Joe Comfort

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Joe Comfort (July 18, 1917 – October 29, 1988) was an American jazz double bassist.


His mother was born in Mississippi and played the organ during black and white silent movies. His father, George Comfort from Natchez Mississippi taught music at Alcorn State University and composed the school's theme played today and made sure all his children could read music. Joe's older brother George was a singer, a music teacher, and actor who performed with Dorothy Dandridge in Porgy and Bess.

A native of Los Angeles who was raised in Watts, Joe Comfort was taught trombone by his father and began his musical career with the Woodman Brother's who like Joe were also from Watts. Joe and the Woodman's used to toss their instruments in the air catching each other's woods and reeds performing extensively all over Los Angeles. In the 1940s Joe played bass in the Lionel Hampton band up until Joe was drafted for war, training at Fort Rucker, Alabama and then serving in the US Army band that went to France. Upon return, Joe worked with Nat King Cole which included extensive travel across the US and in Europe and featured on many recordings including Nat's iconic hit, Nature Boy. Joe also worked separately with Cole's guitarist, Oscar Moore. Beginning in the 1950s, he was a studio musician who recorded soundtracks and pop music with Nelson Riddle, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald [1]

He was a sideman in the 1941 Fred Astaire movie You'll Never Get Rich. He is featured on a "March Milastaire (A-Stairable Rag)", a Porter song that contrasts march and jazz rhythm. Comfort played at many night clubs in Los Angeles. He died in Los Angeles.

Charles Mingus, in his autobiography Beneath the Underdog, wrote that when he was a child in the Watts section of Los Angeles, Joe Comfort taught him how to play double bass. Joe's wife, Mattie, was the inspiration for Duke Ellington's "Satin Doll".


As sideman[edit]

With Rosemary Clooney

With Buddy Collette

With Ella Fitzgerald

With Gerald Wiggins

  • 1953 Gerald Wiggins Trio
  • 1957 Wiggin' with Wig
  • 1961 Relax and Enjoy It

With Nancy Wilson

With others


  • 2003 Harry Edison Quartet at the Haig 1953, Harry Edison (Fresh Sound)


  1. ^ Chadbourne, Eugene. "Joe Comfort". AllMusic. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "Joe Comfort | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved November 16, 2018.