Paul Chambers Day

April 22, 1935 – January 4, 1969

Green Dolphin Street

Bassist Paul Chambers was born April 22, 1935 in Pittsburgh, PA, but was raised in Detroit.

He started studying classical bass as a teenager with a bassist from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Thad Jones and Barry Harris were the first to recognize his jazz chops and employ him.

In 1955, he joined Miles Davis and was the bass player on “Kind of Blue.” He appeared on many John Coltrane albums as well and was much in demand as a sideman.

During the mid-1950s he performed with artists including Bennie Green, George Wallington, Paul Quinichette, Kai Winding, and J. J. Johnson.

Along with Slam Stewart he is distinguished as one of the first jazz bassists to perform using a bow.

His abilities put him in high demand as a session musician.

He died as a result of tuberculosis in January, 1969, at the age of 33.

The Miles Davis Quintet, minus Miles filmed March 28, 1960 in Dusseldorf, Germany.


John Coltrane, tenor saxophone
Wynton Kelly, piano,
Paul Chambers, bass
Jimmy Cobb, drums