Tony Bunn
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Tony Bunn

Crofton, Maryland, United States

Crofton, Maryland, United States
Band Jazz World


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The best kept secret in music


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"Spirit Moves" (June, 2008)
"Small World" (July, 2009)




Visionary. Extreme Bassist. Inventor. Mathematician. Rocket Scientist. Criminal who aspires to Sainthood. Continuously Regenerative Musical Outlaw. Taoist Sub-master. Jazzman. Rocker. Sexual Healer. Madman!

Tony has always been successful at somehow magically slipping out of the boxes in which others would attempt to confine him. During his first professional tour of duty, as the electric bassist for Sun Ra's Arkestra, he was dubbed one of "Them Freedom Boys" by the Dark Master himself. No truer words were ever spoken. And that comment was to be understood to be not such a good thing --- for freedom lacking discpline results in slavery. Freedom informed by discpline becomes magical life, i.e. LOVE. Since that initiation, truly a trial by fire, Tony has spent his life developing the spiritual and mental discpline necessary to broadcast LOVE throughout this shared existence.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, who began his journey into musicality in the fourth grade, he recalls, "I wanted to play saxophone like Maceo (Parker). I loved his sound with James Brown. However, the only instrument they had in elementary school was the clarinet, so I learned to play that." After gaining modest proficiency on a number of instruments throughout his formative years, he descended to the depths of the bass section, by the end of high school ---- and there he lurks to this day.

The Young Sideman

Throughout his rather adventurous career, he's been an undeniably potent component of the live music of countless artists. After an adventurous 3-month romp throughout Europe with Sun Ra’s Intergalactic Research Arkestra (during which he recorded the classic “Sun Ra: Live at Montreux” and “Cosmos”), in the summer of 1976, Tony returned to the USA, for a few months; only to take off for Europe once more, with violinist Michal Urbaniak and his wife, vocalist Urszula Dudziak. Following in the footsteps of famed bassist Anthony Jackson, Tony worked with Urbaniak for a year, completing 2 European tours, 4 albums and encouraging Michal to include pianist Kenny Kirkland (in what would be the young Kirkland’s first foray into electronic jazz) in the band.

Upon his exit from Michal Urbaniak’s band, Tony headed west to California, for a brief stint with the Miracles (post- Smokey Robinson), before returning to Baltimore. Once back in his hometown, Tony played bass in a variety of local area bands, later forming a group with ex-Urbaniak (and Miles Davis) sideman keyboardist Harold Ivory Williams, Jr. The group, known as Dialect, recorded a demo session for Kenny Gamble’s Philadelphia International Records and was to become the label’s answer to the booming market in jazz/fusion music in the late 1970’s. Gamble decided to use the band to back another of his artists, vocalist Jean Carne, while grooming Dialect to spin-off on its own. After Williams suffered a serious illness, which led to his departure from the band, Bunn continued to work with Jean Carne for the following year. Tony Bunn then worked as the bassist for Go-Go Godfather Chuck Brown (and the Soul Searchers) for a year, after which he’d grown weary of the road --- deciding to put music on the back-burner and return to school, to pursue other interests.

It Ain’t Rocket Science; Or Is It?

Armed with a dual degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, in 1984, Tony proceeded to immerse himself in the emerging field of computer programming, while continuing to work as a bassist with local Baltimore area bands. As the demands of his new career began to increase, Tony’s musical outings became less frequent. Over the course of the next 20 years, Tony Bunn would come to redefine himself as being primarily a mathematician and computer whiz; although, he remained but a stone’s throw from the music business --- as evidenced by his receipt of the call to provide bass support for Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry, for a concert visit to Baltimore in the late 1980’s. During this period, Tony still managed to record several albums with local area bands, perform in concert appearances with the famed Morgan State University Choir and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and he even mounted a few brief international tours; notably, one tour with saxophonist Gary Thomas and another with vocalist Gabrielle Goodman.

It was during the European tour with Gary Thomas that Tony developed a close working relationship with drummer Adrian Green. In 1993, Bunn and Green recorded a quite expansive body of music (on which Bunn rendered some exciting keyboard work, in addition to his bass and compositional offerings) that actually would not see the light of day until many years later. After the project faltered, due to a lack of record label interest (probably owing to the fact that the music would later prove to be very much ahead of its time), the material was shelved; and Tony continued working in the technical arena, moving in