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Milt Hinton Dies at 90

Milt Hinton, the legendary bassist heard on thousands of recordings, jingles and film soundtracks, died December 19th after an extended illness. He was 90 years old. Hinton had a productive career, playing with many jazz and popular musicians including Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane and Paul McCartney. Hinton began his musical career in the late 1920s as a freelance musician in Chicago. In 1936 he joined Cab Calloway’s band and remained a member for 15 years. In the fifties Hinton returned to freelancing, this time in the studio, adding his bass sound to thousands of recordings, hundreds of jingles and film soundtracks, and dozens of radio and television programs. His exceptional ability at keeping time earned him the nickname “The Judge.”

In addition to the amazing number of recordings Hinton played on, he also made a name for himself as a photographer. The 60,000 some photographs he left behind are an intimate history of the world he knew on the road, in the studio, at parties and at home. These pictures have been the subject of two books and numerous gallery exhibitions.

Hinton is survived by his wife, Mona, a daughter and granddaughter. He is also survived and remembered by thousands of students he mentored and taught.

Originally Published