Bob Cranshaw has been the bassist of choice for Sonny Rollins since 1959. Their forty-seven-year collaboration is the subject of a new video on Sonny's website, “Bob Cranshaw and Sonny Rollins, The First Gig. Created by Bret Primack, it features interviews with both Rollins and Cranshaw . Exclusive performance footage includes excerpts from The Sonny Rollins Group in Concert back in April in California. The content is also available as an MP3 download.
Born December 10, 1932, the Evanston, Illinois native started on drums and piano before switching to the tuba and bass in high school. He was a founding member of Walter Perkins' MJT +3 band in 1957 and it was Perkins who recommended Bob to Sonny as a replacement bassist for a gig at the first Playboy Jazz Festival in Chicago in 1959.
Bob Cranshaw's discography is nothing short of amazing. He has recorded with every major jazz artist of the latter 20th century, including, including Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Jimmy Heath, Johnny Hodges, Jackie McLean, Thelonious Monk, James Moody, Lee Morgan, Wes Montgomery, Oscar Peterson, Buddy Rich, George Shearing, Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, and Joe Williams.
Bob has also worked extensively on Broadway and television, including memorable stints as the bassist in Billy Taylor's Orchestra on the David Frost Show, on Sesame Street, and on the original version of Saturday Night Live in the late 70s.