Horace Hatchett

Horace Hatchett newspaper article - 1958
(Thanks to the former student who supplied the clipping.)

The following is a posting made by Carol Kaye, to a newsgroup for bassists, about Horace Hatchett.

From: "Carol Kaye" Date: Mon, 7 Oct 96 00:11:10 UT
Subject: PS from Carol K

In my last post, I advised for bassists to take lessons about the theory and using charts etc. from only fine pros who are also teaching. Please know that there are exceptions out there with teachers who may have retired from playing and just teach, or who aren't especially great players but are fine teachers. My teacher was Horace Hatchett (guitar teacher Eastman School Of Music alumnus, who graduated with honors etc.). He wasn't a fantastic player, but did his share of work: subbed for Eddie Lang in the 30s on the road with music shows such as "Naughty Marietta", etc. He taught in Phoenix for awhile (where Howard Roberts, and Howard Heitmeyer took lessons from him) before finally making Long Beach, Calif. his home where I took some for awhile and he hired me to help him teach. Horace ("Hatch") was the primo of teachers on the West Coast, teaching some of the studio's finest, Jimmy Wyble, John Gray, Oscar Moore, Rueben Quintero etc. and was constantly in touch with the guitar greats of that era too: George Smith, Barney Kessel, Les Paul, Dave Barbour (Peggy Lee's husband), etc. Even Gibson in those years consulted with Hatch on woods, especially the aged woods coming in from Japan, he was such an authority (he liked the Bird's Eye Maple backs and the fine-grained Spruce tops for the Gibson L-5s in those years). Hatch while not being a "great" jazz soloist believed in starting guitarists early on to playing with the recordings of Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, etc. and taught a great start in theory, especially solfeggio which he had studied and he often spoke of Schillinger's 12-tone systems, etc. So his chordal theory was the finest (as witness Howard Roberts' playing and Oscar Moore's great chord solo work with Nat King Cole too). He also used George Smith's great chordal solos and unequalled guitar chord books for teaching as well as some of the fine George Van Epps compositions. (note: George Smith is the guitarist you hear on many of the great movie scores of the 30s, 40s, and 50s). Hatch also came up with the down-up picking style which worked so well for elec. bass playing (later) but he never achieved a known status as a "top" player altho' he had much experience playing professionally, but did achieve acclaim as a "top" teacher.