Oscar Pettiford (b. Okmulgee, Oklahoma, September 30, 1922; d. Copenhagen, Denmark, September 8, 1960) was an American jazz bassist, cellist and composer known particularly for his pioneering work in bebop. In 1942 he joined the Charlie Barnet band and in 1943 gained wider public attention after recording with Coleman Hawkins on his "The Man I Love." He also recorded with Earl Hines and Ben Webster around this time. ...show more
Oscar Pettiford (b. Okmulgee, Oklahoma, September 30, 1922; d. Copenhagen, Denmark, September 8, 1960) was an American jazz bassist, cellist and composer known particularly for his pioneering work in bebop. In 1942 he joined the Charlie Barnet band and in 1943 gained wider public attention after recording with Coleman Hawkins on his "The Man I Love." He also recorded with Earl Hines and Ben Webster around this time.
He and Dizzy Gillespie led a bop group in 1944. in 1945 Pettiford went with Hawkins to California, where he appeared in The Crimson Canary, a mystery movie known for its jazz soundtrack. He then worked with Duke Ellington from 1945 to 1948 and for Woody Herman in 1949 before working mainly as a leader in the 1950s. As a leader he inadvertently discovered Cannonball Adderley.
After one of his musicians had tricked him into letting Adderley, an unknown music teacher, onto the stand, he had Adderley solo on a demanding piece, on which Adderley performed impressively. Pettiford is considered the pioneer of the cello as a solo instrument in jazz music. In 1949, after suffering a broken arm, Pettiford found it impossible to play his bass, so he experimented with a cello a friend had lent him. Tuning it in fourths, like a double bass, but one octave higher, Pettiford found it possible to perform during his rehabilitation (during which time his arm was in a sling) and made his first recordings with the instrument in 1950. ...show less
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