Billy Bang

Genres: Jazz
Tags: violin jazz free jazz avant garde composer the vitamin b12 Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


William Vincent Walker, 20 September 1947, Mobile, Alabama, USA. Growing up in New York’s South Bronx, learning violin was the last thing Bang wanted to do. ‘It was the most hated instrument for me’, Bang told the LA Times. ‘It’s too European and it’s never been in my blood. The Temptations never played it and James Brown never sang with one.’ Nonetheless, Bang learned to play, but in the early 60s abandoned the violin for percussion, becoming interested in African-Cuban rhythms. Drafted to Vietnam, he had a political awakening and returned to America to throw himself into the anti-war movement. When he began to play music again in 1971 he experimented with saxophones, but returned to the violin. Bang became known as an associate of Sam Rivers and Frank Lowe, his skidding, diabolically transgressive playing an essential component of the celebrated Loft scene. In the early 70s he formed his own group, the Survival Ensemble, and in...

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by Billy Bang