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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
    George Cotsirilos
    09 Feb
    Ed Klitsch
    05 Jan