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John Simmons

John Simmons was a very important bassist on many classes within the 1940s and ’50s. He was raised in Tulsa and in California. Originally a trumpeter for just two years, injuries experienced in a soccer game finished his brass playing. Simmons quickly turned to bass, and four weeks later on he was playing expertly. He found experience as an associate of the extremely early Nat Ruler Cole Trio and documented with Teddy Wilson (1937) before shifting to Chicago. After stints with Jimmy Bell, Ruler Kolax, Floyd Campbell, and Johnny Letman, Simmons became a member of Roy Eldridge in 1940. He caused the orchestras of Benny Goodman, Cootie Williams, and Louis Armstrong during 1941-1942 before signing up for CBS’ Blue Network Orchestra. Simmons was briefly with Duke Ellington in Oct 1943, used Eddie Heywood’s Sextet in 1945, Illinois Jacquet in 1946, and did extensive program function. The ’50s had been mostly spent within the studio, aside from stints with Erroll Garner (1950-1952), Harry “Sweets” Edison (1955) as well as the Rolf Ericson-Duke Jordan music group in Scandinavia (1956). Simmons documented with Artwork Tatum on many times in 1955 and worked well and documented with Phineas Newborn in 1960, but poor health soon pressured him from music. John Simmons, who made an appearance with Lester Small within the 1944 film Jammin’ the Blues, documented pretty thoroughly (but not as a innovator) during 1944-1955 including with Small (within the Kansas Town Six), Wayne P. Johnson, Warm Lips Web page, Ben Webster, Billie Vacation, Sidney DeParis, Sid Catlett, Coleman Hawkins, Don Byas, Benny Carter, Expenses DeArango, Al Casey, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Thompson, Thelonious Monk, and Erroll Garner amongst others.

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