Even if Reggie Workman had only ever played bass on the landmark John Coltrane albums Olé, Ballads and Live at the Village Vanguard, his name would be cemented in jazz history.
The fact is that Workman's played on literally hundreds of other albums. Like Ray Brown or Ron Carter, the 84-year-old bassist's reliable presence has anchored Art Blakey, Roy Ayers, Eric Dolphy, Booker Ervin, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Max Roach, Archie Shepp, Mal Waldron, and others too many to count.
And then there's Alice Coltrane, the ahead-of-her-time harpist and pianist whose spiritual approach to jazz has seen a welcome renaissance in the past five years. Workman held down the low end on numerous recordings by Coltrane, including 1972's World Galaxy, and now, he pays tribute to her with a free outdoor concert at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in San Francisco.