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"Oh Me, Oh My, Oh Gosh"

Slam Stewart

 
 

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September 21, 1914 - December 10, 1987

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Slam Stewart performs with his trio in the 1947 film "Boy! What a Girl!"

Personnel:

Slam Stewart, bass & vocal
Beryl Booker, piano & vocal
John Collins, guitar

Slam Stewart was one of the artists who liberated the bass.

Born in Englewood, New Jersey on September 21, 1914, Leroy Eliot Stewart started playing the violin in his adolescence prior to his introduction to the upright string bass as a student at Dwight Morrow High School.

A big early inspiration for Stewart came from hearing Ray Perry of the Boston Conservatory sing while playing the violin, a practice he later perfected himself bowing his bass and simultaneously singing an octave higher.

In 1937 "Slam" Stewart as he had come to be known teamed up with multi-talent guitarist and piano man Slim Gaillard to form the jazz novelty duo Slim and Slam. They would score their biggest hit the following year with the comically suggestive "Flat Foot Floogie (with a Floy Floy)".

Much in demand, Stewart played with Lester Young, Fats Waller, Coleman Hawkins, Erroll Garner, Art Tatum, Johnny Guarnieri, Red Norvo, Don Byas, the Benny Goodman Sextet, and Beryl Booker, and many, many others.

Later in life in addition to performing regularly, Slam Stewart spent time teaching at Yale University and SUNY College in Binghamton, New York.



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