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Bassist Cecil McBee, a Living Legend of Modern Jazz, Returns for a Just-Announced Gig in His Native Tulsa

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, OK – He first hit the jazz scene in the late 1950s in Detroit, playing his bass behind such headliners as Dinah Washington and Paul Winter. Then he established himself in NYC in the early 1960s, routinely playing and collaborating with such progressive master-musicians as Jackie McLean, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Andrew Hill. He is Booker T. Washington High School graduate Cecil McBee --- now in his mid-70s --- and he is surely among the most revered "sidemen" in jazz today (not to mention the greatest jazz player ever to come out of Tulsa). In a special engagement that was announced only recently, McBee will lead an all-star combo (including Billy Hart on drums and George Cables on piano) tonight --- Friday the 30th --- at the Tulsa PAC, which begins at 8pm. Today on ST, McBee talks about his development and training as a musician, and about his ongoing attempts to draw more attention to his own compositions...which are many and wonderful. (For more about McBee, please go to cecilmcbeejazz.com; for more information about his upcoming --- and long overdue --- return to Tulsa, including ticket information, please see okjazz.org.)