Arnold Fishkind

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Arnold Fishkind
Arnold fishkind.jpg
Arnold Fishkind in the 1960s
Background information
Birth name Arnold Aaron Fishkind
Born (1919-07-20)July 20, 1919
Origin New York City, New York, US
Died September 6, 1999(1999-09-06) (aged 80)
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Upright bass
Years active 1937–1988

Arnold Fishkind, sometimes credited as Arnold Fishkin (born July 20, 1919 – September 6, 1999,[1]) was an American jazz bassist who appeared on over 100 albums.

Early life[edit]

Fishkind was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, and grew up in Freeport, Long Island, where he met and began a lifelong friendship with Chubby Jackson. At age 7 Fishkind began learning violin, and played in "The Musical Aces", a local band of budding musicians.[2] By age 14 he was playing bass.

Later life and career[edit]

Fishkind had his first professional gig with Bunny Berigan[3] in 1937. Following this he played with Jack Teagarden[2] (1940–41), Van Alexander,[2][4] and Les Brown[2] (1941–42). His career was interrupted at this point by three years of service in the armed forces during World War II.

In mid-1946 Fishkind met and played with pianist Lennie Tristano in New York, but by the fall he left to go to Hollywood to play with Charlie Barnet. During this experience he played alongside Stan Getz. In 1947 Fishkind returned to New York City, where from 1947 to 1949 he played with Tristano, and from 1949 to 1951 he recorded with Lee Konitz and on Johnny Smith's Moonlight in Vermont. During this period he also continued to play with Barnet, and played with Benny Goodman.[5][6]

In the 1950s he found much work as a session musician, for radio (for example, "Across the Board",[2]) television (for example, The Steve Allen Show,[2]) and pop musicians (including Frankie Laine). His career at ABC[2] lasted fifteen years and included appearances in the Andy Williams Show in 1961. Fishkind became well known enough during this time to be mentioned by Jack Kerouac in his novel Visions of Cody.

Rock and Roll having decimated the market for jazz musicians in New York City, Fishkind moved from New York City back to California. In California he found work with the Dean Martin and Bob Hope television shows and some substitution engagements on the Tonight and Merv Griffin television shows, as well as some recording and film work. He also toured with Les Brown and Lena Horne. Fishkind continued to record into the 1980s, playing with, among others, Frank Scott (musician).[7]

Chubby Jackson and Arnold Fishkind 1998

Fishkind converted to Christianity after discussions with his son, Todd, and contemporary Christian music artist Keith Green. He was at first associated with the Vineyard Christian Fellowship, where he introduced trumpet player/arranger Shorty Rogers and pianist Bobby Corwin, Johnny Mercer's son-in-law, to the group.[8] He later (1978) became an elder at Keith Green's Last Days Ministries,[9] to whom Green dearly loved, and looked up to as a kind of father figure. Ultimately he moved to Palm Desert, California, where he was able to join the celebration of his friend Chubby Jackson's 80th birthday. In his latter years, Fishkind became an ordained minister at Family Life Church in Palm Desert.

During his career Fishkind performed swing and bebop jazz, television, jingles, and even western themed music. His documented associations included, in addition to those mentioned above, Ella Fitzgerald,[10] Stan Hasselgard,[11] Peanuts Hucko,[12] Charlie Parker,[13][14] Shorty Rogers,[15] Butch Stone,[2] and Jerry Wald.[2] Although there is no mention in the record from whom he learned bass, he gave as his primary influence Jimmy Blanton. Fishkind himself mentored Chubby Jackson[16] and had at least one student, bassist Peter Blannin,[17] who studied with him in New York in 1951.

Fishkind died in Palm Desert, California.


Album Primary Artist Release Label UPC
Conception Miles Davis, Various Artists 1951 OJC 25218172622
RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt (in the Henri René Orchestra) Eartha Kitt 1953 RCA -
That Bad Eartha (EP) (in the Henri René Orchestra) Eartha Kitt 1954 RCA -
Down To Eartha (in the Henri René Orchestra) Eartha Kitt 1955 RCA -
Subconscious-Lee (rec. 1949-1950) Lee Konitz 1955 OJC 25218618625
That Bad Eartha (LP) (in the Henri René Orchestra) Eartha Kitt 1956 RCA -
Lullabies of Birdland Ella Fitzgerald LP: 1956
CD: 2007
Verve 602517247659
Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries Howard McGhee 1956 Bethlehem
Moonlight in Vermont Johnny Smith LP: 1956
CD: 2004
Blue Note Records 724359309125
Thursday's Child (in the Henri René Orchestra) Eartha Kitt 1957 RCA -
Gigi Hank Jones 1958 Golden Crest -
Portrait of Bunny Berigan (rec. 1932-1937) Bunny Berigan 1989 ASV Living Era 743625506020
On the Trail Frankie Laine 1990 Bear Family 790051154806
Body and Soul (rec. 1939-1956) Coleman Hawkins 1996 RCA 90266851522
Intuition (rec. 1949-1956) Lennie Tristano and Warne Marsh 1996 Blue Note Records 724385277122
Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Sessions
(rec. 1944-1948)
Charlie Parker 2000 Savoy Jazz 795041707925
Big Band Jazz (rec. 1944) Jack Teagarden 2006 Collectables 90431087121
With Coleman Hawkins

With Lee Konitz



  1. ^ "Arnold Fishkin Page in Fuller Up, The Dead Musician Directory". Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Munger, Jane (23 December 1954). "This Jazz Bass Fiddler Is Judged 'The Most'". The Levittown Tribune. p. 8. 
  3. ^ Dupuis, Robert (1993). Bunny Berigan: Elusive Legend of Jazz. LSU Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-8071-3068-1. 
  4. ^ Lee, William F.; Billy Taylor (2005). American Big Bands. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-634-08054-8. 
  5. ^ Yanow, Scott (2000). Bebop: The Best Musicians and Recordings. Backbeat Books. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-87930-608-3. 
  6. ^ Carr, Ian; Digby Fairweather; Brian Priestley; Charles Alexander (2004). The Rough Guide to Jazz: the essential companion to artists and albums. Rough Guides. p. 344. ISBN 978-1-84353-256-9. 
  7. ^ "Frank Scott Papers 1901-1996". North Dakota State University. 21 September 2000. Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  8. ^ "Jazz for Jesus". Retrieved 14 January 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ "In Memory". Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  10. ^ Nicholson, Stuart (1995). Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography Of The First Lady Of Jazz. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-80642-1. 
  11. ^ Yanow, Scott (2003). Jazz on Record: The First Sixty Years. Backbeat Books. p. 267. ISBN 978-0-87930-755-4. 
  12. ^ Yanow, Scott (2000). Swing: The Best Musicians and Recordings. Backbeat Books. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-87930-600-7. 
  13. ^ Priestley, Brian (2007). Chasin' the Bird: The Life and Legacy of Charlie Parker. Oxford University Press US. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-19-532709-0. 
  14. ^ Koch, Lawrence O. (1988). Yardbird Suite: A Compendium of the Music and Life of Charlie Parker. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-87972-260-9. 
  15. ^ "Shorty Rogers/Infinity Promenade". 1983. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  16. ^ "Ingrid's Jaco Cybernest/News/CHUBBY JACKSON 1918–2003". 1 October 2003. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2009. 
  17. ^ Chilton, John (2004). Who's who of British Jazz. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-8264-7234-2.