Curtis Counce was an in-demand session bassist and one of the first African-Americans to get heavily involved in the West Coast jazz movement in the 1940s.
Born in Kansas City, MO, on January 23, 1926, he studied violin and tuba in addition to bass before leaving his native city for employment with the Nat Towles Band in Omaha at the age of 16. He moved to Los Angeles in 1945, taking a job with Johnny Otis at the Club Alabam and made his recording debut with Lester Young the following year.
He recorded prolifically as a sideman (Shelly Manne, Lyle Murphy, Teddy Charles, Clifford Brown) before starting his famous quintet in 1956. His premature death from a heart attack was a tragic loss to jazz. All of Counce's Contemporary dates as a leader have been reissued, as has the once rare Exploring the Future. An added bonus was the appearance of previously unreleased Contemporary masters on...