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Influential Musicians
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- The Pioneers - Rock '51 - '63 | Rock '62 - '69-The British Invasion | Rock '68 - '74

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Notable Jazz Performers
(Click on individual Musician's Biography section to visit Musician's Home Page)

Ahmad Jamal - Allan Holdsworth - Al Di Meola - Charlie Parker - Chick Webb - Chick Corea - Cedar Walton- Daniel Smith -Dave Brubeck - Dinah Washington
Diana Krall - George Benson - Herbie Hancock - Hank Jones - John Scofield - Jean-Luc Ponty - Jimmy Bruno - John McLaughlin - Keith Jarrett - Kenny Burrell
Pat Metheny - Quincy Jones - Ray Reach - Roy Hargrove - Russell Malone - Sara Gazarek - Sarah Montes - Sarah Vaughan - Sophie Milman - Wynton Marsalis
Terje Lie - Zvonimir Tot - Tom Waits - Frank Zappa

Throughout the history of music individual performers have had a major impact on the music scene. These influential/notable musicians have left their mark by expanding the envelope of their respective genres, either through technical proficiency, experimentation/exploration, or persona. The following list of notable/influential jazz performers is by no means complete. The performers listed are those that readily came to mind, and any additions to the list can be sent using the link at the bottom of the page. The individual home pages for the musicians listed can be reached by clicking on their name in the bio section.

Keith Jarrett


 Keith Jarrett - Born May 8, 1945 in Allentown, Pennsylvania is an American pianist and composer.His career started with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success in both classical music and jazz, as a group leader and a solo performer. His improvisation technique combines not only jazz, but also other forms of music, especially classical, gospel, blues and ethnic folk music.In 2003 he received the Polar Music Prize, being the first (and to this day only) recipient not sharing the prize with anyone else. Jarrett grew up in suburban Allentown, Pennsylvania with a significant exposure to music. He displayed prodigious talents as a young child and possessed absolute pitch. He played his first formal public concert to paying customers at the age of six and it ended with two of his own compositions. In his teens, as a student at Emmaus High School, he learned jazz and quickly became proficient in it. At one point, he had an offer to study composition with the legendary Nadia Boulanger in Paris; this was amiably turned down by Jarrett and his mother. In his early teens, he developed a stronger interest in the contemporary jazz scene: he recalls a Dave Brubeck show as an early inspiration. 'Artist Discography'


 Russell Malone - Russell Malone (born November 8, 1963 in Albany, Georgia) is an essentially self-taught swing jazz guitarist. He also performs in the bebop and contemporary jazz genres of jazz. He began working with Jimmy Smith in 1988, and went on to work with Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall throughout the 1990's.Malone began playing in his home of Albany, Georgia, 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 young child was 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—1990. He then joined the Harry Connick Jr. Big Band from 1989-1994. In 1995, Malone became part of the Diana Krall trio, participating in multiple Grammy-nominated albums, the final one in 1999, "When I Look In Your Eyes," winning Best Vocal Jazz Performance. 'Artist Discography'


 Pat Metheny - Patrick Bruce Metheny (born August 12, 1954 in Lee's Summit, Missouri) is an American jazz guitarist and composer. One of the most successful and critically acclaimed jazz musicians to come to prominence in the 1970s and '80s, he is the leader of the Pat Metheny Group and is also involved in duets, solo works, and other side projects. His style incorporates elements of progressive and contemporary jazz, post-Bop, Latin-jazz, jazz-rock fusion, and folk-jazz. Metheny was born and raised in Lee's Summit, Missouri, a suburb south-east of Kansas City. Following his graduation from Lee's Summit High School, he briefly attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. After Metheny withdrew from the University of Miami in his first semester, he was offered a teaching position. This event is mentioned on the closing credits (commonly referred to as 'vanity card') of episode 12 of season one of the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory by co-creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre. Metheny came onto the jazz scene in 1975 when he joined vibraphonist Gary Burton's band and recorded Bright Size Life with bassist Jaco Pastorius and drummer Bob Moses. 'Artist Discography'


 Sarah Montes - Born: October 19, 1970 Sarahs’ childhood was molded by fairytales, show tunes and a warped version of the catechism which served to engage her spirited imagination. Being raised in a European household, her mother from Germany and her father from Spain; Sarah learned that striving for greatness required discipline and over whelming passion, thus creating a very ambitious and dynamic Red head. As a child, Sarahs’ musical abilities blossomed at community functions and school events. She could sit for hours making up silly songs like “The Knobby Kneed Noble Knight” and conjuring up Broadway style skits for her friends and families entertainment. Sarah’s first professional recording experience came along at the age of sixteen while working as a window display designer for J.C. Penney’s. (Although Sarah never played much with dolls in her childhood, she found herself dressing perfectly painted mannequins.) Thanks to her supervisor, who was involved with one of the local studios and familiar with Sarah’s singing abilities, Sarah was recommended to the studio when the hired singer did not show up for her vocal part on a radio commercial. Within a half a heart beat, Sarah was at the studio, sang the required parts and five days later she was asked by one of the session players to join his band. After much deliberation on her parents’ part, Sarah stepped on stage; it was the genesis of her professional musical career.


Sarah Vaughan


Sarah Vaughan - Sarah Lois Vaughan (nicknamed "Sassy" and "The Divine One") (March 27, 1924 – April 3, 1990) was an American jazz singer, described by Scott Yanow as having "one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century". Vaughan developed an early love for popular music on records and the radio. In the 1930s, Newark had a very active live music scene and Vaughan frequently saw local and touring bands that played in the city at venues like the Montgomery Street Skating Rink, Adams Theatreand Proctor's Theater. By her mid-teens, Vaughan began venturing (illegally) into Newark's night clubs and performing as a pianist and, occasionally, singer, most notably at the Piccadilly Club and the Newark Airport USO. Vaughan initially attended Newark's East Side High School, later transferring to Newark Arts High School, which had opened in 1931 as the United States' first arts "magnet" high school. However, her nocturnal adventures as a performer began to overwhelm her academic pursuits and Vaughan dropped out of high school during her junior year to concentrate more fully on music. Around this time, Vaughan and her friends also began venturing across the Hudson River into New York City to hear big bands at Harlem's Ballroom and Apollo Theater. Biographies of Vaughan frequently state that she was immediately thrust into stardom after a winning an Amateur Night performance at Harlem's Apollo Theater. In fact, the story that biographer Leslie Gourse relates seems to be a bit more complex. Vaughan was frequently accompanied by a friend, Doris Robinson, on her trips into New York City. Sometime in the Fall of 1942 (when Sarah was 18 years old), Vaughan suggested that Robinson enter the Apollo Amateur Night contest. Vaughan played piano accompaniment for Robinson, who won second prize. Vaughan later decided to go back and compete herself as a singer. Vaughan sang "Body and Soul" and won, although the exact date of her victorious Apollo performance is uncertain. The prize, as Vaughan recalled later to Marian McPartland, was $10 and the promise of a week's engagement at the Apollo. After a considerable delay, Vaughan was contacted by the Apollo in the Spring of 1943 to open for Ella Fitzgerald. Sometime during her week of performances at the Apollo, Vaughan was introduced to bandleader and pianist Earl Hines, although the exact details of that introduction are disputed. Singer Billy Eckstine, who was with Hines at the time, has been credited by Vaughan and others with hearing her at the Apollo and recommending her to Hines. Hines also claimed to have discovered her himself and offered her a job on the spot. Regardless, after a brief tryout at the Apollo, Hines officially replaced his existing female singer with Vaughan on April 4, 1943. 'Artist Discography'


