Former Seattle bassist, and inaugural Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame inductee, Chuck Metcalf, has passed away after a long battle with cancer.
Word came via email yesterday and the tributes have started pouring in.
He was a very important guy on the scene going back to the late 40s and 50's... and during the 60's he was Mr. Jazz in Seattle along with Bob Winn, Floyd Standifer, Jerry Gray and Dave Coleman. And of course Dave Tuttle and Bill Richardson.
Chuck knew a lot and he loved Monk and learned a lot of Monks music. I remember going to sessions at Chuck and Joni's house in Madronna right next to Walt Tianin's. they would have party/sessions and invite the musicians that were at the Penthouse.
... The first time I heard Dexter [Gordan] was way back in the early 60's and Chuck backed him at the Penthouse. Dexter played with a huge sound and when he played the End of a Love Affair on the bottom of his horn Chuck complained to me he had a hard time hearing his bass! Later in Chucks career Chuck was a member of Dex's band ... Chuck was soooo hip...what a loss.
Chuck provided some valuable and painful lessons to me in my early days at Earshot Jazz. He mentored a lot of us, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. I remain grateful to him.
I play my copy of Help is Coming" pretty regularly on KBCS. I love the deep, woody tone, and the driving presence of his work. I'll hit it hard tomorrow.
I remember getting a call from Chuck for a Sunday night gig at The New Orleans. I was 20 years old and home for the Summer after my first year of school in New York and it was a big deal for me. It was my first gig with Chuck and my first gig at The New Orleans. It is one of those gigs I'll always remember.