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Jimmy Woode

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Jimmy Woode
Picture, depicting Sonya Hedenbratt and Jimmy Woode in 1947 performing whilst smoking cigarettes
Sonya Hedenbratt and Jimmy Woode (right) in 1947
James Bryant Woode

(1926-09-23)September 23, 1926
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
DiedApril 23, 2005(2005-04-23) (aged 78)
Lindenwold, New Jersey, US

James Bryant Woode (September 23, 1926 – April 23, 2005) was an American jazz bassist.[1] He played and/or recorded in bands with Flip Phillips, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Nat Pierce, Sidney Bechet, Billie Holiday, Jaki Byard, Earl Hines, Jimmy Witherspoon, Clark Terry and Miles Davis.[1]


Woode was born September 23, 1926, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.[1] His father, also named Jimmy Woode, was a music teacher and pianist who had played with Hot Lips Page. The younger Woode studied piano and bass in Boston at Boston University and at the Conservatory of Music, as well as at the Philadelphia Academy.

He joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1955,[2] appearing on many of Ellington's recordings, including Such Sweet Thunder and Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Songbook, both from 1957, as well as the performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival issued on Ellington at Newport. He stayed with the Orchestra until 1960, when he left to live in Europe.[1]

Jimmy Woode's song "Just Give Me Time" was covered by Carola in 1966, first released on her album Carola & Heikki Sarmanto Trio, reaching the Finnish charts in 2004.

An original member of The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band,[2] in 1995 he also toured with Lionel Hampton's Golden Men of Jazz.

In 2003, Woode formed a trio with drummer Pete York and German jazz musician/comedian Helge Schneider, touring in Germany with his interpretation of jazz classics such as "Georgia" and "Summertime". As a consequence of his co-operation with Schneider, Woode also starred in the feature film Jazzclub (2004).[3] in the role of Steinberg, a struggling jazz bassist.

He died April 23, 2005, at age 78 at his home in Lindenwold, New Jersey, of complications following a surgery for a stomach aneurysm.[4]

Woode was born on the same day, the same month, the same year as saxophonist John Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967).


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With (groups led by) Don Byas, Albert Nicholas, Bud Powell, Idrees Sulieman

With Kenny Clarke

With Ted Curson

  • Urge (Fontana, 1966)

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Johnny Griffin

With Nathan Davis

  • The Hip Walk
  • Peace Treaty
  • Happy Girl

With Eric Dolphy

With Duke Ellington

With Art Farmer

With Erich Kleinschuster (Sextett)

With Paul Gonsalves

With Johnny Griffin

With Jim Hall

With Johnny Hodges

With John Lewis and Svend Asmussen

With Mark Murphy

With Mythologie

  • Live At »Domicile« Munich (BASF, 1971)

With Sahib Shihab

With Sunbirds

  • Sunbirds (BASF, 1971)
  • Zagara (Polydor/Finger, 1973)

With Clark Terry

With Mal Waldron


  1. ^ a b c d Larkin, Colin, ed. (2002). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Fifties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 507. ISBN 1-85227-937-0.
  2. ^ a b Voce, Steve. "Obituary: Jimmy Woode." The Independent, 28 April 2005.
  3. ^ "Jazzclub - Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm". IMDb.com. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  4. ^ Keepnews, Peter. "Jimmy Woode, Ex-Ellington Bassist, Dies at 78". April 30, 2005. The New York Times. Accessed May 30, 2013.