Basic Background Info
Colin Bailey began playing drums at four and studied piano theory. Born in Swindon, England, he moved to Australia in the late 1950s, where he got a job as a staff drummer for TV Channel 9 in Sydney, where he accompanied jazz luminaries Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan.
While opening for the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Colin Bailey met one of his music heroes, Joe Morello. Seeing Morello perform inspired Colin Bailey to pursue a greater level of skill with the drums, working and practicing with Morello in the early morning hours for the two weeks Morello was in Australia.
The Australian Jazz Quartet immigrated to the United States in 1961 and Colin Bailey joined them. Colin Bailey left the Australian Jazz Quartet six weeks after arriving in the States to join the Vince Guaraldi Trio, with whom he played in such renowned San Francisco clubs as Trident in Sausalito, The Blackhawk, and Jazz Workshop. In 1962 The Vince Guaraldi Trio recorded Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus. The record was a success and brought Colin Bailey to the attention of Victor Feldman, who invited him down to Los Angeles to join the Victor Feldman Trio. Working with Feldman also brought Colin Bailey to the attention of many other Los Angeles artists, many of whom he recorded with, including Clare Fischer, Joe Pass, Victor Feldman, Joe Williams, Benny Goodman, Ray Brown, Tommy Flanagan, Terry Gibbs, Buddy De Franco, Herb Ellis, Joao Gilberto, Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett, Dave Grusin, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Clare Fischer, and Blossom Dearie.
Colin Bailey then relocated to the growing music scene in Dallas, Texas, where he accepted the position of drum teacher at North Texas State University. He taught there for two years, starting in 1982. Simultaneously he played weekends with Red Garland at various clubs, while he toured in Japan, Europe, and the U.S., with Richie Cole’s group Alto Madness.
The busy schedule wore on Colin Bailey, and he quit the teaching job and returned to San Francisco in 1985. He continued recording and performing, but with greater focus on his drum workshops, manuals, and teaching at the Jazz school in Berkeley.
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