Accomplished free jazz bassist and bandleader Wilber Morris was born November 27, 1937, in Los Angeles, and was the older brother of cornetist Lawrence Butch Morris. He began playing drums as a child, and joined the Air Force in 1954; during his tour of duty, which lasted until 1962, he switched to the bass. In his off time, Morris played around San Francisco with the likes of Pharoah Sanders and Sonny Simmons, and when he left the service, he returned to Los Angeles and played with Arthur Blythe and Horace Tapscott. He moved back to San Francisco in 1969, but his jazz career didn't really take off until he relocated to New York in 1978. Morris soon found work with violinist Billy Bang and saxophonist David Murray, the latter of which would grow into a long-standing association that lasted well into the '90s. While performing on Murray's classic early-'80s octet sessions, Morris also formed his own trio, Wilber Force, in 1981. Initially featuring drummer Denis Charles and saxophonist Charles Tyler, the group recorded an LP titled Collective Improvisations for Bleu Regard in 1981. The double-LP follow-up, Wilber Force, featured Murray in place of Tyler. From 1986 onward, Morris held various teaching positions in addition to recording and performing. He began to work outside Murray's group more often beginning in the mid-'90s, playing with Charles Gayle, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Noah Howard, Roy Campbell, Bob Ackerman, and Thomas Borgmann, among others; he also founded the One World Ensemble in 1995, and the following year was a member of pianist John Fischer's one-off reunion of INTERface. In the new millennium, Morris performed with Rashied Ali and Bobby Few; however, sadly, a previous bout of cancer returned, and Morris passed away on August 8, 2002. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi

Wilber Morris, Denis Charles & David Murray - Wilber Force (Full Album, 1984, Free Jazz, USA)
Wilber Morris - Collective Improvisation (Full Album)
Wilber Morris wilber force
Wilber Morris - Reggie Nicholson - Thomas Borgmann
thomas borgmann - denis charles - wilber morris: Unlimited Festival, Wels 1997
Ehran Elisha • Roy Campbell • Wilber Morris – Suite Empathy (Live At The Knitting Factory, NY 1995)
BMN Trio ~ Thomas Borgmann, Denis Charles & Wilber Morris, live Dresden 1997
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