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RAY BROWN - USA

BIOGRAPHY
 
Ray Brown

An American Double Bass Player, Pianist.

A major early influence on Brown's bass playing was the bassist in the Duke Ellington band, Jimmy Blanton.

As a young man Ray Brown became steadily more well known in the Pittsburgh jazz scene, with his first experiences playing in bands with the Jimmy Hinsley Sextet and the Snookum Russell band.

Arriving in New York at the age of twenty, he met up with Hank Jones, with whom he had previously worked, and was introduced to Dizzy Gillespie, who was looking for a bass player.

Gillespie hired Brown on the spot and he soon played with such established musicians as Art Tatum and Charlie Parker.

From 1946 to 1951 he played in Gillespie's band. Brown, along with the vibraphonist Milt Jackson, drummer Kenny Clarke, and the pianist John Lewis formed the rhythm section of the Gillespie band.

Brown became acquainted with singer Ella Fitzgerald when she joined the Gillespie band as a special attraction for a tour of the southern United States in 1947.

The two married that year, and together they adopted a child born to Fitzgerald's half-sister Frances, whom they christened Ray Brown, Jr. Fitzgerald and Brown divorced in 1952.

In 1966, he settled in Los Angeles where he was in high demand working for various television show orchestras. He also accompanied some of the leading artists of the day, including Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstine, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, and Nancy Wilson.

The last edition of the Ray Brown Trio was that with pianist Larry Fuller and drummer Karriem Riggings, that performed in Europe at the Bern Jazz Festival on May 3, 2002 and was broadcasted on television.

In 2003, Brown was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.

A sessions bass player who has played with the very best up until his death in 2002.

He wrote the theme for the 'Steve Allen Show' called 'The Gravy Waltz'.

He also discovered Diana Krall playing in a restauraant in British Columbia.

All information may be obtained at the web address above if listed.

Thank you.
 
 
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