Larry Gray, Double Bass
John Moulder, Guitar
Charles Heath, Drums
About Larry Gray
“A unique voice on the bass, full of musicality and inventive ideas” -Jazz Improv Magazine
Born on Chicago’s south side, Larry Gray is considered by many to be one of jazz music’s finest double bassists. His impressive versatility and uncommon musical curiosity keep him in demand as both a leader and sideman.
Larry began his musical studies at the age of five when his father brought home an accordion and introduced him to his first teacher. Invigorated by this study, Larry added the guitar to his arsenal and studied piano seriously for many years thereafter. It was not until he was in his twenties that he decided to switch to the double bass. Larry went on to study classical music extensively, eventually adding the cello to his long list of loved instruments. His principal teachers were Joseph Guastafeste, longtime principal bassist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and cellist Karl Fruh, a highly regarded soloist and teacher. Under Mr. Fruh's guidance, he received bachelors and masters degrees in cello performance from the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University.
Throughout his long and varied career, Larry has worked with numerous exceptional artists and jazz legends, including McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Danilo Perez, Branford Marsalis, Benny Green, Freddy Cole, Benny Golson, Steve Turre, George Coleman, Lee Konitz, Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Fortune, Ira Sullivan, Junior Mance, David "Fathead" Newman, Willie Pickens, Ann Hampton Callaway, Charles McPherson, Antonio Hart, Jackie McLean, Sonny Stitt, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Al Cohn, Randy Brecker, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Elling, Eric Alexander, Phil Woods, Jon Faddis, Roscoe Mitchell, Von Freeman, Wilbur Campbell, Eddie Harris, and Les McCann. In addition, he has collaborated with guitarists Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, and Tal Farlow, as well trumpeters Donald Byrd, Harry "Sweets" Edison, and Tom Harrell, among others.
Larry continues to tour extensively, performing at jazz festivals and clubs around the globe, including the Umbria Jazz Festival, the Havana Jazz Festival, Rio Sao Paulo Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, ECM Festival in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, the Poznan Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, the Montreaux Detroit Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl, Village Vanguard, Blue Note (New York and Tokyo), Kennedy Center, and the Ravinia Festival, with such jazz luminaries as Marian McPartland, Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, Frank Morgan, James Moody, Larry Coryell, Louis Bellson, Barry Harris, Dorothy Donegan, Monty Alexander, Frank Wess, Joe Williams, Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band, Kenny Drew Jr., and most recently, Ramsey Lewis.
As a classical musician, Larry played several seasons with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, including a year as principal bass. He worked on many occasions with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under master conductors Erich Leinsdorf, Rafeal Kubelik, Carlo Maria Guilini, and Sir George Solti. He also was the featured double bassist with Lyric Opera for the world premiere of the opera Amistad.
“Gray has a strong melodic sense and technique, somewhat reminiscent of Dave Holland. Focus on his playing...he’s always up to something interesting and musical.” -Downbeat
“...clearly has developed a musical and compositional voice all his own.” -Howard Reich Chicago Tribune
Larry Gray is also a dedicated teacher and is Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also served for many years on the faculties at DePaul University and Northern Illinois University. Active as a clinician at high school and colleges and festivals thought North America, he also coaches various instrumentalists in jazz techniques as well as music theory, sight-singing, and composition.
About John Moulder
John Moulder is a guitarist and composer whose music has evolved from an assimilation of various musical traditions. John’s compositions and playing are featured on his CDs entitled Awakening (Mo-Tonal Records 1993), Through the Open Door (Igmod/Mo-Tonal Records 1997), Spirit Talk (NAIM 2003), and Trinity (Origin 2006) and Bifrost (Origin 2009) both named one of the ten best jazz CDs of 2006 and 2009 respectively by the Chicago Tribune. On his most recent release entitled The Eleventh Hour: Live at the Green Mill (Origin 2012), John collaborates with his long time musical companions, Paul Wertico, Larry Gray, Jim Trompeter and Geof Bradfield.
