Wellman Braud

Wellman Braud (January 25, 1891 – October 29, 1966) was an American jazz upright bassist. His family sometimes spelled their last name "Breaux", pronounced "Bro".

Born in St. James Parish, Louisiana, Braud went to New Orleans, in his early teens. He was playing violin and the upright bass and leading a trio in venues in the Storyville District before 1910. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1917. In 1923 he went to London with the Plantation Orchestra, in which he doubled on bass and trombone. Next he moved to New York City, where he played with Wilber Sweatman's band before joining Duke Ellington. It has been noted by Branford Marsalis that Braud was the first to utilize the walking bass style that has been a mainstay in modern jazz [opposed to the 'two-beat' pattern the tuba plays in the New Orleans style]. His vigorous melodic bass playing, alternately plucking, slapping, and bowing, was an important feature of the early Ellington Orchestra sound in the 1920s and 1930s. Braud's playing on Ellington's regular radio broadcasts and recordings helped popularize the slap style of string bass playing, as well as encouraging many dance bands of the time to switch from using a tuba to an upright bass. (Like many of his contemporary New Orleans bassists, Braud doubled on tuba, and he recorded on that instrument on some sides with Ellington.)

In 1936 Braud co-managed a short lived Harlem club with Jimmie Noone, and recorded with the group Spirits of Rhythm from 1935 to 1937. He played with other New York bands including those of Kaiser Marshall, Hot Lips Page, and Sidney Bechet, and returned for a while to Ellington in 1944. In 1956 he joined the Kid Ory Band. In the late fifties he joined Barbara Dane's trio alongside pianist/cornetist Kenny Whitson, turning down opportunities to return to Duke Ellington's band or tour with Louis Armstrong.

He is a distant relative of the Marsalis brothers on their mother's side.

He died in Los Angeles, California.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 25th, 1891 (St. James Parish), Died Los Angeles

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1926 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: string bass, tuba, composer, songwriter

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 228 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-36925 10-in. 11/12/1926 Blues from the Everglades Morris' Hot Babies Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-36926 10-in. 11/12/1926 P. D. Q. blues Thomas Morris ; Morris' Hot Babies Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-36962 10-in. 11/24/1926 The mess Thomas Morris ; Morris' Hot Babies Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-36963 10-in. 11/24/1926 The chinch Thomas Morris ; Morris' Hot Babies Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-39370 10-in. 10/26/1927 Creole love call Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-39371 10-in. 10/26/1927 Blues I love to sing Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-40155 10-in. 10/6/1927 Black and tan fantasie Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-40156 10-in. 10/6/1927 Washington wabble Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-41244 10-in. 12/19/1927 Harlem River quiver Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-41245 10-in. 12/19/1927 East St. Louis toodle-oo Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-41246 10-in. 12/19/1927 Blue bubbles Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-43502 10-in. 3/26/1928 Black beauty Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-43503 10-in. 3/26/1928 Jubilee stomp Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-43504 10-in. 3/26/1928 Got everything but you Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-47799 10-in. 10/30/1928 The mooche Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-48100 10-in. 10/30/1928 Santa Claus, bring my man back to me Hot Five [Ellington ensemble] ; Ozie Ware Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble instrumentalist, tuba  
Victor BVE-48101 10-in. 10/30/1928 I done caught you blues Hot Five [Ellington ensemble] ; Ozie Ware Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble instrumentalist, tuba  
Victor BVE-48102 10-in. 10/30/1928 I can't give you anything but love Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, string bass, tuba  
Victor BVE-48103 10-in. 10/30/1928 No papa no Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band (take 1); with female vocal solo (take 2) instrumentalist, tuba  
Victor BVE-48166 10-in. 11/15/1928 Bandanna babies Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-48167 10-in. 11/15/1928 Diga diga do Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-48168 10-in. 11/15/1928 I must have that man Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-48373 10-in. 2/18/1929 Japanese dream Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor BVE-48374 10-in. 2/18/1929 Harlemania Duke Ellington Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, string bass  
Victor CVE-49007 12-in. 12/20/1928 St. Louis blues Warren Mills and his Blue Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with mixed vocal chorus instrumentalist, string bass  
(Results 1-25 of 228 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Braud, Wellman," accessed October 22, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102897.

Braud, Wellman. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102897.

"Braud, Wellman." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 22 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102897

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