 Roy Hargrove - Roy A. Hargrove (born October 16, 1969) is an American jazz trumpeter and founding member of the RH factor. Hargrove was born in Waco, Texas, and was discovered as a potential jazz talent when Wynton Marsalis (trumpet) visited his high school, Dallas's Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. One of influences was saxophone player David "Fathead" Newman, who played with the Ray Charles Band at Hargrove's junior high school. He was influenced by Freddie Hubbard, Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, and Clifford Brown (all trumpet).Hargrove spent one year (1988–1989) studying at Boston's Berklee College of Music, but could more often be found in New York City jam sessions, and finally transferred to New York’s The New School. His first recording in New York was with the saxophonist Bobby Watson. Shortly afterwards he made a recording with Superblue featuring Watson, Mulgrew Miller, and Kenny Washington. In 1990 he released his first solo album, Diamond in the Rough, on the Novus/RCA label, along with four other albums.He signed a recording contract with Verve Records, which gave him the opportunity to record with some of the major jazz musicians on With the Tenors of Our Time, including Joe Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Johnny Griffin, Joshua Redman, and Branford Marsalis. In 1993 he was commissioned by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and wrote The Love Suite: In Mahogany. Hargrove won a Grammy Award in 1998 for the album Habana with his Afro-Cuban band, Crisol. Hargrove has recorded with a wide range of musicians, including: Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Michael Brecker, Jackie McLean, Slide Hampton, Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Abbey Lincoln, Diana Ross, Steve Tyrell, Kenny Rankin, John Mayer, Rhian Benson, Carmen McRae, Shirley Horn, Jimmy Smith, Danny Gatton, Method Man, Karriem Riggins, Common, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Oscar Peterson, Gilles Peterson,Linda Ronstadt and Cleo Laine. 'Artist Discography'


Daniel Smith

 Daniel Smith - The leading pioneer of the bassoon with his many critically acclaimed award-winning recordings and live performances. As the most recorded bassoon soloist in the world, his repertoire spans music ranging from Baroque concerti to contemporary music including jazz, ragtime and crossover. He is the only bassoonist performing and recording in both the jazz and classical fields. Daniel Smith's unique career has been profiled in Gramophone, the New York Times, Fanfare, Classical Music, Musical Heritage Review, American Record Guide, Classic CD and many leading European publications including The Times in England. In the USA, his career was highlighted on PBS's "All Things Considered'. In the UK, one of his recordings was the 'signature tune' for BBC radio 3 while BBC radio 4 recently showcased his career. Daniel Smith's performances include jazz with his quartet 'Bassoon and Beyond', classical recitals with piano, concertos with orchestra, and highly popular programs divided between classical and jazz, with music ranging from Vivaldi, Elgar, Mozart and Verdi to Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and Dizzy Gillespie. Described as a 'phenomenon', he has been called the 'Gerry Mulligan of the Bassoon' in the world of jazz and the 'Galway' and 'Rampal of the Bassoon' in the world of classical music, bringing his unique sound and style to concert series, festivals and jazz clubs. 'Artist Discography'


 Terje Lie - Norwegian-born saxophonist began his career fronting popular blues bands as a singer during high school, in which capacity he appeared on national TV at seventeen. He was a classical flautist in college and soon after established himself on his native Norwegian music scene singing and playing saxophone with some of the top young musicians there. He was busy with his jazz combos and a contemporary jazz group on the funky side, as well as a fusion group, in Oslo, on the road, and on national radio and TV. He also played sax with rock & roll groups, touring in Norway and Sweden. Settling in L.A. and establishing himself on the Los Angeles music scene, Lie, who explains that “jazz wise I’m a New Yorker, but I love the Southern California lifestyle,” has been in nonstop motion, hopping effortlessly from bebop to contemporary and big band jazz. Tapping into a wide variety of jazz influences from John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Wayne Shorter to Brazilian jazz, Lie fashions ten tracks on Traveler that speak the vocabulary of an honest-to-goodness jazz approach while maintaining a contemporary driving groove with the help of three of L.A.’s most exciting first call sidemen: keyboardist David Garfield (longtime musical director for George Benson, whose resume also includes Michael McDonald, Dianne Reeves and Luther Vandross), bassist Ernest Tibbs (Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Norman Brown), and drummer Jeff Olson (David Benoit, Earl Klugh). 'Artist Discography'


 Wynton Marsalis - Wynton Learson Marsalis (born October 18, 1961) is an American trumpeter and composer. He is among the most prominent jazz musicians of the modern era and is also a well-known instrumentalist in classical music. He is also the Musical Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. A compilation of his series of inspirational letters to a young jazz musical student, named Anthony, has been published as "To a Young Jazz Musician".
Marsalis has made his reputation with a combination of skill in jazz performance and composition, a sophisticated yet earthy and hip personal style, an impressive knowledge of jazz and jazz history, and skill as a virtuoso classical trumpeter. As of 2006, he has made sixteen classical and more than thirty jazz recordings, has been awarded nine Grammys between the genres, and has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music, the first time it has been awarded for a jazz recording. Marsalis (pronounced: mar-sal-us) was born to Dolores Ferdinand and Ellis Marsalis, Jr., a New Orleans-based music teacher and pianist. He is the second of six sons: Branford (1960), Wynton, Ellis, III (1964), Delfeayo (1965), Mboya Kinyatta (1971), and Jason (1977). Branford, Delfeayo, and Jason are also jazz musicians. Ellis is a poet, photographer and network engineer based in Baltimore. Mboya has autism. At an early age, Marsalis exhibited a keen interest and aptitude in music. At age six, Marsalis was given his first trumpet by a friend of his father, the legendary Al Hirt. At age eight he performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band led by legendary banjoist, Danny Barker. At fourteen he was invited to perform with the New Orleans Philharmonic. During his high school years attending Benjamin Franklin High School, Marsalis was a member of the New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet, New Orleans Community Concert Band, under the direction of Peter Dombourian, New Orleans Youth Orchestra, New Orleans Symphony and on weekends he performed in a jazz band as well as in the popular local funk band, the Creators. 'Artist Discography'

Sara Gazarek



 Sara Gazarek - Sara Gazarek is an American jazz musician and singer. Gazarek was born in Seattle, Washington and moved to Los Angeles in 2000 to attend the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. She would go on to win the Downbeat Student Music Award for Best Collegiate Vocalist in 2003. Gazarek released her first album, Yours, in 2005. The album was both a critical and commercial success with a top 10 ranking in the Billboard Traditional Jazz Charts as well as being the top album download in iTunes for Jazz in Germany and France. In a poll by the Jazz Times, readers voted Gazarek as the 3rd Best New Jazz Arist. She released her second album, Return To You in 2007 and is currently living in Los Angeles. Sara continues to make strides in the music world, and has been hailed by Don Heckman of the LA Times as "the next important jazz singer.Born and raised in Seattle, Gazarek grew up without much exposure to jazz. She denotes any and all preliminary jazz education to her high school big band and choir director, Scott Brown. “He afforded us a lot of educational opportunities at festivals and competitions,” Gazarek remembers. As a senior in high school, she was awarded the first ever Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Outstanding Jazz Vocalist Award at the Essentially Ellington Festival in NYC. “I guess you could say my first gig was at Avery Fisher Hall with Wynton Marsalis,” Gazarek chuckles.Sara made her way south to Los Angeles in 2000 and found herself at the prestigious Thornton School of Music at USC, studying under the tutelage of John Clayton, Shelly Berg, Tierney Sutton, and Carmen Bradford. While there, Sara helped develop the Jazz Reach program and, as a result, was able to spend 2 years working with inner city elementary school children as a jazz choir director. “I’ll never forget that experience. It is so important to me to be out there, educating young people.” Sara continues to educate young people today as the sole ambassador for the non-profit music and arts education organization, Music For All. Sara and her band give clinics at local schools while on tour, because, as Gazarek puts it, “education is such an important part of our lives, and the band and I know we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that one teacher who showed us the way. It is our duty to give back.” In 2003, Sara was awarded the 2003 Downbeat Student Music Award for Best Collegiate Vocalist. 'Artist Discography'


