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Al McKibbon Leader Discography

by Michael Weil

Page generated on 06.09.2021

First published in September 2021

Al McKibbon (January 1, 1919 – July 29, 2005) was one of the most often recorded bassists in jazz and other types of music, rivalled only by Milt Hinton, Ron Carter, Richard Davis, and Ray Brown. He was the first jazz bass player to master the art of Cuban tumbao, the rhythmic/melodic bass lines based on tubadora (or conga) drum patterns, being taught by none other than the legendary Chano Pozo while both were in Dizzy Gillespie's famous big band in the late 1940's. After that, he initiated George Shearing's fascination with Cuban rhythms, and Cal Tjader's, after the vibist had joined Shearing's Quintet in 1953. McKibbon then was a member of Tjader's bands to the late 1950's.

He recorded with most of the major figures in jazz and was highly respected by his peers but after 1960 did mostly studio work in California. One rare exception was touring with the Giants Of Jazz (Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Thelonious Monk, and Art Blakey) in 1971 and 1972. His only two albums as a leader were recorded late in his career and must be regarded collector's items. They display his personal vision of Latin Jazz and even feature a vocal track on each disc.


Date: 1999
Label: Blue Lady

Al McKibbon (ldr), Charles Owens (f, ts), Justo Almario (ss), Phil (Phillipe) Wright (p), Al McKibbon (b, v), Ramon Banda (tim), José "Papo" Rodriguez (bgo, cga)

a. Off Minor - 6:35(Thelonious Monk)
b. Tin Tin Deo [aka Soul Bird] - 5:55(Dizzy Gillespie, Chano Pozo)
c. Estate [aka Summer] - 5:12(Bruno Martino, Bruno Brighetti, Joel Siegel)
d. Cubano Chant - 5:40(Ray Bryant)
e. Seven Steps To Heaven - 7:19(Victor Feldman, Miles Davis)
f. Tumbao Para Los Congueros Di Mi Vida - 6:45(Al McKibbon)
g. I Mean You - 5:38(Thelonious Monk)
h. Everything Must Change - 5:19(Benard Ighner)
All titles on:
Blue Lady CDPDP 1080 — Tumbao Para Los Congueros Di Mi Vida

Charles Owens (f) on b-d, (ts) on a, g-h; Justo Almario (ss) on d-e; Phil (Phillipe) Wright (p) on a-e, g-h; Al McKibbon (v) on h.


Date: 2003
Location: Departure Studios, Universal City, CA
Label: Niche Records

Al McKibbon (ldr), Justo Almario (f), Rob Kyle (ts), Barry Zweig (g), Donald Vega (p), Frank Morocco (acc), Al McKibbon (b, v), Ramon Banda (d, tim), Joe De León (cga, per)

a. U.M.M.G (Upper Manhattan Medical Group) - 4:51(Billy Strayhorn)
b. Black Orchid - 8:02(Cal Tjader)
c. Little Niles - 6:58(Randy Weston)
d. Tres Palabras [aka Without You] - 3:38(Osvaldo Farrés)
e. Ode To Billie Joe - 4:54(Bobbie Gentry)
f. Monsieur Phillipe - 3:49(Phil (Phillipe) Wright)
g. Isfahan - 7:14(Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn)
h. Big Al's Blues - 7:13(Al McKibbon)
All titles on:
Niche Records CDAM2987 — Black Orchid

Al McKibbon (v) on d.


Sessions Reported: 2

Performances Reported: 16

Unique Songs Reported: 16

Unique Issues Reported: 2