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Tate, Buddy

Biography

George Holmes "Buddy" Tate (February 22, 1913 – February 10, 2001) was a jazz saxophonist and clarinetist. He has been counted as one of the great tenor saxophonists of his generation and was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame. Tate was born in Sherman, Texas, and began performing on alto saxophone. As a teenager in 1925, he played with his brother and their band called McCloud's Night Owls. Tate quickly switched to tenor saxophone making a name for himself in bands like Andy Kirk's. He joined Count Basie's band in 1939 and stayed with him until 1948. He had been selected by Basie due to the sudden death of Herschel Evans, which Tate states he predicted in a dream. After his period with Basie ended, he worked with several other bands before he found success on his own, starting in 1953 in Harlem. His band worked at the "Celebrity Club" from 1953 to 1974. In the late 1970s, he co-led a band with Paul Quinichette and worked with Benny Goodman. In 1980, he was seriously injured by scalding water at a hotel shower, which kept him inactive for four months. He later suffered from a serious illness. The 1990s saw him slow down, but he remained active playing with Lionel Hampton among others. In 1992, he took part in the documentary, Texas Tenor: The Illinois Jacquet Story. He lived in New York until 2001 when he moved to Arizona to be cared for by his daughter. He died in Chandler, Arizona at the age of 87.




Recordings

Tate, Buddy: Tate A Tete

Reissued on the 2 cd digipack Buddy Tate - The Texas Tenor

In jazz, early influences tend to be the strongest; a musician's formative years often set his style and sound for the rest of his career. Miles Davis - to use a good example - grew up in St. Louis, where as a boy, he heard such local trumpeters as Clark Terry, Irving Randolph, and Shorty Baker, an experience that made him follow the so-called St. Louis trumpet tradition. If St. Louis has a reputation for its trumpeters, Texas is known for its tenor men, whose characteristics are a big sound and a self-assured style, men such as Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, Jimmy Giuffre, and King Curtis. The Texas tenor, however, is George Holmes "Buddy" Tate. Born in Sherman, Texas, February 22, 1914, he is now a widely traveled, highly respected soloist whose very presence in a club guarantees capacity crowds and a general feeling of well being!