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Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Barry John Guy was born April 22, 1947 in London, England and came to the fore as an improvising bassist as a member of a trio with pianist Howard Riley and drummer Tony Oxley in 1969. He also became an occasional member of John Stevens’ ensembles in the 1960s and 1970s, including the Spontaneous Music Ensemble.

By the early 1970s, he was a member of the influential free improvisation group Iskra 1903 with Derek Bailey and trombonist Paul Rutherford and in the late Seventies was revived with violinist Philipp Wachsmann, replacing Bailey. Guy, saxophonist Evan Parker, and drummer Paul Lytton became one of the best-known and most widely travelled free-improvising trios of the 1980s and 1990s.For a brief time he was a member of the Michael Nyman Band in the 1980s, performing on the soundtrack of The Draughtsman’s Contract.

Guy’s improvisation and formal composition interests led him to the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, originally formed to perform his composition Ode in 1972. The orchestra became one of the great large-scale European improvising ensembles. Though documentation is sketchy early on, in the late 1980s the Swiss label Intakt set out to document the band more thoroughly, resulting in several recordings.  

He has also written for other large improvising ensembles, such as the NOW Orchestra and ROVA. Having taught at Guildhall School of Music, double bassist Barry Guy is currently improvising in piano trios with Marilyn Crispell and Agusti Fernandez, recorded several albums for ECM, continues to venture into the pop field with his session work, and along with his wife, run the small label Maya, which releases a variety of records in the genres of free improvisation, baroque music and contemporary composition.

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Knobby Totah was born Nabil Marshall Totah on April 5, 1930 in Ramallah, Palestine. He emigrated to the United States in 1944 and began playing the bass in 1953. He first worked in Japan with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Hampton Hawes in 1953 and ‘54,  then with Bobby Scott , Johnny Smith and with Charlie Parker, Gene Krupa, Woody Herman and Eddie Costa.

From 1956 he played with Zoot Sims and Al Cohn, with whom he played with until 1959. Around 1957 Knobby performed with Tal Farlow, Bobby Jaspar and George Wallington. From 1958-1961 he worked with Herbie Mann and with Slide Hampton, then with Bobby Hackett, Teddy Wilson, Stephanie Nakasian, Johnnie Ray and with Gene Krupa through the Sixties and in 1973, played on his last album.

Totah recorded two trio albums as a leader in the mid-Eighties and late Nineties, working with Mike Longo and Ray Mosca, in addition to his recording and performing as a sideman.

Double bassist Knobby Totah passed away on June 7, 2012 in York, Pennsylvania.

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Ike Isaacs was born Charles Isaacs on March 28, 1923 in Akron, Ohio and played trumpet and tuba as a child before settling on bass. Serving  in the Army during World War II, he took lessons from Wendell Marshall.

After being discharged Ike played with Tiny Grimes from 1948 to 1950, then with Earl Bostic until 1953, followed by Paul Quinichette in ‘53 and Bennie Green in 1956. He led a band locally in Ohio in 1956, then played for two years in the trio of Carmen McRae, whom he married late in the decade.

Throughout the Sixties Isaacs went on to work and recorded with Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, then with Count Basie, Gloria Lynne, Ray Bryant, Maxine Sullivan, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Harry “Sweets” Edison and Erroll Garner, as well as with his own small groups.

Bassist Ike Isaacs only recorded once as a leader in 1967 for RGB Records. With him on the date were Jack Wilson on piano and Jimmy Smith on drums. He passed away on February 27, 1981.




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Larry Gales was born Lawrence Bernard Gales on March 25, 1936 in New York City and began playing bass at age 11. He attended the Manhattan School of Music in the late 1950s.  Moving into the early Sixties he worked with J.C. Heard, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Johnny Griffin, Herbie Mann, Junior Mance and Joe Williams.

From 1964 to 1969 Larry was a member of the Thelonious Monk Quartet, and as such, recorded extensively and toured worldwide. After 1969, he relocated to Los Angeles, California where he worked frequently on the local scene with Erroll Garner, Willie Bobo, Red Rodney, Sweets Edison, Benny Carter, Blue Mitchell, Clark Terry, Teddy Edwards, and Kenny Burrell.

He recorded with Buddy Tate, Bennie Green, Sonny Stitt, Mary Lou Williams, Jimmy Smith, Sonny Criss, Charlie Rouse, Johnny Lytle and Big Joe Turner, among others. His first session as a leader was  A Message From Monk, released in 1990 on Candid Records that comprised one original and five Thelonious Monk tunes.

Double-bassist Larry Gales passed away on September 12, 1995 in Sylmar, California at 59 years old.

Discography[edit]

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Gene Taylor was born Calvin Eugene Taylor on March 19, 1929 in Toledo, Ohio.  Beginning his career in Detroit, Michigan he worked with Horace Silver from 1958 until 1963, then joined the Blue Mitchell Quintet, with whom he recorded and performed until 1965.

From 1966 until 1968, he toured and recorded with Nina Simone, including a Taylor composition she recorded titled Why? (The King of Love is Dead), written following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He then began teaching music in New York City public schools.

Working with Judy Collins from 1968 until 1976, Gene made numerous television appearances accompanying Simone and Collins. He went on to record with Junior Cook, Barry Harris, Coleman Hawkins, Junior Mance, Eddie Jefferson, Eric Kloss and Duke Pearson.

Double-bassist and songwriter Gene Taylor never led a recording session before passing away on December 22, 2001 in Sarasota, Florida where he had been living since 1990.

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