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Mike Boone: Philly Jazz Engine

In latest edition of her Philly Jazz Journal series, Suzanne Cloud profiles bassist Mike Boone

Mike Boone
Bassist Mike Boone
Bassist Mike Boone

It is well known in Philly that some of the city’s most ardent boosters were never native sons or daughters, but usually transplants from smaller cities seeking to make their mark before moving on to the Big Apple. But bassist Mike Boone, a New Yorker and Eastman School of Music grad, bounced into Philadelphia fresh off a second stint with drummer Buddy Rich in 1985 and stayed put. New York City didn’t really interest him (although he plays there a lot), and lucky for us, the green roots he put down here then have grown barnacled, brown, and rich with history.

In an earlier interview with bassist/blogger Chris Tarry, Boone reflected on his early experience in the city when he was a part of a coterie of young bass players (Darryl Hall, Steve Beskrone, Lee Smith) who made the switch from electric to upright bass, because that’s where the gigs were in town. If you wanted to play with Trudy Pitts, Shirley Scott, or Bootsie Barnes, you needed to learn the upright, and the moment you had a coveted gig with these folks, the learning process began – and the lessons weren’t just about music.

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