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Barre Phillips


Albums


Double bass

Barre Phillips (born October 27, 1934 in San Francisco, California) is a jazz and free improvisation bassist. A professional musician since 1960, he migrated to New York City in 1962, then to Europe in 1967. Since 1972 he has been based in southern France.

He studied briefly in 1959 with S. Charles Siani, Assistant Principal Bassist with the San Francisco Symphony During the 1960s he recorded with (among others) Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Giuffre, Archie Shepp, Attila Zoller, Lee Konitz and Marion Brown.

Phillips' 1968 recording of solo bass improvisations, issued as Journal Violone in the USA, Unaccompanied Barre in England, and Basse Barre in France, is generally credited as the first solo bass record. A 1971 record with Dave Holland, Music from Two Basses, was probably the first record of bass duets.

In the 1970s he was a member of the well-regarded and influential group The Trio with saxophonist John Surman and drummer Stu Martin. In the 1980s and 1990s he played regularly with the London Jazz Composers Orchestra led by fellow bassist Barry Guy. In 1991 he worked with Ornette Coleman on the soundtrack of the motion picture Naked Lunch.

As a free improviser he has worked with (among many others) bassists Peter Kowald and Joëlle Léandre, guitarist Derek Bailey, clarinetists Theo Jörgensmann and Aurélien Besnard, saxophonists Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker and Joe Maneri, and pianist Paul Bley.