Bassically Speaking: An Oral History of George Duvivier

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"Both as a person and as a musician, he was number one in my book." --Benny Carter Bassist George Duvivier (1920-1985) was one of the most universally respected musicians in jazz. His impeccable musicianship graced the big bands in the 1940s and led to musical associations with virtually every important jazz and popular artist. His prolific recording career spanned all styles of music, from Eubie Blake to Eric Dolphy, Billie Holiday to Barry Manilow. Duvivier was a most astute and articulate observer of the musical scene. A large part of this book is devoted to his own reflections on growing up in Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s, the evolution of the bass, life in the commercial studios, and his memories of close associates--Coleman Hawkins, Jimmie Lunceford, Bud Powell, Lena Horne, and many others. In addition, twenty of Duvivier's colleagues, including Louie Bellson, Ron Carter, Milt Hinton, Ed Shaughnessy, Arthur Taylor, and Joe Wilder, have contributed, covering a variety of musical and social issues, as well as providing a loving portrait of an extraordinary artist. Duvivier's musical style is discussed by David Chevan, who has included transcriptions of several solos. An extensive discography/solography traces Duvivier's incredibly diverse recording career. With dozens of previously unpublished photos.
 

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Contents

THE MAKING OF A MUSICIAN
19
FROM SYMPHONY TO SWING
32
HAWKINS UNIVERSITY
40
SAVOY NIGHTS
46
ARMY DAYS
57
THE LUNCEFORD CONNECTION
65
SWINGAN ERA ENDS
77
BIRDLAND AND BUD
90
GEORGE DUVIVIER DISCOGRAPHY SOLOGRAPHY
237
DISCOGRAPHICAL ADDENDA
412
INDEX TO THE DISCOGRAPHY
413
DISCOGRAPHY OF COMPOSITIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS OF GEORGE DUVIVIER
427
Artist Listing
433
George Duvivier on Commercial Videos
437
UNISSUED SESSIONS MENTIONED IN THE TEXT
438
Other Bassists on Albums with Duvivier
441

THE VOCALISTS
96
FIRST CALLTHE STUDIOS
113
AMAZING BASS
133
INTO THE WOODSHED
148
FOR THE RECORDFROM ARMSTRONG TO DOLPHY
162
THE PIANISTS
179
LAST SESSIONS
190
FINAL BARS
200
TECHNICAL ANALYSIS
211
GEORGE DUVIVIER DISCOGRAPHY SOLOGRAPHY
231
Condensed Resume
442
MELODY MAKER ARTICLE BY GEORGE DUVIVIER
447
1940s COMPOSITIONS BY GEORGE DUVIVIER
451
GEORGE DUVIVIER 19201985
457
NOTES
461
BIBLIOGRAPHY
465
INDEX
469
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
484
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Edward Berger is Assistant Director, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University and co-editor of Scarecrow's Studies in Jazz series. He is co-author of Benny Carter: A Life in American Music and Teddy Reig's biography, Reminiscing in Tempo (vols. 1 and 10 in the series) and co-editor and frequent contributor to the Annual Review of Jazz Studies.

David Chevan, a bassist and doctoral candidate in musiclolgy at the Graduate Center, CUNY, has published articles in The Black Perspective in Music and Black Music Research Journal.

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