Posts Tagged ‘Biography’

Barry Galbraith: Guitar and the Wind

In Biography on July 3, 2016 at 5:54 pm

from Jazzwax

Over the course of his career, guitarist Barry Galbraith Galbraith_wind_picappeared on 594 recording sessions. Yet he made only one album as a featured leader—Guitar and the Wind. The album was recorded over three days in January 1958 for Decca. The fact that Galbraith didn’t record more extensively as a featured soloist for Decca and other labels is unfortunate.

There are only two possible explanations for Galbraith’s lack of spotlight time: Either he was too busy as an East Coast sideman (he was recording virtually every other day at the time) or he was introspective and more comfortable in a group setting. The answer, according to Hal McKusick, who knew Galbraith well, is both.

What makes Galbraith’s lack of output notably disheartening is the exceptional quality of Guitar and the Wind. Guitar and the WindGalbraith’s ability rested not in speed or technique—though he was capable of both. Instead, Galbraith was about extraordinary chord voicings and swinging harmony lines. His sound also was strong and large, with enormous confidence. Guitar and the Wind not only demonstrates this side of Galbraith but also features two superb orchestras behind him on the different recording dates.


The first and third sessions featured Urbie Green, Chauncey Welsch and Frank Rehak (trombones); Dick Hixson

Images(bass trombone); Bobby Jaspar (flute and tenor sax); Eddie Costa (piano and vibes); Barry Galbraith (guitar); Milt Hinton (bass) and Osie Johnson (drums), with Billy Byers arranging.

The second session featured Bobby Jaspar (flute and tenor sax); Phil Bodner, Romeo Penque and Spencer Sinatra (reeds); Eddie Costa (piano and vibes); Barry Galbraith (guitar); Milt Hinton (bass) and Osie Johnson (drums),
with Al Cohn arranging.

The “wind” on both sessions was Bobby Jaspar on flute, though Cohn’s charts triple up on flutes on some Bill_byerstracks. The sound of Galbraith with flutes is positively gorgeous, particularly on I Like to Recognize the Tune. Other tracks feature superb trombone arranging by Byers [pictured], particularly on Anyplace I Hang My Hat.

Hal McKusick knew Galbraith well, both as a session-mate and as a member of Hal’s own groups. Here’s what Hal shared with me yesterday:

“You’re assumption is correct: Barry was content to be busy
doing all the dates he did. A wise a&r man would have been wise to capture his talent 6a00e008dca1f088340111689b64d5970c-200wion many albums, in different settings, but sadly it was not to be.

“Barry was very organized with his time. He would go home after a day of recording, with a night gig added in some cases, and practice classical and other pieces in his basement. He was a truly dedicated musician, quiet, efficient and a great sight-reader. He also had the finest taste in phrasing, articulation and voicings.

“We spent many hours at his home (when he lived on Long Island) exploring songs and working out ensemble sounds1ae7_1with guitar and alto. That was the beginning of my recording career as a leader, utilizing what we had discovered together.

“Barry is one of the great unsung heroes in music, known and respected by those who are aware of his contribution and terrific musical ability.”

If you dig Galbraith, you have 593 recording sessions to choose from. If you want to hear his brilliance up close, you have just Guitar and the Wind.

JazzWax tracks: Barry Galbraith’s Guitar and the Wind is
hidden at Amazon on a two-fer release from LoneHill called The Manhattan Jazz Septette, a group led by Oscar Pettiford and recorded in June 1956 that included Hal and Galbraith. You’ll find the 51l8LdLAxqL._SL500_AA300_CD here.

If you’re still craving pure Galbraith, you’ll find him on three tracks on Guitar Soul (Status), recorded in May 1957 with Kenny Burrell on guitar, Leonard Gaskin on bass and Bobby Donaldson on drums. The three tracks are Billie’s Bounce, Prelude to a Kiss and It Don’t Mean a Thing. Remaining tracks feature other guitarists. Unfortunately, this album is rare and doesn’t seem to have made its way onto CD yet.

