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Clarence Profit

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Biography

A very talented swing pianist, Clarence Profit passed away just before the bop era officially began so one does not know for sure how he would have adjusted his style during the next few years. Profit began playing piano very early, at the age of three, and as a teenager he was playing professionally with a variety of local groups including his own band. He first recorded with the Washboard Serenaders during 1930-31 and then spent time leading bands in Antigua (in the West Indies) and Bermuda for a few years. After returning to New York in 1936, he formed his own trio, playing regularly in New York area clubs. During 1939-40 Profit recorded with his regular group (featuring either Billy Moore or Jimmy Shirley on guitar and bassist Ben Brown), displaying an advanced swing style and a bit of stride. The co-composer (with Edgar Sampson) of "Lullaby In Rhythm," Clarence Profit's premature death has led to him being somewhat obscure in jazz history books although he was rated quite high during his lifetime.

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