Buddy Collette (1921 – 2010)

Buddy ColletteI saw in the Post today that the great woodwinds player, Buddy Collette, died this past week. He is probably most famous for his time with Chico Hamilton‘s original quintet, whose unusual instrumentation (sax/flute/clarinet, guitar, bass, cello, drums) still gives their recordings a fresh and unique sound fifty years on.

His hundreds of credits include film and television work, and recordings with such artists as Charles Mingus, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Gerald Wilson, Barney Kessel, Buddy Rich, Quincy Jones, Peggy Lee, Les McCann, Sarah Vaughan, and Stan Kenton, among many, many others, as well as many albums as a leader.

Marc Myers at the JazzWax blog interviewed Buddy Collette earlier this year, and it’s a great look at the L.A. jazz scene in the ’40s and ’50s, and his role in integrating the musicians’ unions.

You can hear him on Sinatra’s Swingin’ Session!!! (CD 5275) and on many recordings on Naxos Jazz.