JazzWax clip: Here’s Barry Galbraith soloing Soul+gtr+front+webon Love Is for the Very Young (also known as the theme to The Bad and the Beautiful), from Guitar and the Wind...



Russell Malone

In Biography on June 28, 2016 at 10:55 pm

Russell Malone (born November 8, 1963) is an essentially self-taught swing and bebop jazz Russell_Malone,_jazz_guitaristguitarist. He began working with Jimmy Smith in 1988, and went on to work with Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall throughout the 1990s


Malone was born in Albany, Georgia. He began playing at the age of four with a toy guitar his mother had bought him, influenced by musicians such as B.B. King and The Dixie Hummingbirds. However, he cites that the most influential musical experience he had as a youth was “[At the age of twelve] seeing George Benson perform on television…with Benny Goodman.” He learned technique from listening to recordings of Benson, Wes Montgomery, and Charlie Christian, among others.

Malone played with jazz organist Jimmy Smith from 1988 to 1990. He then joined the Harry Connick Jr. Big Band from 1989 to 1994. In 1995, Malone became part of the Diana Krall trio, participating in three Grammy-nominated albums, the final one in 1999, When I Look in Your Eyes, winning Best Vocal Jazz Performance. Malone was part of jazz pianist Benny Green’s recordings in the late 1990s and 2000: Kaleidoscope (1997), These Are Soulful Days (1999), and Naturally (2000). The two formed a duo partnership, releasing the live recording, Jazz at The Bistro in 2003, and the studio recording Bluebird in 2004. The duo toured until 2007.

Malone tours regularly as leader of The Russell Malone Quartet, and more recently in support of “Triple Play” (2010) of the Russell Malone Trio. When touring the US, Canada, Japan, and Europe, South America, and Australia, he can be seen in appearances with Dianne Reeves and Romero Lubambo and tours frequently with bassist Ron Carter as part of the Golden Striker Trio that often featured Mulgrew Miller on piano. Other special guest appearances have included Malone with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, pianist Hank Jones (in celebration of his 90th birthday). October, 2008, found Russell Malone in duo at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California, with fellow jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. The duo toured once again in February 2009, in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. In 2010, Malone became a member of the band for saxophonist Sonny Rollins, (celebrating his 80th birthday in New York in September).

Malone recorded live on September 9–11, 2005, at Jazz Standard, New York City, and Maxjazz released Live at Jazz Standard, Volume One (2006) and Live at Jazz Standard, Volume Two (2007). Appearing on these two volumes, and touring as The Russell Malone Quartet, were Martin Bejerano on piano, Tassili Bond on bass, and Johnathan Blake on drums. Malone’s 2010 recording Triple Play (also on Maxjazz) was pianoless, featuring David Wong on bass, and Montez Coleman on drums.


  • We Are In Love with Harry Connick, Jr., Grammy Award Winner (1991)
  • Russell Malone (COLUMBIA – 1992)[2]
  • I Heard You Twice the First Time with Branford Marsalis, Grammy Award Winner (1992)
  • Black Butterfly (COLUMBIA – 1993)
  • Habana with Roy Hargrove’s CRISOL, Latin Jazz Grammy Award Winner (1997)
  • Sweet Georgia Peach (IMPULSE! – 1998)
  • Wholly Cats (VENUS – 1999)
  • When I Look In Your Eyes with Diana Krall, Jazz Vocal Grammy Award Winner (1999)
  • Look Who’s Here (VERVE – 2000)
  • Heartstrings (VERVE – 2001)
  • Jazz at the Bistro [with Benny Green] (Telarc – 2003)
  • Bluebird [with Benny Green] (Telarc – 2004)
  • Playground (MAXJAZZ – 2004)[4]
  • Live At Jazz Standard, Volume One (MAXJAZZ – 2006)
  • Live At Jazz Standard, Volume Two (MAXJAZZ – 2007)
  • Portrait Northwestern State University Jazz Ensemble featuring Russell Malone (2009)
  • Jazz In The Key Of Blue with The Jimmy Cobb Quartet, with Roy Hargrove, Trumpet, and John Webber, Bass (2009)
  • Triple Play (MAXJAZZ – 2010)

