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Michael Formanek

Michael Formanek’s singular approach to the acoustic bass has led to an impressive range of musical associations. During his thirty-plus year career, he has played and/or recorded with Elvis Costello, Tim Berne, Uri Caine, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz, Marty Ehrlich, Chet Baker, Tony Williams, Gerry Mulligan, Bob Mintzer, Fred Hersch, Dave Liebman, Joe Henderson, Mark Isham, Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band, Mingus Big Band, Terumasa Hino, Cedar Walton, Attila Zoller, George Coleman, Jane Ira Bloom, Bob Moses, Gunther Schuller, Peter Erskine, Joe and Matt Maneri, Gary Thomas, Harold Danko, Dave Burrell, and many others.

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“…a true virtuoso bassist” --Pulse

“the formidable American bass-player Michael Formanek’s solo set ranks with the great solo bass performances.” --The Guardian

“…deep propulsion, big beefy tone, a strong sense of line, individuality expressed through avoiding the expected.” --Village Voice

“Mr. Formanek, on bass, has solid intonation, riffing hard and engaging horns and drums in genuinely melodic counterpoint.” --New York Times

“Formanek is a musician first: his wonderful technique is always subjugated to the higher goal of making interesting art…Formanek is riveting.” --Cadence

“… a sound player who articulates with precision, produces a big, solid tone, and boasts rock-steady time.” --Bass Player

“ On his 1997 solo recital Am I Bothering You? he compresses his conception, finding insinuating melodies and hypnotic timbres, developing them thematically, always with amiable gusto and impeccable technique.” --Downbeat

“Formanek’s virtuosic command of his bass, which allowed him to simultaneously pluck walking lines and bow resonant accents, sometimes made him sound like two players at once .” --The Chicago Tribune

“...Formanek combines rhythmic muscle and lyrical fluidity - and endless creativity.“ --Chicago Sun Times

“Formanek's sound never failed to glow, and his rhythmic sense ensured a conversational flow.” --The Boston Globe

44 Photos View in Slideshow



Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
Sexmob Sexmob
Tim Berne Tim Berne
Steve Lacy Steve Lacy
sax, soprano
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
Jane Ira Bloom Jane Ira Bloom
sax, soprano
Craig Taborn Craig Taborn
Chris Speed Chris Speed

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