Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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NEIDLINGER, Buell

(b 2 March 1936, Westport CN) Bassist, composer. Turned on to jazz by Louis Armstrong records; studied piano, trumpet, cello as a child; his first teacher on bass was Walter Page. He served an apprenticeship in NYC playing dixieland and mainstream jazz with Rex Stewart, Vic Dickenson, Eddie Condon and others; he first played contemporary music '55-60 with Cecil Taylor: New York City R&B '61 on Candid, not released for eleven years and now listed under Taylor's name, was a Neidlinger date. He also made Soprano Today '57 with Steve Lacy on Prestige; played Fender bass on R&B sessions; played in Houston Symphony '60-2 (and with Arnett Cobb in local clubs), with Taylor for the last time at a concert in '62. He sessioned with Frank Zappa and Jean-Luc Ponty, Van Dyke Parks, Andrew White, Robert Ceely on the Beep label; formed K2B2 label (pronounced 'K squared B squared') with tenor saxophonist/bass clarinettist Marty Krystall in Los Angeles.

Ready For The 90's '80 was a quartet LP, Our Night Together '81 a quintet, Gene Cipriano added on reeds, both by Krystall Klear and the Buells: these two were among Neidlinger's personal favourites, probably because of having control on one's own label. Swingrass on Antilles and Buellgrass on K2B2 also had Peter Ivers on harmonica, since murdered. Marty's Garage on K2B2 had quartet tracks from '71-3 with Krystall and two tracks from '60-1, one with Taylor, one with Archie Shepp; Buellgrass has mostly standards (by Ellington, Monk) with a few originals.

Neidlinger has done a lot of teaching at various places and supported his family with studio work, but the albums kept coming: Thelonious '88 with Krystall; Locomotive '89 (on Soul Note, by Buell Neidlinger's String Jazz) included Monk and Ellington tunes; Aurora '88 (on Denon) with Krystall, Peter Erskine on percussion, Don Preston on synths on three tracks; Blue Chopsticks '94 is subtitled A Portrait Of Herbie Nichols, arranged for one reed (Krystall) and one brass (Hugh Schick) and string trio with Neidlinger on cello. Rear View Mirror '91 was a compilation; Big Drum '93 a set of originals recorded '90 with Krystall, Schick and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums.

Neidlinger is a true original; everything he does is of interest. Basso Profundo, released 2009 on Vivace, collected modern classical recirdings Neidlinger made between '64 and '75 in Buffalo and New York City. Composers included Bussotti, Xenakis, Kagel, and film composer Leonard Rosenman; eight sidemen on various tracks included Peter Serkin and Fred Sherry.