Primary Instrument: Bass, acoustic
Michael Bisio invariably astounds audiences with the beauty of his tone and the intensity of his very personal musical language. His music has received 4 stars from DownBeat, Jazz Times states his music resonates with intelligence, emotional depth and probing virtuosity. Journalist Paul DeBarros in Signal to Noise notes; For years free improvisers have explored the tactile aspect of performance, in which the nature of the encounter between the player and the instrument becomes the subject of the music itself. Bisio is one of the few musicians that has managed to meld this high-concept sense of physicality with the soulful charge of jazz. His fiddle-high, scraped overtones create a tangled choir that is impossible to resist; his expressiveness with the bow is unmatched. Having whirled the listener into a transportive state, he gently shows them the way out...
His expressive touch is distinctive. The New York Times
As a recording artist Michael appears on over 50 cds, he is leader on 10 cds and co-leads 7 duet recordings. His recorded output has consistently met with critical praise. Michael's first international release, In Seattle, (Silkheart), was chosen as one of the Best Jazz Records of the 1980's in the Village Voice. Connections, (CIMP), 2005, as reviewed in Cadence Magazine. ...this is another important disc from Bisio and company that highlights Bisio's talents as a musician, composer and bandleader. Fourteen new releases in 2009 included two MBQ CDs for CIMP and Not Two, two cds by Tomas Ulrich's Cargo Cult, and Old Dog, By Any Other Name, (Porter Records). The very beginning of 2010 saw the release of Session at 475 Kent, duets with the highly acclaimed pianist Connie Crothers on MutableMusic.
As a composer Michael has been recognized with nine project grants from various arts organizations, in 2003 he was awarded an Artist Trust Fellowship.
Seminal studies in creative music processes were with Bill (William O.) Smith and Stuart Dempster.Early tenure with trumpeter Barbara Donald and saxophonist Carter Jefferson left an indelible mark on Michael's music and spirit. Another major influence is Joe McPhee. Joe and Michael have created a body of work that includes two duo cds, Finger Wigglers and Zebulon, (CIMP) in addition to over a dozen other releases including: Port of Saints, (CJR), Joe Giardullo's Shadow and Light, (Drimala), and Angels, Devils and Haints, Joe Mcphee and the World Bass Quartet, (CJR).
Other artists Michael has collaborated with include: Wayne Horvitz, Charles Gayle, Bob Nell, Sunny Murray, Louie Belogenis, John Tchai, Pauline Oliveros, Vinny Golia, Julian Priester, Eyvind Kang, Diedre Murray, Rashied Ali, Jim Nolet, Saadet Turkoz, Dominic Duval, Tomas Ulrich, Oluyemi Thomas, Matthew Shipp, Karl Berger, Warren Smith, Connie Crothers, Sonny Simmons, Jay Rosen, Avram Fefer and Stephen Gauci.
Bisio's ability to project such a diverse array of timbre and technical skill mark him as one of the leading bassist of his time. --Steven Loewy, allmusic.com