(Bio written by Rocco Stilo)|
Born in San Francisco in 1934,
studied with the San Francisco Symphony in 1959 and
In march 1963 played in concert with Eric Dolphy.
The live New Thing At Newport.
(july 1965) documents his performance with Archie Shepp and John Coltrane.
He recorded the first solo double-bass album ever, Unaccompanied Barre
(november 1968), also
released as Journal Violone and as Basse Barre,
containing a 38-minute piece.
He also played on Mike Westbrook's Marching Song (march 1969),
on Gong's Magick Brother (october 1969), and on
Terje Rypdal's What Comes After (august 1973).
Alors!!! (january 1970) was recorded by a quartet with Michel Portal and John Surman (both on saxes and clarinets) and Stu Martin (drums).
The Trio, with John Surman and Stu Martin, recorded three albums: The Trio (march 1970), Conflagration (december 1970), that featured several guests (reedists Mike Osborne, Stan Sulzmann, Marc Charig, Malcolm Griffiths, Harry Beckett, Kenny Wheeler, Nick Evans and Alan Skidmore, drummer John Marshall, bassist Dave Holland, pianists Chick Corea and John Taylor); and By Contact (april 1971).
The collaboration with Dave Holland,
Music From Two Basses (february 1971), was perhaps the first double-bass duet ever,
For All It Is (march 1971) documents a bass quartet with Barry Guy, J.F. Jenny-Clarke and Palle Danielsson, accompanied by drummer Stu Martin.
It's Up To You (march and july 1974),
four lengthy compositions for solos, duets, trios and ensemble
classical, jazz, folk and world music,
marked his collaboration with Austrian classical pianist and composer Friedrich Gulda
Mountainscapes (march 1976) contained an eight-movement suite, again with Martin and Surman with the addition of John Abercrombie (guitar) and Dieter Feichtner (synthsizer).
Mumps was a project created with John Surman, Stu Martin and Albert Mangelsdorff (trombone and guitar) that yielded A Matter Of Taste (march 1977).
Three Day Moon (march 1978) documented a collaboration with Terje Rypdal (guitar, synth and organ), with also Feichtner and percussionist Trilok Gurtu.
Engatsse! (april 1979) marked the debut of his collaboration with Herve` Bourde (saxes and flute), who composed all the six pieces, and Bernard Lubat (piano, organ and drums).
The live Die Jungen: Random Generators (march 1979) was a double bass duet with Peter Kowald.
Journal Violone II (june 1979) was recorded by a trio with John Surman (various reeds) and vocalist Aina Kemanis. Music By (may 1980) added
Bourde and drummer Pierre Favre to that trio.
Call Me When You Get There (february 1983) was his second solo double bass album.
He collaborated with Gunter Hampel's All Stars on Jubilation
Passages (1986) was a piano trio with Barry Altschul and French composer Denis Levaillant.
In 1987 he began working with Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra: Zurich Concerts, featuring
also Dave Holland, Anthony Braxton, Marc Charig, Paul Lytton, Tony Oxley, Howard Riley, Evan Parker, Paul Dunmall and Paul Rutherford,
documents two performances, i.e. Barry Guy's 37-minute Polyhymnia (november 1987) and the monumental,
Compositions 135 (+41,63,96), 136 (+96), 108B (+86,96), 135 (+96),
the 44-minute piece of Harmos (april 1989), the 46-minute piece of Double Trouble (also april 1989, but different session), the 58-minute piece
of Theoria (february 1991), Portraits (march 1993), Three Pieces For Orchestra (december 1995), Double Trouble Two (also december 1995, but different session), and the live Radio Rondo/Schaffhausen Concert (may 2008).
The live Reserve` (november 1988) collects two lengthy improvisations
with Peter Broetzmann and drummer Guenter Sommer.
Figuring documents two improvisations (may 1987 and september 1988)
with guitarist Derek Bailey.
Camouflage (may 1989) documents a live solo performance.