 Zvonimir Tot - Zvonimir Tot (z-VON-e-mere TOTE) is a Chicago-based jazz guitarist, composer, and arranger with a style deeply rooted in the jazz tradition but flavored by his European origin. He holds way too many university degrees. Tot has performed in The United States, The Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, The Czech Republic, Romania, and Croatia. He has performed and/or recorded with many world-renowned musicians. Zvonimir Tot is the Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago and currently teaches jazz guitar, harmony, ear training and ensembles. He is the founder and owner of Groove Art Records, as well as full member of ASCAP, GRAMMY, International Association for Jazz Education, and American Composers Forum. As a bandleader, Tot has recorded three CDs on Groove Art Records: Unspoken Desire (2007), Blue Quest (2007), and Travels and Dreams (2004), as well as several CDs as a sideman for various labels. Since 2005, Zvonimir Tot’s biography has been included in "Who's Who in America", published by Marquis Publishing. He is an endorsing artist for Godin Guitars and Acoustic Image amplifiers. 'Artist Discography'


 Ray Reach - Born August 3, 1948 in Birmingham, Alabama, Raymond Everett Reach, Jr. has lived a diverse musical career spanning over 40 years. His mother, Erma Elizabeth Hillman Reach, graduated Minor High School, near Birmingham, and spent her professional life as a beautician. His father, Raymond E. Reach, Sr., never graduated high school, owing to the fact that he went to work in the coal mines at age 14 to help support his family, as his father (and then, stepfather) had passed away.
R. E. Reach, Sr. spent over 40 years laboring as a coal miner, and was forced to take an early retirement, due to back injuries. Mr. Reach, Sr. died at age 69 from lung complications (miner's pneumoconiosis) following coronary bypass surgery. Mrs. Reach, however, lived to age 87, retaining relatively good health until, at age 86, a stroke rendered her immobile until her ultimate death.Ray says that he owes all his accomplishments to his parents. Early on, his Mom and Dad recognized his prodigious musical talent and made sure that he received excellent training and more than adequate encouragement.

Al DiMeola

 Al Di Meola
- Al Di Meola holds the most prestigious guitar awards (of any guitarist in the world) from the highest rated guitar poll in the world, Guitar Player Magazine. He has been known throughout the world for the past two and a half decades as one of the most prominent virtuosos in the contemporary instrumental jazz field.Al Di Meola's highly celebrated career has spanned a wide range of emotions into a unique style embodying the artists world inspired influences. From the velocity and heat of his early solo efforts to the challenge and triumph of the "Di Meola / McLaughlin / De Lucia (Guitar Trio)", from the Brazilian explorations of "Cielo e Terra" and "Soaring Through A Dream" to the global romanticism and Tango inflection of Al's acoustic group "World Synfonia" (self titled debut) and the 2nd "World Sinfonia" recording Heart of the Immigrants.From the beginning of his solo career, where records like "Land of the Midnight Sun", "Elegant Gypsy" and "Casino", were amongst the highest selling records of any instrumental artist at that time. Al Di Meola continues to make, with respect, startling achievements in music pioneering while the decline of U.S. radio continues to elude most interesting contemporary music.Al Di Meola, again and again, reveals himself as a seasoned gifted contemporary composer and a player of deepening grace and evocative lyricism. He has been continually sited by many of the top prominent Music critics around the world for his virtuoso guitar work and compositions. Al's intrigue with complex rhythmic syncopation combined with provocative lyrical melodies always incorporating, sophisticated harmony at the root of these serious but heart felt works is central and foremost. 'Artist Discography'


 John McLaughlin - Born January 4, 1942, is a jazz fusion guitarist and composer from Doncaster, Yorkshire in England. He played with Tony Williams's group Lifetime and then played with Miles Davis on his landmark electric jazz-fusion albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew. His 1970s electric band, The Mahavishnu Orchestra performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused eclectic jazz and rock with eastern and Indian influences. His guitar playing includes a range of styles and genres, including jazz, Indian classical music, fusion and Western Classical music, and has influenced many other guitarists. He has also incorporated Flamenco. Before moving to the U.S., McLaughlin recorded Extrapolation (with Tony Oxley and John Surman) in 1969, in which McLaughlin showed technical virtuosity, inventiveness, and the ability to play in odd meters. He moved to the U.S. in 1969 to join Tony Williams's group Lifetime. He subsequently played with Miles Davis on his landmark albums In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew (which has a track named after him), On The Corner, Big Fun (where he is featured soloist on Go Ahead John) and A Tribute to Jack Johnson — Davis paid tribute to him in the liner notes to Jack Johnson, calling McLaughlin's playing "far in". McLaughlin returned to the Davis band for one recorded night of a week-long club date, which was released as part of the album Live-Evil and as part of the Cellar Door boxed set. His reputation as a "first-call" session player grew, resulting in recordings as a sideman with Miroslav Vitous, Larry Coryell, Joe Farrell, Wayne Shorter, Carla Bley, The Rolling Stones and others. 'Artist Discography'


 Cedar Walton - Cedar Anthony Walton, Junior (born January 17, 1934) is an American hard bop jazz pianist .Walton grew up in Dallas, Texas. After attending the University of Denver, Walton moved to New York in 1955. After a two year stint in the army in which he performed in a jazz ensemble, he joined Kenny Dorham's band. By the late 1950s Walton was playing with J. J. Johnson, the Art Farmer/Benny Golson Jazztet, and Gigi Gryce, and by 1959 he recorded on John Coltrane's seminal album Giant Steps.In the early 1960s, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers as a pianist-arranger for 3 years, where he played with Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard. He left the Messengers in 1964 and by the late 1960s was part of the house rhythm section at Prestige Records, where in addition to releasing his own recordings, he recorded with Sonny Criss, Pat Martino, Eric Kloss, and Charles McPherson.During the mid-1970s, Walton led the funk group Mobius. He has also recorded with Abbey Lincoln, Lee Morgan, and led the band Eastern Rebellion. He continues to lead his own groups and freelance. 'Artist Discography'

Kenny Burrell


 Kenny Burrell - Kenneth Earl "Kenny" Burrell (born July 31, 1931) is an American jazz guitarist. His playing is grounded in bebop and blues; he has performed and recorded with a wide range of jazz musicians. Burrell was born in Detroit, Michigan to a musical family and began playing guitar at the age of 12. His influences as a guitar player include Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, and Wes Montgomery. While a student at Wayne State University, he made his debut recording as a member of Dizzy Gillespie's sextet in 1951. He toured with Oscar Peterson after graduating in 1955 and then moved to New York City in 1956. A consummate sideman, Burrell recorded with a wide range of prominent musicians, including: John Coltrane, Paul Chambers, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Benny Goodman, Wes Montgomery, Billie Holiday, Milt Jackson, Thad Jones, Quincy Jones, Melba Liston, Oscar Peterson, Jimmy Raney, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Smith, Art Taylor, Stanley Turrentine, Jimmy Witherspoon and Cedar Walton. He also led his own groups since 1951 and recorded many well received albums, most notably Midnight Blue with Stanley Turrentine for Blue Note Records, which is considered a classic of 60s jazz now.
 Burrell was born in Detroit, Michigan to a musical family and began playing guitar at the age of 12. His influences as a guitar player include Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, and Wes Montgomery. While a student at Wayne State University, he made his debut recording as a member of Dizzy Gillespie's sextet in 1951. He toured with Oscar Peterson after graduating in 1955 and then moved to New York City in 1956. A consummate sideman, Burrell recorded with a wide range of prominent musicians, including: John Coltrane, Paul Chambers, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Benny Goodman, Wes Montgomery, Billie Holiday, Milt Jackson, Thad Jones, Quincy Jones, Melba Liston, Oscar Peterson, Jimmy Raney, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Smith, Art Taylor, Stanley Turrentine, Jimmy Witherspoon and Cedar Walton. He also led his own groups since 1951 and recorded many well received albums, most notably Midnight Blue with Stanley Turrentine for Blue Note Records, which is considered a classic of 60s jazz now. 'Artist Discography'


