Mickey Bass

Primary Instrument: Bass

Born: May 2, 1943    

Mickey Bass

Emanating from a musical hotbed in Pittsburgh; his maternal grandmother performed in minstrel shows, and taught piano; she had graduated cum laude; taught English to Italian immigrants, and taught Mickey & his cousins Barbershop Harmony. Her daughter, Mickeys' mother also sang & danced. He was born, into all of this on May 2nd 1943... Lee Oddis Bass III.

A Pittsburgh born Bassist, who became, and is, a Major force on The New York Jazz Scene for more than 40 years.

In 1966 Downbeat declared him to be “A first rate soloist!” In 1970 Downbeat said “Definitely worth listening to! His melodious ideas are something to behold...” While performing with the great Jimmy McGriff “Essence” Magazine cited him to be “The Heartbeat of The Group” and while playing with Freddie Hubbard, Lee Edwards found Mickeys' Ensemble work to be “Nothing short of brilliant!”...
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A National Endowment for the Arts, Composer’s Grant, in 1980; with which he wrote a String Quartet with Jazz Rhythm Section and miscellaneous percussion.
”THE NEW YORKER” Issue of 2006-11-13
This Harlem club is synonymous with the birth of bebop. Throughout the nineteen-forties, the cream of the jazz scene jammed with such upstarts as Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Kenny Clarke as a new music came into being. Closed since the early seventies, the legendary night spot reopened in the spring. Nov. 10-11: The bassist Mickey Bass, a hard-bop veteran, brings his Manhattan Burn Unit in to stir up new memories.
John Donohue

JAZZ IMPROV. NY Magazine, January 2007
“A seasoned and formidable Bass player, Mickey hasn’t missed a beat... His longevity and musical expertise has deepened and matured with time and experience. The genuine, uncontrived nature of this Music, and its' ability to provide a conduit to the souls of both performers and listeners alike can only serve to inspire.”
Mercy Monet

MICKEY BASS & His “Manhattan Burn Unit”
”Bass player Mickey Bass didn't shoot the Piano player...He just didn't bring one to his gig at the “One Step Down”. Nor was the instrument missed last night, what with the melodic bent of the Quartets' Leader and the pianistic approach of Vibist Steve Nelson.

The credentials of the four include work with Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard and Dexter Gordon, and it shows in the brightness of their compositions and their familiarity with the modern Jazz tradition.

Alto Saxophonist Bobby Watson dived from on high at the first note of “One For Trane” and soared for five minutes or more over the gale force of the others. Nelson combined rhythmic boost with long flowing lines out of which surfaced brief quotes from other tunes.

W. Royal Stokes

“When Mickey Bass & The Cooperation get in the right groove, ( the ‘right groove’ being a loose, driving up-tempo) it is doubtful if there is a jazz group in town that swings as hard as this one.”
John S. Wilson.

  • BUY

    Sentimental Mood

    Kicking Mule Records

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Primary Instrument:

New York, NY

Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students


Teacher at Jazz-Mobile, Inc. 1965 to present

Mickeys Accredited College Curriculum, The Diminished Whole Tone Concept is currently being used at Jazz- Mobile as a Model for other teachers to follow.

Adjunct Faculty Professor; Hartt College of Music, Hartford, under the Chairmanship of Jackie McLean from 1982 to 1985.

Taught at The Ellington School of the Arts, Washington D.C. from 1975 to 1978.

Although Bass is my Instrument, my teaching Methods derive from my own Original, College Accredited Jazz Improvisation Method and can be equally applied on any Instrument.

"In the true Tradition of the Jazz vernacular, that has been passed down through the Generations; this Curriculum offers an opportunity for a Composer to shape his Music, in a very personal style."

Dr. Billy Taylor

Accepts Private Students.

Small Group Classes are offered.
Please contact me for more details.

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