Get this crazy baby off my head!


Sharon Robinson

Sharon Robinson - Everybody Knows - 2008 Sharon Robinson Songs

A gorgeous, soulful alto that envelopes hooks and harmonies; a musically gifted mind that collaborates with Leonard Cohen; a pop sensibility that earns a GRAMMY Award with Patti LaBelle (“New Attitude”)--that’s Sharon Robinson: singer, songwriter, producer and now artist, with the release of her debut solo recording effort, Everybody Knows. In April 2009, UK-based Freeworld Records distributed by Universal licensed the album for release in that country and continental Europe. The set--which Cohen calls “a masterful work”--includes three songs co-written with the legendary artist: the classics “Everybody Knows” and “Summertime” along with “Alexandra Leaving” from Ten New Songs, the critically acclaimed 2001 Cohen album which Robinson produced. The seductive electronic production of Ten New Songs is a through-line for Everybody Knows linking memorable melodies and complex emotional themes on the five new compositions and five favorite existing songs. While the inclusion of the Cohen songs may draw inevitable comparison to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer’s work, Robinson’s creative signature is immediately evident in the sensuous rhythms and haunting aura of the album’s opening track “Invisible Tattoo” and the gothic-soul anthem “Party for the Lonely.” Intertwining electronica beats with soulful bass grooves and moody, jazzy textures sculpted on guitar and piano, synth and Fender Rhodes, its enrapturing blend of instrumentation provides the perfect sonic bed for her inviting, sultry voice, which evokes feelings of hope, romance and sorrow all in the same breath. Robinson notes, “I created most of the record by layering parts one at a time, similarly to the way I did Ten New Songs. I wanted it to have an edgy and contemplative vibe, so I stayed away from the idea of tracking with studio musicians. I needed the freedom to find what I was looking for--a sound that was uniquely mine--before bringing in players for overdubs to add color, scope and dimension.” Although Everybody Knows comes in the third decade of her career, Robinson’s talent and versatility behind the scenes as a music producer, songwriter and background vocalist have allowed her to work with a diverse roster of notable artists including Stevie Nicks, Aaron Neville, Morris Day, Robbie Kreiger, Thelma Houston, Brenda Russell, Jennifer Warnes, Randy Crawford, Hamish Stuart and Matthew Wilder. Her co-write of the Top 10 hit “New Attitude” for Patti LaBelle led to three GRAMMY Award nominations and a win for Best Soundtrack Album (Beverly Hills Cop) in 1985. Her original compositions have also been featured in films such as Wonder Boys, Natural Born Killers, Pump Up The Volume, Stakeout and Wim Wenders’ Land of Plenty. But regardless of what project she’s involved with, her long-time friend and collaborator Cohen is never far out of the picture. This year, Robinson will be a featured background vocalist on his upcoming spring/summer international tour, his first run of live performances since 1993. The set list for the show includes five songs she co-wrote with Cohen, and showcases her arrangements on these co-written works. It’s not surprising that Robinson has worked with such diverse personalities and in so many genres. Her affinity for all kinds of music developed at an early age. Born in San Francisco, her family moved to Los Angeles when she was five. A year later she began studying classical piano, and at age 12 started writing and recording her own songs. As a teenager, she devoured a steady diet of Motown and Atlantic radio hits while working at the family restaurant, and while at home, she listened to such greats as Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Stan Getz and Joni Mitchell. The influence of this musical stew led to Robinson recording a demo at the age of 16, which landed her a recording contract with a label that folded before her album was made. But there was a silver lining. The backing band for her demo was the Jazz Crusaders; and its legendary leader Joe Sample witnessed her ability, encouraging her to continue writing. While she would eventually heed that advice, Robinson excelled in school as well and as a National Merit semi-finalist she earned a scholarship to Salem College in West Virginia. Halfway to her degree, money and music proved a stronger draw, so she left school to front a touring Top 40 band for several years. Burnout on the road brought her back to college; this time to the prestigious California Institute of the Arts to study music. A year later, she went pro again as a session singer and then singer/dancer for Ann-Margret’s Las Vegas revue. Those countless sessions proved fruitful when a recommendation from a fellow singer led to Cohen hiring her as a background vocalist for the famous 1979 “Field Commander Cohen Tour.” Cohen himself dubbed it his best trek ever. While on the road together, he and Robinson co-wrote “Summertime,” a song subsequently recorded by both Diana Ross and Roberta Flack. It was with this composition that she had suddenly elevated herself to the level Sample had envisioned years earlier…officially joining the auteur club that created lasting art beyond fleeting recordings and live shows. When you’re good at what you do, and you do it for others, their success becomes your reward, your place in the mix. It can be a great place to be. For Sharon Robinson, it has been both gratifying and fun. With Everybody Knows, she’s going to another place—out in front. “Writing for other people over the years, there's been an increasing sense of an underlying style or voice in my work,” Robinson notes. “This album gave me the chance to explore that voice and find out more about it. It’s been very fulfilling, and I'm looking forward to taking it further with future projects as well.” And with her extensive list of achievements and eclectic experiences, Robinson has a pretty good head start on this next artistic journey. : - [This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.] © 1996-2013, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Robinson/e/B003UZ0DEU/ref=ac_dtp_sa_bio/185-1590195-4297115

