Video: Cafe Montmartre, '59-'76


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Oscar Pettiford was one of the great jazz bassists on the New York recording scene in the 1940s and '50s. Sadly, his name today is slipping into obscurity. In 1958, Pettiford moved to Copenhagen, where he died in 1960 at age 37. He was the first to play jazz cello in 1949, and few could match his strength and speed. Featured in different segments are Pettiford, Bud Powell, Stuff Smith, Ben Webster, Charlie Shavers, Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus and others.

A fascinating remark by Stan Getz, who sheds light on why so many American jazz musicians settled in Europe and Scandinavia. The more tolerant racial climate was a major factor, of course, but there also was the ability to remain at home with one's family and not be on the road for long stretches to earn a living promoting new albums. Here's the clip...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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