 Hank Jones - To hear Hank Jones is to understand why he is one of the rare individuals that the National Endowment for the Arts inducted as a 'Jazz Master'. In over seventy years as a Jazz pianist and composer, his playing style has embodied the essence of mainstream Jazz making him one of the most sought after and recorded Jazz pianist throughout Jazz history.
 The eldest surviving member of a prolific Jazz musician family which included the late drummer Elvin Jones and trumpeter/composer Thad Jones, Hank Jones continues the legacy by recording and playing at concerts and festivals around the world. As one of the few surviving Jazz greats photographed in 'A Great Day in Harlem ', he has also participated in other historical events such as accompanying Marilyn Monroe when she sang 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' to the late President John F. Kennedy.
Born in 1918 in Vicksburg , Mississippi , Hank Jones grew up in Pontiac , Michigan . Although his father thought playing Jazz at the time was 'evil' Hank start playing in local bands in Michigan , Ohio and Buffalo before moving to New York City in 1943. His first job was with Hot Lips Page at the Onyx Club on 52 nd Street where in1945 he joined Billy Eckstine's big band. The following year he joined Colman Hawkins and from 1947 to 1951 he toured the world with the Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) accompanying Ella Fitzgerald. In 1952 he joined Artie Shaw and then worked with Johnny Hodges followed by Tyree Glenn. In 1956 he joined Benny Goodman and joined the CBS studios as staff pianist in 1959, a position which would last for seventeen years.
Throughout his career, Hank has played and recorded with the virtual who's who of Jazz history. With over five hundred albums and CDs recorded and countless concerts, there aren't too many significant names in Jazz that Hank has not played or recorded with. Most recently, he has been involved in recordings and performances with the contemporaries such as Joe Lovano. As Hank reflects on his past, one regret is that he did not record more with his late brothers Thad and Elvin, however, he was able to make his last recording 'The Great Trio Collaboration' on Village Records with Elvin last year before he passed away.
Although the thought of retirement had crossed his mind, at 87, Hank Jones stays busy playing concerts worldwide, recording and performing at Jazz Master classes in Universities such as Harvard and NYU. Recently featured on the cover of the June 2005 issue of Downbeat magazine, the world is recognizing that Hank Jones is one of the last surviving Jazz greats that helped to forge this great musical genre called Jazz. Always the consummate professional, Hank Jones has lived his life and career honoring the musical genre of Jazz and he is now recognized around the world as one of the true great Jazz Masters. 'Artist Discography'

Ahmad Jamal



 Ahmad Jamal - Critic Stanley Crouch cites Ahmad Jamal's impact on the fresh form in jazz as an outstanding conceptualist. Crouch consider's Ahmad Jamal's distinctive style as having had an influence on the same level as "Jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Theolonius Monk, Horace Silver and John Lewis, all thinkers whose wrestling with form and content influenced the shape and texture of the music, and whose ensembles were models of their music visions."
Considering his trio "an orchestra", Mr. Jamal not only achieves a unified sound, but subtly inserts independent roles for the bass and drums. The hallmarks of Mr. Jamal's style are rhythmic innovations, colorful harmonic perceptions, especially left hand harmonic and melodic figures, plus parallel and contrary motion lines in and out of chordal substitutions and alterations and pedal point ostinato, (repetition of a musical pattern many times in succession), interludes in tasteful dynamics. He also incorporates a unique sense of space in his music, and his musical concepts are exciting without being loud in volume. Augmented by a selection of unusual standards and his own compositions, Mr. Jamal impressed and influenced, among others, trumpeter Miles Davis. Like Louis Armstrong, Jamal is an exemplary ensemble player -- listening while playing and responding, thus inspiring his musicians to surpass themselves. Audiences delight in Jamal's total command of the keyboard, his charismatic swing and daringly inventive solos that always tell a story.
 For students of the piano, Hal Leonard Publications has published The Ahmad Jamal Collection of a collection of piano transcriptions. Mr. Jamal continues to record exclusively for the French Birdology label, and his albums are released on Verve and Atlantic in the United States. Ahmad Jamal is an exclusive Steinway piano artist. 'Artist Discography'


 Jimmy Bruno - Jimmy Bruno, born July 22, 1953 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a master jazz guitarist and jazz educator. One of the most critically acclaimed jazz guitarists performing today, Jimmy Bruno came to prominence as a jazz musician in the 1990’s, after a successful twenty-year career as a sought-after commercial guitarist and session musician.
 “Get on the bus-we leave tonight Those were the words that began Jimmy Bruno’s professional career as a guitarist. Most of the other guitarists auditioning for Buddy Rich’s band that day in 1973 were getting drumsticks thrown at them, Buddy’s not-so-subtle way of showing disapproval. But not 19 year-old Jimmy; he got the gig. A Philadelphia native, he was born into a family no strangers to the music world. Jimmy’s father played guitar on the 1959 hit “Guitar Boogie Shuffle“ with Frank Virtue. Jimmy’s mom was a gifted singer. Living in such a musical household, playing guitar 8 to 10 hours a day was normal for this south Philly kid. He studied jazz improvisation with local Philly bass legend Al Stauffer and to develop technique, taught himself to play the rigorous and exacting classical violin etudes of Wohlfahrt and Paganini. Although he briefly considered leveraging his perfect SAT scores into medical school, a summer guitar gig in Wildwood NJ changed the direction of Jimmy’s life forever, putting him into the path of Buddy Rich.
After a whirlwind round-the-world tour as the youngest member of the Buddy Rich Orchestra, he went on to play guitar in orchestras for Frank Sinatra, Anthony Newley, Doc Severinsen, Lena Horne, and many more music icons. Additionally he spent many years as an LA session musician working with Tommy Tedesco. But his first love was always jazz, and by the time he was in his mid-thirties he was ready to come out of the background and into the spotlight. The first step was moving back East.
I was making good money, but I wasn’t playing any jazz. So I got disgusted, saved some money, moved back to Philly and just decided that I’m only gonna play jazz. I’m not going to play weddings. I’m not gonna take any bad gigs, and if I had to I would take a day gig for a while, and I did. I tended bar for 2 years. And it paid off. I wish somebody in school would have told me that.“ -Jimmy Bruno
 Paying his dues by playing blistering guitar in the small clubs and venues around his beloved Philadelphia during the 1980’s, his reputation as one of the hottest guitar players grew. In 1992 he was discovered by Carl Jefferson, the founder of Concord Records and landed a multi-CD recording deal. Since then, Jimmy has recorded over 13 critically acclaimed CDs, including “Sleight of Hand,“ “Like That,“ and “Polarity“(with Joe Beck). His most recent CD “Maplewood Avenue“ (Affiliated Artists Records) has been described as having “...a ’classic’ feel to it...like a famous album we somehow haven't discovered yet.“ More recently, Jimmy is in the studio recording what will be an exclusive download-only release. Jimmy continues to perform live regularly as leader of the Jimmy Bruno Quartet in jazz venues and jazz festivals around the world. 'Artist Discography'


