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Donald Bailey

A very important drummer and an intermittent harmonica participant, Donald “Duck” Bailey has appeared on the many sessions over time, usually being a sideman. Bailey freelanced in his hometown of Philadelphia and gained some popularity as Jimmy Smith’s regular drummer through the organist’s early leading years (1956-1964), showing up on a lot of his Blue Be aware albums. He proved helpful in LA in the middle-’60s towards the middle-’70s, spent five years in Japan (where period he led an archive program for Trio which discovered him sticking with harmonica) and, after time for the U.S. in 1982, resolved in Oakland. At artists Bailey spent some time working with over time are Hampton Hawes, Blue Mitchell, Jimmie Rowles, Carmen McRae, and Sarah Vaughan.

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