New York City expatriate Ron Brendle has been a freelance bassist in the Charlotte, NC, area since 1981, having been recognized by Charlotte Magazine as Best Bassist. Over the years, Brendle has performed with many top jazz artists who have found their way to the Queen City, many with diverse jazz backgrounds and styles such as Clark Terry, Andrew Hill, Charlie Byrd, Charlie Rouse, and Mose Allison. But his most frequent companion in the recording studio has been hard bop pianist and North Carolina native Frank Kimbrough. Together they have produced Hypermobility, Here, and Autumn, mostly for his Lo Note label. He also formed a group called the Lost Dogs, a quartet composed of Brendle, Doug Henry and John Alexander on saxophones, and Al Sergel on drums. The group's CD, Lost Dogs Live, concentrates on original compositions and arrangements with a modern jazz focus. He has also been on sessions led by sax player Alexander and fellow Charlotte resident, the late Loonis McGlohon.
Brendle was drawn to jazz by songs he heard from several sources when he was growing up. There were songs from Edison's one-sided 78 RPM discs he found in his grandmother's attic and played on an old wind-up phonograph. Others from his father were from musical comedies, the big bands, and the movies of the 1930s and 1940s. There were songs he heard performed by the great singers of the day: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Margaret Whiting, and Jo Stafford, among others. Songs were his heritage which propelled Brendle into a life of jazz. Given who he has performed with, Brendle is very flexible when it comes to the type of jazz he plays. But based on those recordings he has been in charge of, he favors a modern improvisional style which allows him and his cohorts to fully develop ideas about the music and the way these ideas are to be fulfilled. Brendle is also a real, live example of a musician who doesn't need to work in a major city to be recognized as one of the tops in his trade. He has received three awards as Jazz Artist of the Year by Creative Loafing Magazine and is the recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Jazz Composer Fellowship Grant, which helped to produce his CD Hypermobility. Brendle is first-call bass player in a fairly vibrant Charlotte jazz scene.