John has been a member of the Paul Wertico Trio for fifteen years. Recordings with Paul include Live in Warsaw (Igmod Records 1998), Don’t Be Scared Anymore (Premonition Records 2000), Stereonucleosis (A440 2004) and The Other Side (NAIM 2006) and is on Impressions of a City (Chicago Sessions 2009) by Paul Wertico's Mid East and Mid West Alliance.
John is also a member of the Larry Gray Trio and is featured on his recordings on the Chicago Sessions label entitled 1,2,3 and Three Equals One. In addition he has played on recordings by vocalist Jackie Allen such as The Men in My Life (Blue Note 2003), Love is Blue (Blue Note 2004), Tangled (Blue Note 2006), as well as her most recent release with orchestra entitled Starry Night.
Televised feature stories on John and his work have aired on Artbeat (WTTW) and Chicago Tonight (WTTW).He has played nationally and internationally at numerous festivals, clubs and concert halls and has performed with artists such as Eddie Harris, Bob Mintzer, Paul McCandless, Lyle Mays, Paul Wertico, Gary Burton, Niels Orsted Pederson, Arild Anderson, Bendik Hofseth, Kurt Elling and Terry Callier.
About Charles Heath
Originating from Chicago, IL, Charles "Rick" Heath IV is a versatile and renowned musician from local to international levels. Playing anything from Jazz and Blues to Gospel and Latin music, his signature sound is prominent in the recording studios, concert settings, live Broadway theater platforms, and currently as the drummer for pianist and jazz legend Ramsey Lewis. Some of his proudest accolades include works with Donald Byrd, McCoy Tyner, and Slide Hampton. He also served as the resident drummer with the national tour of Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones' theater production of "The Color Purple." He is often rotating hats of composer, band leader, recording artist, musical director, producer and teacher and simply inspires and outreaches to his surrounding communities at all times.
Mr. Heath began his musical journey as a drummer very early in life. It was said his mother would sit by the drums in church during the time she was expecting him, and she said, "When the drums started kicking, he started kicking, and when they stopped, he stopped." After being born, Charles would beat on anything he could get his hands on. Charles took no prisoners as he destroyed spoons, forks, combs and brushes to make music. He stared grabbing attention back in his grammar school days by winning countless local talent shows and moved along to begin working professionally in Chicago already by the age of 14. He then carried on to Shaw University in North Carolina attaining a degree in Music Performance while on full scholarship. There he started his first quartet entitled "Touch of Jazz" and performed at local political events and private parties.
Upon his return back to Chicago from college graduation, Mr. Heath was quick to start playing and collaborating with Chicago jazz legends such as Von Freeman, the Ken Chaney Xperience, Malachi Thompson, Robert "Babe" Irving III and was even a part of a documentary of the legendary Oscar Brown, Jr. His talents have been showcased at renowned venues and events such as: The Chicago Jazz Festival, the Chicago Jazz Showcase, Birdland (Edmonton, Canada), The Blue Note (Poznan, Poland and Tokyo, Japan), San Juan Jazz Festival, BB King’s (New York City, NY), Jazz Alley (Seattle, WA), Ronnie Scott’s (London, England), Le Duc Des Lombards (Paris, France), and Porgy & Bess (Vienna, Austria).
Heath’s prominent sound can be heard on recordings with Ramsey Lewis, Robert “Babe” Irving III, Bobby Broom, Zvonimir Tot, Larry Gray, Sergio Perez, Ken Chaney and the Roger Harris Trio. He proudly launched his first independent recording project entitled "Conversations" encompassing the sound of his very own Charles Heath Quartet.
Mr. Heath has also touched the lives of many of his students as a renowned teacher and has opened many doors outreaching to underprivileged youth. He has implemented the music program at Ruggles Elementary School and developed a "Say No To Drugs" Drumline having the youth perform at a local annual "Say No To Drugs" parade. He's implemented a marching band for the Alain Locke Charter school and produced a concert where he was able to raise $10,000 for the school to purchase instruments for the children. He has taught at South Shore High School, Kellar Middle School and taught private lessons for troubled African American males at the New Direction Outreach Center.
John received his Masters degreen music from Northwestern University. As an educator, he is currently a faculty member at Northwestern University, Benedictine University and the College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He has lectured, taught master classes and conducted clinics at universities, high schools, music institutes and other settings