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  • Dave Bass (2011)

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    Like many musicians, Dave Bass has a day job, but his is one of the more unusual ones—and certainly not one that he'd have thought of when he first left his home town of Cincinnati, Ohio. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    Dave has loved the piano ever since he started lessons at age seven. After leaving Cincinnati, he toured the Far East as Brenda Lee's pianist. While based in Boston, he studied with a pair of legendary figures, composition with his fellow Cincinnatian, George Russell, and piano with Madame Chaloff.

    During the '70s and '80s Dave supported himself in the Bay Area through music, playing Latin Jazz, leading his own groups, and playing with Bobby McFerrin, Babatunde Lea, and others. In 1981, Jackie Ryan asked him to go with her for a long-term jazz gig on Maui, which led to his becoming Entertainment Director at the Royal Lahaina—not at all a bad gig!

    After a wrist fracture in the mid '80s put his musical career on hold, Dave went back to school, first at UC Irvine, and then to the UCLA Law School, where he was an editor of the UCLA Law Review. He began his legal career in 1992 and (here comes that day job) is now a California Deputy Attorney General in civil rights enforcement.

    In 2005, after having been off the scene for two decades, Dave re-entered the world of music. (As he put it himself, "the monster awoke", referring to his own reaction to beginning to play again.) In 2010, he released the appropriately named recording "Gone", which immediately rose to number two on the Jazz Week charts, and made their "top 100" list for the year. One track from "Gone", "Mi Guajira" made the Top 10 Downloaded MP3s list at AllAboutJazz, which is about as bona fide a hit as you can get in jazz.

    So if Dave quits that day job, he has a real career to fall back on. In fact, "Back" would be an appropriate name for his next recording.
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Paul Bley Sonny Meets Hawk (Sonny Rollins) All the Things You Are RCA
    # 2 Paul Bley and Bill Evans Jazz in the Space Age (George Russell) Lydiot American Jazz Classics
    # 3 Bill Evans Waltz for Debby My Foolish Heart Riverside
    # 4 Bud Powell Jazz Giant Tempus Fugit Verve
    # 5 Art Tatum Piano Starts Here Yesterdays Columbia
    # 6 Lennie Tristano Lennie Tristano/The New Tristano Line Up Rhino
    # 7 Glenn Gould Goldberg Variations Aria and Variations Sony
    # 8 Maurizio Pollini Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Webern, Boulez "Danse Russe" from "Petrushka" Deutsche Grammophon
    # 9 Chick Corea and Return to Forever Light As a Feather Captain Marvel Polydor
    # 10 Denny Zeitlin Zeitgeist I Got Rhythm Columbia
    Book "The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens"
    Luxury Item A bottle of Lagavulin and a nice cigar ("a Cuban one if the laws allow")
    Castaways by date
    Chris Amberger
    23 Jun
    Gerald Beckett
    01 Sep
    Buzz Brooks
    28 Apr
    Jarrett Cherner
    16 Jun
    Kev Choice
    30 Jun
    Anat Cohen
    28 Jul
    Natalie Cressman
    10 Feb
    Hershey Felder
    07 Apr
    Mitchell Feldman
    18 Aug
    Mike Galisatus
    03 Nov
    Aaron Germain
    06 Jan
    Robin Gregory
    17 Feb
    Tamir Hendelman
    13 Oct
    Kasey Knudsen
    17 Mar
    Matthew Montfort
    26 May
    Dan Montgomery
    06 Oct
    Andrea Motis
    21 Jul
    Ray Obiedo
    10 Mar
    Jayn Pettingill
    17 Nov
    John Pizzarelli
    25 Aug
    Sandi Poindexter
    24 Mar
    Don Randi
    20 Oct
    David Rogers
    24 Feb
    Eric Whittington
    29 Sep
    George Winston
    04 Aug
    Lizz Wright
    09 Jun
    Jason Yeager
    02 Jun