Stan Puls

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Jazz bassist Stan Puls started out in music learning the piano from his mother at the age of 11. By the time he'd entered his teens, he'd begun playing string bass, and at 19 won a national championship,…
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Jazz bassist Stan Puls started out in music learning the piano from his mother at the age of 11. By the time he'd entered his teens, he'd begun playing string bass, and at 19 won a national championship, which led to his study with Vaclav Jiskra, first bass of the Chicago Civic Symphony. He spent the years 1936-1941 as a member of the orchestra, all the while playing with various chamber ensembles and with bands led by Roy Eldridge and Benny Carter. Puls straddled the jazz and classical worlds for the next few years, based in Los Angeles from 1941 onward and working with groups in both categories, including bands led by Benny Strong and the Burbank Symphony Orchestra, and in the late '40s he detoured into Western swing when he took a spot in Spade Cooley's Western swing band.

Puls spent the mid-'50s as a member of Bill Baker's trio and also made the acquaintance of Jack Teagarden. The latter was impressed by his work and Puls was offered the bassist spot in Teagarden's band, staying for five years and making it onto his late-era Capitol recordings and all of the Roulette albums by the legendary trombonist. After leaving Teagarden in 1963, shortly before the latter's death, Puls resumed freelance work. He passed away in 1998 at age 82.