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Peter Warren

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Peter Warren's work on bass and cello reached a sizeable audience via his membership in drummer Jack DeJohnette's ensembles beginning in the mid-'70s. DeJohnette's Special Edition band recorded some of the more critically acclaimed jazz of the late '70s and early '80s; Warren played on the albums Special Edition and Tin Can Alley (both ECM), made during the group's most avant-garde phase. Warren played cello in his youth; he debuted at Carnegie Hall at 17 and attended the Juilliard School in New York. Warren began playing double bass while living in Las Vegas, and later studied with former Bill Evans and Cecil Taylor bassist Chuck Israels in New York. He toured with singer Dionne Warwick in the mid-'60s before settling in New York, where he worked with Ornette Coleman's bassist David Izenzon in the New York Bass Revolution, a band that featured ten bassists. He lived and worked in Europe in the early '70s, and played with such musicians as Jean-Luc Ponty, Don Cherry, and Anthony Braxton. Warren returned to the U.S. in 1974 and began playing with DeJohnette, recording the drummer's Cosmic Chicken in 1975. In addition to his '70s work with DeJohnette, Warren also was awarded an NEA grant to compose music for cello in 1976. He worked with guitarist Mike Stern and John Scofield in the early '80s. In the '90s he lived in the Boston area and worked in improvisational settings with a variety of musicians, including the Chicago-based saxophonist Ken Vandermark. In 1994 Warren founded two improvising groups, Cheap Suit Serenaders and Elastic Consort. The latter group included flutist Matt Samolis; Samolis would also collaborate with Warren on a project featuring the steel cello, a sonic sculpture built out of tuned steel rods and cymbals and played with a bow. Warren's recordings as a leader include Bass Is (with Glen Moore, Dave Holland, and Jamie Faunt; Enja [1970]), Solidarity (Japo [1981]), and Bowed Metal Music (with Samolis; Innova [2001]). ~ Chris Kelsey

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21 November 1935 in Hempstead, NY

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s