Born Arthur Edward Booth on February 12, 1948 in Buffalo, New York transitions on July 11.
Booth began playing piano at about age eight, and switched to bass at 12. In 2014 he celebrated his 50th year of jazz in Buffalo where he played with pianist George Caldwell, drummer Carmen Intorre and Buffalo jazz bassist Sabu Adeyola. Over his long, stellar career he worked with such greats as Chuck Mangione in his hometown in 1964-65 before moving to New York City around 1966, where he played with Eddie Harris, Art Blakey, Sonny Simmons, Marzette Watts, Freddie Hubbard and Gary Bartz. In the early 1970s Booth played with Tony Williams’s Lifetime and McCoy Tyner also recording during this time with Larry Young Takehiro Honda, and Masabumi Kikuchi, the last two during a tour of Tokyo in 1974. In 1976 he returned to Buffalo, though he also worked with Chico Freeman in Los Angeles and Junior Cook in New York in 1977. In 1977-78 he played with Elvin Jones and Charles Tolliver.
The Colored Musicians Club facebook page offered the following touching tribute:
“We are so very saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend and legendary bassist Juini Arthur Booth. He was always the most gentle of souls, with an extraordinary talent playing upright (and electric) bass. His work with Chuck Mangione, McCoy Tyner, Sun Ra, Ernie Krivda, and a host of heavy weights from here to NYC to LA speaks volumes of the respect he garnered and the prodigiousness that he accrued through the years. Whenever he was in town, he always graced our stage with such ease, poise, and a prolific knowledge of his instrument. He was an engaging and humble man, who never shied away from sharing his copious talents with all musicians every time he took to the stage. This is another huge loss for our beautiful city, and certainly for our beloved club that he frequented so often. Our prayers go out to his family, and his musical family, and to all who loved him dearly.
Fly High Juini. You will be greatly missed.”