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Buddy Tate

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Biography

One of the more individual tenors to emerge from the swing era, the distinctive Buddy Tate came to fame as Herschel Evans' replacement with Count Basie's Orchestra. Earlier he had picked up valuable experience playing with Terrence Holder (1930-1933), Count Basie's original Kansas City band (1934), Andy Kirk (1934-1935), and Nat Towles (1935-1939). With Basie a second time during 1939-1948, Tate held his own with such major tenors as Lester Young, Don Byas, Illinois Jacquet, Lucky Thompson, and Paul Gonsalves. After a period freelancing with the likes of Hot Lips Page, Lucky Millinder, and Jimmy Rushing (1950-1952), Tate led his own crowd-pleasing group for 21 years (1953-1974) at Harlem's Celebrity Club. During this period, Tate also took time out to record in a variety of settings (including with Buck Clayton and Milt Buckner) and he was the one of the stars of John Hammond's Spirituals to Swing concert of 1967. Tate kept busy after the Celebrity Club association ended, recording frequently, co-leading a band with Paul Quinichette in 1975, playing and recording in Canada with Jay McShann and Jim Galloway, visiting Europe many times, and performing at jazz parties; he was also a favorite sideman of Benny Goodman's in the late '70s. Although age had taken its toll, in the mid-'90s Buddy Tate played and recorded with both Lionel Hampton and the Statesmen of Jazz. Tate lived in New York until January, 2001, when he moved to Phoenix, Arizona to live with his daughter. Buddy Tate died a few weeks later, on February 10. ~ Scott Yanow

Top Songs

Birth Name:

George Holmes Tate

Born:

22 February 1913 in Sherman, TX

Genre
Years Active:

'30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

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Contemporaries