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Wilfred Middlebrooks

Bassist Wilfred Middlebrooks continues to be best appreciated for his expanded tenure behind the fantastic Ella Fitzgerald, financing his elegant, understated rhythms to now-classic recordings like the 1960 Berlin live time Mack the Blade. Delivered July 17, 1933 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Middlebrooks was the merchandise of the musical family, with 11 began monitoring under the primary bassist for the Chattanooga Symphony–by 15, he was touring using a vaudeville troupe, and throughout a efficiency in Ohio he befriended saxophonist Tabs Smith, who offered as his coach. Middlebrooks spent a two-year armed forces stint playing bass and tuba within a U.S. Military music group, and after time for civilian lifestyle he resolved in LA, collaborating with renowned saxophonist Eric Dolphy during a protracted residency on the Oasis Membership. He also used saxophonist Pal Collette, who constructed “Walkin’ Willie” honoring Middlebrooks’ impeccable intonation and tireless tempo. He agreed upon on Fitzgerald with time to get a 1958 NEVADA gig and continued to be with her group for over 3 years, contributing to periods including Sings the Harold Arlen Tune Reserve and Clap Hands, Right here Shows up Charlie!–his other notable studio collaborations include dates headlined by Johnny Hodges, Frank Rosolino and Red Holloway. In 1960, Middlebrooks and Fitzgerald pianist Paul Smith started moonlighting on the Redondo Seaside membership The Velvet Turtle, a relationship that prolonged across several years and some LPs–in 1977, the bassist also produced his lone feature film appearance in Martin Scorsese’s musical NY, NY. Middlebrooks passed away of heart failing on March 13, 2008 in Pasadena, California–he was 74.

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