Miroslav Vitouš

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Miroslav Vitouš
Vitouš in 2014
Vitouš in 2014
Background information
Birth nameMiroslav Ladislav Vitouš
Born (1947-12-06) 6 December 1947 (age 74)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, funk
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsDouble bass, bass guitar
Years active1962–present
LabelsECM, Freedom

Miroslav Ladislav Vitouš (born 6 December 1947) is a Czech jazz bassist.[1]


Born in Prague,[2] Vitouš began the violin at age six, switching to piano after about three years, and then to bass at age fourteen.[3] As a young man in Europe, Vitouš was a competitive swimmer. One of his early music groups was the Junior Trio with his brother Alan on drums and Jan Hammer on keyboards. He studied music at the Prague Conservatory under František Pošta,[4] and won a music contest in Vienna that gave him a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music.[3]

In 1967, in Chicago, Miles Davis saw Vitouš playing with Clark Terry and invited him to join his group for a residency at The Village Gate in New York City.[5]

Vitouš recorded his debut album Infinite Search for Embryo (later issued on Atlantic as Mountain In The Clouds) in 1969 with Joe Henderson, John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, and Joe Chambers. In 1970, he also recorded Purple for Columbia with McLaughlin, Billy Cobham and Joe Zawinul.

In 1970, he was a founding member of the group Weather Report.[3] Vitouš was replaced by Alphonso Johnson in 1973, later stating "I enjoyed the beginning of it very much, but it turned into a little bit of a drag in the end because Joe Zawinul wanted to go in another direction. The band was seeking success and fame and they basically changed their music to go a commercial way into a black funk thing". He also felt aggrieved financially, commenting "I was an equal partner and basically, I didn't get anything. We had a corporation together that was completely ignored. If you have a company and three people own it, and then two people say 'Okay, we don't want to work like this anymore. It's just two of us now', normally, they break down the stock and pay off the third person".[6]

Vitous with Roy Haynes Quintet 1981

In 1981, Vitouš performed at the Woodstock Jazz Festival held in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Creative Music Studio, and in 1984 he collaborated with Stanley Clarke.[7] In 1988, Vitouš moved back to Europe to concentrate on composing but nonetheless continued to perform in festivals.

In 2001, Vitouš reunited with Chick Corea and Roy Haynes, with whom he had recorded Corea's album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs in 1968, for a concert in a series entitled "Rendezvous in New York" in celebration of Corea's 60th birthday. The album of the same name came out in 2003 and earned Corea a Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for the composition "Matrix".[8]

He has also worked with Larry Coryell, Jan Garbarek, Jack DeJohnette, Freddie Hubbard, Michel Petrucciani, Terje Rypdal, and Wayne Shorter.


As leader[edit]

As a member of Weather Report[edit]

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ Ginell, Richard S. "Miroslav Vitous". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  2. ^ Berendt, Joachim-Ernst (1979). Jazz, a Photo History. ISBN 9780028702902.
  3. ^ a b c Jung, Fred (10 October 2003). "A Fireside Chat With Miroslav Vitous". All About Jazz. Retrieved 20 June 2010.
  4. ^ Olsen, Paul (7 January 2008). "Miroslav Vitous: It Comes Down to Taste". All About Jazz. Retrieved 20 June 2010.
  5. ^ "ECM". ecmrecords.com. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  6. ^ Prasad, Anil. "Miroslav Vitous – Freeing the Muse". Inner Views. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  7. ^ 1984 Sydney Town Hall, producer Ian Davis (ABC radio)
  8. ^ "Past Winners Search". Grammy.com. Retrieved 24 March 2012.

External links[edit]