Greg Gottlieb (1983-) is an idiodextrous bassist from Brisbane, Australia and the author of the research found on this site.
“I remember the first time I read Earl May‘s name in a book, with the accompanying description of his unusual way of playing. Discovering that there was such a prominent figure in the history of jazz who played the same way as I do was (and continues to be) a huge inspiration! The more I learn about Earl’s life and music, the more I admire him as a musician and as a person. I feel very lucky to have met many of his colleagues, friends and family thanks to this research project and to them I am most grateful of all.
Since learning of Earl, I have endeavoured to construct a timeline of idiodextrous jazz bassists, from early New Orleans jazzmen Bud Loyacano (1879-1960) and Sherwood Mangiapane (1912-1992), to Britain’s Tony Archer (1939-), North Carolina-born Lyles West (1956-) and myself (1983-). By investigating their playing and careers, I hope to contribute new academic knowledge of the history and current practice of this rare approach to the instrument within the context of jazz performance.
In my own practice, I have observed several physical challenges to playing the double bass that I believe to be unique to playing ‘back-to-front’. I hope that better understanding those challenges and looking outward to role models for advice might help to overcome them.”