Barre Phillips

Barre Phillips was born in San Francisco in 1934.

He began playing the double bass at age 13.
He migrated to New York City in 1962. In New York Barre met and studied with Frederick Zimmermann. His years in New York during the 60ís brought him into contact with the Free Jazz and Contemporary Music scenes which were flowering there at that time.

In 1964 he appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic (Improvisations, by L. Austin) and made his first trip to Europe as part of the George Russell Sextet (w/ Joe Farrell, Garnet Brown, Thad Jones, Tutti Heath and Russell).

In 1967, during a stay in London following a tour with the Jimmy Giuffre Trio (w/ Don Friedman and Giuffre), he was offered a role in a French film (Marcel Camus - "Le Temps Fou"), a tour of Europe with the Marion Brown Trio (w/ Steve McCall and Brown) and a solo theater music commission in Aix-en-Provence, France.

He never made it back to the U.S.A..
Barre Phillips has lived in the south of France since 1972.

As much a composer as a performer, Barre has worked in the areas of film, ballet and theater throughout the years. He has composed music for a dozen feature films (Robert Kramer, Jacques Rivette, William Friedkin, Camus...), a score of ballets (Carolyn Carlson and the Paris Opera, Dominique Petit, Yette Resal, Artefacte ...) and theater music for several contemporary plays.
He also regularly receives commissions for new pieces for concert performances, music festivals and radio productions.

Parallel to these experiences Barre Phillips has continued to perform and record. He has recorded over 100 records, 30 of them under his own name. Barre is in constant demand throughout Europe, North America and Japan as a soloist and improviser

His stage experience spans a wide range of musical styles, from Coleman Hawkins to Cecil Taylor to Interactive Electronic music. His work in the 1970ís with John Surman and Stu Martin, "THE TRIO", became a model in itself, and influenced many younger musicians.

Among the countless artists Barre has played with, on stage or record are: Coleman Hawkins, Eric Dolphy, Archie Shepp, Chick Corea, George Russell, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Peter Nero, Michel Portal, Albert Mangelsdorff, Martial Solal, Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley, Don Ellis, Joachim Kuhn, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Ornette Coleman, Joëlle Léandre, Cecil Taylor, Irene Schweitzer, Pierre Favre, Kazue Sawai ... During his New York years he played in Big Bands- Maynard Ferguson, Louis Belsen - the N.Y. Phil. under L. Bernstein, accompanied singers - Gloria Lynn, Sheila Jordan, Jeanne Lee, Bobby McFerrin, Jay Clayton, Colette Magny.

He is also an active teacher and has led workshops regularly since 1976 in Europe, America and Japan in Double Bass, Improvised Music and Music for Contemporary Dance.  


07.12. 1999: "The Relative Violin - Wien/Vancouver"