Video of Jimmy Blanton is extremely rare, but if you listen to Ellington recordings with him on them, you can't mistake his sound and how essential it was to Ellington's concept.
He was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and started with the violin, but picked up the bass in college.
He left college to play full-time with the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra and joined Duke '39.
Blanton played the bass like a horn and his virtuosity put him on another planet. If you like the modern approach to the bass, he's the man to thank. Probably the most important player of the instrument in terms of influence.
Born in 1918, he passed away in 1942.
Duke Ellington, piano
Rex Stuart, trumpet
Ben Webster, tenor sax
Joe Nanton, trombone
Barney Bigard, clarinet
Jimmy Blanton, bass
Sonny Greer, drums
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