Alan Leonard Broadbent was born on April 23, 1947 in Auckland, New Zealand. He studied piano and music theory in his own country, but in 1966 came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music.
Broadbent’s first professional gig was in a jazz trio with bassist Kevin Haines and drummer Tony Hopkins at Club 81 in Auckland in the mid-1960s. His first two albums as a leader in 1985, Song of Home and Further Down the Road, were recorded on the Tartar label with bassist Andy Brown and Frank Gibson, Jr. on drums. These two albums showcased his signature of reinterpretation of standards.
His first U.S. release in 1986, Everything I Love, recorded more standards on the Discovery label replaces Brown with bassist Putter Smith replaces Brown on bass; Frank Gibson, Jr. continues with the trio. By the early Nineties Alan was asked to be a part of Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable album, and toured as her pianist and conductor. At this time he wrote an orchestral arrangement for her second video with her father, When I Fall in Love, winning him his first Grammy for Best Orchestral Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal.
During the 1990s Broadbent he joined Charlie Haden’s Quartet West and it was during this period he won his second Grammy, an orchestral accompaniment written for Shirley Horn of Leonard Bernstein’s Lonely Town. As a soloist and with his jazz trio, Broadbent has been nominated for Grammys twice for best instrumental performance, in the company of such artists as Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins and Keith Jarrett.
Alan is Diana Krall’s conductor for her occasional orchestra concerts and conducted on her Live in Paris DVD. He has arranged for Glenn Frey, wrote six string arrangements for Paul McCartney with the London Symphony, worked with Warne Marsh, Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Irene Kral, Sheila Jordan, Bud Shank and numerous others and has toured the UK, Poland and France. In 2008 he was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to jazz.
Pianist, arranger and composer Alan Broadbent has two-dozen albums out as a leader in trio, duet nd solo performance and another seventeen as a sideman to date. He continues to perform, record and tour.
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Dick Pearce was born April 19, 1951 in Forest Gate, London, England. Dick began playing cornet at the age of 12 in the Boys’ Brigade and joined Ewell village’s local brass band a year later. At 15 he became interested in jazz and attended a Sunday morning rehearsal band run by the dance bandleader Ken Macintosh. Soon after, he joined Bill Ashton’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra where he met many like-minded young musicians.
At 17 he spent three and a half extremely disillusioned years in the army (The Household Cavalry) supposedly as a bandsman. He’d played Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto for his audition and expected to receive musical tuition after signing on the dotted line, but for most of his service he found himself sitting on a horse playing bugle calls. Discharged from the army in April 1972, he began playing with some of the ‘freer’ bands of that time – led by Graham Collier, Dudu Pukwana, Pat Evans and Keith Tippet.
In the mid to late 70s he was drawn towards the harmonically structured improvisation of post-Bebop playing with jazz groups led by the likes of Don Rendell, Michael Garrick and Mike Westbrook, while also playing with his own generation of young jazz musicians.
In 1980 Dick joined The Ronnie Scott Quintet, with whom he travelled all over the world for the following 14 years. The band included pianist John Critchinson, double bassist Ron Mathewson, drummer Martin Drew and Ronnie Scott on tenor sax. In 1990 the quintet became a sextet with the addition of Mornington Lockett on tenor sax.
In more recent years trumpeter Dick Pearce has been playing with Alan Barnes, Don Weller’s Tribute to Cannonball Adderley Band. The Don Weller Big Band. The Tim Richards Great Spirit, the John Williams New Perspectives. Stan and Clarke Tracey’s Ellingtonia, Pete Downes Trio with Dick Pearce and John Critchinson’s tribute to Ronnie Scott band.
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Robert Berg was born on April 7, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York. He started his musical education at the age of six when he began studying classical piano. He began playing the saxophone at the age of thirteen and went on to graduate from Juilliard. He was influenced heavily by the late 1964–67 period of John Coltrane’s music.
A student from the hard bop school, Bob played from 1973 to 1976 with Horace Silver and then from 1977 to 1983 with Cedar Walton. Berg became more widely known through his short period in the Miles Davis band but left the band in 1987 after recording only one album, You’re Under Arrest.