Four Stars. We’re talking major talent here. Robinson is a sensuous singer, a real lights-down-low performer who picks up where Sade left off. - Fred Dellar, Mojo (UK)

Five Stars. Packs a big emotional punch. - Andy Gill, The Independent (UK)

Classy Stuff. With a deliciously insinuating delivery, Robinson pours her voice atop a warm bed of sultry beats, tasteful backing vocals and a sensual, introspective groove. David Pulizzi, Jazziz -Mojo/The Independent (UK)/Jazziz
An album that begs to be listened to on a pair of headphones...Fans of her production work on Cohen s past two releases (Ten New Songs and Dear Heather) will love Everybody Knows as it is steeped in the same provocative and seductive blend of easygoing electronic beats. - Jason Gladu, Popjournalism.ca

Everybody should know about Sharon Robinson...Endowed with a rich, soulful alto - landing somewhere between Roberta Flack, Cassandra Wilson, and Sade Adu - Robinson breathes immeasurable levels of misty-eyed longing and downhearted reflection into her songs, thus delivering far more than simply a gorgeous voice floating above subtle electronic textures. Fans of the lights-down-low atmospherics and mellow-soul of Zero 7 should find themselves similarly engrossed by this disc. - Todd Lavoie, San Francisco Bay Guardian - Popjournalism/SF Bay Guardian

If I could turn you on to one new artist this year it would be Sharon Robinson...Imagine a combination of Sade but with deeper, more expressive voice and Joni Mitchell in her jazzy period, then add the trance-y feel of Everything But The Girl...[and] the lyrical insight and poetic sense of Leonard Cohen...It's smart, accessible and delivered by a gifted, original, and mature artist. It is full of melodies that manage to sound fresh and familiar at the same time and lyrics that perfectly nail the emotions and situations we go through as we gain more experience in life and love. - Shannon West, Smoothviews - Smoothviews

She may not be a household name, but Sharon Robinson has been an established songwriter, vocalist, and producer for numerous artists. She’s collaborated with Leonard Cohen for over thirty years but could easily have had a very successful solo career. Amazingly, this album is her only solo release after over 35 years in the business. Sharon composed seven of the songs and co-wrote three with Leonard Cohen. “Everybody Knows” is an exceptional album of ten beautifully written and melodic songs with a wonderful jazz, soul and folk flavour. The tracks have electronica-based arrangements and the entire album is bursting with creative energy. Many people are under the mistaken impression that Sharon’s music has been controlled in some strange Svengali-like manner by Leonard Cohen. The truth is that she has co-written with Leonard some of his best songs and has arguably not received full credit for her input into the great man’s music. “Everybody Knows” is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Albums like this are very rare these days among all the trash out there masquerading as music. Buy this album and support a real musical talent. BTW: Has it really been seven years since Joni Mitchell’s last studio album? [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 105 Mb]


