Remembering Eugene Wright

May 29, 1923 – December 30, 2020


A tribute to the long-time Dave Brubeck bassist

Wright, who was born May 29, 1923 in Chicago, was originally a cornetist before settling on the string bass.

He had a long career that included leading the Dukes Of Swing (a 16-piece big band), working with Gene Ammons during 1947-51 (making his recording debut in 1947), and moving to the West Coast where he played regularly with Buddy DeFranco, Cal Tjader, Gerald Wiggins and Buddy Collette.

As a member of the classic Dave Brubeck Quartet of 1958-67, Wright was flexible enough to play in a variety of unusual time signatures and, while he was mostly heard in a supportive role, he was always capable of playing a creative solo.

While most famous for his work and recordings with Brubeck, Wright was also a member of Monty Alexander’s trio (1971-74), recorded in later years with Hadda Brooks and Abe Most, and taught at the University of Cincinnati.

This informal performance, taken from his visit to Australia in 2007, features Senator Eugene Wright taking a good-humored bass solo.

-Scott Yanow

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