John Goldsby

John Goldsby is a member the Westdeutscher Rundfunk Big Band, also known as the WDR Big Band and the Cologne Radio Big Band. Goldsby was an iconic figure on the New York City jazz scene from 1980 to 1994. As a musician, bassist, bandleader and composer, as well as teacher, clinician, author, and clinician, he continues to make a significant contribution to jazz. John, the son of a Baptist minister and a Louisville native, was born and raised there. Before he took up the double basses at age 18, he played guitar, piano, and electric bass. He had the opportunity to work with local jazz legends Jimmy Raney and Helen Humes. John was offered a gig in 1979 with the house trio of a jazz club in Louisville, which brought in jazz soloists. John was able to play with many jazz legends, including Buddy Tate and Jay McShann. John knew that he needed to move to New York after this gig ended. He put his bass in his car and moved to New York in 1980. John was able to enjoy the company of all the young players in New York after he moved there. Albert Dailey and Sal Nestico were his first encounters with the New York elite. Goldsby recorded with many top musicians during his time in New York. These included Randy Sandke and Scott Hamilton, Mel Lewis, Toshiko Ashyoshi, John Lewis and Michael Brecker. Goldsby’s latest recordings as a bandleader are The Innkeeper’s Gun and Space for the Bass. Live at the Nachbar and The Innkeeper’s Gun feature a strong sax-bass/drums trio with Jacob Duncan, Jason Tiemann and Jason Tiemann. The Visit is a duo recording featuring Bill Dobbins, pianist. Cologne [Fuzzy music] features the John Goldsby and Peter Erskine Trio. The WDR Big Band records regularly and is featured on many current releases such as the Grammy-Award winning Avant Gershwin and for Ella from Patti Austin; Joe Lovano Symphonica and Abdullah Ibrahim Bombella; Maceo Park Roots and Grooves from Paquito d’Rivera’s Big Band Time (featuring John’s burning duet “Basstronaut”) with Bill Dobbins and Jack Walrath; Eddie Harris The Final Concert and Prism -The Music of Bill Dobbinskine and Peter Erskine and Peter Erskine and Peter Erskine and Peter Erskine and Peter Erskine and Peter Dobbinskine. Goldsby has been busy recording side projects, such as the two recent albums with tenor saxophonist Paul Heller, Special Edition 1 (featuring John Engels, Michael Abene, and Special Edition 2 with Al Foster, Olaf Polziehn, and the new release by Karolina Strassmayer, and Drori Mondlak entitled Joining Forces. John Marshall’s recent recordings include Waltz for Worms and Frisky. John is featured on Feed the Birds and The Shimmering Colors of Stained glass, as well as The Underwater Poet and The Underwater Poet. Also, Ups and Downs featuring trombonist Ludwig Nuss and guitarist Joachim Schoenacker’s Blunatic, are some recent recordings. Other notable recordings include Behind Closed Doors with Peter Erskine and Randy Sandke’s The Chase, Big Man’s Blues and The Return of the Great Guitars (Herb Ellis and Larry Coryell and Mundell Lowe and Charlie Byrd). Appel Direct, Let It Hail, Jog Left, and Look Right are all critically acclaimed albums by the Frank Vignola Trio. John Goldsby released Viewpoint in 2000. It features a mix of original material and standards and features some of the most prominent European musicians today, including Hans Dekker and Olivier Peters and Hayden Chisholm. Tale of the Fingers, the 1993 premier recording of the John Goldsby Quintet, is the best. This Concord Jazz CD also features Bill Mays (piano), Terry Clarke and Andy Fusco (alto). The recording includes two compositions by Mr. Goldsby, as well as rare works from Charles Mingus and Duke Ellington, Oscar Pettiford (drums), Paul Chambers and Sam Jones. The classic-meets jazz masterwork “Three Short Stories For Bass and Piano” by Bill Mays is a highlight of this recording. The “Tonight Show” featuring Claude Bolling, Hubert Laws, the Grammy Award winning soundtrack for “The Cotton Club”, and Wynton Marsalis’ work with Gunther Schuller and Lionel Hampton as well as the Smithsonian Masterworks Orchestra are other notable performances. Goldsby has also performed at the JVC Jazz Festival and Chicago Jazz Festival as well as on tours in Europe, Japan and Canada. According to The Village Voice, John Goldsby “is one of few bassists who is influenced by the traditions of Jimmy Blanton or Oscar Pettiford.” The New York Times cites Goldsby as “a remarkable bass player”. . . The rhythm section contributed some of the most vivid passages in the concert.” John Goldsby, a well-known jazz educator, teaches at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen, Germany. He has taught at Columbia University, William Paterson College and Cologne Musik Hochschule. He has taught jazz workshops around the globe, including in Sligo (Ireland), London, and Graz (Austria). Goldsby has been teaching at Jamey Aebersold’s Summer Jazz Clinics in 1980 and has also recorded many educational jazz records. The Jazz Bass Book, Mr. Goldsby’s latest book, documents jazz bass players’ techniques and historical perspectives. This book is the first of its kind and contains transcriptions, technical and historical information, discography, as well as Goldsby’s inspiring and insightful writing. The CD includes a play-along CD that the student and reader can use to learn and practice written etudes as well as patterns, scales, improvised solos, and bass lines. You can also listen to the performance tracks or play-along with them. Goldsby plays bass and Hans Dekker drums. Bill Dobbins (piano), assists Goldsby with his masterful playing. Two other instructional method books were written by Mr. Goldsby, Bowing Techniques to the Improvising bassist and Bass Notes. Bass Player magazine states that Bass Notes is an excellent resource to intermediate to advanced jazz players. The National Association of Jazz Educators suggests that Bowing Techniques for the Improvising Bassist should be required reading for all upright bassists. Goldsby is a master disciple of Paul Chambers’ school of jazz bass playing and has spent many years perfecting his arco (bowed jazz) playing. Goldsby learned and perfected arco jazz techniques through private study with Michael Moore and Dave Holland in the 1980s. Goldsby saw a need for jazz bass pedagogy to address the arco technique. He published his first book Jazz Bowing Techniques: Improvising Bassist in 1990. John Goldsby, a columnist for Bass Player Magazine, has been writing for his columns “The Tradition”, “Mastering Jazz” and “Jazz Concepts.” Goldsby also writes for Double Bassist Magazine and The Strad. Goldsby received the International Society of Bassists Special Recognition Award For Scholarship in 2009. This award recognizes scholars and players who have contributed their knowledge, talents and support to ISB goals. Goldsby was awarded three grants for jazz performance from the National Endowment for the Arts: in 1988, 1990 and 1993. The 1990 grant funded the concert “John Goldsby plays Oscar Pettiford”, which received high praise from the New York Times and Jazz Times. John Goldsby currently works with the WDR Big Band (Westdeutscher Rundfunk), on projects with artists like Joyce, Nicholas Payton and Dick Oatts. Goldsby is an inquisitive scholar who studies, documents, and codifies jazz bass styles, techniques, and players. To understand the artistic foundations and the structural development of jazz basse playing, he seeks to determine the state of the art. Goldsby supports Clarke Terry’s educational maxim “Imitate and Emulate, Innovate” in his music. The WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk), is the radio and television station located in the Nordrhein-Westphalia region of Germany. Although it is a radio station that is “public”, its coverage area is much larger than the PBS in America. The WDR employs the Big Band and two full-time symphony orchestres as well as a choir. John was born December 10, 1958. He currently lives in Germany near Cologne with Robin and their two children. from

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