Alain Caron rose to prominence in the 80s as a member of the influential fusion band UZEB, and has continued as a solo artist, clinician and sideman, performing with Mike Stern, Gino Vanelli, Frank Gambale and others.
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. In the early 1980s Caron and guitarist Cusson formed the Quebecois super fusion group UZEB, along with drummer Paul Brochu. UZEB released 10 albums and sold over 400,000 copies, playing sold-out shows around the world. DownBeat magazine called them one of the best electric jazz bands of the decade, and the band received nine Felix Awards: Best Jazz Album (1983-84-86-87-90-91), Best Group (1984-89), and Most Recognized Artist Abroad (1990); a Gemini Award For Best Original Score (1989), a SOCAN Award, and the Oscar Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award (1991).
Caron quickly developed an international reputation as a master electric bass player and a virtuoso of the 6-string bass guitar. He taught master classes in most of the world’s major cities, including Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Geneva and Frankfurt. Many magazine polls identified him as one of the world’s top bassists, including Bass Player magazine, the readers of which voted him to the #4 spot in a 1996 poll.
In 1992, Caron produced the first of his seven solo albums to date, “Le Band.” “Rhythm and Jazz” followed in 1995, “Play” was released in 1997 and “Call Me Al” followed in 2000. Along the way, he has recorded numerous albums with friends. “5” was released in 2003, followed by the DVD and CD entitled “Live au Cabaret de Montreal” released in 2006. To commemorate UZEB’s 25th anniversary, Caron released the UZEB DVD “The Last Concert” on his Norac label in 2006: the only official live concert footage ever released (and ever to be released) by UZEB, featuring special guest Tiger Okoshi on trumpet. “Converstaions” was released in 2007: a beautiful collection of duets with Oliver Jones, Lorraine Desmarais, Francois Bourassa, Jean St-Jacques and Otmaro Ruiz.
Caron has toured worldwide with Mike Stern, Billy Cobham, Frank Gambale, Bireli Lagrene, Didier Lockwood, Tiger Okoshi, Alex Acuna, Don Alias and Gino Vanelli. He recently played a string of shows in Cologne, Germany with the Grammy award-winning WDR Big Band. These performances, arranged and directed by New York great Michael Abene, featured Caron’s personal compositions and will be released internationally by the end of the year.
“It’s amazing that you can get such a powerful, warm, clear and defined sound, with full-range frequency response, out of a very lightweight amp and speaker cabinet.” Caron enthuses. “And the most important thing is: I hear the real sound of my bass. It seems that Markbass has not only listened carefully to their amps, but they have also listened to bass players!”