Artist Info

Jimmy Garrison

Garrison is best known as bassist for one of the most important jazz groups, John Coltrane's classic quartet with drummer Elvin Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner. But Garrison had a full career backing other prominent saxophonists, including Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Ornette Coleman. Garrison's work with Coleman is especially noteworthy; his earthy, hard-swinging approach contrasted greatly with the work of the saxophonist's other, more finesse-oriented bassists like David Izenson or Scott LaFaro. The Garrison/Elvin Jones rhythm section transformed Coleman on two very underrated albums made for Blue Note, New York Is Now and Love Call. Nowhere else on record does Coleman sound so consistently forceful and passionate. The lithe tunefulness that marks the saxophonist's earlier playing is augmented by a more pronounced physicality that pushes the blues aspect to the fore; this due in no small part to Garrison and Jones' focused intensity, which drives Coleman harder than he's ever been driven. Of course, it's with Coltrane that Garrison did his most enduring work. Although Garrison could be a compelling soloist when the occasion presented itself (witness his work on A Love Supreme), he didn't need the spotlight to be effective. His propulsive sense of time never failed, and his empathy with those playing around him was complete.