As a composer and musician, Michael Bates serves up melodic modernism and contrapuntal elegance (Time Out, New York) and his influences range from Shostakovich to Ornette Coleman and Bad Brains to Joni Mitchell. Known as the double bassist in several collectives, he has performed with Quinsin Nachoff, Russ Johnson, Gerald Cleaver, Dan Weiss, Take Toriyama, Michael Blake, Jeff Davis, Peter Van Huffel, Ohad Talmor, Michael Attias, Ziv Ravitz, Ben Monder, John Mcneil, Mike Murley, Shane Endsley, Michael Sarin, Reuben Radding and several others. His debut cd Outside Sources was called one of the best albums of 2004 by Cadence Magazine editor Bob Rusch and trumpeter, Dave Douglas notes, I whole-heartedly recommend taking special note in the Outside Sources project! Michael Bates is a fantastic bassist and an engaging composer.
His new album "A Fine Balance" was just released on the German based record label, Between the Lines. It features ten compositions that combine exquisite melodies and contrapuntal textures with an organic and interactive approach to playing jazz. From the aggressive grooves of On Equilibrium to the austere take on a Prokofiev cello sonata, Michael Bates Outside Sources has been described as a gem that manages to navigate that most difficult and rarely traveled road leading to accessible experimentation. Its always forwardthinking but its also beautiful and within the grasp of even the most casual jazz fan. (Chris Watson, The View).
Michael grew up in Canada and often worked at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Even though he was exposed to musicians such as Sun Ra, Thomas Chapin and Dave Holland, he began playing music in hardcore and punk rock bands and maintains that being a creative jazz musician is no different: The music I write and perform is rooted in the jazz tradition, but punks Do It Yourself ethos has stuck with me. As a jazz musician I take a decidedly punk rock attitude to things.
Michael Bates is on faculty at the Banff Centre of the Arts as Program Coordinator of the International Jazz Workshop where he works in conjunction with the artistic director, Dave Douglas. He has studied with the former principal bassist of the Tokyo Symphony, Yoshio Nagashima, at the University of Toronto with Don Thompson and Dave Young and in New York with bassist/composer Mark Helias. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.