discography is endless. Only very few jazzmusicians have been
recorded on so many different records and in so many different
styles. He feels home in bop as well as in modal or free styles.
But: most fans only know him as a sideman. Now Cecil
McBee has decided to focus more then in the past on his
own music. He formed an own quintet and toured Europe in October
1998 the third time. His first tours in August 1996 and September
1997 were a great success.
A TV-performance from the Viersen Jazz Festival was reviewed very
positive, as well as his first CD Unspoken, that came on
the market in summer 1997.
Cecil McBee was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His musical
career began at high school, where he played the clarinet. By the
age of 17 and after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in
music education, Cecil had begun to experiment with the string
bass and played steadily at local night clubs with top groups.
His musical education at Central State University in Wilberforce,
Ohio, was interrupted by his induction into the US army. Here he
spent two years as the conductor of the "158th Band" at
Fort Knox, Kentucky. There he developed a personal study of the
possibilities of bass composition and improvisation. By the time
he graduated from college, Cecil realized that although he had
prepared for a career in education, he was more inspired by jazz
Because of this, Cecil decided to live in Detroit, then one of
the most powerful jazz communities in the world. Within a year,
he joined the Paul Winter Sextet and moved with them to New York.
Since his arrival in New York Cecil McBee has worked, recorded
and traveled worldwide with the absolute best. Here a short list
of the most important: Elvin Jones, Alice Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Jack DeJohnette, Bobby Hutcherson,
Keith Jarrett, Wayne Shorter, Yusef Lateef, Jackie McLean, Pharoah Sanders,
Freddie Hubbard, Charles Lloyd, Art Pepper, Chet Baker, Sam
Rivers, Sonny Rollins, James Newton, Joanne Brackeen, Joe Henderson, and, and, and...