Since arriving in New York in 1988, SCOTT COLLEY has been one of the most in-demand bassists on the jazz scene, supplying rich tones and driving momentum behind a variety of players including guitarists Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, and John Scofield; saxophonists Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, and Clifford Jordan; pianists Herbie Hancock, Kenny Werner, Andrew Hill, and Edward Simon; and drummers Bill Stewart, Brian Blade, and Billy Hart. As a bandleader, Colley has showcased his skills as a composer-arranger in trio, quartet, and sextet settings, beginning with his 1996 debut Portable Universe (Freelance), 1997's This Place (SteepleChase), 1998's Subliminal (Criss Cross), and the September 2000 trio release The Magic Line with Bill Stewart and Chris Potter (Arabesque).
Born on November 24, 1963, in Los Angeles, Colley began studying bass at age 11. At 13, he started studying with Monty Budwig while simultaneously woodshedding with Paul Chambers and Charles Mingus records and playing standards two nights a week at a jam session in Pasadena. By age 16, he discovered the music of Jaco Pastorius and Charlie Haden. From 1979 through 1981, Colley played duo gigs around L.A. with the great pianist-composer Jimmy Rowles. In 1984 Colley was granted a full scholarship to the California Institute of the Arts, where he focused on composition and jazz studies while also studying privately with Charlie Haden and classical bassist Fred Tinsley, of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 1986, he began touring and recording with jazz vocal legend Carmen McRae. He graduated from Cal Arts with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1988 and soon moved to New York City.