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R.I.P. Sonny Dallas

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by gems07111, Jul 26, 2007.


  1. another great bass player has left us... he'll be missed...
     
  2. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Oh, man.... :( and I was just listening to "Warm Woods" the other day and enjoying his simple, spot-on bass lines.

    He will be missed. :bawl:

    Andy
     
  3. Drag, if we could all walk like him, there would be no argument about walking being valid or not in the jazz technique section. He had the most incredible quarter note line.
     
  4. tito mangialajo

    tito mangialajo

    Feb 1, 2006
    what a loss!
    great bassist unexplain missed. great bass lines on "Motion Lee" by Lee Konitz. very inspiring. can somebody tell us something about his life and career?
     
  5. I think Mr. Fuqua has a bunch of info. on Sonny?
     
  6. Andy Allen

    Andy Allen "Working Bassist"

    Aug 31, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    A biography from AllMusic Guide.

    An Obit. from Newsday.

    Andy
     
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Unfortunately not too much. I'm really sad to hear this, the last thing I had heard was last week; my buddy Jon Easton told me that somebody close to Sonny had been asked to start putting an obituary together. RE: the obit in the attachment - it's absolutley amazing how they just gloss over Sonny's time with Lennie. There's a link to some video offa YOuTUBE here at Talkbass that has Sonny performing with Lennie's quintet at the Half Note.

    I am very glad that my teacher turned me on to this cat's playing, I'm glad that a drummer I worked with knew Sonny well enough to give him a call and put me on the phone with him, and I am extremely happy that I actually got to meet the cat at Birdland and shake his hand and tell him exactly how much his playing meant to me.

    And that is the great thing about music, Sonny is going to continue to have an impact on cats' playing through all the folks he's influenced over time. The ripples keep on rippling...
     
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I thought that same thing when I heard the news. What a great feel that guy had.
     
  9. Obviously "Motion" was landmark and special combination of just the right players, but what are some other albums? I have a Phill and Quill LP I got after Ed mentioned that stuff, there is duo with Tristano that his duaghter overdubbed drums on on emusic. What else?
     
  10. I discover "Motion" this past spring and now this great musician passes. He will be missed.
     
  11. Reuben

    Reuben Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sonny Dallas w/ Lennie Tristano



    RIP
     
  12. Yeah! Thanks Reuben! Sonny was a piece of work. No hops skips or jumps. It seems like he approaches the notes from behind the beat.
    Even right in the original key! Great clip!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Apparently Sal Mosca has also died, this past weekend.

    RIP Sal.
     
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  15. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Ed... he's a guy that I know more by name than from actually hearing him. What are the definitive recordings, IYHO?

    I hate it when I don't check out a guy until after he passes...:(
     
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Sorry, I was typing something yesterday when our connection at the daygig went down, so here we go again.

    The two MUST HAVES are VERY COOL (Lee Konitz, Don Ferrara, Sal, Peter Ind and a VERY swinging Shadow Wilson) and the duo record with Jimmy Halperin called PSALM. There's a bunch of stuff I haven't heard though or stuff I've heard a cut off of at my teacher's studio but don't know what record it's on. There's a recent release of a 2004 solo concert in the Netherlands and I've heard an aircheck bootleg of the most recent Paris solo appearance (2006) that's pretty killing; I imagine that this recording will be made available since it was one of the last things recorded before he died.

    Joe (my teacher) played a quartet date at Birdland with Sal (and Jimmy Halperin and Skip Scott on drums)last year, the recording quality isn't that great (but it's not that bad), Sal is a little uneven for that performance.

    There's also the recordings he did with Miles on PRESTIGE, I have those as part of the COMPLETE PRESTIGE MILES boxed set, so I don't really know what the name of the record was. I could run it down if you want.

    But check out the first two suggestions, definitely.
     
  17. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Thanks, Ed... I actually have heard those Miles sides, & forgot that it was Sal on them.
     
  18. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Bassist Sonny Dallas passed on in July. He played and recorded with many of the best jazz musicians in New York during the 1950s and 60s and spent much of his time "giving it back" as an educator. I first heard about him in 1977 from Anne-Marie Moss, who thought he was the greatest bassist she worked with (they held down a vocal/bass duo gig somewhere in New York after she left Maynard Ferguson's band). I last saw him three years ago at Jackie Paris's funeral. Besides being saddened at the loss of Jackie, he was excited about a series of performances with Lee Konitz planned for that fall. Later that year he fell down in a supermarket checkout line and broke his hip. While in the hospital he had at least one heart attack and from what I was told by his close friend, Richard Tabnik, he never truly recovered. Richard sent this to me (part of it seems to have already been disseminated through the jazz-promo service) and I would like to share it with you all, for anyone who might be interested.

    Ratzo Harris

    ======================

    A Memorial Concert for jazz bassist Sonny Dallas is scheduled for Monday, September 17, 2007 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm at St. Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Ave. at 54th Street, New York City.

    Organized by New York area saxophonists Richard Tabnik and Bob Keller, the concert will feature remembrances and performances by some of Sonny's close friends from over the years. Schedules for some performers remain to be finalized but several musicians associated with jazz pianist Lennie Tristano will be present including saxophonist Jimmy Halperin and pianist Connie Crothers. The 'house rhythm section' will consist of bassist Ed Schuller and drummer Roger Mancuso. Admission is free.

