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  Free Jazz Bassists  
  by Dustin Garlitz  
     
 

        January 2005:

       A true musician’s musician is bassist Barry Guy from England.  Almost all the younger generation of free jazz bassists I know worship this guy.  Also sacrosanct are modern jazz legends Charlie Haden, Gary Peacock, and Ron Carter.  Dave Holland and Richard Davis are big names in avant-garde jazz circles as well.  Reggie Workman and Cecil McBee are historically distinguished bassists who double as jazz educators today.  Out of all these names, Ron Carter sticks out as being the most ‘inside’, yet I was amazed to hear him really play his tail off with the second Miles Davis Quintet of the mid to late 1960s.  The best example of extended technique from this group of bassists is from Barry Guy on seminal avant-garde jazz trumpeter Bill Dixon’s Vade Mecum albums recorded in the 1990s.