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Bobby Durham

Bobby Durham - © Jean Geiser

born on 3/2/1937 in Philadelphia, PA, United States

died on 7/7/2008 in Genova, Liguria, Italy

Bobby Durham (jazz musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Bobby Durham (February 3, 1937, in Philadelphia July 6, 2008, in Genoa), was an American jazz drummer.[1]

Durham was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and learned to play drums while a child. He played with The Orioles at age 16, and was in a military band between 1956 and 1959. After his discharge he played with King James and Stan Hunter. In 1960 he moved to New York City, where he played with Lloyd Price, Wild Bill Davis, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Slide Hampton, Grant Green, Sweets Edison, Tommy Flanagan, Jimmy Rowles, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, in which he played for five years. While working with Basie he met Al Grey, and was a member of several of Grey's small ensembles. He accompanied Ella Fitzgerald for more than a decade, and worked with Oscar Peterson in a trio setting.

Durham also played in trios with organists such as Charles Earland and Shirley Scott, and there was a resurgence in interest in Durham's work during the acid jazz upswing in the 1990s. Many of Durham's projects, both as sideman and as leader, have come due to his association with producer Norman Granz, who had him work with Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Harry Edison, Flanagan, and Joe Pass. Durham has led his own combos as well; he is noted for scat singing along with his drum solos. Durham has also performed often with pop and soul musicians such as Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Ray Charles, and Marvin Gaye.


As leader

  • Bobby Durham Trio/Gerald Price 1979
  • Domani's Blues, 2005
  • For Lovers Only, 2005
  • We Three Plus Friends, 2005
  • Christmas Jazz, 2006

As sideman

With Monty Alexander

  • "We've Only Just Begun" (BASF)

With Red Holloway

  • The Burner (Presige, 1963)

With Milt Jackson

  • Loose Walk (Palcoscenico Records)

With Clifford Jordan

  • Soul Fountain (Vortex, 1966 [1970])

With Shirley Scott

  • Mystical Lady (Cadet, 1971)

With Oscar Peterson

  • "The Way I Really Play"" (Pausa Records PR 7080, 1980 release)

With Al Grey

  • The New Al Grey Quintet (Chiaroscuro, 1988)
  • Live At The Floating Jazz Festival (Chiaroscuro, 1990)

With Jesse Green

  • Lift Off (Chiaroscuro, 1990)


  1. [Bobby Durham (jazz musician) at All Music Guide Allmusic]
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