Bio: George Matthews was born in Dominica his family settled in New York during his childhood; after studying at the Martin Smith School of Music there (1927-31) he began to play professionally. In 1934 he joined Tiny Bradshaw, with whom he made his first recording. He went on to perform and record with Willie Bryant (1935-7), Louis Armstrong (1937), Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald (1938-41), and Lucky Millinder (1945). He spent the next four years with the Count Basie Orchestra, during which time he made many recordings; when Basie disbanded the orchestra in 1950, Matthews joined Erskine Hawkins.
From the mid-1950s he worked as a freelance musician, playing and recording with Ray Charles, Clark Terry, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Otis Redding and others. Although principally a big-band section player, Matthews made a few recordings with small groups, including Chu Berry's octet (1937) and a nonet drawn from the Count Basie Orchestra (1947). He may be heard as a soloist on Katy, recorded with Basie in 1949.
Afiwi.com's complete profile on George Matthews
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