 Sophie Milman - Russian-born singer Sophie Milman has toured the world, won a Juno, sold more than 100,000 records - and she's only 25!
Since her self-titled debut was released in 2004, it has sold almost 100,000 copies worldwide, hit the Billboard Top 5 in Canada and the Top 15 in the United States, and topped the iTunes jazz charts in five different territories. Her most recent release Make Someone Happy won a JUNO for best vocal jazz album 2008 and since then she has maintained a rigorous touring schedule across the globe – headlining sold-out shows in Canada, the U.S., Japan, and throughout Europe – and continued to balance her burgeoning music career with her commerce studies at the University of Toronto. Sophie’s story continues to inspire. After emigrating from Russia to Israel with her family at the tender age of 7, then moving again at 16 to seek a new life in Canada, the transition from bookish teenager to glamorous jazz ingénue was perhaps unlikely. It was the offer of a recording contract after just three or four professional singing engagements that touched off a series of events that soon found this beautiful, multilingual talent gracing the cover of Voir, Klublife, Wholenote, and The Globe & Mail. She was featured in publications across the globe as well including Hello!, Q, Jazz Times, Elle Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and appearing on Entertainment Tonight, CBC, CTV, the BBC, BET Jazz, NPR, and several NBC and Fox affiliates across the U.S.
 Sophie earned has appeared on stage with international musical superstars like Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers, Chick Corea, and Jesse Cook. A triumphant return home to Toronto in October 2006 yielded an acclaimed iTunes EP, Live at the Winter Garden Theatre, which debuted at #1 upon its release in Canada and dominated the jazz charts in several territories for weeks at a time. It also brought Sophie some of her most effusive critical praise to date. 'Artist Discography'


Herbie Hancock
 Herbie Hancock - Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres while still maintaining his unique, unmistakable voice. Herbie's success at expanding the possibilities of musical thought has placed him in the annals of this century's visionaries. With an illustrious career spanning five decades, he continues to amaze audiences and never ceases to expand the public's vision of what music, particularly jazz, is all about today.
Herbie Hancock's creative path has moved fluidly between almost every development in acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B since 1960. He has attained an enviable balance of commercial and artistic success, arriving at a point in his career where he ventures into every new project motivated purely by the desire to expand the boundaries of his creativity.
 There are few artists in the music industry who have gained more respect and cast more influence than Herbie Hancock. As the immortal Miles Davis said in his autobiography, "Herbie was the step after Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, and I haven't heard anybody yet who has come after him." Born in Chicago in 1940, Herbie was a child piano prodigy who performed a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the tender age of 11. He began playing jazz in high school, initially influenced by Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans. Also at this time, an additional passion for electronic science began to develop. As a result, he took a double major in music and electrical engineering at Grinnell College.
 In 1960, at age 20, Herbie was discovered by trumpeter Donald Byrd, who asked him to join his group. Byrd also introduced Herbie to Alfred Lion of Blue Note Records, and after two years of session work with the likes of Phil Woods and Oliver Nelson, he signed to the legendary label as a solo artist. His 1963 debut album, Takin’ Off, was an immediate success, producing “Watermelon Man,” a big hit on jazz and R&B radio. Also in 1963, Herbie received the call that was to change his life and secure his place in jazz history. Miles Davis invited Herbie to join the Miles Davis Quintet. During his five years with Davis, Herbie and his colleagues thrilled audiences and recorded classic after classic, including the albums ESP, Nefertiti, and Sorcerer. Most jazz critics and fans regard this group, which also included Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Ron Carter (bass), and Tony Williams (drums), as the greatest small jazz group of the 1960s. Even after he left Davis' group, Herbie still made appearances on Davis' groundbreaking recordings In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, which heralded the birth of jazz-fusion. 'Artist Discography'


 Chick Corea - Born Armando Anthony Corea in Chelsea, Massachusetts on June 12, 1941, he began studying piano at age four. Early on in his development, Horace Silver and Bud Powell were important piano influences while access to the music of Beethoven and Mozart inspired his compositional instincts. An interesting, little known fact is that Chick’s first major professional gig was with Cab Calloway, which came before early stints in Latin bands led by Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo (1962-63). There followed important tenures with trumpeter Blue Mitchell (1964-66), flutist Herbie Mann and saxophonist Stan Getz before Chick made his recording debut as a leader in 1966 with “Tones for Joan’s Bones” (which featured trumpeter Woody Shaw, tenor saxophonist and flutist Joe Farrell, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Joe Chambers). During these formative years, Chick also recorded sessions with Cal Tjader (1966's Soul Burst, on Verve), Stan Getz (1966's What The World Needs Now: Stan Getz Plays Bacharach, on Verve), Donald Byrd (1967's Creeper, on Blue Note), and Dizzy Gillespie (1967's Live at the Village Vanguard, on Blue Note). Considering the staggering volume of his recorded output over the past 40 years, it is no overstatement to call Chick Corea one of the most prolific composers of the second half of the 20th century. From avant-garde to bebop, from children’s songs to straight ahead, from hard-hitting fusion to heady forays into classical, Chick has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his illustrious career while maintaining a standard of excellence that is simply uncanny. A restlessly creative spirit, he continues to explore and generate new material for a number of different vehicles, including his dynamic Elektric Band and his flamenco flavored Touchstone band. Other recent projects include The Ultimate Adventure, the second in a series of evocative recordings based on the writings of his favorite author and longtime inspiration, L. Ron Hubbard, and a new piano concerto which he will premiere in Austria on July 1, 2006 (shortly after his 65th birthday) as part of the gala Mozart Year Vienna festivities being held in the birthplace of the immortal composer. 'Artist Discography'


 Dave Brubeck - More than any other improvising artist during the past 45 years,the pianist / composer/ bandleader Dave Brubeck (b. 1920) has expanded the rhythmic horizons for the general public, essaying with ever-increasing assurance time signatures like 5/4, 7/4 and even 13/4 while creating a body of work that is notable for its consistent levels of melodic content and harmonic invention. Recorded between 1959 and 1965, this five-disc set captures the Brubeck quartet featuring the floating alto saxophone of Paul Desmond (composer of the million-selling "Take Five"), at the peak of their powers.
In addition to such Brubeck signatures as "It's a Raggy Waltz," "Blue Rondo a la Turk," "Unsquare Dance" and, course, "Take Five," FOR ALL TIME's repertoire also presents an improvisation from one of Dave's liturgical pieces, a variation of the folk song "Frankie and Johnny," and Brubeck's work for quartet and 45-piece orchestra, "Elementals."Dave Brubeck is a member of that charmed circle of improvising artists whose popularity is commensurate with his musical accomplishments. The first jazz figure ever to make the cover of Time, Brubeck (b. 1920) has for nearly half a century been a major figure as pianist, composer, and leader of perhaps the most widely known and well-traveled quartet in the history of jazz.
 This was the foursome that was together from 1958 to 1967, featuring the elegantly floating alto saxophone of Paul Desmond and bulwarked by the rock-solid bassist Eugene Wright and and the spectacular drummer Joe Morello. The quartet's "Take Five" (whose haunting, bluesy melody was written by Desmond) was their crossover breakthrough, leading to gold records featuring a host of exciting pieces in "odd" time signatures, like "Blue Rondo a la Turk." 'Artist Discography'

