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John Kirby

John Kirby led a most unusual group during the height of the big-band era, a sextet comprised of trumpeter Charlie Shavers, clarinetist Buster Bailey, altoist Russell Procope, pianist Billy Kyle, drummer O'Neil Spencer and his own bass. Although Shavers and Bailey could be quite extroverted, the tightly arranged ensembles tended to be very cool-toned and introverted yet virtuosic.

Kirby, originally a tuba player, switched to bass in 1930 when he joined Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra. He was one of the better bassists of the 1930s, playing with Henderson (1930-33 and 1935-36) and Chick Webb's big band (1933-35).

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Benny Goodman Benny Goodman
Gene Krupa Gene Krupa
Chick Webb Chick Webb
Jimmy Blanton Jimmy Blanton
bass, acoustic
Artie Shaw Artie Shaw
Woody Herman Woody Herman
Hot Lips Page Hot Lips Page
Peggy Lee Peggy Lee
Jimmie Lunceford Jimmie Lunceford
Jay McShann Jay McShann
Milt Hinton Milt Hinton
bass, acoustic

All About Vince Guaraldi!

An exclusive opportunity for All About Jazz readers to participate in the celebration of a jazz legend.