Eras and stylistic approaches provide more separation between two jazz musicians named Bill Douglass than mere geographic issues. A drummer with this name was active in Los Angeles beginning in the swing scene of the '40s, eventually becoming a well-known percussion teacher. The bassist Bill Douglass was initially associated with the music scene only hours to the north, as in San Francisco. Douglass also plays the bamboo flute and has gotten involved in instrumental music that could pass for new age as well as jazz, a familiar potion for one of his composing and bandleading chemists, trumpeter and original soundtrack maestro Mark Isham.
Bassist Douglass' earliest gig of importance connects him with the most famous aspect of all from the San Francisco music scene, the psychedelic '60s. Douglass was a member of Lamb, a band and not the wooly animal, which was marginally associated with the concert scene at venues such as Fillmore West.
Lamb made two albums, beginning with the 1970 Sign of Change. Subsequently Douglass worked with one-hit wonder Norman Greenbaum as well as the fine pianist Art Lande, smooth veteran guitarist Charlie Byrd, and with oddball weaver of songs Tom Waits on the Black Rider project.