Naxos documents two sessions (february 1987 and march 1990) with the
lineup of guitarist Jean-Marc Montera, Pierre Cammas (piano and keyboards), Bourde (sax) and Phillips' daughter Claudia (voice).
Arcus (august 1989) was a double bass duet with Barry Guy, including
the 21-minute Prophesies.
Aquarian Rain (may 1991) was a collaboration with French composers James Giroudon and Jean-Fran‡ois Estager, both on electronics.
Giacobazzi "Autour De La Rade" (june 1992) was a collaboration with
Barry Altschul and Andre Jaume (sax and clarinet).
Two Strings Will Do It (december 1991) was a foray in rock with drummer Sabu Toyozumi and vocalist Keiji Haino.
The collaboration with Haino continued on Etchings In The Air (february 1996).
Time Will Tell (january 1994) documents a trio with Paul Bley (piano) and Evan Parker (saxes), including the 17-minute Poetic Justice, an experiment continued on
the live Sankt Gerold Variations (april 1996).
Uzu (february 1996) was a collaboration with the
electric bass of Motoharu Yoshizawa.
Heat Transfer (january 1998) was a foray in classical music, an experiment with the cello of Martin Schutz and the violin of Hans Burgener.
Tales Of Rohnlief (june 1998) and
Angles Of Repose (may 2002)
document a trio with Joe Maneri (reeds, voice and piano) and Mat Maneri (electric violin)
Going To Church (june 2000) was a collaboration with the full-fledged
Maneri Ensemble (featuring also drummer Randy Peterson, pianist Matthew Shipp and trumpetist Roy Campbell).
Trignition (september 1998) documents another trio, this time
with contrabassist Bertram Turetzky and with Vinny Golia on several reeds.
The live The Space Between (september 1998) documents a collaboration with Pauline Oliveros (accordion), Dana Reason (piano) and Philip Gelb (shakuhachi).
The trio with Urs Leimgruber (saxes) and Jacques Demierre (piano) recorded: Wing Vane (january 2001); Ldp-Cologne (november 2003); Albeit (february 2008); Montreuil (december 2010); 1?3?2:?1 (may 2012).
October Bass Tri-Logue (october 2000) was a double bass trio along with Japanese Nobuyoshi Ino and Tetsu Saitoh.
Journal Violone 9 (march 2001) was another solo double bass.
Portraits (december 2001) was another solo album live recorded.
The live After You Gone (may 2003) documented a "double bass" quartet with Joelle Leandre, William Parker and Tetsu Saitoh.
A L'Improviste (march 2007) documents duets with Leandre, and
Elm City Duets (june 2006) documents a collaboration with guitarist Joe Morris.
The Rock On The Hill (october 2010) was recorded with Lol Coxhill (soprano sax) and JT Bates (drums).
The live 2012.10.26 Hall Egg Farm (october 2012)
documents a trio with Takehisa Kosugi (electronics) and classical pianist Yuji Takahashi.
The double bass sextet with Tetsu Saitoh, Kazuhiro Tanabe, Masao Tajima, Pearl Alexander and Takashi Seo recorded the four pieces of Live At Space Who (october 2012).
Phillips' project Crosswbows debuted as a double bass quintet with Clayton Thomas, Jiri Slavik, John Eckhardt and Sebastian Gramss on
The Hunters (september 2011).
In 2014 Phillips formed
the European Improvisation Center in France.
End To End (march 2017)
was another solo double-bass album.
No Man's Zone, recorded in 2011, was a collaboration between Phillips (double bass) and French composer and songwriter Emilie Lesbros.
Ahoy! (may 2019) documents live performances.
Thirty Years In Between contains both
Slips (march 2019) documents a live concert with Michael Moore (alto sax, clarinets and bird whistles) and Gerry Hemingway (drums, percussion).
Barre Phillips (double bass) and Gyorgy Kurtag Jr on electronic keyboards
recorded Face A Face (september 2021).