Ronny Jordan

In Biography on June 28, 2016 at 10:45 pm

Ronny_JordanRobert Lawrence Albert Simpson, known as Ronny Jordan (29 November 1962 – 13 January 2014) was a British guitarist at the forefront of the acid jazz movement at the end of the twentieth century.  Jordan described his music as “urban jazz,” a blend of jazz, hip-hop, and R&B


He came to prominence after being featured on Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1, which saw release in 1993. He was also one of the artists whose recordings are featured on Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool—a compilation album released in 1994 to benefit the Red Hot Organization.

Following the release of 1992’s The Antidote,[2] recordings from Jordan have been a mainstay on a variety of Billboard charts. He was also the recipient of many awards, including The MOBO Best Jazz Act Award as well as Gibson Guitar Best Jazz Guitarist Award. His 2000 release, A Brighter Day, was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.

Jordan’s song “The Jackal” (from his 1993 album The Quiet Revolution) gained prominence when actress Allison Janney in the role of C. J. Cregg lip-synched it in the episode “Six Meetings Before Lunch” of The West Wing. She also did so on Arsenio Hall’s show in September, 2013.

Jordan died on January 13, 2014


Solo albums

  • The Antidote (1992)
  • The Quiet Revolution (1993)
  • Light to Dark (1996)
  • A Brighter Day (2000)
  • Off the Record (2001)
  • At Last (2003)
  • After 8 (2004)
  • The Rough and the Smooth (2009)
  • Straight-Up Street (2012)

Twenty Years Gone: Jerry Garcia (8/1/42 – 8/9/95)

In Biography on September 21, 2015 at 10:10 am

Jimmy D’Aquisto

In Biography on April 2, 2015 at 2:03 pm

DaquistoJames L. D’Aquisto (November 9, 1935 – April 18, 1995) was an American guitar maker best known as the premier maker of custom guitars. He served as an apprentice to John D’Angelico from 1952 and was considered his successor after the latter’s death in 1964.

From his shop in Huntington, New York then in Farmingdale, New York and later during his “golden period” in Greenport Long Island, New York, D’Aquisto became known as the world’s greatest guitar maker from the late 1960s until his death in 1995. James D’Aquisto, born November 9, 1935 was trained by, and is the successor to, John D’Angelico. Both men are considered to be the finest independent builders of archtop guitars in the history of the instrument. James apprenticed to John, starting in the 1950s, possibly as early as 1954. Jimmy said “I was making $35 a week. I was like the runner: I’d go to the stores, pick up the tuners, go get the tailpieces from downtown, take the necks to the engraver, all that. I cleaned the windows, swept the floors, everything – we all did that. On Friday we put away the tools and cleaned the shop so when Monday came the place would be spotless.” Later, James learned the “rough work” of the D’Angelico building style. By around 1960, John’s health was failing and Jimmy was asked to do more and more of the finishing work, and, finally, the hand-crafting of components. John died on September 1, 1964 at age 59. Jimmy continued the business of building guitars, under his own name. In 1966 he moved to Huntington, Long Island and in 1973 moved to Farmingdale. In 1977 he made his final move to Greenport, Long Island. His guitars are considered without peer. Jimmy D’Aquisto was always afraid that he might die at the same age as his mentor, at age 59. In fact, he died Tuesday, April 18, 1995 at the age of 59. D’Aquisto’s name is attached to many guitar models from brands like the Fender “D’Aquisto Elite” “D’Aquisto Ultra” and the Hagström Jimmy, and his blue “Centura Deluxe” was the inspiration for the book Blue Guitar.There is another book titled “Acquired of the Angels: The Lives and Works of Master Guitar Makers John D’Angelico and James L. D’Aquisto Today, his guitars sell for tens of thousands of dollars to over $400,000. And the first to be worth a million dollars.