1 Invisible Tattoo 4:26
2 Party For The Lonely 3:40
3 Everybody Knows 5:26
4 The Train 3:45
5 Secondhand 3:40
6 Forever In A Kiss 4:04
7 The High Road 4:09
8 Sustenance 4:03
9 Alexandra Leaving 5:06
10 Summertime 3:51

All songs composed by Sharon Robinson except Tracks 3,9,10 by Sharon Robinson & Leonard Cohen


Sharon Robinson – Synthesizer, Vocals
Christopher Bruce – Guitar
James Harrah – Guitar on Track 7
Nate Wood – Additional Guitar, Drums, Keyboards
Bob Glaub – Bass on Track 7
Patrick Warren – Additional Synths. & Colors
Jay Bellerose – Drums & Percussion
Joey Waronker – Percussion
Mike Turk – Harmonica on Track 4
Michael Cold – Bridge Vocal on Track 2

David Torn

David Torn - David Torn Collection - 1998 - Times Square

Back me against a wall & I’ll be forced to admit (if you stick a gun down my throat) that Torn’s patented polyglot of Hindustani-style articulation, Eastern modality, bebop phrasing, psychedelic fuzzfire, trip hop sampling, country string-bending & ambient ear-aurora is the least self-conscious, most interesting & FUN high-brow hybrid currently mutating across America’s parched musical landscape. If beaten into submission & tortured with thumbscrews, I may even concede that his revelatory yet hilarious guitar pedagogy makes more sense & does more good than 100 bogus books crammed with little black dots & formulas that read like Cardassian hieroglyphs. But admit that Torn ROCKS? You’ll have to KILL me, first. — Guitar Player

While creating ungodly, insect-fear noises by subverting loops & delays to his own weird ends with massive amounts of distortion, he’ll tell you he’s just playin’ the blues: it’s a strange mix of primitive mojo & state-of-the-art technology. — Musician Magazine

Torn creates lush ambient textures that make Pink Floyd’s ‘space music’ sound like third-grade sandbox doodles, & transforms jazz harmonies into impressionist soundscapes; if you appreciate guitar as a vehicle for both out-of-body spiritual quests & raw emotional expression, let Torn be your shamanistic guide. — San Francisco Bay Guardian

Torn, with his loops & sheer psychedelic abandon, is able to create dense textures, screaming intervallic leaps and dark-hued washes of sound that are as ingenious as they are impossible to imitate. — Downbeat

In 1994 and 1997, the readers of Guitar Player magazine voted David the best experimental guitar player. He may be experimental with most of his work but there is a definite method in David Torn’s “madness”. If you think you have heard all the “best” guitarists out there, give this guy a listen. One critic said of this album, “This is an obvious must for anyone who thought for a moment that they knew anything about playing a guitar. He knows how to freak out, and how to tickle a harmonic, and everything in between.” Like the late Frank Zappa, David Torn produces work of startling originality and his guitar skills are phenomenal. As well as his solo works, David has played on many other artists’ albums including David Sylvian, Tori Amos, Sting, Jan Garbarek, kd lang, and Tony Levin. David also played on David Bowie’s “Heathen” and “Reality” albums and Jeff Beck’s “Jeff” album. This album is a good collection, but arguably not necessarily representative of David’s best work. However, to define this guy’s best work is probably impossible. Jon Atack @ http://www.jonatack.com/writings/musics/david_torn.php said that “It has always been the tradition that a master passes on his teaching to at least one successor. Jimi Hendrix had not one, but everyone, as his disciple. His spirit infuses every electric guitarist, but I believe that David Torn is the leading exponent of what he himself has called Hendrix’s ‘burning wall of voodoo’.” David Torn is a “one off” and a true original. Listen to his “Door X” album and check out his website @ http://www.davidtorn.net/ [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 159 Mb]


1. Shofar – David Torn
2. Jason and Martha – Andy Rinehart
3. Thundergirl Mutation – Mick Karn
4. Rope Ladder to the Moon – Jack Bruce (Music) & Pete Brown (Lyrics)
5. Zavana – Marty Fogel
6. Snail Hair Dune – David Torn, Mick Karn, Terry Bozzio
7. Passenger – David Torn, Mick Karn
8. Drowning Dream –David Torn, Mick Karn
9. Tiny Burns a Bridge – David Torn
10. Kids – Joachim Kuhn
11. Merciful – Mark Nauseef
12. Nursing Emphysema – Wes Martin


