads the Sexteto Venezuela, the Afinidad Quartet, and the group Simon, Simon & Simon, with his brothers, he teaches at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York. Pianist Edward Simon is currently an artist in residence at Western Michigan University and continues to compose, record and perform.
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