from Baltimore, MD
January 1, 1910 - March 19, 1945 (age 35)
Clyde Hart's death just as the bop revolution was taking hold robbed him of the opportunity to be a major force in the music. Very active during his final year, Hart was an important transitional figure between swing and bop and would certainly have been on many significant sessions during the next five years had he lived. Hart first worked with Gene Coy, Jap Allen (1930-1931), and Blanche Calloway (1931-1935). After a brief stint with the declining McKinney's Cotton Pickers, he settled in New York where he led his own quartet, arranged for Andy Kirk, and made quite a few recordings (including with Billie Holiday and Red Allen) as a supportive pianist. Hart had stints with Stuff Smith (1936-1938), Roy Eldridge, Lester Young, Frankie Newton, and the John Kirby Sextet (1942-1943), and he often jammed at Minton's Playhouse. He also played with Wilbur DeParis, Walter Foots Thomas, and Tiny Grimes (1944). After working with Don Byas in early 1945 and recording with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie (including Dizzy Atmosphere), Hart contracted tuberculosis and died just as he was entering the prime of his career. Clyde Hart led three recording dates between December 19, 1944 and January 4, 1945 for Savoy and Continental with such notable sidemen as Parker, Gillespie, Byas, Trummy Young, Oscar Pettiford, Benny Harris, and singer Rubberlegs Williams. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
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