From the International Society of Bassists:
Born in New York City in 1936, Buell Neidlinger was a child prodigy on the cello. It wasn’t until he was a teenager that he began developing an ear for jazz and switched over to the double bass, playing and recording with the likes of Joe Sullivan, Herbie Nichols, Lester Young, Tony Bennet and Billie Holiday. He was Cecil Taylor’s bassist for seven years, and composer Gunther Schuller hired Buell for his Third Stream concerts at Circle in the Square. Buell was not only part of innovative jazz movements, but also played a role in new classical music through collaborations with Mauricio Kagel, Sylvano Busotti, George Crumb and John Cage. He has performed both in the sections of and as a soloist with the Houston Symphony, Berkshire Music Center Orchestra, Stokowski’s American Symphony, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and with chamber ensembles such as Peter Serkin’s TASHI ensemble, the Guarneri String Quartet, Budapest String Quartet and Amadeus String Quartet. Buell also excels in the bluegrass genre and has been an in-demand studio musician, playing on albums for Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Beach Boys, Elvis Costello and Frank Zappa.
The ISB Online Store is proud to have in our catalog five selections from Buell’s K2B2 label’s discography, go to http://www.isbstore.com/recordings.html. While all of these albums are terrific, two that really stand out are his Thelonious band’s Atmosphere disc and Blue Chopsticks, his tribute album to jazz pianist Herbie Nichols. In Atmosphere, Buell and producer Marty Krystall have assembled 11 Monk tunes, including the lesser known Skippy and Little Rootie Tootie. To listen to samples from the album go to http://www.isbstore.com/buell-neidlinger-thelonious-atmosphere.html.
Herbie Nichols’ music career spanned just 12 years. His music has been described as a kaleidoscope style of bop, Dixieland and West Indian music, with influences ranging from George Gershwin to Shostakovich. Said Buell in an interview with LA Weekly: “He’d call them rehearsals. I don’t know why, there weren’t ever any gigs. He liked classical music, and he knew a lot about it. I had a lot of Bartok and Stravinsky records and he just ate that stuff up. He’d stay and listen to those records sometimes until ten or eleven in the morning. Then, I would kinda fall asleep and he’d say ‘Well, I gotta go home know.’ I found out years later that he had no home. He’d get on a subway and ride it until it was time for him to go back to work, playing standards in a hotel lounge.” Before Herbie died, Buell promised him that one day he would record an album of Nichols’ music arranged for strings, the way Nichols often imagined it. Listen to that vow come true on Blue Chopsticks, http://www.isbstore.com/buell-neidlinger-quartet-blue-chopsticks.html.
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