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Music Unbound - Forum







I am a 41 year old bass guitarist from Los Angeles and the son of jazz bass legend, Harry Babasin. My father broke the traditional boundaries of the music business in the 40's and 50's, being credited with the birth of the Bossanova in 1953 with guitarist Laurindo Almeida (ten years before it was accepted by the public in the early 60's). He was documented as the first bassist to play pizzicato jazz cello in 1947 and was involved with the growth of Hi-fidelity recording with a small but successful jazz record label called Nocturne Records (giving starts to such names as Bud Shank and Herbie Harper). His downfall was his outspoken opinion of the record business - I have many articles he wrote on the subject of corporate control and unrecognized talent and the unwillingness of the large labels to open up to new trends and ideas. His company was eventually bought out by Liberty Records and, after producing Julie London's big hit, Cry Me A River, he was fired. He fronted a trend setting band in the 50's called The Jazzpickers, playing cello as the main solo instrument. It was heralded as a truely unique sound but again, timing was against him and the advent of rock 'n roll undermined the jazz world. Soon he slipped into obscurity and passed away virtually unrecognized for his accomplishments in 1988. I am working with a gentleman from UC Irvine to set up a website dedicated to the career of Harry Babasin so history will hopefully be enhanced by his inclusion in their archives.

Personally, I am working with a project that also seems to break the usual boundaries of popular music, not in unique instrumentation, but by the number of styles and moods we are capable of creating. The group is called ONOFFON and we are about a month away from a pressed CD of all original music - spanning jazz, rock, blues, and fusion - we are guardedly optimistic about how it will be received by the public. I will start marketing it myself through the internet as soon as we have all the pieces together and hope for the best. I don't know why I'm telling all this to you other than I felt inspired to. This seemed a good place to start. Thanks for reading this and you have my email address.

-- Von Babasin
posted 7/30/96

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