Joe Comfort

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This article is about a jazz bassist. For the homeless person in New Haven, Connecticut, see Joe Comfort (New Haven).

Joe Comfort (July 18, 1917 - October 29, 1988) was an American jazz bassist. Comfort, from a musically oriented Los Angeles family, taught himself bass and began performing with Lionel Hampton's orchestra in the late 1920s, and later began performing with Nat King Cole in a partnership that would continue until the early 1950s. Comfort participated in numerous studio dates in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with such luminaries as Sammy Davis, Jr., Benny Carter and Nancy Wilson.[1]

Early Years: Quoted by Charles Mingus in his biography, Beneath the Underdog, Joe Comfort taught Mingus how to play in Watts, where he grew up. Joe also performed with Frank Sinatra but Joe's adversity to flying, kept in and around Los Angeles. Joe's brother, George Comfort was a singer, a music teacher and actor who performed with Dorothy Dandridge in "Porgy and Bess", and many other films working until his seventies, including a role in "Barreta" with Robert Black. Joe's mother, Francis Comfort, was born in Mississippi and played the organ during black and white silent movies. George Comfort, Sr., Joe's father, taught music at Alcorn College and made sure all his children could read music.

Joe Comfort is the great uncle of author Pam Ward, Los Angeles writer/graphic designer who states that "Uncle Joe's funeral was a giant celebration of L.A. jazz's musicians, a Central Avenue homecoming which included a stellar performance by trumpeter, Clora Bryant. Joe's wife, Mattie, was the inspiration for Billy Strayhorn's "Satin Doll". Joe had one child, Theresa. He died in Los Angeles.


With Georgie Auld

With Nat King Cole

With Buddy Collette

With Harry Edison


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