270

Anthony Cox

Peter Madsen By

Sign in to view read count
I'll never forget my first encounter with the astounding Minneapolis bassist Anthony Cox. It was 1977 at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire where I was nearing the end of my music studies looking forward to escaping with my degree in hand, when this African-American man (not a common sight at this lily-white University in the middle of nowhere) came straight up to me and asked if I was Peter Madsen. After confirming his question he said, "I heard about you. Let's find a practice room and play some music." We started playing and magically had an immediate hookup. And thus began a musical love affair that has lasted to this very day.



After graduating from University I moved to Minneapolis where Anthony was instrumental in getting me my first gig and introduced me to the jazz scene there. A couple years later we became roommates for a while and practiced together almost every day dreaming of playing in the "Big Apple". About a year later our dream came true when we both moved to New York City and I found a duo gig for us at One-Fifth Avenue (our first gigs in New York). In the early 1980's we formed a cooperative trio together with drummer Jeff Williams called Interplay. We played mostly freely improvised music on homemade percussion, synthesizers, kitchen appliances and of course on our own instruments. A few years later Anthony got me on the Stan Getz gig as well as my first recording with Fred Wesley. Along with Chris Potter, Toninho Horta and Lewis Nash, Anthony is the bassist on my first recording as a leader Snuggling Snakes

If you haven't heard of Anthony Cox you should check out any of the more than one hundred recordings he's been chosen to be on by musicians like Geri Allen, Dewey Redman, Dave Douglas, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Gary Thomas, Marty Ehrlich, Ed Blackwell and Joe Lovano (he was on Joe's album of the year in 1996 - Quartets Live at the Village Vanguard). Anthony is truly a remarkable musician. He has a brilliant mind and is open to all kinds of great music from around the world (It was Anthony who taught me about the diverse jazz scene in Europe). His bass sound is full of beauty and warmth and his ability to accompany and still add very creative ideas into whatever music he is playing is remarkable. He is equally comfortable playing chord changes with a Stan Getz or Kenny Wheeler or playing open music with a Dewey Redman or Geri Allen. His technique is absolutely awesome and his solos are full of wit and wisdom. His skills as a composer can be heard on any of the recordings he's made as a leader such as Dark Metals with Billy Higgins and Dewey Redman.



Anthony moved back to Minneapolis almost ten years ago now and I'm sad to say I haven't seen him very often since then. I miss him a lot and wish he would get out to New York more often. He is truly one of a kind and we need his talents out here in New York on a steadier basis. But he is still playing a lot back in Minneapolis and elsewhere around the world as well as teaching and recording. He is the leader of a number of groups there and he continues to be the idealistic artist that he has always been. If you want to hear a brilliant jazz bassist then run don't walk to your nearest computer and order a CD or two with Anthony on it!


Shop

More Articles

Read Ornette Coleman and Humanity: Parts 1 and 2 Wide Open Jazz and Beyond Ornette Coleman and Humanity: Parts 1 and 2
by Matt Lavelle
Published: June 26, 2015
Read Ode to Jef Lee Johnson:  The Promise of Lovolution Wide Open Jazz and Beyond Ode to Jef Lee Johnson: The Promise of Lovolution
by Charles Blass
Published: February 22, 2013
Read A Question of Time Wide Open Jazz and Beyond A Question of Time
by Alan Bryson
Published: September 8, 2009
Read Jazz Out There: Out of Print and Unavailable Wide Open Jazz and Beyond Jazz Out There: Out of Print and Unavailable
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: November 19, 2004
Read "Steve Turre at SMOKE" New York @ Night Steve Turre at SMOKE
by Peter Jurew
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Clifford Brown and Max Roach in 1954: New Research" New York Beat Clifford Brown and Max Roach in 1954: New Research
by Nick Catalano
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Amethyst at McHughs, Belfast" Live Reviews Amethyst at McHughs, Belfast
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Emanem Tidies Up" Multiple Reviews Emanem Tidies Up
by John Eyles
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "The Wee Trio: Full of Surprises" Interviews The Wee Trio: Full of Surprises
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Benny Golson Quartet at Duc des Lombards" Live Reviews Benny Golson Quartet at Duc des Lombards
by Patricia Myers
Published: August 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!