All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Bobby Durham

Bobby Durham

Part of the enormous Philadelphia family tree of jazz players, Bobby Durham has amassed a long list of impressive jazz credits while alternating residencies between Italy and his hometown.

He is perhaps best known as a member of several of the virtuoso pianist Oscar Peterson's classic trios from the '50s and as one of the great jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald's most sensitive accompanists, although jazz fans that are into the smoking organ trio sound will know Durham from his associations with the likes of turbaned Charles Earland or the innovative organist Shirley Scott.

Durham is a personal favorite of jazz producer Norman Granz, who has turned to Durham again and again for help with his projects involving the likes of Fitzgerald and Basie as well as using Durham as the rhythm section drummer for jam session encounters with the likes of pianist Tommy Flanagan, guitarist Joe Pass, and trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison, among many. Durham got into music young, starting out dancing and singing before beginning drums well before his teen years. He was a professional musician by the time he was 16 with the group the Orioles.

From 1956 to 1959 he served in a United States military band, then began working with the band of King James and the Stan Hunter trio upon getting out of the services. In 1960 his career really took off when he moved to New York and began working with a who's who of mainstream jazz greats that includes Lloyd Price, Wild Bill Davis, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Slide Hampton, Grant Green, Hary Edison, Tommy Flanagan, and Jimmy Rowles. He met the fine trombonist Al Grey in the Basie band and was later a part of Grey's own combos.

Read more

Tags

Album Review
Read more articles

Photos

Albums

Watch

Similar

Linda Kosut
voice / vocals
Cinematone
band/orchestra
Carolyn Lee Jones
voice / vocals
Michael Ross
bass, acoustic

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.