Chuck Rainey

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About Chuck Rainey

Another instrumentalist more widely associated with soul, pop, funk, and R&B, yet highly respected by jazz musicians, Chuck Rainey's been a star electric bassist since the '60s. While Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke featured flashy, blistering playing and approached electric bass as if they were improvising on a guitar, Rainey's forte has been a heavy, steady pulse and vigorous support, fitting into a rhythm section and locking onto a groove with a vengeance. Rainey studied violin, piano, and trumpet in his youth, then moved from Youngstown to Cleveland at 21. He played electric guitar and bass in various R&B bands, then joined King Curtis' group in New York during 1964. Rainey's done hundreds of recording sessions since then, but has also done a fair number of jazz dates. He played with Jerome Richardson, Grady Tate, Mose Allison, Gato Barbieri, and Gene Ammons in the late '60s and early '70s, as well as with Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson at the 1971 Montreux Festival. Rainey toured and played that same year with Aretha Franklin. He moved to Los Angeles in 1972, and worked there with the Crusaders and Hampton Hawes, and recorded with Donald Byrd, Sonny Rollins, and John Handy in the mid-'70s. Rainey recorded in Japan with Hiroshi Fukumura in 1978. He's made two rare dates as a leader for Cobblestone in 1971 and for Hammer n' Nails in 1981. Neither is around today, but Rainey can be heard on many discs by Franklin, Curtis, Rollins, and others. ~ Ron Wynn

Cleveland, OH, United States
June 17, 1940
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