I recall Joe Pass, Kenny Drew and Niels Pederson were sitting around laughing and I asked why. I learned that Oscar Peterson walked in and heard bassist Niels Henning Orsted Pederson playing his piano and sounding just like him, which didn’t appeal to him at all. Niels had grown up playing piano, but his love for the tone of that big beautiful bass made him one of jazz’s great bass players.
The whole Pettiford family were musically inclined, so it wasn’t a big surprise that Oscar Pettiford would make his career a musical one. Oscar was also a wonderful cellist.
Ron Carter is not just another bass player among many, he is an educator that spent over 20 years “Professor Emeritus” of the Music Department of The City College of New York.
Jeff Berlin is known for his bass playing with Pat Metheny, with John Abercrombie and with Scott Henderson, but as a child he was considered a prodigy on the violin. Jeff is also an educator that writes articles for Bass Player Magazine.
Jaco Pastorius has been often praised as the most influential electric bass player of all time, but he was much more than that. Jaco could play guitar, drums and saxophone and became a dedicated composer that had a passion for arranging for Big Band.
Marcus Miller is not limited to just playing bass, but is competent at playing clarinet, piano and at writing. Marcus has written music for jazz flutist Bobbi Humphrey and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith and has contributed to over 500 recording sessions for artists such as Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Mariah Carey, Wayne Shorter, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Grover Washington Jr., Donald Fagen, and Bill Withers.
Charlie Mingus was a gifted writer that transcended just playing one instrument. He was a collaborator that at the end of his life worked with Joni Mitchell to share a whole side of him that was never seen before. If you wish to enjoy nostalgia as well as a sense of humor, all anyone has to do is listen to “Pork Pie Hat”
Milt Hinton – is a major contributor to jazz music. Milt was a very prolific musician that was able to play the violin, the bass horn, tuba, cello, violin and oh yeah the double bass. Milt played with the best there ever was as far as piano is concerned and that would be none other than Art Tatum. Others that Milt played with are Cozy Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Ben Webster, Chu Berry and Cozy Cole.
Milt brings something else to the musical world table besides great playing. Milt Hinton was a historian in that he took many excellent photographs. To learn more about Milt, you’d do well to look at a PBS’ program entitled “Independent Lens”