Ray "Bulldog" Drummond is one of jazz's busiest session players. His deep, smooth bass playing has been heard on more than 300 albums, including recordings by Art Farmer, David Murray, Houston Person, Stan Getz, Kenny Burrell, Kevin Mahogany, Toots Thielemans, Benny Golson, and Ray Bryant. On his own, Drummond has led three bands -- Excursion, featuring David Sanchez, Craig Handy, Stephen Scott, Mor Thiam, and Billy Hart; the Ray Drummond Quintet, with Hart, Handy, and Stephen Scott, and a duo, One on One, shared with Bill Mays. He continues to co-lead the Drummonds, with his brother, Billy, and Renee Rosnes.
The son of an army colonel, Drummond attended 14 schools around the world as a youngster. Although he played trumpet from the age of eight, and French horn, a high-school music teacher encouraged him to switch to the bass. Briefly settling in northern California, he earned a Bachelor degree in political science at Claremont Men's College in June 1968. Continuing his education at the Stanford Business School, he earned a Masters degree in business administration. While in San Francisco, he played with Bobby Hutcherson, Michael White, Ed Kelly, Tom Harrell, Eddie Marshall, and Lester Young's niece, Martha Young. He taught at Monterey Peninsula College of Music in 1975.
Moving to New York in 1977, Drummond worked as a session bass player for Betty Carter, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra,Wynton Marsalis, Woody Shaw, Hank Jones, Jon Faddis, Milt Jackson, Johnny Griffin, Kenny Barron, Pharoah Sanders, and George Coleman.
In addition to working as a sideman and leading his own bands, Drummond has continued to teach. He currently serves as an assistant professor of jazz theory and practice at California State University and has conducted master classes at the Berklee College of Music, Purdue University, the University of Massachusetts, and the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, Finland. ~ Craig Harris