Tony Reeves

Tony Reeves might not be as well known as Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer or Chris Squire of Yes, to name two of the star bass players in progressive rock. But he owned his own special niche in the realm, as a member of Colosseum, Greenslade, and Curved Air during the 1970s, and ended up becoming that field's answer to John Entwistle with his extremely prominent and complex bass sound. Oddly enough, he started out in jazz, and only moved into rock very gradually, once he'd taken up the electric bass. Reeves was born in southeast London in 1943, and attended Lewisham Grammar School, where his friends included future drummer Jon Hiseman and future keyboardist Dave Greenslade. Reeves' serious interest in music dated from his teens, and despite the fact that his teen years coincided with the skiffle boom and the first wave of home-grown rock & roll in England, he initially wanted to learn an instrument far from the heart of rock & roll: the trombone. He'd liked what he'd heard of it in the jazz bands he'd listened to, and was eager to learn it, but there were no openings for the instrument in his school orchestra. There was, however, an empty chair for a double bass, and that became his instrument; he also learned to read music, with the intent of switching to trombone when the opportunity arose. That never happened, but he became serious enough on the bass to take up classical training as well, and also started playing with small groups and dance bands at age 15.

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