Music Memory – Ross MacIntyre

Music Memory is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, offering the “Music For Memory Project”: a program based on the effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, by providing them with iPods containing personalized music. For more information, visit

This week we hear from Toronto based acoustic and electric bassist Ross MacIntyre. He has been a professional musician for over 20 years, toured all over the world, and performed with elite musicians from Canada and around the world, including Wynton Marsalis, Ed Robertson, and Jim Cuddy.

Back when I was doing my undergrad at U of T, I heard a recording of the Boss Brass playing “Portrait of Jenny”. Of course the arrangement was spectacular, but featured on that track was a flugelhorn solo by Guido Basso. I remember being completely enraptured by it. I would listen to the recording over and over, and I would play that song as often as could with as many people as I could. The solo was perfectly crafted, brilliant from top to bottom. It would give me goosebumps every single time I would listen to it.

Years later I got a phone call from Guido Basso himself, asking me if I would play with him for 10 days on a cruise ship. Of course I couldn’t say yes fast enough! One of my most cherished musical memories is being on that ship, and playing with Guido for the very first time. As soon as he played one note I knew that I was actually playing with the man who played the solo on Portrait of Jenny. He was (and is) as brilliant as ever, and I still have the incredible great fortune to play music with him from time to time!