Born in Kansas City, Counce studied violin and tuba early
on before settling on the string bass. He went on the road
when he was 16, playing with the Nat Towles Band in
Omaha. After some freelancing, Counce moved to Los
Angeles in 1945, working with Johnny Otis and making his
recording debut the following year with Lester Young.
During the ‘50’s he was a key member of the West Coast
jazz scene, recording as a sideman with Shelly Manne, Lyle
Murphy, Teddy Charles, Clifford Brown, and many others.
In 1956, Counce organized a quintet comprised of
trumpeter Jack Sheldon, tenor saxophonist Harold Land,
pianist Carl Perkins, and drummer Frank Butler