    The following edited obituary has appeared in various jazz publications and websites:
    ========================

    Jazz bassist and singer Sonny Dallas, 76, has passed away on July 22 on Long Island after a series of heart related illnesses. Sonny began his jazz career in the late 1940's in Pittsburgh and relocated to New York in 1955. He went on to perform and record with a long list of jazz greats including pianists Lennie Tristano and George Wallington and saxophonists Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, and Phil Woods. He also appears on a number of critically acclaimed jazz recordings - "Motion" with the Lee Konitz Trio, "Phil Talks with Quill" with the Phil Woods Quintet, and "Descent into the Maelstrom" and "Note to Note" with Lennie Tristano, among others. After moving to Long Island in the late 1960's he went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in music education and began a long teaching career at both Suffolk County Community College and Dowling College. He was honored with a lifetime achievement in jazz award in 2005.

    For further information please contact John Klopotowski atjklopotowski@sbcglobal.net or Richard Tabnik at rctabnik@inch.com [or 212 496 6062] or Bobby Keller at ianzdad@gmail.com

    ========================
    BIOGRAPHY OF FRANK 'SONNY' DALLAS

    The jazz community along with his many friends and his loving family are saddened by the passing of Frank "Sonny" Dallas, jazz bassist and educator, age 75, who died at Brookhaven Hospital, Long Island, NY, on July 22, 2007 of heart failure. His career began in the 1940's and he continued to perform until 2006. Eugene Chadbourne of Verve recordings wrote "Dallas has a superb reputation...nobody articulates a quarter note like he does." He was "a bassist associated with the top end of complexity in modern jazz, providing an accurate harmonic framework for the improvisations of players such as saxophonists Lee Konitz and Phil Woods and pianist Lennie Tristano. Dallas has a superb reputation as a bassist."

    Born Francis Dominic Joseph Dallas in Rankin, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh, he launched his music career as a singer in local bands. This led to his interest in playing bass. He studied bass with Herman Clements, principal bassist of the Pittsburgh Symphony, who also taught jazz bassists Ray Brown and Paul Chambers. By the mid '50s, he began working with bandleaders Charlie Spivak, Ray Eberle, and Claude Thornhill.

    He relocated to New York in 1955, and began performing and recording with a long list of jazz greats such as guitarist Sal Salvador, clarinetist Tony Scott, trumpeters Chet Baker and Buck Clayton, guitarist Sal Salvador, saxophonists Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Phil woods, Gene Quill, Zoot Sims and Al Cohn, drummer Elvin Jones, and pianists Mary Lou Williams, Bill Evans, George Wallington, and Lennie Tristano. He performed and recorded with Tristano for nine years and appeared with the Lennie Tristano Quintet on the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival All-Stars tour as well as appearing with the Quintet on the 1964 CBS Broadcast "Look Up and Live". Then Sonny moved to Long Island where he lived in an apartment in Lennie Tristano's house in Hollis, NY. Sonny and Lennie would play informal sessions at home in 1964 and 1965. These sessions led to many gigs with Lennie's Quintet as well as Lennie's album "Note to Note". Sonny also had a close friendship and performed with singer, Jackie Paris.

    A "Downbeat" article listed Sonny as one of the top ten greatest jazz
    bassists. He played on more than twenty critically acclaimed jazz recordings including "Motion", "You and Lee", with the Lee Konitz Trio, "Phil Talks With Quill" with the Phil Woods Qunitet as well as "Descent into the Maelstrom" and "Note to Note" with Lennie Tristano. He is included in "The Encyclopedia of Jazz" by Leonard Feather (1960, page 173).

    While living on Long Island, he earned a Master of Arts degree in music education at CW Post University and began a long teaching career at Suffolk County Community College and Dowling College. He taught music classes, led jazz ensembles, and taught countless private students over the last thirty-five years while continuing to perform on an occasional basis, primarily with Lee Konitz. He was featured in an interview with Rick Petrone broadcast on WYRS-FM in l981, and was honored with a lifetime achievement in jazz award in 2005.

    A fitting tribute to Sonny was made by his friend John Klopotowski, guitarist, who said he was "A big man with an even bigger heart. Sonny will be lovingly remembered and sorely missed by all those fortunate to have been associated with him." Drummer, Eric Haft, an alumnus of Dallas' jazz band says, "He was one of a kind, a bassist whose harmonic sense was unmatched. He was one of the rare bassists who could play a solo that moved you."

    A Memorial Concert for jazz bassist Sonny Dallas is scheduled for Monday September 17, 2007 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm at St. Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Ave. at 54th Street, New York City.
     
  19. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    NEW YORK
    I put in Sonny's name here and found this thread. I remember Sonny as a teacher and spoke to him numerous times. He lived out in Long Island for a number of years after he got a little tired of New York. He said he moved out in Long Island when he was about 42. Thats pretty young but he wanted to teach college. One thing he said that really stuck. "When I walk I want to make them sound like a song. " . I did not know him as an Upright player. He was an electric player. When I went to his basement I saw an upright. He said it needed work. it was an old flatback. Hearing some of his recording I can see - and hear - what he meant about playing a walking line like a song. A great guy he was. Just wanted to write something about him to keep this thread alive for a great Human Being who happened to Play Bass.
     

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