Pete Brown (jazz musician)

James Ostend "Pete" Brown (November 9, 1906, Baltimore, Maryland – September 20, 1963, New York City, New York) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader.

Pete Brown
Pete Brown, between 1938 and 1948
Pete Brown, between 1938 and 1948
Background information
Birth nameJames Ostend Brown
Born(1906-11-09)November 9, 1906
Baltimore, Maryland United States
DiedSeptember 20, 1963(1963-09-20) (aged 56)
New York City, New York United States
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader
InstrumentsSaxophone, piano, trumpet
Years active1910 – 1966

Brown learned to play piano, trumpet, and saxophone while young. He played in New York with Bernie Robinson's orchestra in 1928, and played from 1928 to 1934 with Charlie Skeets. In 1937 he worked in the band of John Kirby; for several years in the 1930s he worked with Frankie Newton, who was also a member of Kirby's band. Brown and Newton recorded often. In addition to recording under his own name, Brown also recorded as a session musician with Willie "The Lion" Smith, Jimmie Noone, Buster Bailey, Leonard Feather, Joe Marsala, and Maxine Sullivan in the 1930s. He worked on 52nd Street in New York in the 1940s, both as a sideman (with Slim Gaillard, among others) and as a bandleader; he was in Allen Eager's 52nd Street All-Stars in 1946.

In the 1950s Brown's health began to fail, and he receded from full-time performance. He played with Joe Wilder (1954), Big Joe Turner (1956), Sammy Price, and Champion Jack Dupree, and appeared at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival with Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge. His last appearance was in 1960 with Dizzy Gillespie.

Brown was the teacher of Cecil Payne.


As leaderEdit

  • Peter the Great (Bethlehem, 1955)
  • Jazz Kaleidoscope (Bethlehem, 1957)
  • From the Heart (Verve, 1960)

As sidemanEdit


External linksEdit