Photo: Bob Cranshaw | © Tom_Marcello | 52nd Street Jazz Fair NYC | July 6, 1976.
Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!
The next show will air on Tuesday September 3, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program is a rebroadcast of an interview from July 2010 is in memoriam to bassist and Local 802, musicians’ advocate Bob Cranshaw. We’ll also hear a few thoughts from Bob’s son Tom Barney, who is also an established bassist and composer. We have over ten years of show archives, so it’s always good to be able to revisit programs many might not have heard when it originally aired.
Bob Cranshaw is the bass equivalent of a seasoned saxophone veteran who’s never been a giant, but is well-respected for consistent excellence. Bob Cranshaw has worked steadily with several top jazz musicians. Despite having a light tone, Cranshaw’s timing, musical knowledge, and versatility have been featured in an impressive array of recording sessions and tours since the late ’50s. Cranshaw played piano and drums before switching to bass and tuba in high school. He was a founding member of Walter Perkins’ MJT +3 band in 1957. Cranshaw went to New York with the group in 1960 and joined Sonny Rollins when they disbanded in 1962.
Cranshaw has also worked extensively on Broadway and television, including memorable stints as the bassist in Billy Taylor’s Orchestra on the David Frost Show, on Sesame Street, and on the original version of Saturday Night Live in the late 70s.
Cranshaw and others organized a Jazz Advisory Committee at Local 802 Musicians Union in New York in an attempt to redress some of the Local’s inconsistent advocacy on behalf of jazz musicians and to find ways to organize and educate the NYC jazz community.
(Originally adapted from Allmusic in 2010)
Bob Cranshaw died of cancer at his home in Manhattan in November 2016 at the age of 83.
This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
Watch Cranshaw talk about restoring his bass.
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York system.