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Falling In Love Supreme: Dave Bass Had A Coltrane 'Epiphany'


Pianist Dave Bass is putting Sacramento on the map with a brilliant new CD featuring an all-star band, including Phil Woods, Karrin Allyson, and Conrad Herwig.


The first jazz that really grabbed wasn’t the traditional straight-ahead jazz, be-bop, or Latin-jazz that I love so much now. It was much more avant-garde. It was Coltrane’s Live at the Village Vanguard Again. 

Having listened to and played only classical and progressive rock up to that point, listening to that Coltrane album led to an epiphany. That epiphany, in turn, started me down the never-ending road of playing jazz.

Back in the day, high fidelity for me meant a suitcase stereo which opened to a turntable and to two detachable speakers that you placed a few feet on either side of the turntable. I was at a friend’s house; the stereo was on the floor, as were my friend and me. 

After listening intensely, with my ears a few inches from one of the speakers, to the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and Procul Harum, my friend slipped the Coltrane on without warning. It made instant and perfect sense to me.  I can still vividly recall how the inner-logic of Trane’s lines spoke directly to me.

After a few years of playing avant-garde jazz myself, I worked my way backwards to the place where Coltrane himself had come from. 

I’m still working!





This is part of a series about falling in love with the artform of jazz. 

We're inviting you to share your story of how you came to love jazz, in 200 words or less. Email your essay to jazz@capradio.org before February 14. We’ll read the top submissions on air and award several prizes.