In 2006, James L. D’Aquisto was a inductee to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. His tools and work bench — passed down to him from D’Angelico — are on display at theNational Music Museum.

D’Aquisto guitar played by Jim Hall (“Something Special” recording in 1993)

D’Aquisto flat top guitars

D’Aquisto flat top guitars are a group of 16 guitars made by Jimmy D’Aquisto.

DaquistoguitHis flat tops are unique and carry a bracing design entirely of his own devising. He made 16 flat top guitars from 1973 to his last in early 1984. He made two types, a grand auditorium and a dreadnought. In general, they were deep guitars with a large oval sound hole. He believed the oval sound hole produced greater projection than the typical round sound hole.They have a strong bass boom and the midrange and clarity expected from a D’Aquisto. Overall, their tonal structure is well-balanced and very suitable for recording. Of course, each of his instruments were custom built and variations were common. A customer would be given names and phone numbers of then current owners so the prospective owner could play existing guitars (Jimmy did not have completed guitars sitting in his shop—they were shipped as soon as they were completed). The prospective customer could then go back to Jimmy and tell him what was liked or what changes were desired; he would then adjust his plans accordingly. Whether the customer requested brilliance or bass, Jimmy would refuse to add a pickguard to the guitar face nor would he consider using any more than minimal bindings on the guitars so as to not reduce the sound possible from his creation. If amplification was desired, he would only consider a floating or non-permanent pickup (for either flat top or archtop), again, so as to not diminish the guitar’s sound quality. He used a unique (for his time) off-set rectangular shape for the bridge, with the bass side larger than the treble. He could adjust the amount of bass in the guitar by the way he sized and shaped the bridge.

He numbered his guitars from 101 to 116. Number 101 was a non cutaway auditorium as well as number 111, which he made for Laurie Veneziano and Janis Ian. Numbers 102 to 110 were his dreadnoughts. From 112 to 115, are some of his most beautiful auditorium guitars and the only flat tops he made with a cutaway. Each is a radiant blond color. He used European spruce tops and European maple back and sides for all his flat tops. Ebony for the fret board, bridge, bridge pins, and headstock overlay. His last, 116, is a dreadnought in an unusual tobacco sunburst finished in 1984.

D’Aquisto also made a few nylon-string flat top guitars.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kurt Rosenwinkel

In Biography on October 3, 2014 at 10:06 am

kurt1Kurt Rosenwinkel (born October 28, 1970) is an American jazz guitarist. He is considered one of the most influential guitarists of his generation.

Rosenwinkel attended the Berklee College of Music for two and a half years before leaving in his junior year to tour withGary Burton, the dean of the school at the time. Subsequently, Rosenwinkel moved to Brooklyn, where began performing with Human Feel, Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band, Joe Henderson Group, and the Brian Blade Fellowship. During that time he began using a Lavalier lapel microphone fed into his guitar amplifier [4] that blends his vocalizing with his guitar –much like George Benson, and Pat Metheny– and has become a trademark of his sound, both live and in the studio.

In 1995 he won the Composer’s Award from the National Endowment for the Arts and was signed by Verve Records. Since then, he has played and recorded as both a leader and sideman with Mark Turner, Brad Mehldau, Joel Frahm, and Brian Blade, as well as many others. During Rosenwinkel’s tenure with Verve he collaborated with Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, who co-produced his studio album Heartcore that features bassist Ben Street, drummer Jeff Ballard, and saxophonist Mark Turner. He would further collaborate with Q-Tip, performing guitar on the latter’s albums The Renaissance and Kamaal/The Abstract.

