Barre Phillips was born in San Francisco in 1934. He began playing the double bass at age 13. He migrated to New York City in 1962, but has lived in the south of France since 1972.
As much a composer as a performer, Barre has worked in the areas of film, ballet and theater throughout the years. Parallel to these experiences, Barre Phillips has continued to perform and record. He has recorded over 100 records, 30 of them under his own name. Among the countless artists Barre has played with, on stage or record are: Coleman Hawkins, Eric Dolphy, Chick Corea, George Russell, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Michel Portal, Albert Mangelsdorff, Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley, Joachim Kuhn, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Ornette Coleman, Joëlle Léandre, Cecil Taylor, and many others.