David Izenzon

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David Izenzon
David Izenzon.jpg
Background information
BornMay 17, 1932
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
DiedOctober 8, 1979(1979-10-08) (aged 47)
New York City, New York
InstrumentsDouble bass
Associated actsOrnette Coleman

David Izenzon (May 17, 1932 – October 8, 1979) was an American jazz double bassist.


Izenzon was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology and later received a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music.[1]

Izenzon began playing double bass at the age of twenty-four.[2] He played in his hometown before moving to New York City in 1961.[2] There he played with Paul Bley, Archie Shepp, Sonny Rollins, and Bill Dixon, but he is best known for his association with Ornette Coleman, which began in October 1961.[2] He played in Coleman's Town Hall, 1962 concert and played with him frequently from 1965 to 1968,[2] often in a trio format with Charles Moffett. During this time Izenzon also recorded with Harold McNair and Yoko Ono. He taught music history at Bronx Community College from 1968 to 1971 and played with Perry Robinson and Paul Motian,[2] but reduced his time in music in 1972 when his son became ill. In 1973 Izenzon received a Ph.D. in psychotherapy from Northwestern University. The following year, he co-founded Potsmokers Anonymous with his wife, Pearl.[3] In 1975 he composed a jazz opera entitled How Music Can Save the World, dedicated to those who helped his son recover. From 1977 Izenzon worked again with Coleman and Motian, up until his death in 1979. Izenzon had a heart attack and was dead on arrival at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.[1] He was survived by his wife and two sons.[1]


Bassist John Lindberg dedicated his 1997 album Offers for Luminosity to Izenzon.


With Jaki Byard

With Ornette Coleman

With Steve Kuhn and Toshiko Akiyoshi

With Harold McNair

With Paul Motian

With Yoko Ono

With Joseph Scianni

  • Man Running (Savoy, 1965)

With Archie Shepp

With Sonny Rollins

With Bob Thiele

  • Head Start (Flying Dutchman, 1967)


  1. ^ a b c "David Izenzon, Bassist; Anti-Marijuana Adviser" (October 10, 1979) New York Times, p. A25.
  2. ^ a b c d e Yanow, Scott "Artist Biography" AllMusic. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "Pearl Izenzon, Founder Of Support Group, 48" (October 22, 1989) New York Times.