Jazz @ the Library - From Jimmy Blanton to Larry Grenadier (and beyond): A History of the Upright Bass


Tuesday March 19th, 2013 - Woodward Park Regional Library


Spee Kosloff

JazzFresno and the Fresno County Public Libraries host (free and open to the public) Jazz at the Library on Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Woodward Park Regional County Library located at 944 E. Perrin Ave. (Champlain & Perrin).


Spee Kosloff, Ph.D, jazz bassist and Assistant Professor of Psychology at Fresno State, will give a presentation titled “From Jimmy Blanton to Larry Grenadier (and beyond): A History of the Upright Bass in Jazz through the 20th and 21st Centuries.”

Spee writes: “The upright bass is at once a metaphor for, and a literal embodiment of, the essence of jazz: a deep, spacious, soulful wanderer, a larger-than-life beast that can sing the soul of its player and redefine the physical and spiritual environments of rapt listeners. It can be humble yet fierce, dominant yet submissive, digital yet analog, steeped in the past yet expanding conventional rhythmic and harmonic constraints – and all the while, remaining at home at the center of the band. Who were the masters that established this instrument’s tradition? Who are the current-day masters revealing new stages in its evolution? In this Jazz @ the Library presentation, I will share with you the stories of classic and modern jazz upright bass players, and consider technical, aesthetic and philosophical distinctions among them that inform our understanding of the instrument’s rich history in jazz. Musical recordings will accompany this discussion, so that attendees might hear how the upright’s role has transformed over time and contributed to the emergence of new dynamics in this most joyous art form.”