Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Bass, Mickey (Lee Oddis Bass III)

Bass, Mickey [Lee Oddis Bass III]; bassist, composer, arranger; b. Pittsburgh, PA, 2 May 1943. He studied under the guidance of William Lewis (private), Bernard Mason (Howard University) and George Andrea (Metropolitan Opera Company). From 1961-1963, he attended Howard University. From 1967-1968, he attended New York University, College of Music.

Worked and toured with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers off and on from 1964 through 1973. Worked and toured with Gloria Lynne from 1965 through 1972, most of that time as her musical director. Arranged, composed, and conducted ten compositions for Gloria Lynne. Worked and toured with Carmen McCrae in 1967. Worked and toured with Billy Eckstine 1968 through 1969. In the next few years he played and recorded with David Amram, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Timmons, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Kenny Dorham, Joe Henderson, Ray Bryant, Sonny Stitt, Jackie McLean, and in 1972 with Miriam Makeba.

As a composer, he wrote several eight- piece and big band arrangements for the stage band at New York University in 1967 as well as Jaki Byard's Big Band during the same time. Wrote and arranged four octet arrangements of original compositions for Chico Hamilton. During 1973 - 1974 he arranged and directed music for the Holliman Brothers, who won three consecutive first prizes Apollo Theater Amateur Night. He wrote, arranged, and conducted all music for the Ellington Jazz Ensemble that performed for President Jimmy Carter in 1977. He orchestrated, arranged, and conducted music by H. Q. Thomas and by Ellington for the WETA-TV production called "A Night At Ellington," which won an award in 1978. Arranged, orchestrated, and was assistant producer for the Al Hibbler Christmas Album. Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Composer's grant for 1980. He toured as leader of his own quartet in December 1987.

As an educator, during 1975 he taught at Jazzmobile, Inc. , New York City, and from 1975 -  1978  he taught his own improvisation method at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, D.C. He also taught bass there and directed the jazz ensemble. From 1980 -  1984 he taught at Hartt College, including courses in arranging, transcription, and his own two year keyboard harmony method, and from 1984 -  1986  he was Bass Chairman for the National (now Int.) Association Of Jazz Educators.

He has also been involved in various other aspects of the music business: From 1975-8 he hosted a weekly three-hour radio show Adventures In Jazz on WBAI-FM , New York, which was also aired on WPFW-FM Washington, D.C. From 1985 - 1986  he was East Coast Representative for Sarah Vaughan for Record Production  for CBS Sony. In 1988 he hosted New York Art Exclusive on channel D for Manhattan Cable. In 1990 - 1992 he was Vice President of Now's The Time, Inc. which was formed to produce radio and television programs as well as concerts, and from 1990 - 1999  he was  President of Early Bird Records, a one time subsidiary of Now's The Time, Inc. From 1996 - 1999   he was CEO of Brownstone Entertainment Complex working with the Lenox Lounge in Harlem, and from 1998 - 1999 he was Vice President of Rainbowjazz.com, a CD sales site.

Recorded compositions:
BAHAMA MAMA, and FOR B.T. AND ME, and SAGITTARIUS RISING on Mickey Bass,  Sentimental Mood (1980)
SWEAT on Ramon Morris, Sweet Sister Funk  (1970)
A CHANT FOR BU, and ONE FOR TRANE, and SIEMPRE MI AMOR, on Art Blakey, Buhaina: Mission Eternal (1973)
ONE FOR TRANE also on Ronnie Mathews, Dark Before The Dawn (1990)
MICKEY'S TUNE on Lee Morgan, The Sixth Sense (1968; CD version only)
MEDITATIONS recorded by Art Blakey (1972)
GAYLE'S GROOVE on Hank Mobley, Thinking Of Home (1968)
SOUL SOCKIN' JAMBOREE recorded by Reuben Wilson (1970)
GEERO'S HERE on George Cables, Night And Day (1990)
THE JUGGLER, and BROTHER RICK on The Reunion Legacy Band (1990)
THE JUGGLER also on Richard Wyands, The Arrival (1992)
THE POEM, and ALMOST SPRING on Rahn Burton, The Poem (1992)
LUST FOR LOVE recorded by Mickey Bass (1982)

Record Production:
He has produced many albums, including
The Timeless All-Stars: Time For The Timeless All-Stars
The Reunion Legacy Band: The Legacy
The Mickey Bass Quartet: Another Way Out
Bobby Timmons: Live At The Connecticut Jazz Party
Ronnie Mathews Trio: Dark Before The Dawn
George Cables Trio: Night And Day
Walter Bishop Jr.: What's New
Chris Anderson: Blues One
Richard Wyands: The Arrival
Rahn Burton: The Poem
Ronnie Mathews: Lament For Love
Jack Wilson: Jack Wilson In New York
Television Appearances:
A Night at Ellington (see above)
WNEW-TV, New York with Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers 1967
The Today Show, WNBC -TV with Frank Foster 1970
Group W, Boston, appeared with Freddie Hubbard 1970
Canadian Broadcasting Company, with Freddie Hubbard 1971
The Billy Eckstine Show, WNBC-TV with Freddie Hubbard 1971
NHK-TV, Japan with Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers 1973
NHK -TV, Japan In New York at the Lenox Lounge with John Hicks Trio snd special guest Bobby Watson.

Books in progress include one on jazz improvisation, an autobiography, and a script for a film or play entitled "Be-Bop" which is an oral history of that movement.
In conjunction with Dr. Billy Taylor he wrote a teaching primer to aid teachers who have never taught music and need to show students the fundamental principles of music.

2844 Frederick Douglas Boulevard
Suite # 1A
New York, N.Y. 10039
(212) 862-1175 (Phone & Fax)

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