By Mike Telin and Daniel Hautzinger
“Don’t B-sharp, Don’t B-flat, Just B-natural.” — Milt Hinton (1910-2000)
It’s a phrase emblematic of Hinton’s approach to life: laid-back, optimistic, and warmly human. These are the qualities that were emphasized over and over again on Thursday, June 12, in Oberlin during a day celebrating the life and legacy of Milt Hinton.
Hinton left behind a three-fold legacy: aural, visual, and human. He lives on in nearly 1,200 recordings, in his 60,00 photographs of musicians, and in the many young musicians he mentored and taught. Some of these legacies now reside at the Oberlin Conservatory, which has been gifted The Milton J. and Mona C. Hinton Papers, four of Hinton’s basses, and the $250,000 Milton J. Hinton Scholarship Fund, established in 1980 by friends and family of Hinton on the occasion of his 70th birthday. This new partnership with the Hinton estate was facilitated by Oberlin Professor of Jazz Studies and Double Bass Peter Dominguez and Special Collections Librarian Jeremy Smith.
The afternoon began at 2:30 when Jeremy Smith welcomed a larger-than-anticipated crowd who had gathered in the Conservatory lounge, where an exhibit of Hinton’s photographs entitled The Way I See It was on display. [Read more…]