Rosenwinkel has since released several albums. In 2008 The Remedy – Live at the Village Vanguard was released, featuring saxophonist Mark Turner, pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Eric Harland. On November 10, 2009, Rosenwinkel released a trio recording, Standards Trio: Reflections, which features bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Eric Harland. On September 7, 2010, Rosenwinkel released his ninth album as a leader, entitled Kurt Rosenwinkel & OJM: Our Secret World and featuring OJM an 18-piece big band from Porto, Portugal. His latest release Stars of Jupiter features pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Justin Faulkner.

Originally from Philadelphia, Rosenwinkel currently resides in Berlin, Germany. He has two sons and is on the faculty at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler.


Rosenwinkel is known for his distinct sound and style of improvisation. His influences include John Coltrane, Pat Metheny,Allan Holdsworth, Tal Farlow, George Van Eps, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Alex Lifeson, and Jimmy Page, among others


Rosenwinkel uses a wide variety of effects units, each with a specific function and effect on the guitar’s sound. As of May 2013 he has been seen using the following: Neunaber WET Stereo Reverb, Strymon Timeline, Strymon Mobius, Digitech Vocalist, Thegigrig HumDinger, Rockett Allan Holdsworth, Empress ParaEQ.

Previously he has used many pedals including: Pro Co RAT distortion, TC Electronic Nova Reverb, Lehle D. Loop Effect-loop/Switcher, Strymon Blue Sky Reverb, Strymon El Capistan dTApe Echo, Malekko Echo 600 Dark, Old World Audio 1960 Compressor, Electro-Harmonix HOG Polyphonic Guitar Synthesizer, Eventide TimeFactor Delay, Xotic X-Blender Effects Loops, Empress Tremolo, Lehle Parallel line mixer, TC Electronic SCF stereo chorus flanger, and Boss Corporation OC-3 octave, among others.

Most often seen playing his D’Angelico New Yorker semi-hollow guitar, he also plays a Sadowsky semi-hollow, a cherry red Gibson ES-335, and more recently two custom guitars made for him by Italian master luthier Domenico Moffa


  • 1996 – Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio –East Coast Love Affair – (Fresh Sound New Talent)
  • 1998 – Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet –Intuit – (Criss Cross)
  • Unreleased – Kurt Rosenwinkel –Under It All
  • 2000 – Kurt Rosenwinkel –The Enemies of Energy – (Verve Records)
  • 2001 – Kurt Rosenwinkel –The Next Step – (Verve Records)
  • 2002 – Jakob Dinesen / Kurt Rosenwinkel –Everything Will Be Alright – (Verve Records)
  • 2003 – Kurt Rosenwinkel –Heartcore – (Verve Records)
  • 2005 – Kurt Rosenwinkel –Deep Song – (Verve Records)
  • 2008 – Kurt Rosenwinkel –The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard – (Wommusic)
  • 2009 – Kurt Rosenwinkel Standards Trio –Reflections – (Wommusic)
  • 2010 – Kurt Rosenwinkel & OJM –Our Secret World – (Wommusic)
  • 2012 – Kurt Rosenwinkel –Star of Jupiter – (Wommusic)

 from Wikipedia

Johnny Winter tribute

In Biography on July 17, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Legendary blues musician Johnny Winter died in his hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland, on July 16th at 70 years old. There are plenty of reasons why that’s notable — Winter was one of the first blues rock guitar virtuosos, releasing a string of popular and fiery albums in the late Sixties and early Seventies, becoming an arena-level concert draw in the process — but it’s the barest facts that remain the most inspiring. Johnny Winter, from little Beaumont, Texas, afflicted with albinism and 20/400 eyesight in one eye and 20/600 in the other, made an iconic life for himself by playing the blues.

