Bassist & Band Leader
Bassist and bandleader, Phil Raney, is the founding member of Urban Jazz Coalition. As a youth, his musical interest was first aroused while listening to his Aunt Edna play piano with the church choir. He would later go on to study violin and trumpet, and became a self-taught guitarist during his teenage years.
As a college student at Ohio University, Raney converted to the electric bass and gained his first professional experience performing with The Journey’s End Band. He also studied acoustic bass under the tutelage of Carl Thompson, Dean of Ohio University’s music school, and finished course work in both harmony and music theory. Phil gained valuable studio experience while working as a DJ and audio engineer for WOUB-FM.
Following college, the budding musician worked with a number of popular jazz and R&B groups in the Dayton and Columbus, Ohio areas. He also began to develop his production skills while doing sessions at the world renowned, Recording Workshop. During this same period, Raney began his career as a songwriter and producer, signing record deals for his music with independent gospel labels based in Detroit and Chicago.
In 1986 Phil moved to Los Angeles and quickly made a strong impression on the west coast music scene. He performed as bassist with gospel great Andre’ Crouch, and also recorded with legendary jazz drummer, Roy Porter. As a writing and production partner, Raney collaborated with Grammy nominated songwriter, Zane Gray (Jeffrey Osborne & Tavares). He also gained artist development and management experience while working at MCA Records with recording artist, Troy Hinton. Before returning to Ohio in 1994, Raney produced the critically acclaimed contemporary jazz release, “Reflections”, by The P. Raney Coalition. The CD presented music that later became part of the sound track for the Walt Disney movie, “Flight Of The Navigator”.
Over the past 12 years, Phil’s main musical focus has been Urban Jazz Coalition. Raney has been the driving force behind the emergence of UJC as an internationally recognized jazz group, while composing material, producing the band’s music, and directing marketing and promotion for the band’s independent record label. As if that’s not enough, he’s also an in-demand bassist on the national scene, having toured as a sideman with chart-topping smooth jazz guitarists such as Ken Navarro and Nils.
“I’ve had a beautiful life…full of tremendous experiences”, says Raney. “I’ve been blessed with great parents, a loving family, and many good friends over the years. I’m just a firm believer that if you have faith in God, live your life the right way, and work hard, the Lord will make good things happen for you”.