Primary Instrument: Bass
With the release of, Live Times Five / Quinteto Yo, Canadian-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Stone consolidates a solo recording career long in the making.
Stone, who lives in southern Spain, was born in Toronto on New Years Eve 1950. He is convinced that jazz was playing in the background.
He began learning to play the guitar as a youngster, and soon also took up the bass and piano. As early as the final years of high school, he was earning a part-time living in weekend dance bands, and by backing local folksingers. He paid his way through college this way, and then, through much of the 1970s, drifted into a life of touring north-eastern North America as a bass player in anonymous rock and jazz bands.
There were highlights, of course, including tours with the revered Canadian folksinger, the late Stan Rogers, the American anti-war icon, Jerry Jeff Walker, and in put-together backing bands for occasional notables, like Chicago blues singers, regional pop stars, and once, the legendary Stan Getz. This early period also included a stint in a provincial symphony and a very doubtful season with the Ice Capades Orchestra.
For a substantial period of time during the 1980s music took a back seat as Stone worked at a variety of jobs in journalism and as a teacher. These assignments took him on a series of remarkable journeys around the world and exposed him to the music of first Latin America, then South Asia and the Middle East, and finally China and the orient. It was these experiences that were to have a lasting and profound effect on his musical range.
It was in Hong Kong in 1992 that he met and began his decade-long collaboration with the saxophonist Gordon Mathews. Together they released a total of four albums under the name Hong Kong Silicon Orchestra.
Stone’s musical interests diverge almost as much as his career path. Any music that's sincere, that's honest, I tend to like, he says. I listen across a huge range from jazz to Western classical, and also to all sorts of ethnic music from around the world.
...a bit like Tom Waits, but without the lyrics... an extraordinary one man band...