Sam Jones Day

November 12, 1924 – December 15, 1981


A birthday tribute to the underrated but valuable bassist

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Bassist Sam Jones was born on November 12, 1924 in Jacksonville, Florida.

After working with the Tiny Bradshaw r&b band during 1953-55, he moved to New York and became immediately in demand.

Jones worked with Kenny Dorham, Cannonball Adderley (1957), Dizzy Gillespie’s quintet (1958-59) and Thelonious Monk, making many record dates including for the Riverside label where he led three memorable albums.

He gained recognition as the bassist with Cannonball Adderleý’s finest groups (1959-65) where he played alongside drummer Louis Hayes.

Jones toured the world as a member of the Oscar Peterson Trio (1966-70) and then spent the remainder of his life freelancing, leading more albums of his own.

In addition to his bass playing and occasional projects on cello, Jones wrote the jazz standards “Unit 7” and “Del Sasser.”

Here he is featured with the Oscar Peterson Trio live from Rome in 1969, performing “Satin Doll” with the pianist and drummer Bobby Durham.

-Scott Yanow


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