Home > Ray Brown, 1993

Grammy Award Winning Bassist Ray Brown has appeared on more than 2,000 recordings, performed on five continents and played on hundreds of film scores and television shows. Brown, who is also an accomplished producer, manager, publisher, music director, bass designer, instructor, writer and arranger, is considered by fans, musicians and critics to be a real bass player, a bassist’s bassist. He is well known as the leader of his own group and has also been a part of some of jazz’s greatest groups; including Dizzy Gillespie’s Big Band, the L.A. Four and the Oscar Peterson Trio. Ray Brown is a consistent poll topper and has topped Down Beat Magazine’s Critics Poll, six times and the Readers Poll Awards, thirteen times as top acoustic bassist.

Raymond Matthews Brown was born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1926. He began as a pianist and in high school, Ray switched to the bass and upon graduating, he went on the road with Jimmy Hinsley and then with Snookum Russell. Brown was with Dizzy Gillespie for two years jamming with such greats as Charlie Parker on sax, max Roach on drums, Bud Powell on piano and Dizzy on trumpet.

Brown later formed his own trio with Hank Jones and Charlie Smith to back singer Ella Fitzgerald. During those years Brown toured with the popular Jazz At The Philharmonic. Brown credits piano virtuoso Oscar Peterson, for having a lasting influence on him. The trio played and recorded together from 1951 to 1966.

We are sorry to report that Ray passed away 7-2-02