One of postbop’s steadiest and most consistent bassists for many years, Walter Booker passed away on Friday in New York City at the age of 72. The cause of death is not yet known.
Booker-or “Bookie,” as he was affectionately known-was born on Dec. 17, 1933 in Prairie View, TX. He moved to Washington, D.C. in the mid-’40s, and first picked up the bass in 1959 during a stint in the army (serving alongside Elvis Presley). Shortly after returning back to the States, Booker joined Andrew White’s JFK Quintet and toured with the Shirley Horn Trio. In 1964, he moved to New York City, where his career took off as trumpeter Donald Byrd hired him.