|Birth name||Cleveland Josephus Eaton II|
|Born||August 31, 1939|
Fairfield, Alabama, U.S.
|Died||July 5, 2020 (aged 80)|
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, swing, funk, R&B, pop|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, arranger, bandleader, record producer|
|Associated acts||Ramsey Lewis, Count Basie Orchestra|
Cleveland Josephus Eaton II (August 31, 1939 - July 5, 2020) was an American jazz double bassist, producer, arranger, composer, publisher, and head of his own record company from Fairfield, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. His most famous accomplishments are playing with the Ramsey Lewis Trio and the Count Basie Orchestra. His 1975 recording Plenty Good Eaton is considered a classic in the funk music genre. He has been inducted into both the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
2.1 As leader
2.2 As sideman
4 External links
Eaton at a rehearsal before performing at the 2008 Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival in Birmingham, Alabama.
Eaton began studying music at the age of five, and by the time he was fifteen, he had mastered the piano, trumpet, and saxophone. He began playing bass when a teacher allowed him to take one home, spending nearly every waking hour learning the instrument. This lead him to become what many call one of the most versatile and best jazz bassists in the business. Eaton came from a music-loving family, including an older sister who studied at both Fisk University and the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He was also a student of John T. "Fess" Whatley, one of the most influential and well-known educators in American jazz music during the 1920s and 1930s. who also mentored Sun Ra and Erskine Hawkins. Eaton played in a jazz group in college at Tennessee A & I State University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in music. He has lent his talents to over 100 albums, and composed about three times as many songs. After spending years on the road as a musician and arranger with a list of artists who form a virtual Who's Who of jazz, Eaton returned to Birmingham, Alabama, to join UAB's music department in 1996.
Eaton played on notable recording sessions with John Klemmer, Ike Cole, Bunky Green, The Dells, Bobby Rush, Minnie Riperton, Jerry Butler and Rotary Connection, George Benson, Henry Mancini, Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Billy Eckstein, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald. Eaton was dubbed "the Count's Bassist" during his seventeen-year stint and over ten recordings with the Count Basie Orchestra. He has also performed with Nancy Wilson, Peggy Lee, Mimi Hines, Sammy Davis, Jr., Julie London, Bobby Troup, Brook Benton, Lou Rawls, Nipsey Russell, Morgana King, Gloria Lynne, Herbie Hancock, Magic City Jazz Orchestra, The Platters, Temptations, and The Miracles. In 1974, he began performing and touring with his group Cleve Eaton and Co. In 2004 his group became Cleve Eaton and the Alabama All Stars.
Eaton died on July 5, 2020, in Birmingham, Alabama. He was 80, and had been hospitalized during the last four months of his life.
Half and Half (Gamble, 1973)
Plenty Good Eaton (Black Jazz, 1975)
Instant Hip (Ovation, 1976)
Keep Love Alive (Ovation, 1979)
Strolling with the Count (Ovation, 1980)
With Gene Ammons
The Chase! (Prestige, 1970)
Chicago Concert (Prestige, 1971)
With the Count Basie Orchestra
Kansas City Shout (1980). Pablo
Warm Breeze (1981).
88 Basie Street (Fantasy, 1983
Me and You (Pablo, 1983)
Fancy Pants (1983).
The Legend, the Legacy (1989)
George Benson/Count Basie Orchestra Big Boss Band (1990)
Best of the Count Basie Big Band (1991)
Live at El Morocco (1992)
With Bunky Green
Playin' for Keeps (Cadet, 1966)
With Ramsey Lewis
More Sounds of Christmas (Argo, 1964)
You Better Believe Me (Argo, 1965)
Wade in the Water (Cadet, 1966)
The Movie Album (Cadet, 1966)
Goin' Latin (Cadet, 1967)
Dancing in the Street (Cadet, 1967)
Up Pops Ramsey Lewis (Cadet, 1967)
Maiden Voyage (Cadet, 1968)
Another Voyage (Cadet, 1969)
The Piano Player (Cadet, 1970)
Them Changes (Cadet, 1970)
Back to the Roots (Cadet, 1971)
Upendo Ni Pamoja (Columbia, 1972)
Funky Serenity (Columbia, 1973)
Ramsey Lewis' Newly Recorded All-Time Non-Stop Golden Hits (Columbia, 1973)
Sun Goddess (Columbia, 1974)
Solar Wind (Columbia, 1974)
With the Soulful Strings
Groovin' with the Soulful Strings (1967)
The Magic of Christmas (1968)
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