Bassist Milt Hinton probably appeared on more records than any other musician in the world, and he remained a vital figure in jazz even into his 80s. He grew up in Chicago and worked with many legendary figures from the late '20s to the mid-'30s, including Freddie Keppard, Jabbo Smith, Tiny Parham (with whom he made his recording debut in 1930), Eddie South, Fate Marable, and Zutty Singleton. He was with Cab Calloway's orchestra and his later small group during 1936-1951. Considered the best bassist before the rise of Jimmy Blanton in 1939, Hinton was featured on "Pluckin' the Bass" (1939) and was an ally of Dizzy Gillespie in modernizing Calloway's music.
After leaving Calloway, Hinton worked in clubs with Joe Bushkin, had brief stints with Count Basie and Louis Armstrong's All-Stars, and in 1954 became a staff musician at CBS, appearing on a countless number of recordings (jazz and otherwise) during the next 15 years; everything from Jackie Gleason mood music and polka bands, to commercials and Buck Clayton jam sessions. By the 1970s, Hinton was appearing regularly at jazz parties and festivals, and his activities did not slow down for the next two decades; in 1995, he toured with the Statesmen of Jazz. Although a modern soloist, Hinton also kept the art of slap bass alive. A very skilled photographer, Hinton released two books of his candid shots of jazz musicians, including one (Bass Line) which has his fascinating memoirs. Milt Hinton recorded as a leader for Bethlehem, Victor (both in 1955), Famous Door, Black & Blue, and Chiaroscuro, and as a sideman for virtually every label.