David Torn (electric & acoustic guitars, pedal steel guitar, bowed guitar, e-guitar, mandolin, piano, kotar, saz, harmonica, hand percussion, programming, textural & rhythmic loops, samples, vocals, additional vocals, voices)
Miroslav Tadic (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, classical guitar)
Steve Wilson (guitar)
Wes Martin (a & e-guitars, voice)
Mick Karn (bass, fretless bass, keyboards, alto sax, bass clarinet, dida, percussion, lead vocals, vocals, hand claps)
Brand Hauser (bass, fretless bass, clevinger bass)
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Dean Johnson, Mark London Sims (bass)
Detlef Beier (acoustic bass)
Andy Rinehart (piano, accordion, voices)
Joachim Kuhn (piano)
Richard Barbieri (keyboards, synthesizer)
Adam Widoff (Hammond B-3, e-guitar, fretless guitar solo)
Matt Chamberlain, Kurt Wortman (drums, percussion)
Mark Nauseef (drums, gongs, flat gong-spiel, rejong, ching, rin “magic drums”, chinkas, fu in-luo, bamboo)
Michael Shrieve (drums)
Michel Lambert (drums, maikotron)
Leonice Shinneman (percussion drumset)
Gavin Harrison (drums, percussion, programming)
Steve Jansen (acoustic drums, congas)
Terry Bozzio (drums, percussion, 12 notes on the piano)
Trilok Gurtu (tablas, congas, water instruments, gongs, percussion)
Herbert Frosch (“magic drums”, zithers, gran cassa, Peking opera gongs, glassware & metal)
Kamalesh Maitra (sarod, tablatarang)
Jakko Jakszyk (tenor sax, shawm, flute, keyboard & computer programming, samples)
Marty Fogel (tenor & soprano sax, clarinet)
Michael White (trumpet)
Markus Stockhausen (trumpet & flugelhorn)
Walter Quintus (violin, strings)
Natacha Atlas (vocals)


New York-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer, writer, and self-described "texturalist/guitarist" David Torn lent his distinctive style to numerous films and documentaries and collaborations. He worked with composers Howard Shore, Carter Burwell, and Ryuichi Sakamoto, as well as appeared on recordings from k.d. lang, David Bowie, Jim Carroll, Laurie Anderson, and a host of others. His solo works include Best Laid Plans (1984), Cloud About Mercury (1986), Door X (1990), Tripping Over God (1995), What Means Solid, Traveller? (1996), Splattercell's Oah (2000), the soundtrack to the Heath Ledger thriller The Order (2003), and the ECM release Prezens (2007). ©James Christopher Monger © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved



Bon - Two Plus Two - 2004 - LoLo

Lozaga captures the spirit of Ralph Towner, John McLaughlin and of course Allan Holdsworth.- GIBRALTAR MAGAZINE

"Either with his hard-hitting power trio or with his adventurous fusion ensemble Gongzilla, Lozaga has distinguished himself as an accomplished player with the courage to follow his imagination. Lozaga summons lots of edgy experimentalism with a progressive-rock slant on Bon's Two Plus Two. Bill Milkowski - Jazziz

Guitarist Bon Lozaga and bassist Hansford Rowe, both ex-PM's Gong play some great heavy metal jazz fusion with inspired improvisation using some tasty atmospheric chording and blistering soloing. Drummer Vic Stevens, futuristic guitarist David Torn and drummer Glenn Leonard play some of the most original dynamic and potent fusion you will ever hear. If you are into Zappa and Gongzilla, you may appreciate the work that went into this great album. If you like One Direction or Westlife, please give this album a miss. This compilation includes tracks from the first two Bon albums plus two new tracks recorded in April 2004 and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Bon’s “To The Bone” album and David Torn’s absolutely stunning “Cloud About Mercury” album. There is info about Gongzilla’s “Five Even” album @ http://overdoseoffingalcocoa.blogspot.com/2011/05/gongzilla.html [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 123 Mb]