George Benson


 George Benson - George Benson (born March 22, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American musician, whose recording career began at the age of twenty-one as a jazz guitarist. He is however, better known to the public at large as a Pop and R&B singer, famous for such hits as "Give Me the Night", "Lady Love Me (One More Time)", "Turn Your Love Around", "Inside Love(So Personal)", "In Your Eyes", and "This Masquerade", among others.
 Benson was born and raised in the Hill District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended the defunct Connelly High School before dropping out. He now lives in Englewood, New Jersey's Bergen County. Benson started out playing straight-ahead instrumental jazz with organist Jack McDuff. Benson got his first experience playing with his several-year stint with McDuff's group. At the age of 21, Benson recorded his first album as leader, The New Boss Guitar, with Brother Jack McDuff on organ.
 Benson's next recording was It's Uptown with the George Benson Quartet with Lonnie Smith on organ and Ronnie Cuber on baritone sax. This album showcased Benson's talent in constructing swinging bebop lines at blistering tempos. Benson followed it up with The George Benson Cookbook, also with Lonnie Smith and Ronnie Cuber.
Miles Davis employed Benson's talents in the mid 1960s; Benson played guitar on "Paraphernalia", which appeared on the trumpeter's 1967 Columbia release, Miles in the Sky. He went to Verve Records afterwards. Then, Creed Taylor signed him up for his CTI label, where he recorded numerous albums with jazz heavyweights which had limited financial success. Benson also did versions of The Beatles's 1969 album Abbey Road called The Other Side of Abbey Road, released in 1969, and "White Rabbit", originally written and recorded by San Francisco rock group Jefferson Airplane, around this time. 'Artist Discography'


 John Scofield - John Scofield is considered one of the "big three" of current jazz guitarists - along with Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell. His influence began in the late 70’s and is going strong today. Possessor of a very distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, Scofield is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk edged jazz, and R & B.
 Born in Ohio and raised in suburban Connecticut, Scofield took up the guitar at age 11, inspired by both rock and blues players. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. After a debut recording with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Scofield was a member of the Billy Cobham-George Duke band for two years. In 1977 he recorded with Charles Mingus, and joined the Gary Burton quartet. He began his international career as a bandleader and recording artist in 1978. From 1982-1985, Scofield toured and recorded with Miles Davis. His Davis stint placed him firmly in the foreground of jazz consciousness as a player and composer.
Since that time he has prominently led his own groups in the international Jazz scene, recorded over 30 albums as a leader (many already classics) including collaborations with contemporary favorites like Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Eddie Harris, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell, Brad Mehldau, Mavis Staples, Government Mule, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano and Phil Lesh. He’s played and recorded with Tony Williams, Jim Hall, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland, Terumasa Hino among many jazz legends. Throughout his career Scofield has punctuated his traditional jazz offerings with funk-oriented electric music. All along, the guitarist has kept an open musical mind. Touring the world approximately 200 days per year with his own groups, he is an Adjunct Professor of Music at New York University, a husband and father of two. 'Artist Discography'

Diana Krall



Diana Krall - Diana Jean Krall, OC, OBC (born November 16, 1964) is a Canadian jazz pianist and singer. Krall was born into a musical family in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. She began learning the piano at the age of four. In high school, she started playing in a small jazz group. When she was 15 she started playing regularly in several Nanaimo restaurants.At age seventeen she won a scholarship from the Vancouver International Jazz Festival to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In Nanaimo her playing attracted the attention of famed bass player Ray Brown (ex-husband of the late Ella Fitzgerald, long-time member of the Oscar Peterson Trio and Grammy-winning composer) and drummer Jeff Hamilton. After hearing her play, Brown and Hamilton persuaded Krall to move to Los Angeles, and study with pianist Jimmy Rowles, with whom she began to sing. This also brought her into contact with influential teachers and producers. In 1990, Krall relocated to New York. Her father Jim Krall's large record collection helped to expose the young Krall to jazz legends. Diana lost her mother Adella to multiple myeloma in 2002, within months of also losing her mentors Ray Brown and Rosemary Clooney. Diana's only sibling, Michelle, a former member of the RCMP, actively supports her older sister's career.
 Krall and British musician Elvis Costello were married on December 6, 2003 at Elton John's estate outside London. Their first children together, twin sons Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James, were born December 6, 2006 in New York City. 'Artist Discography'


 Dinah Washington - Dinah Washington (August 29, 1924 – December 14, 1963) was a blues, R&B and jazz singer. Because of her strong voice and emotional singing, she is known as the "Queen of the Blues". Despite dying at the early age of 39, Washington became one of the most influential vocalists of the twentieth century, credited among others as a major influence on Aretha Franklin. She is a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
 Washington was born Ruth Lee Jones in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her family moved to Chicago while she was still a child. As a child in Chicago she played piano and directed her church choir. She later studied in Walter Dyett's renowned music program at DuSable High School. At 16 as Ruth Jones, she toured the United States' black gospel circuit with Roberta Martin accompanying her at the piano. There was a period when she both performed in clubs as Dinah Washington while singing and playing piano in Sallie Martin's gospel choir as Ruth Jones.
 Her penetrating voice, excellent timing and crystal-clear enunciation added her own distinctive style to every piece she performed. While making extraordinary recordings in jazz, blues, R&B and light pop contexts, Washington refused to record gospel music despite her obvious talent in singing it. She believed it wrong to mix the secular and the spiritual, and after she had entered the non-religious professional music world she refused to include gospel in her repertoire. She began performing as a teenager in 1942 and soon joined Lionel Hampton's band. There is some dispute about the origin of her name. Some sources say the manager of the Garrick Stage Bar gave her the name Dinah Washington, while others say Hampton selected it.
 In 1943, she began recording for Keynote Records and released the 12-bar blues "Evil Gal Blues", her first hit. She then switched to her only other label, Chicago-based Mercury Records and from 1948 to 1955, she had numerous hits on the R&B charts, including "Am I Asking Too Much", "Baby, Get Lost," "Trouble in Mind", ""I Won't Cry Anymore", "TV is The Thing This Year", "Teach Me Tonight" and a cover of Hank Williams'"Cold, Cold Heart". In March 1957, she married tenor saxophonist Eddie Chamblee (formerly on tour with Lionel Hampton), who led the band behind her. In 1958 she made a well-received appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival. 'Artist Discography'


 Quincy Jones - Quincy Jones was born on March 14, 1933, in Chicago and brought up in Seattle. While in junior high school, he began studying trumpet and sang in a gospel quartet at age 12. His musical studies continued at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he remained until the opportunity arose to tour with Lionel Hampton’s band as a trumpeter, arranger and sometime-pianist. He moved on to New York and the musical “big leagues” in 1951, where his reputation as an arranger grew. By the mid-50’s, he was arranging and recording for such diverse artists as Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Big Maybelle, Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderly and LeVern Baker.
 In 1957, Quincy decided to continue his musical education by studying with Nadia Boulanger, the legendary Parisian tutor to American expatriate composers such as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copeland. To subsidize his studies he took a job with Barclay Disques, Mercury’s French distributor. Among the artists he recorded in Europe were Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel and Henri Salvador, as well as such visitors from America as Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine and Andy Williams. Quincy’s love affair with European audiences continues through the present: in 1991, he began a continuing association with the Montreux Jazz and World Music Festival, which he serves as co-producer.
Quincy won the first of his many Grammy’s in 1963 for his Count Basie arrangement of “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” Quincy’s three-year musical association as conductor and arranger with Frank Sinatra in the mid-60’s also teamed him with Basie for the classic Sinatra At The Sands, containing the famous arrangement of “Fly Me To The Moon,” the first recording played by astronaut Buzz Aldrin when he landed upon the moon’s surface in 1969. 'Artist Discography'


