||Raymond Matthews Brown was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 13.
||His first instrument was piano and he had piano lessons and was memorizing Fats Waller recordings.
|High school era
||He tried the trombone, but because of a financial problem, he began playing the bass in the high school jazz orchestra.
Then, he learned and practiced Jimmy Blanton’s bass lines through Duke Ellington records, and he was also studying the solos of Oscar Pettiford and Slam Stewart.
He began playing his newfound trade in jazz clubs in and around Pittsburgh.
His level was already professional enough to get offers to join professional jazz bands on road trips, (but he did not join into any road trips because of his mother thought.)
||He met Hank Jones (Hank Jones said it’s his first time to heard Ray’s play)
||He left town after graduation to spend eight months with Jimmy Hinsley’s band, then another eight months with Luis (Snookum) Russell’s band.
Eight months later, while on the road in Miami with Russell, he followed the suggestion of fellow band members and moved to New York City.
||He was arriving in New York, he met up with Hank Jones, and was introduced to Dizzy Gillespie.
The next day, he had a chance to join to rehearsal of the band consisted of Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Max Roach, Charlie Parker.
He joined into DIzzy Gillespie’s band (Milt Jackson(vib), Al Haig(pf) and Stan Levy(dr)), Gillespie took the group to California in the fall.
||He started his own trio featuring Hank Jones on piano and either Charlie Smith, Buddy Rich, or Shelly Manne on drums.
He joined into Dizzy Gillespie’s second big band and Gillespie’s sextet (Sonny Stitt(as), Al Haig(pf), Milt Jackson(vib), Stan Levey(dr). In the May, the sextet recorded “One Bass Hit”, which featured his bass talents.)
He played with such notable musicians as Art Tatum and Charlie Parker.
On February 5th, he took part in one of Charlie Parker’s sessions for the Dial label, such as “Diggin’ Diz.”
||He became the bass player in the Milt Jackson Quartet(John Lewis(pf) and Kenny Clarke(dr)), which was the rhythm section of the Gillespie band and become famous as the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1952 (but then he was not the member anymore).
He married with vocalist Ella Fitzgerald (he met with her when she joined the Gillespie band as a special guest).
He recorded ‘Two Bass Hit” with Gillespie’s big band.
||He left Gillespie band to accompany Fitzgerald with his own trio(Hank Jones(pf), Charlie Smith(dr)).
He performed with Fitzgerald on Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic tours and various record dates.
||In September, he performed when Oscar Peterson made his debut with the tour (he had already played with Peterson at informal Canadian jam sessions).
He began an 18-year relationship with Norman Granz’ Jazz at the Philharmonic(JATP). With JATP, he took the stage with Roy Eldridge, Ben Webster, Flip Phillips, Benny Carter and numerous others, including Oscar Peterson on a fateful night at Carnegie Hall. It was Brown’s first work with the jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, in whose trio Brown would play from 1951 to 1966.
||He reunited with colleagues from the Gillespie band, Milt Jackson, John Lewis and Kenny Clarke, to form the original Modern Jazz Quartet.
||He performed with Oscar Peterson as a duo, and for the next several years, were also billed on various tours.
He recorded with Charlie Parker and, between 1950 and 1952, appeared with the Milt Jackson Quartet.
At another Parker session in August 1951, he found himself in the company of such sidemen as Red Rodney(tp), John Lewis(pf), and Kenny Clarke(dr). Together they backed Parker on sides which included “Swedish Schnapps,” “Si Si,” “Back Home Blues,” and “Lover Man. A few months later, he appeared with the Milt Jackson Quartet.
||He and Fitzgerald divorced, but remained good friends and continued to work together.
Around this time he was also appearing in Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts, organised by Norman Granz.
Guitarist Irving Ashby and he became the founding members of the Oscar Peterson Trio.
March 25th, he attended a Charlie Parker big band recording session in Hollywood, California.
||He was featured as the soloist with a big band on an entire album(the whole session was composed, arranged, and conducted by Marty Paich) in Los Angeles
It was the first case as a featured bassist with a big band and also another first case: An African-American artist featured in front of an all-white band)
||He moved to Hollywood in Los Angeles California.
He recorded the scores of countless movies and television shows. (for television, he recorded Lalo Schifrin’s iconic “Mannix” and “Mission Impossible” themes,
He played as a regular member of the band of “The Merv Griffin Show” for fifteen years, often was sitting-in with “The Tonight Show” orchestra as well.
He performed on most of Hank Mancini and Quincy Jones (for Jones’s score of the film classic, “In Cold Blood”, he and Quincy had provide the musical voice for both of the film’s villains.)
He accompanied some of the leading artists of the day, including Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstine, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, and Nancy Wilson there.
He managed the Modern Jazz Quartet, as well as Quincy Jones.
He composed music for films and television shows.
||He left Oscar Peterson’s trio (He kept playing for 15 years in the trio.) (1965?)
||He co-founded the L.A. Four(whose repertoire was a mixture of Brazilian, classical, and jazz styles), with Bud Shank(as,fl), Luarindo Almeida(gt), and Shelly Mann(dr) (later replaced by Jeff Hamilton). (to 1982)
He joined the recording of album Dizzy Gillespie Big 4
||He joined up with Milt Jackson again to record the classic Jackson, Johnson, Brown & Company (J. J. Johnson(tb), Tom Ranier(pf), John Collins(gt), and Roy McCurdy(dr)).
||He formed a trio with Gene Harris(pf) and Jeff Hamilton(dr). (for 9 years)
||He joined the “Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio” reunited (Herb Ellis(gt), Bobby Durham(dr) or Jeff Hamilton(dr)).
||He had (probably) his last recorded show with Larry Fuller(pf) and Karriem Riggins(dr) in Europe, during the Bern Jazz Festival, on May 4.
||He died while napping on July 2 while he was on the road in Indianapolis for a gig at the Jazz Kitchen