1. The One [#] 5:55
2. Unknown Too [#] 6:15
3. Undertow 6:33
4. On the Spot 3:38
5. Kronos 11:01
6. So Far Away 5:22
7. Full Circle/Coming Home 4:29
8. Talk to Me 5:25
9. Into the Sun 4:43

[#] Previously unreleased

All tracks composed by Bon Lozaga


Bon Lozaga (guitar, keyboards, loops)
David Torn (guitar, loops)
Hansford Rowe (bass guitar)
Glenn Leonard , Vic Stevens (drums)
Caryn Lin (violin)

About Bon Lozaga

Bon Lozaga, guitarist and founding member of Gongzilla, joined PM's GONG on the Expresso II album when Stomu Yamashta (Island Records) heard one of his demo tapes and referred him to the group’s manager. Bon recorded four records and toured extensively throughout Europe and America with the band. In 1993 Bon regrouped with GONG bassist Hansford Rowe and formed BON, his first solo project, and recorded Full Circle/Coming Home and To the Bone for LoLo Records. Their association continues in the monster group Gongzilla (featuring guests such as Allan Holdsworth, David Torn, David Fiuczynski, and recently Chuck Garvey and Jim Loughlin of moe.). Gongzilla continues touring in the US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Bon has had the good fortune to work and record with some of the most talented and innovative musicians in the world. The list includes Eddie Jobson (UK, Zappa), Percy Jones (Brand X), Mark Craney (Jethro Tull, Jean-Luc Ponty), Gary Husband (John McLaughlin) and Happy Rhodes just to name a few. © http://www.lolorecords.com/bon_lozaga.html

About David Torn

New York-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer, writer, and self-described "texturalist/guitarist" David Torn lent his distinctive style to numerous films and documentaries and collaborations. He worked with composers Howard Shore, Carter Burwell, and Ryuichi Sakamoto, as well as appeared on recordings from k.d. lang, David Bowie, Jim Carroll, Laurie Anderson, and a host of others. His solo works include Best Laid Plans (1984), Cloud About Mercury (1986), Door X (1990), Tripping Over God (1995), What Means Solid, Traveller? (1996), Splattercell's Oah (2000), the soundtrack to the Heath Ledger thriller The Order (2003), and the ECM release Prezens (2007). ©James Christopher Monger © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved

About Hansford Rowe

Hansford Rowe is a fusion bass guitarist. Basically a self-taught musician, Rowe played bass in a local New York City band in jazz clubs until he met drummer Pierre Moerlen. He moved to France with Moerlen and became a member of Gong, taking part in their transformation into Pierre Moerlen's Gong (PMG) in 1977, playing on their albums Expresso II, Downwind, Live, Time is the Key and Leave It Open. In 1986, he appeared on a re-united PMG album Breakthrough and in 1988 on Second Wind and Full Circle Live '88. In 1994, he was co-founder of Gongzilla with other former PMG members and continues to work with the band. In 1999 he released a solo album recorded in Quebec and New York City entitled "No Other". The album was recorded with long-time compatriot Bon Lozaga (guitar) and other guest musicians. The tour for the album featured singer-songwriter Happy Rhodes. In 2001, Rowe and Lozaga played on Rhodes' album Find Me, and toured the album in 2004.

Read about Glenn Leonard @ http://oregonmusicnews.com/tag/glenn-leonard/, Vic Stevens @ http://www.vicstevens.com/biography.php, and Caryn Lin @ http://www.carynlin.com/main.cfm?action=bio

Jan Akkerman

Jan Akkerman - From The Basement -1984 - CBS (Netherlands)

Although this is regarded as one of Jan Akkerman’s weaker albums by many music critics, Jan's unique approach to the electric guitar is adequately displayed here. This album was recorded “slap bang” in the middle of the ‘80’s synth sound, mainly by a classic three-man line-up with Dino Walcott on bass and drummer Hans Waterman. Jan Akkerman made full use of an array of Roland synth guitars and various other equipment to create a sound which at the time many music publications regarded as unworthy of Jan’s rock and fusion guitar talents. The album is somewhat uneven, with elements of blues rock, metal, and even a reggae version of Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower” which sounds outrageously good unless you’re a Dylan purist! In addition There is also a terrific remake of the Brainbox classic “Dark Rose”. However, many Jan Akkerman fans regard this as a good album. Ok, maybe they're biased, but the guy is one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and rarely disappoints with his guitar expertise. Some bonus editions of this album contain up to nine extra tracks. Listen to Jan’s superb “A Real Elegant Gypsy” album and Focus’ now classic “Live At The Rainbow” album [All tracks @ 320Kbps: File size = 108 Mb]