Allan Holdsworth Allan Holdsworth - Allan Holdsworth is widely regarded by fans and contemporary musicians as one of the 20th century's most prominent guitarists. He is one of a handful of musicians who has consistently proven himself as an innovator in between and within the worlds of rock and jazz music. Many of music's best-known instrumental masters cite Holdsworth as that rare and shining voice—a legendary player who continues to push the outer limits of instrumental technique and the electric guitar's range of tonal and textural possibilities. Particularly during the 90s, Holdsworth has enjoyed the recognition so many musicians strongly feel he deserves, given that he has developed his career outside the big label mainstream and has consistently produced his own recordings with complete creative control since the mid-80s. Despite the uncompromising nature of Holdsworth's predominantly genre-defying solo projects, he's no stranger to all-star jazz festival line-ups or large venue rock audiences. Musician Magazine placed Holdsworth near the top of their “100 greatest guitarists of all time.” There's never been a shortage of media attention or acclaim for Holdsworth's accomplishments and originality. An inductee of Guitar Player Magazine's Hall of Fame, Holdsworth is a five-time winner in their readers' poll.
 Beyond his ability in improvising mercurial solos and sculpting the guitar's voice into an ever-expanding range of textures and colors, Holdsworth has dedicated his energies to develop many different aspects of guitar technology. This has included new “baritone” variations of the instrument, his own custom 6-string designs (one most recently manufactured by Carvin), the invention of electronic components for the recording studio, and exploring the possibilities of guitar-based synthesizer controllers. Holdworth's ability to improvise over complex and challenging chord voicing's always reveals a deep emotional base and a strong, imaginative personality that is as instantly identifiable as any among Holdsworth's generation of guitar and jazz masters.
 The sounds of Django Reinhardt, Jimmy Rainey, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass , Eric Clapton, and John Coltrane were among this English musician's early inspirations when he began to work professionally as a musician in his early twenties. Born in the city of Bradford , England , Holdsworth had been extensively tutored in aspects of musical theory and jazz appreciation by his father, an accomplished amateur musician. Holdsworth paid his musician's dues early on working the dance-club circuit, where he began to meet fellow musicians who hailed from the south. One of England 's best jazz tenor saxophonists, Ray Warleigh, heard amazing potential in Holdsworth's playing and brought him along to participate in jazz sets at the onset of the 70s, including sessions with Ray at Ronnie Scotts in London. 'Artist Discography'


 Jean-Luc Ponty - Jean-Luc Ponty is a pioneer and undisputed master of violin in the arena of jazz and rock. He is widely regarded as an innovator who has applied his unique visionary spin that has expanded the vocabulary of modern music.
 Ponty was born in a family of classical musicians on September 29, 1942 in Avranches, France. His father taught violin, his mother taught piano. At sixteen, he was admitted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, graduating two years later with the institution's highest award, Premier Prix. In turn, he was immediately hired by one of the major symphony orchestras, Concerts Lamoureux, where he played for three years.
 While still a member of the orchestra in Paris, Ponty picked up a side gig playing clarinet (which his father had taught him) for a college jazz band that regularly performed at local parties. It proved a life-changing jumping-off point. A growing interest in the jazz sounds of Miles Davis and John Coltrane compelled him to take up the tenor saxophone. Fueled by an all-encompassing creative passion, Jean-Luc soon felt the need to express his jazz voice through his main instrument, the violin.
 So it was that Ponty found himself leading a dual musical life: rehearsing and performing with the orchestra while also playing jazz until 3 AM at clubs throughout Paris. The demands of this doomed schedule eventually brought him to a crossroads. "Naturally, I had to make a choice, so I took a chance with jazz", says Jean-Luc.
 At first, the violin proved to be a handicap; few at the time viewed the instrument as having a legitimate place in the modern jazz vocabulary. With a powerful sound that eschewed vibrato, Jean-Luc distinguished himself with be-bop era phrasings and a punchy style influenced more by horn players than by anything previously tried on the violin; nobody had heard anything quite like it before. Critics said then that he was the first jazz violinist to be as exciting as a saxophonist. Ponty's notoriety grew with remarkable leaps and by 1964, at age 22, he released his debut solo album for Philips, Jazz Long Playing. A 1966 live album called Violin Summit united Ponty on stage in Basel, Switzerland with such notable string talents as Svend Asmussen, Stéphane Grappelli and Stuff Smith.
 In 1967, John Lewis of The Modern Jazz Quartet invited Ponty to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Jean-Luc's first-ever American appearance garnered thunderous applause and led to a U.S. recording contract with the World Pacific label (Electric Connection with the Gerald Wilson Big Band, Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio). Through the late-60s and early 70s, Ponty achieved mounting critical praise and popularity across Europe. In turn, the violinist soon found his signature talents in demand by top recording artists the world over.
 In 1969, Frank Zappa composed the music for Jean-Luc's solo album King Kong (Blue Note). In 1972, Elton John invited Ponty to contribute to his Honky Chateau #1 hit album . Within a year - at the urging of Zappa and the Mothers of Invention who wanted him to join their tour - Ponty emigrated with his wife and two young daughters to America and made his home in Los Angeles. He continued to work on a variety of projects - including a pair of John McLaughlin/Mahavishnu Orchestra albums/tours (Apocalypse, Visions of the Emerald Beyond) until 1975, when he signed on as a solo artist with Atlantic Records.
 For the next decade, Jean-Luc toured the world repeatedly and recorded 12 consecutive albums which all reached the top 5 on the Billboard jazz charts and sold millions of copies. Early Atlantic recordings, such as 1976's Aurora and Imaginary Voyage, firmly established him as a figurehead in America's growing jazz-rock movement. He went on to crack the top 40 in 1977 with the Enigmatic Ocean album and again in 1978 with Cosmic Messenger. In 1984, a revolutionary video featuring time lapse images was produced by Louis Schwarzberg for Individual Choice. Along with Herbie Hancock, Ponty became one of the first jazz musicians to have a music video.
 Besides recording and touring with his own group, Ponty also performed some of his compositions with the New Music Ensemble of Pittsburgh, the Radio City Orchestra in New York, as well as with symphony orchestras in Montreal, Toronto, Oklahoma City and Tokyo. In the late-80s, he recorded a pair of albums, The Gift of Time and Storytelling for Columbia.
 On 1991's Epic-released Tchokola, Ponty combined his acoustic and electric violins, for the first time, with the powerful polyrhythmic sounds of West Africa. He also performed for two months in the U.S. and Canada with a cast of African expatriates he had encountered on the Paris music scene. In 1993, Ponty returned to Atlantic in impressive fashion with No Absolute Time. Working with American and African musicians, Jean-Luc expanded on the explorations of Tchokola with a moving and soulful result. "There is a whole scene in Paris of top-notch African musicians", he says. "I was very curious and wanted to educate myself in these rhythms, which were totally new to my ears.
 In 1995, Ponty joined guitarist Al Di Meola and bassist Stanley Clarke to record an acoustic album under the name The Rite of Strings. This all-star trio also undertook a six-month tour of North America, South America, and Europe that earned them intercontinental critical praise.
 Ponty regrouped his American band in 1996 for live performances following the release of a double CD anthology of Ponty's productions for Atlantic Records entitled Le Voyage. One of these concerts was recorded in Detroit, Michigan, in front of 6000 fans. It was released in February 1997 by Atlantic Records under the title Live at Chene Park.
 In 1997, Jean-Luc Ponty put back together his group of Western and African musicians pursuing this new fusion that he started in 1991. Together they toured for 3 years from the Hawaiian Islands to Poland and triumphed in North America as well as in Europe. Ponty also performed a highly acclaimed duet with bassist Miroslav Vitous in December 99. In January 2000, he participated to Lalo Schifrin's recording with a big band, Esperanto. In June 2001, Ponty performed duets with Vadim Repin, the young Russian star of classical violin and also with American jazz violinist Regina Carter at the Film Music Festival in Poland. A universal approach to music which has always been the essence of Ponty's motivation and work.
 In August 2001, Jean-Luc Ponty released his new studio CD Life Enigma on his own label (J.L.P. Productions, Inc.), a return to his concept from the 70s with a very modern production. Ponty played all the instruments on some tracks and was joined by his band members for superb performances on other tracks: William Lecomte (keyboards), Guy Nsangué Akwa (bass), Thierry Arpino (drums) and Moustapha Cissé (percussion). Ponty gave an extremely successful concert with his band in his native town of Avranches, in the French province of Normandie, on September 21, 2001. He was also honored during a special ceremony at City Hall, finally gaining recognition from his compatriots. He then embarked on a very successful concert tour in the USA in October-November 2001, receiving strong and loyal support from his fans despite the uncertainty that followed the September 11 terrorist attacks. In May 2001, Ponty recorded a memorable concert with the same musicians at the superb opera house in Dresden, Germany. This recording was released in July 2002 on a CD entitled Live at Semper Opera (J.L.P. Productions, Inc. – Navarre Distribution in North America and Le Chant du Monde-Harmonia Mundi in Europe).
 In January 2003, Jean-Luc toured in India for the first time, 7 shows in 6 major cities for the Global Music Festival organized by Indian violinist L. Subramaniam. Jean-luc brought along his bassist Guy Nsangué Akwa, both performed with Subramaniam’s band and drummer Billy Cobham who was also a guest star on that tour. Ponty also did an extensive tour across the U.S.A. in the Fall.
 In 2004, the PAL version of Jean-Luc Ponty’s first DVD In Concert was released in Germany (Pirate Records 202756-9), in France-Italy-Spain (Le Chant du Monde/Hamonia Mundi 974 1195). The NTSC version was also released in 2004 in North America (J.L.P. Productions, Inc./Navarre Distribution JLP 004). It contains a live concert with his band filmed in Warsaw in 1999, mixed in 5.1 plus bonus materials, such as an 11-minute film of travels and backstage scenes. In Concert is also available on CD in some countries. Jean Luc Ponty & His Group toured in 2004 in France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Lithuania and India, for their first concert as a whole band in Bombay. Ponty also did a reunion tour with Stanley Clarke and Al Di Meola as the Rite of Strings from June to October 2004 in the U.S.A. and Canada.
 In 2005, Ponty has been touring with a new project called Trio! in collaboration with Stanley Clarke on double bass and Bela Fleck on banjo.
 In 2006 Ponty reunited "Jean Luc Ponty & His Band" and toured in the USA, Chile, Venezuela, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, The Middle East and India; they also recorded a new studio album called The Acatama Experience with guitarists Allan Holdsworth and Philip Catherine appearing on a few tracks. This new CD was released in June 2007 by Koch Records in North America and by Universal in Europe. It was awarded 4 stars in U.S. jazz magazine Down Beat, and also received raving reviews from fans and critics around the world, many comparing it to Enigmatic Ocean, JLP's most influential and successful album from the 70s. 'Artist Discography'


