CHATANOOGA, TN-native JAZZ Double Bassist JIMMY BLANTON (October 5, 1918 - July 30, 1942) began learning the violin as a young boy from his mother, who was also a musician, and led her own band.
JIMMY BLANTON switched to the Double Bas while a student at TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY.
He began performing with the Tennessee State Collegians from 1936 to 1937, and during the vacations with Fate Marable. After leaving university to play full-time in St Louis with the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra (with whom he made his first recordings),
In 1939, he joined the DUKE ELLINGTON ORCHESTRA.
Though he stayed with Ellington for only two years, Blanton made an incalculable contribution in changing the way the double bass was used in jazz. Previously the double bass was rarely used to play anything but quarter notes in ensemble or solos but by soloing on the bass more in a 'horn like' fashion,
JIMMY BLANTON began sliding into eighth- and sixteenth-note runs, introducing melodic and harmonic ideas that were totally new to jazz bass playing.
His virtuosity put him in a different class from his predecessors, making him the first true master of the jazz bass and demonstrating the instrument's unsuspected potential as a solo instrument. Such was his importance to Ellington's band at the time, together with the tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, that it became known as the Blanton–Webster band.
JIMMY BLANTON also recorded a series of bass and piano duets with DUKE ELLINGTON.
In yet another example of "GONE TOO SOON", in 1941, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, forcing him to retire from his very promising career.
JIMMY BLANTON passed away July 30, 1942 due to Complications from Tuberculosis at the age of only 23.
HAPPY JIMMY BLANTON DOUBLE BASS BIRTHDAY SUNDAY MORNING JAZZ In The EVENING!!!
PEACE, LOVE, And SUNDAY MORNING JAZZY BLESSINGS;