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Bassist Al McKibbon Dies

Bassist Al McKibbon, best known for his work combining jazz and Latin music, died July 29 of kidney failure at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 86.

Born Alfred Benjamin McKibbon in Chicago on Jan. 1, 1919, McKibbon grew up in Detroit in a musical household. After taking up bass at his brother’s urging, he played local night clubs while in high school and, in 1943, moved to New York to play under bandleader Lucky Millinder. In New York, McKibbon played with musicians including Coleman Hawkins and Dizzy Gillespie. It was Gillespie who inspired McKibbon’s interest in combining jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms.

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