Drew Gress

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Drew Gress
Gress in 2010
Gress in 2010
Background information
Born (1959-11-20) November 20, 1959 (age 61)
Trenton, New Jersey
GenresJazz
Occupation(s)Musician
InstrumentsDouble bass
Years active1980s–present
LabelsEnja
Associated actsThe Claudia Quintet
Websitedrewgress.com

Drew Gress (born November 20, 1959) is an American jazz double-bassist and composer born in Trenton, New Jersey and raised in the Philadelphia area.

Biography[edit]

Gress studied at Towson State University and Manhattan School of Music.[1] In the late 1980s he worked with Phil Haynes, recording several albums with the group Joint Venture.[1]

In 1998, he released his first album as leader, Heyday, with his band Jagged Sky (featuring David Binney, Ben Monder, and Kenny Wollesen).[2] Gress wrote all except two of the compositions.[3] Two years later, he recorded Spin & Drift, on which he also played steel guitar.[3] He recorded material for two further albums – 7 Black Butterflies and The Irrational Numbers – in 2004.[3]

Gress has taught at Peabody Conservatory and Western Connecticut State University. He has also served tenures as artist in residence at University of Colorado-Boulder and at Russia's St. Petersburg Conservatory.[1][2]

Gress has toured Europe, Asia, and South America.[2] Those with whom he has and continues to work include Tim Berne,[4] Uri Caine, Fred Hersch, Don Byron, Dave Douglas, Erik Friedlander.[2]

Critic John Fordham described a performance by Gress's group as "one of the great jazz performances in Britain in 2002".[5] In 2004, the UK's BBC Radio and London's Guardian selected his quartet's live radio broadcast as Jazz Concert of the Year.[citation needed]

Composition awards include an NEA grant (1990),[2] funding from Meet the Composer (2003).[2]

Playing and composing style[edit]

The DownBeat reviewer of Vesper, a collaboration between Gress and the trio expEAR, wrote that the bassist "has exquisite time and a composer's sense of line, a combination that allows him an insightful level of counterpoint in his playing".[6] The DownBeat reviewer of Gress's The Sky inside wrote that he "favors a focused restraint, a sort of concentrated tension that wrings the maximum inspiration from minimal elements, and which maintains a taut severity even when spare free passages burst into angular swing".[7]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • Heyday (as Drew Gress's Jagged Sky) (Soul Note, 1998)
  • Spin & Drift (Premonition, 2001)
  • 7 Black Butterflies (Premonition, 2005)
  • The Irrational Numbers (Premonition, 2008)
  • And Again with Shims Trio (Deepdig, 2012)
  • The Sky Inside (Pirouet, 2013)

As sideman[edit]

With John Abercrombie

With Tim Berne

With Uri Caine

With Joint Venture

  • Joint Venture (Enja, 1987)
  • Ways (Enja, 1989)
  • Mirrors (Enja, 1994)

With others

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kennedy, Gary W (2002). Gress, Drew. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Drew Gress | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  3. ^ a b c Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 605. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  4. ^ Fordham, John (29 November 2002). "Drew Gress/ Tim Berne: Vortex, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  5. ^ Fordham, John (17 October 2003). "Tim Berne's Science Friction, The Sublime And". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  6. ^ Considine, J. D. (March 2018). "expEAR & Drew Gress: Vesper". DownBeat. Vol. 85 no. 3. p. 58.
  7. ^ Brady, Shaun (October 2013). "Drew Gress: The Sky inside". DownBeat. Vol. 80 no. 10. p. 54.

External links[edit]