Chuck Israels

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Chuck Israels
Birth name Charles H. Israels
Born (1936-08-10) 10 August 1936 (age 78)
New York City, New York, United States
Origin Cleveland, Ohio
Genres Jazz, bebop, cool jazz
Occupation(s) Double bassist, composer, arranger
Instruments Double bass
Associated acts Bill Evans, Paul Motian, Herbie Hancock, J.J. Johnson, Judy Collins, Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, George Russell, Gary Burton, Rosemary Clooney

Charles H. "Chuck" Israels (born August 10, 1936) is a composer, arranger, and bassist who is best known for his work with the Bill Evans Trio. He has also worked with Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, J. J. Johnson, John Coltrane, Judy Collins and many others.


Born in New York City,[1] Chuck Israels was raised in a musical family which had relocated to Cleveland, Ohio when Chuck was 10. His stepfather, Mordecai Bauman, was a singer who performed extensively with composer Hanns Eisler and who, along with Chuck's mother, Irma Commanday, created a home environment in which music was a part of normal daily activity. Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger and The Weavers were visitors to the Bauman home and the appearance of Louis Armstrong's All Stars in a concert series produced by his parents in 1948 gave Chuck his first opportunity to meet and hear jazz musicians.

Israels is best known for his work with the Bill Evans Trio from 1961 through 1966 and for his pioneering accomplishments in Jazz Repertory as Director of the National Jazz Ensemble from 1973 to 1981. Afterwards, he became less active as a musician, but did record with the Kronos String Quartet in 1984 and Rosemary Clooney in 1985. He was the Director of Jazz Studies at Western Washington University in Bellingham until 2010, and currently resides in Portland, Oregon.[2]

Humphrey Lyttelton, presenting Jazz 625 in 1965, once said that Israels was "a superb technician who handles the double bass as easily as if it were a guitar. ... Chuck Israels is one of the reasons why musicians have come reeling away from performances by the Bill Evans Trio in a mood poised between elation and utter despair."[3]


With Patti Austin

With Gary Burton

With John Coltrane

With Rosemary Clooney

With Eric Dolphy

With Bill Evans

With Don Friedman

With Stan Getz

With Herbie Hancock

With JJ Johnson

  • JJ's Broadway

With George Russell

With Phoebe Snow


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