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BUNCH HAMMOND - "Mr. Bassman"

Bunch Hammond - known throughout the Tri-State Area as “Mr. BassMan” - he has appeared with such greats in the Jazz world including Nina Simone, Roy Eldridge, Buddy DeFranco, Dizzy Gillespie and others.  His small combos whether they would be; trios, quartets, quintets or sextets the band was always called 
“Bunch Hammond and Friends”
Likely so, because Bunch was a friendly person that always extended a helping hand when needed.
While a member of a special services unit during the Korean War, he switched to the bass from drums and got to know Ray Brown, a noted Jazz bassist who would influence his musical career.
Ironically, I had the opportunity to meet Bunch during the early 1970s when a family member was working for Dr. Eugene Garfield owner of The Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) located at 3501 Market Streets in Philadelphia, PA. 
Dr. Garfield was an avid JAZZ fan that found enjoyment in playing the Alto Saxophone. He was a close friend to Bunch Hammond and most of his band members while attending many their concert performances and club dates through the years.
Since Bunch and I, had similar experiences while playing during our careers, we spoke respectfully and candidly to each other regarding some of our mutual friends in the music business. Instantly, we were on the same page and he extended his assistance with many of our future concerts and promotions.
We both and other colleagues co-produced local Jazz Events featuring an all-star line-up of Philadelphia musicians. 
The first event was “Philadelphia’s Own” Jazz Festival held at The Metropolitan Opera House (MET) located at 858 North Broad Street in Philadelphia.
The success of that promotion lead to another at The Memphis Club a center city location which generated a SRO crowd of more than 550 that enjoyed and participated in a live recording production.
The recording featured four popular Jazz Groups from the Philly area, which ended in a two-part Jam Session spotlighting each musician as a soloist to standing ovations from the audience.
During his career as a Jazz musician he always shared the bandstand with excellent players that included guitarist, Thornell Schwartz, Rudy Jones, tenor sax, Johnny Belmont alto Sax, Larry LaBes Piano, Roy Thomas Drums, and featured Vocalist Jeannie Kaye, plus many others.

 

Throughout the years of our friendship prior to his death in 1989, Bunch was always ready to extend a helping-hand when needed.

 

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Reader Comments (2)

Danny,

Great work with the new website. I found your site when searching for Jazz related material. Keep up the good work!
March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark
Mark,
Thank you for your interest in Jazz and visit to the website . . . will be posting more interesting information in the coming days about other venues plus friends & colleagues.
Danny
March 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterDanny Luciano

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