The Australian jazz community is mourning the passing of Melbourne bass player Gary Costello, who died suddenly of a heart attack on December 20.

Gary was one of the country’s most highly regarded bassists. He was a key contributor to some of Australia’s most important ensembles, including the Australian Art Orchestra and the Paul Grabowsky Trio, and performed with leading US musicians, such as Brandford Marsalis, Kenny Kirkland and Johnny Griffin.

Paul Grabowsky wrote on the AAO website that, “As a musician, he allowed his instrument to range as freely as he was free, with lines that loped and swooped across the lower register with a lightness of being which could mask with their effortless facility the sheer physical strength which lay behind them.

He was my musical soul brother through many journeys, and he taught me the value of trust as the strong bedrock of our sometimes fragile music. I am so used to hearing his contribution to my musical discussions that its absence will feel like an amputation, but such is our lives that we who are left must apply the memories and lessons learned from Gary as best we can, whenever we can.”

A service will be held on Friday, 29th at 3pm at the Lilydale Memorial Park in Victoria Rd, Lilydale, followed by a wake at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club from 6pm.