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Garrison Jimmy (actually, James Emory)

Garrison Jimmy (actually, James Emory)

Garrison, Jimmy (actually, James Emory), jazz bassist; father of Matthew Justin Garrison; b. Miami, Fla., March 3, 1934; d. N.Y., April 7, 1976. His family moved to Philadelphia when he was a child; there he studied clarinet. During his high school years, he switched to playing bass. He worked locally with Cal Massey, the Tommy Monroe Big Band (with John Coltrane as a guest in late 1956), and Coltrane and McCoy Tyner (1957). He moved to N.Y. (1958), where he played with Tony Scott, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, Lennie Tristano, Bill Evans (in the pianist’s first trio after leaving Miles Davis, with Philly Joe Jones (1958), Kenny Dorham (1959–60), and Ornette Coleman (1961). He first played with Coltrane’s group on the renowned Village Vanguard 1961 dates, sometimes as sole bassist, at other times with Reggie Workman. He was a mainstay of the Coltrane quartet from then on, with one interruption, until the saxophonist’s death (1967). He formed trio with Hampton Hawes (1966), toured with Elvin Jones and Archie Shepp, and was active in teaching. He died of lung cancer in 1976. His widow and daughter are dancers; his son, Matthew Justin Garrison, is also a bassist.

—Lewis Porter

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