After leaving Davis’s band, Berg released a series of solo albums and performed and recorded frequently in a group co-led with guitarist Mike Stern. On these albums he played a more accessible style of music, mixing funk, jazz and even country music with many other diverse compositional elements to produce albums that were always musical. He often played at the 7th Avenue South NYC club.
He worked with Chick Corea, Steve Gadd and Eddie Gomez in a quartet. Bob’s tenor saxophone sound was a synthesis of rhythm and blues players such as Junior Walker and Arnett Cobb with the lyricism, intellectual freedom and soul of Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson and Coltrane. Over the course of his short career he recorded a dozen albums as a leader and performed sideman duties on another 30 albums with Randy Brecker, Tom Coster, Kenny Drew, Moncef Genoud, Billy Higgins, Dizzy Gillespie, Sam Jones and Wolfgang Muthspiel.
Saxophonist Bob Berg, who was known for his extremely expressive playing and tone, passed away on December 5, 2002 as a result of a traffic accident. His car was struck by a cement truck that slid on the ice in East Hampton, New York while driving near his home with his wife Arja.
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Jerome Harris was born April 5, 1953 in Flushing, New York and was already a skilled musician by the time he entered Harvard University with the intent of becoming a psychiatrist. During his college years he became known as a guitarist on campus who played in a variety of bands, from R&B to free jazz, including a fusion band with fellow student, drummer Akira Tana.
After graduation he decided to focus on music full-time and first began appearing on recordings during the late ’70s. He came to prominence in 1978 playing bass guitar and guitar with tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, with whom he would perform and record intermittently until the mid-1990s. Jerome went on to work with drummers Jack DeJohnette, Paul Motian, Bob Moses, David Krakauer, Ray Anderson, Amina Claudine Myers, Don Byron and Marty Ehrlich among others.
He has recorded four albums as a bandleader for Muse, Polygram, New World and Stereophile record labels. His recording sideman duties have been wth Robert Dick, Bill Frisell, Julius Hemphill, Hank Roberts, Pheeroah Aklaff, Kenny Werner, Malias, Ned Rothenberg, George Russell and Bob Stewart, to name a few.
In addition to performing he played a major role in a 1999 New York City tribute concert to Joni Mitchell, in which he wrote many of the transcriptions and arrangements. He has toured internationally in various ensembles to Japan with Rollins, the Middle East and India with Jay Hoggard, Africa with Oliver Lake and the United States with Bob Previte’s Latin for Travelers. Guitarist and bassist Jerome Harris continues to perform, record and tour.
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Jackie King was born on March 22, 1944 in San Antonio, Texas and took his first music lessons from his guitarist father, starting on mandolin and quickly switching to guitar, playing left handed. By the time he was 12, he was performing professionally around his hometown.
In the 1960s, childhood friend Doug Sahm convinced him to join him in San Francisco’s burgeoning psychedelic music scene. With saxophonist Martin Fierro, he formed the Shades of Joy, a jazz-rock fusion group that released a pair of albums, including music for the soundtrack of the cult film El Topo.
In demand as a sideman and session player, King backed Chet Baker and Sonny Stitt and recorded on albums by Merl Saunders and other artists. At the invitation of jazz guitarist and educator Howard Roberts, he joined the teaching staff of the Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, California. A year later he started his own Southwest Guitar Conservatory in San Antonio. And after seven years, he closed the school to devote more time to his performing career as a soloist and with Nelson’s band.
Jackie received an honorary master’s degree from San Francisco State University, served on the board of the Music Teachers’ Association of California, taught jazz guitar clinics, lectured at the Berklee School of Music and was featured in a series of instructional books and DVDs. He also wrote articles in Jazz Times, All About Jazz and Just Jazz Guitar.
During his career, he shared stages with such guitarists as Jerry Garcia, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Les Paul, Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow, Pat Martino, Herb Ellis and Lenny Breau. In 1999, he released the solo album “Moon Magic” and recorded an as yet unreleased album with jazz pianist Marian McPartland.
Guitarist, songwriter and educator Jackie King, who was equally at home playing jazz, rock or country music, passed away on January 27, 2016 after suffering a heart attack at his home in San Rafael, California. He was 71.
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