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Eugene Wright

Eugene Wright, was an American jazz bassist, best known for his work as a member of The Dave Brubeck Quartet, in particular on the group's most famous album Time Out (1959), with pianist Brubeck, drummer Joe Morello and saxophonist Paul Desmond.

Wright, nicknamed "The Senator", had played with the Lonnie Simmons group, and led his own band, the Dukes of Swing, but his big break came when he was recruited by Dave Brubeck. He had a very solid, Kansas-city style, theoretically at odds with, but in practice an important component of, Brubeck's cool, mannered jazz.

Best known for his steady, concise contributions to the Dave Brubeck quartet for a decade in the '50s and '60s, Eugene Wright was a dependable, never flamboyant bassist. He was mostly self-taught on bass, but took a few lessons late in his career from Paul Gregory.

Wright studied cornet in high school. He led a 16-piece band, The Dukes of Swing, in the mid and late '40s. Wright played with Gene Ammons, Count Basie and Arnett Cobb in the late '40s and early '50s, then worked with Buddy DeFranco from 1952 to 1955, touring Europe with him.

He played in the Red Norvo trio in 1955, and toured Australia with it. Wright was featured in a film short with Charlie Barnet, then joined Brubeck in 1958 and remained until 1968. He led his own ensemble on a tour of Black colleges in 1969 and 1970, then played with Monty Alexander's trio from 1971 to 1974.

Wright worked in television studios and did film soundtrack work as well as play in clubs during the '70s. He also did private teaching, and became head of the advisory board in the jazz division of the International Society of Bassists, and head of the University of Cincinnati's jazz department.

Though he has no sessions of his own as a leader, Wright can be heard on numerous Brubeck CD reissues, as well as on sessions by Paul Desmond.

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Live From Vienna 1967

Brubeck Editions
2022

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Time OutTakes

Brubeck Editions
2020

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Time Out: Dave...

Sony Music
1987

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