Cleveland Eaton

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Cleveland "Cleve" Eaton
Cleveland Eaton.jpg
Cleve Eaton
Background information
Born (1939-08-31) August 31, 1939 (age 77)
Fairfield, Alabama United States
Genres Jazz, swing, funk, R&B, pop
Occupation(s) Musician, bandleader, producer, composer, publisher, arranger, businessman
Instruments Double Bass, saxophone, trumpet, tuba
Years active 1960 to present

Cleveland "Cleve" Eaton (born August 31, 1939) is an American jazz double bassist from Fairfield, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama. His most famous accomplishments are substantial playing stints with the Ramsey Lewis Trio and later with the Count Basie Orchestra. His 1975 recording Plenty Good Eaton is also considered a classic in the funk music genre.[1]


Eaton has played on notable recording sessions with nearly all genres – jazz with John Klemmer, Ike Cole and Bunky Green, R&B with The Dells and Bobby Rush, pop with Minnie Riperton, Jerry Butler and Rotary Connection, big band music with George Benson, Henry Mancini, Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Billy Eckstein, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald. Eaton was dubbed “the Count’s Bassist” during his seventeen-year stint and over ten recordings with the Count Basie Orchestra. Eaton has also performed with Nancy Wilson, Peggy Lee, Mimi Hines, Sammy Davis, Jr., Julie London, Bobby Troupe, Brook Benton, Lou Rawls, Nipsey Russell, Morgana King, Gloria Lynne, Herbie Hancock, the Magic City Jazz Orchestra, Ray Reach and Friends, The Platters (original), The Temptations, and The Miracles. In 1974, he began performing and touring with his own group, Cleve Eaton and Co., and in 2004 his group became Cleve Eaton and the Alabama All Stars.

According to the May 7–14, 2009 issue of the Birmingham Weekly, a free weekly paper, Eaton was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2009. In January 2011, his official website reported that he is cancer free.


Cleve Eaton, rehearsing with the Ray Reach Quartet, for a performance with Lew Soloff at the 2008 Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival in Birmingham, Alabama.

As leader[edit]

  • 1973: Half and Half (Gamble)
  • 1975: The Eaton Menu
  • 1975: Plenty Good Eaton (Black Jazz)
  • 1976: Instant Hip (Ovation)
  • 1979: Bama Boogie Woogie (Miracle)
  • 1980: Keep Love Alive (Miracle)
  • 1983: Love and Dance (TBA)
  • 1983: Raw 'Live Jazz' Featuring Miss Funky Lu (TBA)
  • 1984: A Classic (Cleveland Eaton Enterprises)
  • 1985: Vol. 1 Live (TBA)
  • 1997: Cleve Eaton Orchestra

As sideman[edit]

With Ramsey Lewis

With the Count Basie Orchestra

  • Strolling with the Count (1980). Ovation
  • Kansas City Shout (1980). Pablo
  • Warm Breeze (1981).
  • 88 Basie Street (1983). Fantasy. (Winner 1984 Grammy Awards Best Jazz Instrumental Performance - Big Band)
  • Me and You (Pablo, 1983)
  • Fancy Pants (1983).
  • The Legend, the Legacy (1989)
  • George Benson/Count Basie Orchestra Big Boss Band (1990).
  • Best of the Count Basie Big Band (1991)
  • Live at El Morocco (1992).
  • Joe Williams/Count Basie Orchestra "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water" (1992)
  • Joe Williams/Count Basie Orchestra "Orchestra Hall, Detroit, November 20, 1992" (1992)

With Bunky Green

  • Playing for Keeps (1966)

With Gene Ammons

With the Soulful Strings

With Robert Moore

  • Serve You Ma'am (2000)
  • Wildcat (2005)


  • Santa's Bag: An All-Star Jazz Christmas "Christmas Blues" (1994) Telarc


External links[edit]