Canadian horn player Guido Basso, a Juno Award winner, member of the Order of Canada and a founding member of the jazz band Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, has died. Basso was also involved with a lot of CBC programs within the Nineteen Sixties and ’70s, including the variability show Nightcap and Mallets and Brass.
A talented flugelhornist and trumpeter, Basso remained energetic within the jazz scene, playing concert events as recently as last yr. He passed away peacefully at home, in keeping with an Instagram post from his wife, Kristin Basso.
“My heart is broken,” she wrote on Monday.
Basso’s playing inspired trumpeter and University of Toronto associate professor Chase Sanborn to maneuver to Toronto within the Nineteen Eighties.
“You met him once and also you understood how warm he was. After which that comes through in his music the exact same way,” he said.
“Greater than anybody I’ve ever known, it was similar to a human voice is playing.”
Sanborn says Basso is an unsung hero on the earth of jazz.
“Individuals who know him, love him.”
Born in Montreal in 1937, Basso studied on the Quebec Conservatory of Music in Montreal. In a 2016 interview with noted jazz man Bill King, Basso said he began his first quartet at age 11.
“There was a restaurant called St. Hubert Spaghetti House. We used to go on the market and play Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays three hours an evening,” he said.
“The budget was killing the establishment in order that they fired us. So we said we would play without cost food so we went back and did that, then they said ‘No — let’s return to $1 an hour,’ because we were eating them out of stock.”
Basso joined a dance band at age 13, and ended up in Toronto in 1960. He was the musical director on CBC’s Nightcap, which ran from 1963-67. He later co-hosted Mallets and Brass with Peter Appleyard, was musical director for CBC Radio’s After Noon and worked on the CBC-TV series In The Mood and Bandwagon.
Rest in peace, Guido Basso – friend and pillar of the Jazz community. The brilliance you delivered to this world through music and spirit will live to tell the tale perpetually.
In 1968 he was a founding member of Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, a 16-piece band made up of Toronto’s leading studio musicians.
“It was the one Canadian jazz band that would cross the border and play the living daylights out of U.S. musicians,” Basso told CBC News in 2010.
Jazz pianist David Restivo joined The Boss Brass about 25 years after the group was founded and played alongside Basso. Despite the latter’s formidable repute, Restivo says he at all times made younger musicians feel welcome.
“[Basso] would walk within the room and you would feel his presence straight away, [he had] a variety of charisma nevertheless it was a natural charisma that wasn’t clouded by ego.”
“He never had a type of a star mentality, though he clearly was one, and other people actually looked as much as him that way,” Restivo said.
Basso was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1994. He won the Juno for best traditional jazz album in 2004 for his Lost In The Stars.