Buddy Jones was born Burgher Jones on February 17, 1924 in Hope, Arkansas and learned to play piano as a child. At the age of seventeen he went to study at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where he met Charlie Parker. Under Parker’s influence, he opted for a career as a musician and studied bass during his time in the Navy.
After his discharge Buddy worked with Charlie Ventura in 1947 and then moved to Los Angeles, California where he played in smaller jazz bands. In 1949 he played with Joe Venuti as well as the Ina Ray Hutton Orchestra.
1950 saw Jones moving to New York City and working with Elliot Lawrence, whose arrangements were written by Al Cohn, among others . He also played with Buddy DeFranco, Zoot Sims, Gene Williams and the Lennie Tristano Quintet. Subsequently, he was employed as a student at CBS in New York from 1952 to 1964 , played on Jack Sterling’s morning radio show and studios with Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra , as well as on tours with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey .
As a sideman Buddy performed on recording session led by Al Porcino, Stan Getz, Johnny Richards, Red Rodney, Jimmy Knepper, Porky Cohen, Don Lanphere, Gene Roland, Tiny Kahn, Joe Newman, Billy Byers, Osy Johnson, Manny Albam, Johnny Carrie, Thad Jones, Quincy Jones, Gerry Mulligan, Urbie Green, Bernie Glow, Conte Candoli, Ernie Royal, Hank Jones, Ernie Wilkins and many more.
Clint Eastwood enlisted his talents for the on the Charlie Parker biopic Bird in 1988, working alongside composer Lennie Niehaus as musical consultant. In 1996 he was inducted into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame. Bassist Buddy Jones, never led a recording session and passed away on June 9, 2000 in Carmel Valley, California.
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Bob Carter was born Robert Kahakalau on February 11, 1922 in New Haven, Connecticut and learned to lay the bass and guitar from his father, a vaudeville performer of Hawaiian heritage. He played in local orchestras from 1937 to 1940, toured from 1940 to 1942 and worked with his own trio in Boston, Massachusetts in 1944.
By 1944 he was working in various groups on New York City’s 52nd Street with Tony Scott, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Stuff Smith and Charlie Shavers among others. Following time spent playing bebop with Allen Eager and Max Roach in 1946, he worked with Charlie Ventura from 1947 to 1949 and again in 1953-54. Between the Ventura stints he played with Benny Goodman in 1949-50.
In 1953, he also worked with jazz guitarist Johnny Smith and appeared on the albums Jazz at NBC and The Johnny Smith Quintet Featuring Stan Getz.
After his second stint with Ventura he studied composition with Wesley LaViolette and later that decade his arrangements were used by Red Norvo, Bob Harrington, and Shelly Manne. He spent two years in Hawaii beginning in 1957, then returned to New York in 1959, where he played with Bobby Hackett. In the early 1960s, he worked in Germany in the Kurt Edelhagen Orchestra. He did little playing after the end of the Sixties decade.
Bassist and arranger Bob Carter passed away in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 1, 1993 at the age of 71.
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Joe Mondragon was born on February 2, 1920 in Antonito, Colorado. An autodidact on bass, he began working professionally in Los Angeles, California before serving in the Army during World War II. After his discharge he joined Woody Herman’s First Herd in 1946.
Over the next two decades, Mondragon became one of the more popular studio bassists for jazz recording on the West Coast, appearing on albums by June Christy, Buddy Rich, Buddy DeFranco, Marty Paich, Claude Williamson, Bob Cooper, Harry Sweets Edison, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, and recording the Duke Ellington Songbook with Ella Fitzgerald in 1956. He also played on soundtracks for films such as The Wild One and Pete Kelly’s Blues.
Though Joe never recorded as a leader, he did however, record 45 albums as a sideman with Georgie Auld, Chet Baker, Louis Bellson, Buddy Bregman, Hoagy Carmichael, Herb Ellis, Jimmy Giuffre, Woody Herman, Harry James, Stan Kenton, Barney Kessel, Henry Mancini, Shelly Manne, Carmen McRae, Jack Montrose, Gerry Mulligan, Oliver Nelson, Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers, Pete Rugolo, Lalo Schifrin, Bud Shank and others.
Bassist Joe Mondragon passed away in July 1987 in Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico.
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Bob Whitlock was born Von Varlynn Whitlock on January 21,1931 in Roosevelt, Utah. As a young musician in 1947 he accompanied Lena Horne and in 1949 was with Steve White. By the early 1950s he was in Charlie Barnet’s band then went on to join Gerry Mulligan. He introduced Mulligan to his friend Chet Baker and with Chico Hamilton made up the quartet.
In 1952 Bob worked in the bands of Art Pepper and Russ Freeman and that same year he played in the session at The Tradewinds Club with Harry Babasin, Dave Pell, Sonny Criss, Wardell Gray, Lawrence Marable and Chet Baker. The mid-1950s saw him working on the Stan Getz album, Getz and the Cool Sounds. In 1957 he played in a trio with Joe Albany and Warne Marsh on the album The Right Combination.
Whitlock led a quartet and taught music theory at the University of California. In 1961 he performed in Paris, he played and toured with George Shearing from1965 to 1956, then in 1966 he played with Joe Pass on the Simplicity sessions. After this recording session there are no further known recordings.
Bassist Bob Whitlock, who was a part of the West Coast jazz scene, passed away from a stroke at age 84 on June 30, 2015 in Long Beach, California.
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Bob Maize was born on January 15, 1945 in San Diego, California. He played piano from age seven and switched to bass at 13 and began playing professionally. After moving to San Francisco, California in 1963, he worked in the house bands of many jazz clubs in the city, including Soulville and Bop City.
He played with Sonny Stitt, Philly Joe Jones, Vince Guaraldi, Mose Allison, Herb Ellis, Monty Alexander, Anita O’Day, Emily Remler, and Jon Hendricks. He also did a stint in a rock band as a bass guitarist.
A move to Los Angeles, California in the 1970s saw him working with Scott Hamilton, Dave McKenna, and Tal Farlow. Following this, Maize worked with Horace Silver in 1983-84, recorded with Eiji Kitamura on the Concord label, for whom he recorded regularly as a sideman, and toured Japan with Sarah Vaughan in 1985. He continued to play as a sideman in West Coast clubs into the new millennium.
Double bassist Bob Maize, never led a recording session and passed away on November 20, 2004 in Los Angeles.
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