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Joshua Bayer

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Biography

As both a musician and a composer, acoustic bassist/guitarist Joshua Bayer often brings a strong ‘60s influence to the table. Bayer has used electric keyboards on some of his recordings, but not in a fusion, jazz-funk, smooth jazz or pop-jazz way — much of his ‘90s and 2000s work has been greatly influenced by the straight-ahead post-bop of the ‘60s. And that post-bop perspective has often asserted itself in Bayer's playing as well as his composing. As an upright bassist, his influences range from Jimmy Garrison to Ron Carter to Eddie Gomez, and as a composer, his long list of influences has included Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Oliver Nelson, and the seminal John Coltrane (among others). That isn't to say that every one of his influences was part of ‘60s post-bop; the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn songbook has also affected some of his writing, and he isn't oblivious to the ‘50s hard bop and ‘40s bebop that came before post-bop. In the Washington, DC area, he has participated in Charlie Parker and Bud Powell tribute concerts. Further, most of the ‘60s post-boppers who have influenced him started out playing bop. But even so, there is no getting around the fact that post-bop has greatly affected his playing and writing.

Bayer is based in Washington, DC, the city that has given us everyone from Duke Ellington to Shirley Horn to saxman Ron Holloway over the years, and he has been keeping busy teaching and playing. In fact, Bayer (whose brother, Samuel Bayer, is a Boston-based singer/songwriter) is on the faculty of the Washington Conservatory of Music. Music for Dances, the bassist/guitarist's first album as leader, was released on the Interlace label in the late ‘90s. Bayer followed that CD up with his sophomore outing, Lines and Grooves, which was dominated by his own material and was released by the independent Jazzheads Records in 2003.

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