What are the odds of that story coming true? What levels of self-belief, resilience and talent did it take to transform those biographical details — one could easily imagine, say, Thomas Pynchon conjuring them for a character (The whitest blues guitarist! Named Johnny Winter!) — into the stuff of a legendary career? As fellow blues guitar great Michael Bloomfield said when introducing Winter at a 1968 show at Manhattan’s Fillmore East, “This is the baddest motherfucker.” Winter was that, no doubt, but also a testament to the idea that with a lot of skill and dedication and more than a little luck, music can open any door.

 Johnny Winter and the 100 Greatest Guitarists

In Mary Lou Sullivan’s entertaining biography, Raisin’ Cain, Winter, whose brother was multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter (of “Frankenstein” fame), explained that, “Growin’ up in school, I really got the bad end of the deal. People teased me and I got in a lot of fights. I was a pretty bluesy kid.” That alienation, he believed, gave him a kinship with the black blues musicians he idolized. “We both,” he explained, “had a problem with our skin being the wrong color.”

It’s probably overly romantic to say that one can hear any sort of outsider’s howl in Winter’s playing, which first came to wider attention via a 1968 Rolling Stone article that praised him for some of the most “gutsiest, fluid guitar you ever heard,” but at its best, there’s a beautifully articulated flamboyance to his music. Faster and flashier than his blues god contemporary Eric Clapton, Winter’s musicianship — a hyperactive, high-octane intensity was his great blues innovation — had the electric flair of someone who was determined to take charge of how he was seen by others. It was as if his playing (and his gutsy singing) was a challenge to audiences. Okay, you’re looking at me? Then watch this.

As a concert draw and big-seller, Winter peaked in by the mid-Seventies. (New listeners should start with 1969’s Second Winter; this year’s True To The Blues compilation is comprehensive.) But stepping out of stardom’s spotlight gave him the opportunity to do his most valuable work, as a steward to the music that changed his life. Starting in 1977, Winter produced a trio of swaggering, earthy albums for blues genius Muddy Waters, of which Hard Again is the first and best. Those albums reconnected Waters with his own greatness — Muddy’s prior Seventies albums had been uninspired — and delivered him a late-in-life critical and commercial triumph. After Waters died in 1983, Winter, who by then had already inspired followers like his fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughan, settled into a journeyman’s role, releasing albums at a steady pace and touring even more frequently than that. It wasn’t always an easy ride— there were struggles with addiction and duplicitous management — but it was as good, and honorable, as a blues musician can ask for. They wouldn’t be called the blues if everything was rosy.

Tribute to the Lone Star State: Dispossessed Men and Mothers of Texas — Our 1968 Cover Story

When he wasn’t on the road, Winter, who, it must be said, cut a striking figure on-stage up through his last gigs, spent his time with his wife at home in rural Connecticut, and was able to bask in the respect of fellow musicians, a testament to the truth that if you give your being to the music you love, the music can turn that being into a remarkable life. His now-posthumous upcoming release, Step Back, is due out in September and features appearances from Clapton, ZZ Top’s Billy GibbonsBen HarperDr. JohnAerosmith‘s Joe Perry and others. They all knew what Winter meant.

Towards the end of Raisin’ Cain, Winter is asked how he’d liked to be remembered. He answered, simply, “As a good blues player.”

Johnny Winter was much more than that.


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Kenny Burrell interview

In Biography on November 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Ashdown Guitar Lessons

There’s a great interview with Kenny Burrell in the Guitar Player Vaults.

Kenny talks about his early development, his influences, how he got into professional playing, his artistic philosophy and his equipment.

If, like me, you think Kenny Burrell is one of the really significant figures in jazz guitar then click on the link and enjoy the read.

The edition also features a classic Guitar Player interview with James Honeyman-Scott, lessons with Mike Stern and Leslie West, three FREE full-song transcriptions, and much more.

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Joe Pass plays Satin Doll

In Biography, Methods on December 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Biography of Joe Pass here: The genius of Joe Pass

see also here

Joe Pass plays “Satin Doll.” From the Vestapol DVD “The Genius of Joe Pass.” More info at