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David Izenzon

Innovative Free Jazz Bassist

Innovative free jazz bassist David Izenzon recorded and performed with Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Sonny Rollins, Paul Bley, Paul Motian, Perry Robinson, Bill Dixon, Jaki Byard, Mose Allison, and Yoko Ono. Scott Yanow of the AllMusicGuide.com wrote "A brilliant bassist who was an expert with the bow, David Izenzon's playing with the mid-'60s Ornette Coleman Trio was outstanding." Ludvig Rasmusson wrote on the liner notes to Ornette Coleman's At the Golden Circle: "Izenzon is a real innovator.” He brought a ‘classical’ sensibility to the Coleman's group, by often playing arco or bowed solos. Izenzon is featured on some of the most influential albums of the ‘60s-70s including: Ornette’s Town Hall Concert; the two volumes of Ornette at the Golden Circle (Blue Note); Archie Shepp’s Fire Music and On This Night (both Impulse) and on Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band (Apple).

Born in Pittsburgh in 1932 Izenzon began playing double base in 1956 at 24. After playing locally in Pittsburgh he moved to New York in 1961 and began working with Ornette Coleman. He performed on Coleman's legendary 1962 Town Hall Concert recording and played regularly in a trio with Colman and Charles Moffett from 1965 through 1968. He also recorded with Harold McNair and Yoko Ono during those years. From 1968 through 1971 he taught music history from at Bronx Community College and performed with Perry Robinson and Paul Motian. In 1973 he earned a Ph.D. in psychotherapy from Northwestern University and began private practice in New York City. He composed and performed the jazz opera "How Music Can Save the World in 1975. He resumed his music career in 1977 working again with Motian and Coleman until his death in 1979.