Oscar Pettiford

Oscar Pettiford was born in Okmulgee (Oklahoma) September 30, 1922 and died in Copenhagen, Denmark September 8, 1960. He is best known for his pioneering work with bebop. After joining the Charlie Barnet group in 1942, he recorded with Coleman Hawkins’ “The Man I Love” album in 1943. This earned him more attention from the public. Around this time, he also recorded with Earl Hines as well as Ben Webster. He was a member of a Bop Group with Dizzy Gillespie in 1944. In 1945, Pettiford traveled to California with Hawkins, where he played the role of The Crimson Canary. This mystery film is known for its jazz music. From 1945 to 1948, he worked for Duke Ellington and Woody Herman in 1949. He was primarily a leader during the 1950s. He accidentally discovered Cannonball Aderley while leading. He had one of his musicians trick him into letting Adderley (an unknown music teacher) onto the stand. Adderley was then allowed to solo on a challenging piece. Adderley did an impressive job. Pettiford is the original pioneer of jazz music’s cello being used as a solo instrument. After breaking his arm in 1949, Pettiford was unable to play the bass so he borrowed a friend’s cello. Pettiford tuned it in fourths like a double-bass but one octave more, and he was able to play it during his rehabilitation. He made his first recordings in 1950 with the instrument. He made the cello his second instrument and continued to record and perform with it throughout his life. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Pettiford User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.

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