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Cleveland Eaton Jazz Bassist Official Website

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Biography of Cleveland Eaton

Cleveland EatonCleveland Josephus Eaton II was raised with an intense comprehensive musical background.  He was playing his motherís piano at the age of five, and turned his efforts toward the saxophone by the time he was eight.  Eaton took up the trumpet two years later, and when he reached the age of fifteen, music teacher John Springer introduced him to the tuba and string bass.

Eaton played in a jazz group in college at Tennessee A & I State University, where he earned his bachelorís degree in music.  He then moved to Chicago and toured with the Ike Cole Trio.  He later performed memorable concert tours with top-notch jazz bands led by Larry Novak, Ramsey Lewis, and the legendary Count Basie.

Over the years, Cleveland Eaton became a consummate bassist, producer, composer, publisher, arranger, and head of his own Birmingham-based record company.  As a recording artist, Mr. Eatonís version of Bama Boogie Woogie became a phenomenal best seller in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Australia.

Eatonís numerous honors include his induction into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, the Playboy Jazz Poll, Canadaís Cultural Enhancement Award and the Achievement Award at the Count Basie Tribute Concert.  He was nominated to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and  inducted in February, 2008. He received the Governorís Arts Award 1995 (Alabama) and the Don Redman Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

Cleve Eaton is a recognized name in the jazz world, as a producer, composer, arranger, and for his incredible performances with the Ike Cole Trio, Donald Byrd-Pepper Adams Quintet, the Larry Novak Trio, and over thirty recordings in his ten years with the Ramsey Lewis Trio, which included four gold singles, including Hang on Sloopy and Wade in the Water.  There were four gold albums, including Solar Wind and Sun Goddess. 

Eaton has played on notable recording sessions with nearly all genres Ė jazz with John Klemmer and Bunky Green, R&B with the Dells and Bobby Rush, pop with Minnie Riperton, Jerry Butler and Rotary Connection, big band with Henry Mancini, Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Billy Eckstein, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and many moreEaton was dubbed ďthe Countís BassistĒ during his sixteen-year stint  with the Count Basie Orchestra.  Since 1974, he has performed and toured with his own group, Cleve Eaton and Co. Since 2004, the name of the band has been Cleve Eaton and the Alabama All Stars.

Partial discography
 

As leader
  • Eaton, Cleveland (1973) Half and Half. Gamble 32131

  • Eaton, Cleveland (1975) The Eaton Menu. Black Jazz

  • Eaton, Cleveland (1975) Plenty Good Eaton. Black Jazz

  • Eaton, Cleveland (1976) Instant Hip. Ovation

  • Eaton, Cleveland (1979) Bama Boogie Woogie. Miracle

  • Eaton, Cleveland (1980) Keep Love Alive. Miracle

  • Eaton, Cleveland (C.E. & Co.) (1983) Love and Dance. TBA Records

  • Eaton, Cleveland (Cleve Eaton) (1983) Raw "Live Jazz" Featuring Miss Funky Lu. TBA Records

  • Eaton, Cleveland I Promise Jesus. TBA Records

  • Eaton, Cleveland (and Friends) (1984) A Classic. Cleveland Eaton Enterprises

  • Eaton, Cleveland (Trio plus Voices) (1985) Vol. 1 Live. TBA Records

  • Eaton, Cleveland (Cleve Eaton Orchestra) (1997) CEO.

With the Ramsey Lewis Trio

  • Wade in the Water (1966)

  • Dancing in the Street (1967)

  • Goin' Latin (1967)

  • Maiden Voyage (1968)

  • Another Voyage (1969)

  • Upendo Ni Pamoja (1972)

  • Funky Serenity (1973)

  • Sun Goddess (1974)

  • Solar Wind (1974)

With the Count Basie Orchestra

  • Strollin' with the Count (1980). Ovation

  • Kansas City Shout (1980). Pablo

  • Warm Breeze (1981).

  • 88 Basie Street (1983). Fantasy. (Winner 1984 Grammy Awards Best Jazz Instrumental Performance - Big Band)

  • Me and You (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).

  • Joe Williams/Count Basie Orchestra "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water" (1992)

  • Joe Williams/Count Basie Orchestra "Orchestra Hall, Detroit, November 20, 1992" (1992)

With Bunky Green

  • Playing for Keeps (1966)

With Gene Ammons
  • w/Dexter Gordon The Chase (1970)

  • w/James Moody Chicago Concert (1971)

With the Soulful Strings

  • Groovin' with the Soulful Strings (1967)

  • The Magic of Christmas (1968)

With Robert Moore

  • Serve You Ma'am (2000)

  • Wildcat (2005)

Compilations

  • Santa's Bag: An All-Star Jazz Christmas "Christmas Blues" (1994) Telarc

 

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