Primary Instrument: Bass
Memphis-bred bassist/composer Stephan Crump is a rising star on the New York music scene. As collaborator with mainstream jazz luminaries, downtown explorers, singer/songwriters and others, he has become known for the elegance and purposeful groove of his acoustic and electric bass playing. As a composer, he is emerging as a singular voice.
Shunning barriers of musical genre, Stephan has performed and recorded in the US and across the globe with a diverse list of musicians- from Motown legends Ashford and Simpson to Portishead's Dave McDonald, The Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano, Michael McDonald, Patti Austin, Jorma Kaukonen, Lucy Kaplansky, Mahavishnu Project, Big Ass Truck, Dave Liebman, Billy Hart, Sonny Fortune, Greg Osby, Kenny Werner, Bobby Previte, and late blues legend Johnny Clyde Copeland.
Currently, Stephan can be heard as a long-standing member of Vijay Iyer Trio, Jim Campilongo Electric Trio, Jen Chapin Trio, Liberty Ellman Quartet, Joel Harrison's Harbor, and his own Rosetta Trio.
While aintaining a busy schedule as sideman, Stephan remains intensely involved with composing and performing his own music, which can be heard in Miramax, HBO, Showtime and Simple Focus films, and on his four albums as leader, Poems and Other Things, Tuckahoe, Rosetta and Reclamation, all of which have enjoyed critical acclaim and made strong impact on jazz radio across the country.
Stephan was raised in music. His mother, an amateur pianist from Paris, and his Memphian father, an architect and jazz drummer, provided a home rich with their native cultures, French and Southern. After numerous years of classical piano study and two years on alto saxophone, Stephan picked up the bass guitar in his early teens and was soon performing in festivals and touring the Southeastern U. S. Before leaving Memphis for college, Crump co-led a jazz/rock trio which performed and recorded his original compositions.
Stephan received his Bachelor of Music degree from Amherst College, where he studied under Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlin and was awarded the Sundquist Prize for performance and composition. At Amherst he began studying the acoustic bass, with a focus on classical training that culminated in a year of study abroad in Paris with Gary Karr-protégé Patrick Hardouineau. His jazz studies at Amherst included work with Max Roach, Frank Foster, and Ray Drummond. After college, he moved straight to New York and for a time continued studies with bass virtuoso Michael Moore.
Crump recently launched his solo performance career as an invited artist at the 2009 International Society of Bassists conference. 2010 will also bring the release of new recordings documenting his free-improvised duo collaborations with both alto saxophonist Steve Lehman and pianist James Carney.
Stephan is an enthusiastic endorser of Velvet strings, Reverend basses, AMT acoustic bass microphones, Aguilar bass amplifiers and David Gage's Czech Ease travel bass.
contained soulfulness Downbeat
a low-key marvel JazzTimes
a title to be savored The Village Voice
bareness in emotion NPR
Strong narrative sense, an unfettered conception of melody, and the confidence to elevate improvisations to a new level of empathy...speaks softly persuasive volumes Carlo Wolff, JazzTimes, Reclamation review
Someone's got to be the Holy Spirit, representing your faith that this jazz will breathe...It's the bassist, of course, cutting through with big, wise, rounded notes. Ben Ratliff, NY Times, 11/09 Vijay Iyer Trio concert review
Crump's bass playing and especially his soloing should be something to marvel at for anyone who appreciates finely crafted, artistic jazz musicianship Michael Nastos, All Music Guide, 10/09 Vijay Iyer Trio Historicity review