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Steve LaSpina

Steve LaSpina

The formidable presence of Charles Mingus looms large over The Bounce (SteepleChase), bassist Steve LaSpina’s eighth adventurous release as a leader.

“Mingus is one of my biggest idols,” says the 47-year-old, who resides with his family near the Delaware River where New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania all converge. “Charlie Mingus is the whole reason I decided to get into jazz and play the bass for a living. His record Mingus Presents Mingus was one of the first jazz albums I heard. Man, it blew me away! And that’s where I got inspired. All these many years later I teach a music history class at William Paterson [University] during the summer for high school kids and that’s one album I always play. It seems to affect the kids today the same way it affected me when I was just getting introduced to this music.”

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