The classical music division of K2B2 RECORDS


Born in New York City in 1936, cellist/bassist Buell Neidlinger has been at or near the center of the American music scene since the early fifties. As a child he studied with Luigi Silva and Gregor Piatigorsky, and was well on the way to a career as a cello soloist when he developed an interest in jazz bass. His jazz apprenticeships with Joe Sullivan, Herbie Nichols, Dick Wellstood, Vic Dickenson, and Oran "Hot Lips" Page behind him, by the age of 25 he had recorded and performed with singers Tony Bennett and Billie Holiday, instrumentalists Lester Young and Rex Stewart, the Gil Evans band, and the innovative Cecil Taylor, whose bassist he was for seven years, playing an important part in Taylor's early groundbreaking recordings.

Composer Gunther Schuller encouraged Buell to further expand his classical abilities (and hired him to participate in some historymaking Third Stream concerts at Circle in the Square with the Walden string quartet, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and Bill Evans); so he became a member of the bass section of Sir John Barbirolli's Houston Symphony, moonlighting around Texas with Arnett Cobb, Little Esther Phillips, Bobby Blue Bland, and James Clay.

The recipient of a Rockefeller performance grant in 1965, he returned to New York, where he worked closely with composers Mauricio Kagel, Sylvano Busotti, George Crumb and John Cage to develop new string playing techniques and sounds, giving premier performances of their solo and ensemble compositions worldwide. Schuller brought Buell to Tanglewood in 1965, where he was principal bass of the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra as well as solo performer with the chamber ensemble of the Fromm Foundation. In addition to freelancing in NYC (Stokowski's American Symphony, City Center Opera), Buell became in great demand as a chamber musician, performing worldwide with Horszowski and the Budapest and Amadeus string quartets and small ensembles led by Igor Stravinsky, Karl Richter, and Schuller. In 1967 he was selected by Erich Leinsdorf to become a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music (where he and George Russell established the jazz department, and Buell commenced a teaching career which continues to the present; many of his former students hold important playing and teaching positions).

In 1971 he moved to Los Angeles to teach at CalArts; he was chosen by Neville Marriner to be principal bass of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, a post he held for eight years, being featured frequently as soloist with the orchestra. He continued performing chamber music in concerts with Peter Serkin and the Guarneri string quartet, as well as Serkin's ensemble TASHI. He got back to playing cello as well, founding the Baroque ensemble Musical Offering and performing many concerts with that group.

In addition, Buell embarked on an extensive recording career as a section leader on hundreds of major Hollywood film music sessions from the early seventies until the late nineties, concurrently playing on numerous pop and jazz recordings Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Earth Wind and Fire, The Beach Boys, Duane Eddy, Elvis Costello, Anthony Braxton and Frank Zappa, to name only a few. He has frequently led his own jazz ensembles in European and American performances, and has produced eleven recordings of this music for the Soul Note, Antilles, Denon, and K2B2 labels, as well as producing the recordings of Seatrain, Peter Ivers (Warner Bros.), Leo Kottke (Private Music), and Richard Greene (Rounder).

Buell has worked as a music consultant for WGBH TV, CBS TV, and for Francis Ford Coppola. He has presented master classes in chamber music performance as well as Jazz playing at Aspen, Tanglewood, Eastman School of Music, Harvard/Radcliffe, NY State University, Rotterdam Conservatory, and the annual San Luis Obispo String Seminar. His knowledge of American music of this century, and European music of any century, is encyclopaedic and soulful, and he is one of the great musical raconteurs.