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Primary Instrument: Bass

Born: February 2, 1920

A versatile and supportive bassist, Joe Mondragon appeared with the who's who of jazz during a two-decade period. Self-taught on bass, Mondragon started out working locally in Los Angeles. After serving in the Army, he was with Woody Herman's First Herd in 1946. He then went into the studios, working with a countless number of top musicians and singers (mostly on the West Coast). Among his many associations on record were June Christy, Shorty Rogers, Shelly Manne, Buddy Rich, Buddy DeFranco, Marty Paich, Claude Williamson and many others. Mondragon, who recorded the Duke Ellington Songbook with Ella Fitzgerald from 1956-57, was a fixture in the studios; among the more jazz-oriented soundtracks for films that he appeared on were The Wild One and Pete Kelly's Blues...
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