Peter Washington, Jazz Bass
Perhaps the most recorded bassist of his generation, Peter Washington has also played an integral part in two of the most important and highly praised jazz trios of the last 20 years, in addition to a “who’s who” roster of jazz artists.
Born in Los Angeles, California, in 1964, Washington attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in English Literature and played in both the UC Symphony and the San Francisco Youth Symphony. In 1986, while performing in San Francisco with alto saxophonist John Handy, he was asked by Art Blakey to move to New York and join the seminal Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
Washington remained with the Jazz Messengers from 1986 to 1989, and during this time was able to establish himself as a ubiquitous, first- call freelance bassist; a position he has occupied to this day.
In the early 1990’s Washington joined the Tommy Flanagan Trio , called by many “the greatest trio in jazz”, and remained until Flanagan’s death, in 2002. For the past ten years he has been a member of the very highly acclaimed Bill Charlap Trio.
In addition to these long- term commitments Washington has worked and recorded with an extremely large number of top- tier artists, of all generations. A partial list of those he has recorded and performed “live” with would include Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Golson. Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Benny Carter, Hank Jones, Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson, Kenny Burrell, Phil Woods, Cedar Walton, Joe Henderson, Ray Bryant, Frank Wess, Clark Terry, Lionel Hampton, Charles McPherson, Jimmy Heath, Percy Heath, Jimmy Cobb, Louis Hayes, the Newport All Stars, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Gerald Wilson,Lou Donaldson, Barry Harris, Lew Tabakin, Sweets Edison, Johnny Griffin, Jackie McLean, Sir Simon Rattle and the Birmingham Symphony, Richard Wyands, Teddy Edwards, Johnny Coles, Frank Morgan, and more…
Of the younger generations, Washington has recorded and performed with Mulgrew Miller, Tom Harrell, the Brecker Brothers, Don Grolnick, David Sanchez, Eric Alexander, Benny Green, Javon Jackson, Brian Lynch, David Hazeltine, One For All, Steve Nelson, James Carter, Renee Rosnes, Steve Turre, Regina Carter, Kenny Washington, Grant Stewart, Robin Eubanks, Joe Magnarelli, Geoff Keezer, Billy Drummond, Jeremy Pelt, Ryan Kisor, Walt Weisokopf, and many, many others.
Peter Washington has also enjoyed associtions with vocalists as diverse as Andy Bey, Freddie Cole, Karrin Allyson, Chris Conner, Mark Murphy, Georgie Fame, Ernie Andrews, Paula West, Eric Comstock, Anne Hampton Calloway, Marlena Shaw, and Ernestine Anderson.
A complete discography would list, as of this writing, over 350 recordings, and is expanded on a weekly and monthly basis.
In the scope and breadth of his career thus far, his adaptability, and in his emphasis on creative, supportive, swiging time- playing as well as inventive and intelligent soloing, Washington has been compared to the likes of George Duvivier, Milt Hinton, and Ron Carter.