Monday, August 25, 2008

R.I.P.: Jimmy Cleveland

Jimmy Cleveland
(born May 3, 1926, in Wartrace, TN, USA)
(died August 23, 2008, in Lynwood, Calf., USA)

A musician's musician, Jimmy Cleveland became associated with Brazilian music through his recordings on Antonio Carlos Jobim's debut Verve album in 1963 ("The Composer of Desafinado, Plays") as well as on João Donato's "The New Sound of Brazil" for RCA in 1965, for which Arnaldo DeSouteiro had the opportunity to produce CD reissues in Europe, Asia and Brazil. In 1970, Cleveland and Donato were reunited on the sessions for "A Bad Donato" (Blue Thumb).
Often labeled as a "studio cat", the trombonist took part on over 300 albums with Lionel Hampton (on whose big-band he toured from 1950 to 1953), Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, Lucky Thompson, Oscar Pettiford, Cannonball Adderley, Art Farmer, Gene Krupa, Charles Mingus, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Rushing, Jimmy Smith, Kenny Burrell, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Gerry Mulligan, Friedrich Gulda, Michel Legrand, George Russell, Gil Evans, Oliver Nelson, John Coltrane, Milt Jackson, Maynard Ferguson, Tadd Dameron, Eroll Garner, Stanley Turrentine, Lalo Schifrin, Duke Pearson, Gary McFarland and countless others.

Cleveland eventually became a member of The Creed Taylor Orchestra, which recorded some albums for ABC-Paramount in the late 50s.
He also recorded with singers Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Helen Merrill, Betty Carter, Chris Connor, Dinah Washington, Patricia Scott, Aretha Franklin, Cleo Laine, Anita O'Day, Lena Horne, Esther Phillips, Mark Murphy, Joe Williams, Nina Simone, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, and even James Brown.
Influenced by J.J. Johnson, Cleveland was a member of Thelonious Monk’s 1967 octet and then joined the house band for The Merv Griffin TV Show.

The studio albums that he recorded as a leader during the 50s ("Introducing Jimmy Cleveland & His All-Stars", from 1955, was followed by "Cleveland Style" and "A Map of Jimmy Clevalnd", among others) mainly for the EmArcy and Mercury labels, never received special attention on the press.
Besides the reissues of João Donato's "The New Sound of Brazil", Arnaldo DeSouteiro produced several compilations and reissues which included Jimmy Cleveland's performances - from "A Trip to Brazil: 40 Years of Bossa Nova" (Verve, 1998) to "Summer in the City: The Soul Jazz Grooves of Quincy Jones" (Verve, 2007).

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