Leroy Vinnegar

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Leroy Vinnegar
Born(1928-07-13)July 13, 1928
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
DiedAugust 3, 1999(1999-08-03) (aged 71)
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
InstrumentsDouble bass

Leroy Vinnegar (July 13, 1928 – August 3, 1999) was an American jazz bassist.[1] Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, the self-taught Vinnegar established his reputation in Los Angeles, California, during the 1950s and 1960s.[1] His trademark was the rhythmic "walking" bass line, a steady series of ascending or descending notes, and it brought him the nickname "The Walker". Besides his jazz work, he also appeared on a number of soundtracks and pop albums, notably Van Morrison's 1972 album, Saint Dominic's Preview.[2]

Music career[edit]

He recorded extensively as both a leader and sideman. He came to public attention in the 1950s as a result of recording with Lee Konitz, André Previn, Stan Getz, Shorty Rogers, Chet Baker, Shelly Manne, Joe Castro and Serge Chaloff.[2]

He played bass on Previn and Manne's My Fair Lady album,[1] one of the most successful jazz records ever produced. He also performed on another of jazz's biggest hit albums, Eddie Harris and Les McCann's Swiss Movement, released in 1969.[1] Vinnegar also performed at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, California, and Diggers in East Los Angeles in the late 1950s, with drummer and pianist Don Joham along with other musicians. He moved to Portland, Oregon in 1986.[1] In 1995, the Oregon State Legislature honored him by proclaiming May 1 Leroy Vinnegar Day.

Vinnegar died of a heart attack, at the age of 71, on August 3, 1999, in a hospital in Portland.[1]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Pepper Adams

With Stan Getz and Lionel Hampton

With Chet Baker

With Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan

With Conte Candoli

With Benny Carter

With Joe Castro

  • Live at Falcon's Lair! (Pablo, 1956)
  • Groove Funk Soul (Atlantic, 1959)
  • At Falcon's Lair with Joe Castro (1959)

With Serge Chaloff

With Dolo Coker

With Buddy Collette

With Sonny Criss

With The Doors

With Barbara Dane & Earl Hines

With Kenny Dorham

With Kenny Drew

With Harry Edison

With Teddy Edwards

With Victor Feldman

With Red Garland

With Stan Getz

With Dexter Gordon

With Eddie Harris and Les McCann

With Hampton Hawes

With Elmo Hope

With The Jazz Crusaders

With Fred Katz

With Barney Kessel

With Eric Kloss

With Harold Land

With Gordon Lee

  • On the Shoulders of Giants (Unity Label Group, 1994)

With Shelly Manne

With Les McCann

With Howard McGhee

With Frank Morgan

With Van Morrison

With Gerry Mulligan and Ben Webster

With Phineas Newborn, Jr.

With Art Pepper

With Carl Perkins

With Randy Porter

With Sonny Rollins

With Shorty Rogers

With Jimmy Smith

With Sonny Stitt

With Cedar Walton

With Tut Taylor

With Jessica Williams

  • Encounters (Jazz Focus, 1994)
  • Encounters II (Jazz Focus, 1997)

With Don Wilkerson

With Gerald Wilson

With Jack Wilson


  1. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (2002). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Fifties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 470. ISBN 1-85227-937-0.
  2. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Blue Serge: Review". AllMusic. Retrieved May 18, 2013.