George Duvivier Day

August 17, 1920 – July 11, 1985

Blues for Harry Carney

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Bassist and arranger George Duvivier was born on August 17th, 1920 in New York City, New York.

Originally a cellist and violinist, Duvivier was trained in classical music and became the assistant concertmaster of the Central Manhattan Symphony Orchestra at only 16.

During the swing era, he played with Coleman Hawkins, Cab Calloway, Lucky Millinder, and others.

Duvivier continued to play when bop became the music’s dominant form. Among the artists he backed in this time period are Oliver Nelson, Hank Jones, and Eric Dolphy.

Duvivier worked as a sideman for most of his career and had a tendency of never remaining with the same group for too long.

Working with Bud Powell in 1953, he would go on to perform with organist Shirley Scott, drummer Arthur Edgehill, and as a member of Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis’ quartet from between 1957 and ’59.

Playing in the orchestra in the film, “The Benny Goodman Story” during the 1970s he was also a member of Soprano Summit.

Among George Duvivier’s final performances was a 1983 appearance on “Late Night with David Letterman” as accompanist to Tom Waits.

He died from cancer in his Manhattan apartment on July 11, 1985.

George Duvivier delivers a live performance in Mobile, Alabama dedicated to Harry Carney in 1984.


George Duvivier, bass
Ray Bryant, piano
Johnny Smith, guitar
Alan Dawson, drums


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