“Bates demonstrates his rock solid composing skills and enviable technical faculties….Simply put, Bates has the ability to make a huge impact on the existing state of modern jazz!”– Glenn Astarita
As a composer and musician, Michael Bates “serves up melodic modernism and contrapuntal elegance” (”Time Out, New York”) and his influences range from Shostakovich, Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman to Bad Brains, Wayne Shorter and John Zorn. His debut cd “Outside Sources” was called one of the best albums of 2004 by Cadence Magazine editor Bob Rusch. His second album, “A Fine Balance” (2006) was also exceptionally received and garnered many effusive reviews including several “best of 2006″ designations.
Michael’s latest recording is set for a fall 2008 release and will be available on trumpeter Dave Douglas’ label Greenleaf. Mr. Douglas notes, “I whole-heartedly recommend taking special note in Outside Sources! Michael Bates is a fantastic bassist and an engaging composer.”. The new cd “Clock-wise” has been described as “a gem that manages to navigate that most difficult and rarely traveled road leading to accessible experimentation….always forward–thinking but also beautiful and within the grasp of even the most casual jazz fan. (Chris Watson, “The View”).
Michael grew up in Canada and often worked at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. He began playing music in hardcore and punk rock bands and maintains that being a jazz musician is no different. While the music he writes and performs is rooted in the jazz, classical and creative music traditions, hardcore’s ‘Do It Yourself’ ethos remains an important component of his music. He is well known as a hard worker and motivated performer.
Michael has recorded three cd’s as a leader and over a dozen as a sideman. He has composed well over two hundred pieces of music including works for chamber ensembles, string quartets and solo double bass. As a touring artist, he has visited Europe, Asia, the United States and Canada. Michael has received several grants and fellowships from the Canada Council of the Arts and was on faculty for five years at the Banff International Jazz Workshop. He has studied with the former principal bassist of the Tokyo Symphony, Yoshio Nagashima, at the University of Toronto with Don Thompson and Dave Young and in New York with bassist/composer Mark Helias and Tony Falanga. Michael currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Celena and small dog, Cosmo.