Paul Chambers / April 22, 1935 - Jan 4, 1969

The great jazz bass virtuoso Paul Chambers, forever immortalized by his old pal John Coltrane as "Mr PC", brought the instrument to a new level in his very short time on the planet. He was an early popularizer of the bowing technique and contributed greatly to harmonic advancement for the instrument.

Born in Pittsburgh and raised in Detroit, Chambers played brass instruments before switching to bass at 14. He quickly started playing classical music while still in high school, as well as jazz with Barry Harris before moving to NYC in the mid-'50s. He held a regular gig with Miles Davis for eight years (that's his bassline that is burned into your head at the beginning of "Kind of Blue").

After Miles he worked with Wynton Kelly for the rest of his years, while also cutting a lot of sessions. He played on albums by Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Art Pepper, Wayne Shorter, Wes Montgomery, Oliver Nelson, Cannonball Adderly, Sonny Rollins, Bud Powell, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock, Hank Mobley, King Curtis, Johnny Griffin and about a million others before his early death at 33. A popular fellow in the jazz community, there are no fewer than five compositions named after him, including of course the famous "Mr PC", a tune that my old hardcore band used to play.

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