Cecil McBee

Cecil McBee (born May 19, 1935) is an American jazz bassist. He has recorded as a leader only a handful of times since the 1970s, but has contributed as a sideman to a number of classic jazz albums.

McBee was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. He studied clarinet at school, but switched to bass at the age of 17, and began playing in local nightclubs. After gaining a music degree from Ohio Central State University, McBee spent two years in the U.S. Army, during which time he conducted the band at Fort Knox. In 1959, he played with Dinah Washington, and in 1962 he moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he worked with Paul Winter‘s folk-rock ensemble between 1963 and 1964.

His jazz career began to take off in the mid-1960s, after he moved to New York, when he began playing and recording with a number of significant musicians including Miles Davis, Andrew Hill, Sam Rivers, Jackie McLean (1964), Wayne Shorter (1965–66), Charles Lloyd (1966), Yusef Lateef (1967–69), Keith Jarrett, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw (1986), and Alice Coltrane (1969–72).

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