Canadian bassist Alain Caron’s musical career began at the early age of 11 when he won an amateur contest, he soon joined some top 40 bands performing American, south-American and French standards. AT the age of 14 he discovered the music which would become his life’s passion - jazz.
Opportunity knocked in 1977 when he met the Michel Cusson Group. Caron found himself in the company of like-minded musicians - who could appreciate jazz and its origins, as well as looking ahead to the future; they emerged in the early 1980s with super fusion group UZEB.
After moving to Montreal, still playing with UZEB, he started extensive studio work and also started playing quite a bit in jazz clubs in and around town. The self-taught musician took correspondence courses, and eventually, journeyed south to attend Berkley College of Music. While in Boston, he was quickly introduced to some outstanding young musicians, co-students, as well as, seasoned well established professional jazzman. Soon performing nightly, in the Boston area, with David Kikovsky, Tom Harrell, Sal Nestico, Frank Tiberi, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, to name a few.
Back in Montreal, he decided to focus mainly on the group UZEB, gradually they evolved into a mature outfit, interested in intelligent fusion—impressive but always musical.
Between 1981 and 1990 UZEB had recorded ten albums and sold over 400,000 copies, performing concerts in more than 20 countries.
Caron soon took off on his solo career, launching his own imprint NORAC RECORDS;
In 1993, he produced the first of his 7 solo albums to date ¨Le Band¨ who won a Félix award for best album of the year then toured in Canada and Europe. ¨Rhythm And Jazz¨ ¨ was released in 1995 followed with ¨Play in 1997 and Call Me Al¨ in 2000.
He also toured world-wide with friends Mike Stern, Frank Gambale, Biréli Lagrène, Didier Lockwood, Tiger Okoshi, Billy Cobham, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Dennis Chambers, Alex Acuna, Don Alias and Gino Vannelli performing concerts in more than 30 countries
Along the way, recording numerous albums with friends. ¨5¨ was released in 2003, and nominated for a Juno in the category best "CONTEMPORARY JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR"
In April 2005, Alain Caron was invited by the prestigious WDR big band in Cologne, Germany to perform a series of concerts and recording directed by Michael Abene from New-York.
The DVD and double CD entitled "Live au Cabaret de Montréal" was released in 2006 and to commemorate UZEB`s 25th anniversary, CARON released on his NORAC LABEL the DVD UZEB ¨THE LAST CONCERT¨. The only official live concert footage ever released or to ever be released by UZEB. Featuring special guest TIGER OKOSHI on trumpet.
CONVERSATIONS was released in 2007. a beautiful collection of duets with Oliver Jones, Lorraine Desmarais, François Bourassa, Jean St-Jacques and Otmaro Ruiz.
In 2007 The University of Quebec, under the aegis of the University of Quebec in Rimouski, decreed an honorary doctorate to the internationally acclaimed bassist. Important to note, he is the only musician to have ever received this honor.
In 2010, he releases his seventh solo record, Sep7entrion and won a Félix award for best album of the year 2011.
The city of Rivière-du-Loup announced that it would be building a music school and naming it “École de musique Alain-Caron”. The school will be inaugurated in 2011.
Caron soon developed a reputation as a master electric bass player, a virtuoso on the
6-string bass guitar. Not surprisingly, as he became increasingly well known, Caron taught master classes in most of the world’s major cities, including Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, New-York, Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Geneva, Frankfurt Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bogota and Mexico.
To this day, Alain Caron has released more than 20 records, solo or with the group UZEB and in collaboration or as a guest artist on more than 25 recordings. Winners of numerous prices including, 10 Felix, 1 Gemeaux, 1 Oscar-Peterson award. Alain Caron was ranked Best Bass player for 10 years in the row by magazine The Jazz Report.
In 2013, he participates in the prestigious event, La 6e nuit des Virtuoses presented at l’île de La Réunion, alongside the French Flautist Benoît Sauvé, the Australian Mark Atkins (didgeridoo) and from the Czech republic Max ZT (hammered dulcimer). The same year he releases Multiple Faces, his eighth solo studio album.
Media and honors
80-90 Listed among the best bass players by Bass Player Magazine
With the group UZEB:
Felix Award, Best Jazz Album (1983, '84, '86, '87,'90, '91)
Felix Award, Best Group of the year (1984, 1989)
Gemini Award, Best Original Score (1989)
Felix Award, Most Recognized Artist Abroad (1990)
SOCAN Award (ASCAP),Jazz Music Category (1990)
Oscar Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award (1991)
Voted one of the best electric jazz bands by Down Beat Magazine
1991 Featured in the latest edition of “Le Dictionnaire du Jazz”, published by Robert Laffont
1992 Featured in American Bass Player magazine and in French magazines Bass & Drums and Bass Magazine
1993 Participated in a major television broadcast: "Musiques au Coeur" in Paris with the Caron/Ecay/Lockwood trio.
Voted best "Master Bassist" by French magazine Guitariste in both "French" and "International" categories.
