Red Callender

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Red Callender
Background information
Birth name George Sylvester Callender
Born (1916-03-06)March 6, 1916
Haynesville, Virginia, U.S.
Died March 8, 1992(1992-03-08) (aged 76)
Saugus, California, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Double bass, tuba

George Sylvester "Red" Callender (March 6, 1916 – March 8, 1992) was a jazz bass and tuba player.


Callender was born in Haynesville, Virginia. In the early 1940s, he played in the Lester and Lee Young band, and then formed his own trio. In the 1940s Callender recorded with Nat King Cole, Erroll Garner, Charlie Parker, Wardell Gray, Dexter Gordon, Uffe Baadh [Frank Bode] and many others. After a period spent leading a trio in Hawaii, Callender returned to Los Angeles, becoming one of the first black musicians to work regularly in the commercial studios, including backing singer Linda Hayes on two singles. He made his recording debut at 19 with Louis Armstrong's band.[1] However, he later turned down offers to work with Duke Ellington's Orchestra and the Louis Armstrong All-Stars.

On his 1954 Crown LP Speaks Low, Callender was one of the earliest modern jazz tuba soloists. Keeping busy up until his death, some of the highlights of the bassist's later career include recording with Art Tatum and Jo Jones (1955–1956) for the Tatum Group, playing with Charles Mingus at the 1964 Monterey Jazz Festival, working with James Newton's avant-garde woodwind quintet (on tuba), and performing as a regular member of the Cheatham's Sweet Baby Blues Band. He also reached the top of the British pop charts as a member of B. Bumble and the Stingers.

Callender died of thyroid cancer at his home in Saugus, California.[2]


As leader[edit]

  • 1956: Swingin' Suite (Modern)
  • 1957: Red Callender Speaks Low (Crown Records)
  • 1958: The Lowest (MetroJazz Records)
  • 1973: Basin Street Brass (Legend)
  • 1984: Night Mist Blues (Hemisphere)

As sideman[edit]

With Louis Bellson

With Judy Carmichael

  • Pearls (Jazzology, 1985)

With John Carter

With Buddy Collette

With Maynard Ferguson

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Paul Horn

With B.B. King



External links[edit]