Neidlinger, Buell

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Neidlinger, Buell

Neidlinger, Buell, multi-talented jazz-pop bassist; b. N.Y., March 2, 1936. He has played with distinction in free-jazz, traditional jazz, and bluegrass bands. He studied piano, trumpet, and cello, before finally deciding on bass. At Yale, Neidlinger led the univ. band and worked as a disc jockey. In 1955, he moved to N.Y. where he performed with Vic Dickenson, Zoot Sims, Tony Scott, Coleman Hawkins, Tony Bennett, Rex Stewart, and Eddie Condon. In 1957, he met Cecil Taylor, and worked with him (including appearing on stage in the Jack Gelber play The Connection). His album N.Y. City R&B was issued 11 years after it was recorded, and then under Taylor’s name. In the 1950s, Neidlinger also worked with Steve Lacy, and later did session work on electric as an R&B player. In the 1960s, he played with Don Cherry, Jimmy Giuffre, and joined the Boston Sym. Orch. He spent two years playing part-time with the Houston Sym. Orch. while also doing club work playing soul-jazz with Arnett Cobb. In 1964, he received a Rockefeller grant, which he used to study new music at SUNY Buffalo. Then came rock sessions with Frank Zappa and jazz-rock/fusion with Jean-Luc Ponty in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s. In 1978, he formed his own K2B2 label and made jazz and contemporary music recordings, while doing freelance bluegrass and classical work. He led various groups, including Thelonious and Buellgrass, a combination bluegrass-jazz ensemble. He also performed and recorded in a trio with saxophonist Marty Krystall and drummer Peter Erskine as Aurora in the late 1980s.


NX City R&B (1961); Rear View Mirror (1979); Ready for the ’90s (1980); Buellgrass (Swingrass) (1980); Locomotive (1987); Big Drum (1990); Blue Chopsticks (1994).

—Lewis Porter