BiographyHistory was rewritten when Los Angeles' West Coast bop scene was stereotyped as "white jazz." But L.A. had a thriving black community that included native Angelinos and transplants like Benny Carter, Charles Mingus, Nat Cole, Hampton Hawes and Buddy Collette. Collette mastered all the woodwinds, including the tenor and alto saxophone, and he also helped make the flute an accepted jazz instrument. Collette came to fame playing with Chico Hamilton's chamber-jazz group. A favorite among jazz fans, Collette's work is also known from dates with vocalists such as Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Wilson, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, childhood friend Charles Mingus and many more. Along with Benny Carter and "Sweets" Edison, Collette was one of the first black musicians to break into Hollywood's once-segregated recording studios.
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