Bass players are a unique breed. They understand their place in the community. They are supporters. They are there to help with both rhythm and to ensure that each step is firmly planted so that nobody else riding on their backs will slip.
Canada is lucky to have fantastic bass players right across this land. I put together this list of the five top bass jazz players in Canada, factoring in their work in the community (local and national), leadership and how they push the bass envelope. Bass isn't just an instrument that sits out of the spotlight; it can brag, too.
1. Brandi Disterheft, NYC.
Vancouver's (via Toronto) Brandi Disterheft is a wee bass monster that is tearing the instrument to pieces. She gives her bass and herself a distinct voice, and has deftly sped down a self-imposed freeway of jazz that has led her to New York City. If there was ever a Canadian bassist with the skills and star power to becomes Canada's Esperanza Spalding, it would be Disterheft.
2. George Koller, Toronto.
A world traveller. A supreme supporter. An idea guy. George Koller is a guy you want for any band because he will deliver nothing less than 1,000 per cent. George has innovative and entertaining ideas on bass. He's great in the shadows and in the spotlight.
3. Kieran Overs, Toronto.
Who doesn't Kieran Overs perform with? The list would be smaller than listing who he does play with. Everyone from Jane Bunnett to Sophie Milman chooses Overs to be in the studio with them when the pressure is on. He's "the guy" that will get you to the goal line and score every time.
4. Steve Kirby, Winnipeg.
There are few people in Canada that have more passion for jazz than Steve Kirby. He's a jazz believer. Since moving to Winnipeg from the U.S., Kirby has been the general leading that city towards jazz community building. Kirby is the director of jazz studies at the University of Manitoba, the editor in chief of Dig! magazine, and did I mention he plays bass? Canada could use more Steve Kirbys.
5. Jodi Proznick, Vancouver.
Jodi Proznick is the one to call for bass in Vancouver. She's earned every one of her stripes, too. Now, with the birth of her first little one, she's had to learn to juggle "life" and music. That deserves an award, especially when you do both so well.
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on Aug 06, 2012