Collette worked with Herbie Mann, Chico Hamilton, Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald, among many, many others. His students included Charles Lloyd, Eric Dolphy, Sonny Criss, and Frank Morgan.
Famously, Collette encouraged a young Charles Mingus to trade his cello in for a bass. “You can’t slap a cello,” Collette told Mingus in Mingus’s 1971 autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, “so you gotta learn to slap that bass, Charlie!”
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