Born: May 3, 1926 Primary Instrument: Bass
Jymie Merritt is an American hard bop double-bassist, and a father of a bassist, Mike Merritt, from Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
Raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he received early training as a classical bassist (double bass), but he credits the following experiences, which took place in the 1940s, as proving more significant musically: (1) his early gigs in Philadelphia, PA with pianist Hassan Ibn Ali (duo) and (2) jam sessions, often conducted at his own house, with his mother as hostess, that included such local notables at the time as Jimmy Heath, Philly Joe Jones, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Jimmy Smith, John Dennis and Benny Golson. Other early experiences included gigs with the Jimmy Campbell Quintet and the Ernie Hopkins Quartet. Jymie's first touring experience in the 1950s was with the Bull Moose Jackson Orchestra under the musical direction of Tadd Dameron. He toured also with Chris Powell and the Blue Flames (1952-55), one of the first rock groups; with blues great B.B. King; and later with Red Prysock. Jymie's early jazz instrument was the acoustic double bass. His performing instrument as a rock bassist and blues bassist was a Fender electric bass....