Desert Island Jazz
Frank Tusa (2013)

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(Photo by Jim Bourne)

Although born on 1st April, bassist, composer and educator Frank Tusa is nobody's fool.

Raised in an incredibly musical Italian family in New York City, Frank's first instrument was guitar; he switched to bass at around age 10. During military service, he even played tuba on occasion.

Immediately after his discharge from the Army, Frank returned to New York. He worked with Paul Bley in the very early 1970s, and then met Dave Liebman, with whom he formed several ground-breaking groups, such as the trio Open Sky in the period 1972-4, with Bob Moses. Frank became interested in the fusion of Indian music with jazz, and he was part of Dave Liebman's innovative group Lookout Farm in the mid-1970s, with Richie Beirach, Jeff Williams and Badal Roy.

Frank has recorded with Barry Miles, Booker Ervin, Don Cherry, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Konitz, Stan Getz, and George Cables, among others, and was even a Jazz Messenger for a short while.

In 1980, Frank relocated to the Bay Area, since when he's been a first-call musician. An excellent teacher, he's taught at San Jose State and Stanford, as well as privately.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach Jazz at Massey Hall Hot House Debut
# 2 Count Basie April in Paris April in Paris Verve
# 3 Duke Ellington and Ray Brown This One's for Blanton Pitter Panther Patter Pablo
# 4 Chet Baker, Roger Rosenberg, Richie Beirach, Frank Tusa and Eliot Zigmund Live at the Village Vanguard, 1977 For Minors Only Not commercially available
# 5 Frank Tusa with Vince Lateano Live at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, 2013 Walkin' to Church Not commercially available
# 6 Chick Corea Now He Sings, Now He Sobs Now He Sings, Now He Sobs Blue Note
# 7 Frank Tusa with William Susman The Artistry of the Jazz Trio Medley Not commercially available
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