Félix award best album of the year Alain Caron / Le Band
Voted "Best electric bass player" by Canadian magazine The Jazz Report for 8years running
1994 Performed a series of concerts and a live recording for "Jazz sur le Vif " broadcast on CBC Radio (Radio Canada) with Leni Stern.
1996 Cover of Bass Player Magazine (US)
Cover of Bass Magazine (France)
The prestigious American magazine Bass Player ranks Alain Caron fourth among its Top 10 bassists of 1996 (Bass Player tabulates votes from its readers worldwide)
1998 Bass Player ranks Alain Caron le Band’s “Play” one of the ten best bass albums of the decade
1999 The Hagood Hardy award, in the category, original jazz music / instrumental, presented at the SOCAN Gala, novembre 9th 1999.
2003 The Hagood Hardy award, in the category, original jazz music / instrumental, presented at the SOCAN Gala, novembre 25th 2003.
The Festi-Jazz International de Rimouski awards him the “Héron d’or”
2005 Juno nominee in the category best "CONTEMPORARY JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR" for the CD”5”
2007 The University of Quebec, under the aegis of the University of Quebec in Rimouski, decreed an honorary doctorate to the internationally acclaimed bassist. Important to note, he is the only musician to have ever received this honor.
2008 Featured in the book entitled “Bass Player presents THE FRETLESS BASS” distributed by Hal•lLeonard
2011 Inauguration of the Alain-Caron music school (École de musique Alain-Caron Rivière-du-Loup.
Félix award in the category “ album of the year – Jazz Creation” for the album Sep7entrion
2013 Oscar Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award (2013) for his solo work
1980 to this day
Numerous articles on him ( front page, interviews) in specialized magazines as:
Bass Player, Bassics, Frets and Bass Musician Magazine and All About Jazz (USA), Canadian Musician, Musik etc. and Son & Image (Canada), Bass Magazine, Jazz Bass Playerandt Jazz Life (Japan), Jazzzeit, Bass Professor, Stereo Play, BASS Quarterlyandt Bassmeister (Germany), Guitarist Magazine et Bassiste (France), Guitar Club, The Music Magazine, Dismamusica et Guitar Club (Italiy Musyk and Gitarai Bas (Poland) and Guitar Lab (South Korea)
1993 Le Band
1995 Rhythm’n Jazz
2000 Call me Al
2006 LIVE Cabaret de Montréal (DVD, 5.1 surround)
LIVE Cabaret de Montréal (double CD)
2008 Series: The Jazz-Rock Cuts
2013 Multiple Faces
ALAIN CARON - Projets
1992 Basse Contre Basse (duet with Michel Donato)
Caron-Ecay-Lockwood (trio with Jean-Marie Ecay and Didier Lockwood)
1981 Live in Bracknell
1982 Fast Emotion
1984 You be Easy
1985 Between the Lines, enregistrement du vidéoclip 60 rue des Lombards
1986 Live à l’Olympia
1986 Absolutely Live (with Didier Lockwood)
1988 Noisy Nights, followed by a video clip recording
1988 Live in Europe (compilation)
1989 UZEB Club, followed by a video clip recording
1990 World Tour '90
1999 Best OF UZEB (compilation)
2006 The Last Concert
1992 Sortie ¨Sortie”
1992 Leni Stern ¨Ten Songs”
1992 Jean-Pierre Zanella ¨Camino”
1993 Leni Stern ¨Like One”
1996 Hilario Durán ¨Francisco’s Song”
1996 Oyate ¨Soul Jazz”
1998 Jay-Tee ¨Jay-Tee”
2002 Alain Lefebvre ¨Carnet de notes”
2002 Levon Ichkhanian ¨Travels”
2002 Yves Nadeau ¨Expression Tableaux”
2004 Harald Weinkum ¨A bass bolero”
2004 JD Project ¨Tangled web”
2006 Frank Gambale ¨Natural High”
2009 Frank Gambale ¨Natural Selection”
2009 Sébastien Charlier ¨Precious Time”
COLLABORATIONS (POP ET CHANSON)
1980 Diane Tell, En flèche
1982 Jean Robitaille, Transparence
Céline Dion, Tellement j’ai d’amour pour toi
1991 Maurane, Ami ou ennemi,
Carole Laure, She says move on
Sari Dajani, Sari Dajani
1993 Diane Dufresne, Détournement majeur
1997 Lynda Lemay, Du coq à l’âme
2006 Lynda Lemay, Ma signature