Jimmy Garrison

Jimmy Garrison

Acoustic Bass icon Acoustic Bass

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April 7, 1976 (Age 42) died

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March 3, 1934 Birthday

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Miami, Florida, U.S. Birthplace

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Jimmy Garrison was a jazz bassist best known for his work with John Coltrane. Jimmy Garrison came out of the Philadelphia jazz scene and played with Ornette Colemann, Kenny Dorham, and Philly Joe Jones before recording "My Favorite Things" with John Coltrane in 1960. By 1962 he was performing with Coltrane full-time and remained with him until Coltrane's death in 1967. Garrison went on to record with Alice Coltrane, Hampton Hawes, Elvin Jones, Sonny Rollins, and others. Jimmy Garrison passed away from lung cancer in 1976 at the age of 42.


Jimmy Garrison's son, Matt Garrison, is also a jazz bassist, mainly playing the electric bass. When working with John Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison would sometimes play unaccompanied improvised solos as a prelude to a song. In the 1970s Jimmy Garrison taught as a visiting artist at Wesleyan University and Bennington College.

Early Life

Jimmy Garrison was born in 1934 and grew up in Miami and Philadelphia. He learned to play the bass in Philadelphia where he played alongside other young musicians including McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workhouse and Lee Morgan. Garrison moved to New York in 1958.