|Birth name||Jimmy Garrison|
March 3, 1934|
Americus, Georgia, USA
|Died||April 7, 1976(aged 42)|
|Associated acts||John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman|
Garrison was raised in both Miami, Florida and Philadelphia where he learned to play bass. Garrison came of age in the midst of a thriving Philadelphia jazz scene that included fellow bassists Reggie Workman and Henry Grimes, pianist McCoy Tyner and trumpeter Lee Morgan. Between 1957 and 1962, Garrison played and recorded with trumpeter Kenny Dorham; clarinetist Tony Scott; drummer Philly Joe Jones; and saxophonists Bill Barron, Lee Konitz, and Jackie McLean, as well as Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, Lennie Tristano, Pharoah Sanders, and Tony Scott, among others. In 1959 he first appeared on record with Ornette Coleman on "Art of the Improvisers" (Atlantic, 1959). He continued to work with many leaders, including Walter Bishop, Jr., Coleman, Dorham, and Cal Massey for the next two years.
He formally joined Coltrane's quartet in 1962, replacing Workman. The long trio blues "Chasin' the Trane" is probably his first recorded performance with Coltrane and Elvin Jones. Garrison performed on many classic Coltrane recordings, including A Love Supreme. In concert with Coltrane, Garrison would often play unaccompanied improvised solos, sometimes as the prelude to a song before the other musicians joined in. After Coltrane's death, Garrison worked and recorded with Hampton Hawes, Archie Shepp, Clifford Thornton and groups led by Elvin Jones.
Garrison also had a long association with Ornette Coleman, first recording with him on Ornette on Tenor and Art of the Improvisers. He and drummer Elvin Jones have been credited with eliciting more forceful playing than usual from Coleman on the albums New York is Now and Love Call.
Jimmy Garrison had four daughters and a son. Lori, Joy and Robin with his first wife Robbie Garrison, Maia Claire and Matthew with his second wife, Italy-based dancer and choreographer Roberta Escamilla Garrison. Matthew, Joy and Maia Claire are accomplished artists in their own right. Joy Garrison sang alongside Barney Kessel, Cameron Brown, Tony Scott and many others. Matthew Garrison is a bass guitar player. He has performed and recorded with Joe Zawinul, Chaka Khan, The Saturday Night Live Band, John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Steve Coleman, Whitney Houston, Pino Daniele, John Scofield, Paul Simon, Tito Puente and many others. Garrison's daughter Maia Claire is a dancer and choreographer who worked as a child acrobat with Big Apple Circus in New York, a featured dancer with Urban Bush Women and founder of her own dance company M'Zawa Danz.
Garrison died of lung cancer on April 7, 1976.
With Ornette Coleman
- Ornette on Tenor (Atlantic, 1961)
- The Art of the Improvisers (Atlantic, 1961)
- New York Is Now! (Blue Note, 1968)
- Love Call (Blue Note, 1968)
With John Coltrane
- Ballads (1962)
- Coltrane (1962)
- Duke Ellington & John Coltrane (1962)
- John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman (1962)
- Live at Birdland (1963)
- Crescent (1964)
- A Love Supreme (1964)
- Ascension (1965)
- First Meditations (1965)
- The John Coltrane Quartet Plays (1965)
- Kulu Sé Mama (1965)
- Live at the Half Note: One Down, One Up ([1965)
- Live in Seattle (1965)
- The Major Works of John Coltrane (1965)
- Meditations (1965)
- Transition (1965)
- Sun Ship (1965)
- Live in Japan (4 discs) (1966)
- Live at the Village Vanguard Again! ( 1966)
- Expression (1967)
- The Olatunji Concert: The Last Live Recording (1967)
- Stellar Regions (1967)
With Ted Curson
- Plenty of Horn (Old Town, 1961)
With Kenny Dorham
With Curtis Fuller
- Blues-ette (Savoy, 1959)
- Imagination (Savoy, 1959)
- Images of Curtis Fuller (Savoy, 1960)
- The Magnificent Trombone of Curtis Fuller (Epic, 1961)
With Elvin Jones
With Philly Joe Jones
- Blues for Dracula (Riverside, 1958)
- Drums Around the World (Riverside, 1959)
- Showcase (Riverside, 1959)
With Lee Konitz
- Live at the Half Note (Verve, 1959)
- Impressions of New York (Impulse!, 1967)
With Jackie McLean
- Swing, Swang, Swingin' (Blue Note, 1959)
With Sonny Rollins
- East Broadway Run Down (Impulse! 1966)
With Archie Shepp
With Clifford Thornton
- Freedom & Unity (New World Records, 1967)
- Kernfeld, Barry (2002). "Garrison, Jimmy". In Barry Kernfeld. The new Grove dictionary of jazz, vol. 2 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 18. ISBN 1561592846.
- Kelsey, Chris. "Allmusic Biography". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- My Favorite Things (album)
- "Matthew Garrison-Bass Guitar". Garrisonjazz.com. Retrieved 2012-06-25.
- Wendell, Eric: Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians (http://www.jazz.com/encyclopedia/garrison-jimmy-james-emory)