Beginning on the upright bass in 4th grade Chris Bates has been on a lifelong journey of musical discovery. Chris spent over 15 years studying the instrument with noted classical pedagogue James Clute of the Minnesota Orchestra and reknowned jazz bassist Anthony Cox. Self taught on the electric bass Chris has always pushed himself to explore new musical styles from around the world and has blossomed into a very creative and supportive bassist. Raised on a healthy dose of big band jazz and progressive rock Chris’ chameleonic playing has evolved to encompass reggae, funk, country, folk, jazz and classical music. Weather playing a complex multi meter jazz work or grooving on the root 5 of a traditional country song Chris’s sound and feel provides the proper support for any situation.
As a first call bassist in the Midwest, Chris Bates has played with many wonderful musicians including Mose Allison, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Steven Bernstein, Howard Levy, Michael Attias, Bill Carrothers, Ira Sullivan, Eric Alexander, Tim Sparks and Dean Magraw. During the 90’s Chris played with the Motion Poets, touring nationally and releasing three albums to wide critical acclaim. Mr. Bates recieved a McKnight Composers Fellowship for his compostions in 1999. Chris has played on over 30 albums and brings and unbridled joy and enthusiasm to every musical situation he plays in. Currently Chris is involved in several bands: Atlantis Quartet, Enormous, Volcano Insurance, Leisure Valley, Red Planet, Framework and How Birds Work
“Let” starts with a pseudo-classical melody showcasing Chris Bates’ beautiful
arco bow work
- from The Return of Slide Huxtable
Yesterdays Past, a composition by bassist Chris Bates, began in typical
fashion with a lush, lyrical intro featuring mournful horn harmonies. Bates
followed with an eloquent solo that made ample use of silences, harmonic
overtones and dynamics. He played fluid lines and strummed chords. The
song had an unstated yet driving pulse, and it was brought to a rousing
conclusion with an elegant orchestral passage.
...on Kelly Rossum’s ‘Line’, bassist Chris Bates plays a critical role in holding
together the loose-limbed sound of the ensemble; his sound is elastic and
spacious, present but not obtrusive.
- from Jeff Dayton-Johnson -all about jazz