Colin Bailey (drummer)

Colin James Bailey (born 9 July 1934) is British-born American jazz drummer.

Colin Bailey
Birth nameColin James Bailey
Born (1934-07-09) 9 July 1934 (age 87)
Swindon, England, UK
GenresJazz, pop
Years active1941–1998
LabelsConcord Jazz, Fantasy, Milestone
Associated actsVince Guaraldi, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Monty Budwig, Joe Pass, Chet Baker, Ray Brown, João Gilberto, Blossom Dearie, Benny Goodman, Ed Shaughnessy


Born in Swindon, England in 1934, Bailey learned to play drums as a child, studying formally from age seven. His first band was the Nibs, when he was 7, which consisted of two accordions, banjo and drums. He toured with Winifred Atwell from 1952-1956, and performed at the London Palladium for Queen Elizabeth (1952). He lived in Australia from 1958 into the early 1960s, playing in the staff band for Channel 9 TV.[1] In Sydney he played with Bryce Rohde and the Australian Jazz Quartet, backing musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan. When the AJQ toured the U.S., Bailey was hired by Vince Guaraldi, with Monty Budwig on bass. This trio played with Jimmy Witherspoon, Ben Webster, and Gene Ammons for the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco.

In 1962 they recorded the album Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus, which included the hit "Cast Your Fate To The Wind". In 1963 he moved to Los Angeles to play with the Victor Feldman Trio, and in 1965 he recorded the soundtrack for A Charlie Brown Christmas with Guaraldi in Whitney Studios in Glendale, California.

Bailey worked with Clare Fischer (1963–1964), Joe Pass (for 14 years, and made 14 records) and Miles Davis (1963). He toured worldwide with Benny Goodman in 1964-1965, played on the first Regis Philbin show with Terry Gibbs, and toured with George Shearing (1964-1967). In 1967 he recorded with Frank Sinatra and Tom Jobim. He also spent time with Chet Baker, Ray Brown, João Gilberto, and Blossom Dearie (1975).[2]

In 1970, Bailey became an American citizen. He spent six years as Ed Shaughnessy's backup in The Tonight Show Band, and starred in Fernwood Tonight in a drumming/comedy role in 1977-78. After moving to Texas in 1979, he became a faculty member at North Texas State University from 1981-83. His later work includes time with Richie Cole, Jimmy Rowles, Red Mitchell, Stefan Scaggiari, Joe Pass again, Ron Affif, Weslia Whitfield, and John Pisano. His last tour was with Joe Williams in 1998.


With Clare Fischer

With Vince Guaraldi

With Paul Horn

With Julie London

With Joe Pass

With Frank Potenza

  • For Joe (Capri Records Ltd., 2013)[3]

With Frank Sinatra and Tom Jobim


  1. ^ "Bailey, Colin | Grove Music". doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J021500. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Colin Bailey - DRUMMERWORLD". Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Potenza, Frank - For Joe". CAPRI Records Ltd. CAPRI Records Ltd. Retrieved 6 June 2020.

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