b. Cleveland Josephus Eaton II, 31st August 1939, Fairfield, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
d. 5th July 2020, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
Cleveland Eaton began the study of music when he was only five years old.
Ten years later he had mastered the piano, trumpet, and saxophone.
When a teacher allowed him to take a bass home for practice, Cleveland spent nearly every waking hour learning the instrument.
He became what many call one of the best Jazz bassists in the business.
Cleveland made a name for himself as a composer, producer, and arranger.
Eaton left his birthplace behind and moved to Chicago, Illinois.
He soon began recording with the Ramsey Lewis Trio. During a decade of service, Eaton performed on 30 recordings with the trio. Four of those albums went gold, and so did just as many singles, including 'Wade in the Water' and 'Hang on Sloopy.'
In 1979, Eaton was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame.
half and half - 1973 / plenty good eaton - 1975 / instant hip - 1976 / keep love alive - 1979
With the popularity of jazz fusion increasing he switched to this style for 'The Eaton Menu', 'Plenty Good Eaton' (1975), including 'Chi-Town Theme', on the Black Jazz label before switching to Ovation records in 1976 for 'Instant Hip', including his dance classic 'Bama Boogie Woogie'.
'Keep Love Alive', including the U.K. single 'Birmingham Train', was released in 1979.
The same year he became a member of the Count Basie Orchestra. While in the orchestra he added another ten albums to his resume.
All together he has lent his talents on some where over a 100 albums, and composed about three times as many songs.
Eaton, as a nominee for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, finally returned to Birmingham in 1985.
There he put together a band of his own, Cleve Eaton & Co.
The ensemble has recorded tunes like 'Corner Pocket,' and 'The B'ham Shuffle.'
Most of the group's numbers mix R & B and pop in with jazz.
During his long career, Cleveland Eaton has performed with many great artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, the Temptations, John Klemmer, Miles Davis, Smokey Robinson, Sarah Vaughn, Walter Jackson, and many others.
Cleveland passed away in July 2020.
Half and Half (Black Jazz Records 1973)
Plenty Good Eaton (Black Jazz Records 1975)
Instant Hip (Ovation Records 1976)
Keep Love Alive (Miracle Records 1980)