 Chick Webb - William Henry Webb, usually known as Chick Webb (February 10, 1905–June 16, 1939) was a jazz and swing music drummer as well as a band leader.
Webb was born in Baltimore, Maryland to William H. and Marie Johnson Webb. Since childhood, he suffered from tuberculosis of the spine, leaving him with short stature and a badly deformed spine. He supported himself as a newspaper boy to save enough money to buy drums, and first played professionally at age 11. At the age of 17 he moved to New York City and by the following year, 1926, he was leading his own band in Harlem. Jazz drummer Tommy Benford said he gave Webb drum lessons when he first reached New York.
 He alternated between band tours and residencies at New York City clubs through the late 1920s. In 1931, his band became the house band at the Savoy Ballroom. He became one of the best-regarded bandleaders and drummers of the new "Swing" style. Drumming legend Buddy Rich cited Webb's powerful technique and virtuoso performances as heavily influential on his own drumming, and even referred to Webb as "the daddy of them all". The Savoy often featured "Battle of the Bands" where Webb's band would compete with other top bands (such as the Benny Goodman Orchestra or the Count Basie Orchestra) from opposing bandstands.
 Webb married Martha Loretta Ferguson (also known as "Sallye"), and in 1935 he began featuring a teenaged Ella Fitzgerald as vocalist. Despite rumors otherwise, "Ella was not adopted by Webb, nor did she live with him and his wife, Sallye," according to Stuart Nicholson in Ella Fitzgerald; A Biography of the First Lady of Jazz (page 36). Charles Linton, who was with the Chick Webb band, told Nicholson, "He didn't adopt her. Later he said to me, 'I'll say that I adopted her, for the press people.'"
 In November of 1938, Webb's health began to decline, and from then until his death he alternated time on the bandstand with time in hospitals. He died the following year in Baltimore. After his death, Ella Fitzgerald led the Chick Webb band until she left to focus on her solo career in 1942. 'Artist Discography'


Charlie Parker - The only child of Charles and Addie Parker, Charlie Parker was one of the most important and influential saxophonists and jazz players of the 1940’s.
When Parker was still a child, his family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where jazz, blues and gospel music were flourishing. His first contact with music came from school, where he played baritone horn with the school’s band. When he was 15, he showed a great interest in music and a love for the alto saxophone. Soon, Parker was playing with local bands until 1935, when he left school to pursue a music career. From 1935 to 1939, Parker worked in Kansas City with several local jazz and blues bands from which he developed his art. In 1939, Parker visited New York for the first time, and he stayed for nearly a year working as a professional musician and often participating in jam sessions. The New York atmosphere greatly influenced Parker's musical style. In 1938, Parker joined the band of pianist Jay McShann, with whom he toured around Southwest Chicago and New York. The year 1945 was extremely important for Parker. During that time he led his own group in New York and also worked with Gillespie in several ensembles. From 1947 to 1951, Parker worked in a number of nightclubs, radio studios, and other venues performing solo or with the accompaniment of other musicians. During this time, he visited Europe where he was cheered by devoted fans and did numerous recordings. March 5, 1955, was Parker’s last public engagement at Birdland, a nightclub in New York that was named in his honor. He died a week later in a friend’s apartment. Charles "Yardbird" Parker was an amazing saxophonist who gained wide recognition for his brilliant solos and innovative improvisations. He was, without a doubt, one of the most influential and talented musicians in jazz history. 'Artist Discography'

Tom Waits


Tom Waits - Born Thomas Alan Waits on December 7, 1949 is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." He has worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and as a supporting actor in films, including The Fisher King, Coffee & Cigarettes, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Short Cuts. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart. Waits' songs typically contain an array of unusual characters and places, with the occassional ballad thrown in for good measure. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations. With his distinctive voice, colorful and intuitive lyrics, and a music style that mixes blues, jazz, and vaudeville he maintains a large cult following despite the lack of "airtime". It's been just over 30 years since Tom Waits made his recording debut. In that time his music has taken adventurous twists and turns, from confessional country-blues and jazz-flavored lounge to primal rock and avant-garde musical theatre. His songs have tended to explore the dark underbelly of society as he has given his voice to a litany of characters and tales on the fringe and in the fray. 'Artist Discography'


Frank Zappa - (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993). Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, musician, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Frank Zappa had established himself as a very gifted and distinctive composer, electric guitar player and band leader. He worked in various different musical genres and wrote music for rock bands, jazz ensembles, synthesizers and symphony orchestra, as well as musique concrète works constructed from pre-recorded, synthesized or sampled sources. Musique concrète, is a form of electro-acoustic music that utilizes acousmatic sound, or sound that one hears without seeing the originating cause.
  Frank Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist and he gained widespread critical acclaim. Many of his albums are considered essential in rock history, and he is regarded as one of the most original guitarists and composers of his time; he remains a major influence on musicians and composers. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and for most of his career was able to work as an independent artist. Frank Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. If you didn't get it the first time around, you probably won't get it now!
 Frank Zappa was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 1990. The disease had been developing unnoticed for ten years and was considered inoperable. After his diagnosis, Zappa devoted most of his energy to modern orchestral and Synclavier, (an early synthesizer and sampler), works. In 1993 he completed Civilization, Phaze III shortly before his death. It was a major Synclavier work which he had begun in the 1980s.    'Artist Discography'

History of Jazz

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