Torff, Brian (Quade)

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Torff, Brian (Quade)

Torff, Brian (Quade), bassist; b. Hinsdale, 111., March 16, 1954. His father sang on an amateur basis. Torff studied at the Berklee Coll. of Music (1973) and the Manhattan School of Music (1974). His first professional work was accompanying Cleo Laine (1974). Through the 1970s, he worked with several older artists, including pianists Mary Lou Williams (1975) and Marian McPartland (1978, 1979) and violinist Stephane Grappelli (with whom he recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1978 and also toured the Far East). He worked with pianist George Shearing in 1979-82, and also worked as an accompanist for husband-and-wife team Jackie (Cain) and Roy (Kral) from 1979-80. In 1986, he formed the fusion-jazz group Etosha. In 1989, he was named director of jazz studies at the Fairfield (Conn.) Univ., a position he continues to hold; he directs the university’s jazz band and, since 1995, codirects its world music ensemble. In the early 1990s, he worked with Jimmy Cobb (1989-91) and Red Rodney (1991), among others. In the mid- to late 1990s, he worked in a trio with vibist Dave Samuels and guitarist Joe Beck, as well as the fusion group, Thunderstick.


Blues Alley & Jazz (with George Shearing, 1979); Manhattan Hoe Down (1983); Hitchiker of Karoo (1985); Workiri on a Bassline (with Thunderstick, 1997); Union (with Hobgood and Wertico, 1997).

—John Chilton/Lewis Porter