1. Headbanger - Jan Akkerman
2. All Along the Watchtower - Bob Dylan
3. Dark Rose - Jan Akkerman, Kaz Lux
4. Wallenberg - Jan Akkerman
5. From The Basement - Jan Akkerman
6. P.C.B. Chicken - Jan Akkerman
7. Status Quo - Jan Akkerman, Dino Walcott


Jan Akkerman - Guitar, Various Roland Guitar Synths, Bass, Drum Programming, Voices on Tracks 3,4,6
Dino Walcott - Bass Guitar on Tracks 2,3,7: Harmonica on Track 7: Voices on Tracks 2,7
Thijs Van Leer - 2nd Synth on Track 1
Sergio Castillo - Simmonds Electronic Drums on Tracks 1,4,5
Hans Waterman - Drums (w.p.’s) on Track 2
Piet Eisma aka Pierre Percu - Percussion on Tracks 2,3,7
Kaz Lux - Vocals on “Dark Rose”


Sean Chambers

Sean Chambers - Ten Til Midnight - 2009 - Blue Heat

Be prepared for non-stop guitar pyrotechnics on Ten Til Midnight. Chambers is in no mood to take things easy and just lays it on thick an' smokin'. He toured with Hubert Sumlin, the esteemed elder gent's musical director and guitarist for five years, and not only learned at his feet but ran way ahead in the lesson book and wrote a few new chapters as well. It just doesn't get much better than this. © Mark S. Tucker 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society © http://www.acousticmusic.com/fame/p05892.htm

To say Sean Chamber's latest release Ten Til Midnight is a guitar heavy album is a bit of an understatement. Though certainly adept as a singer, the six-string is where Chambers truly shines, and he does so on this CD with enough intensity to give his listeners a dark suntan. Chambers' attack on the guitar is similar to that of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, or Luther Allison. On each solo he springs forth a seemingly inexhaustible flurry of notes capable of melting the circuit board of a guitar hero controller. Although his dexterity on the guitar is impressive, he stays grounded in the blues, never straying into shred territory. His original compositions, which dominate the disk, are in the blues rock/roadhouse vein. The album also includes three classic covers, one by Luther Allison, one by Eddie Jones, and one by boogieman Billy Gibbons. For fans of blues guitar Ten Til Midnight is a must. Sean Chambers manages to push the guitar to its limits on this release without losing touch with the blues tradition. **** © Tim Madison – MuzikReviews.com Staff December 14, 2009 © MuzikReviews.com http://www.muzikreviews.com/reviews.php?ID=894

Great blues rock album from the brilliant but underrated Florida based guitarist, Sean Chambers. Like many other guitarists, Sean is often accused of trying to be a carbon copy of guitarists like SRV, Luther Allison, etc. These accusations become boring after a while. How many guitarists can you name who have not been influenced by another guitarist, especially in blues music. There is a difference in copying another musician note for note and trying to emulate a great guitarist’s style and technique. Sean Chambers is in fact, a more accomplished and talented guitarist than some of the “great” guitarists he is accused of mimicking. Buy Sean’s “Humble Spirits” album and support great blues rock [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 91.6 Mb]


1 Ten Til Midnight (Chambers / Blair)
2 Blues & Rock N Roll (Chambers / Blair)
3 All the Kings Horses (Luther Allison)
4 You're Gonna Miss Me (Eddie Jones)
5 In the Winter Time (Sean Chambers)
6 Too Much Blues (Chambers / Blair)
7 Make It Go (Sean Chambers)
8 Brown Sugar (Billy Gibbons)
9 When I Get Lonely (Sean Chambers)
10 I Don't Know Why (Sean Chambers)


Sean Chambers - Guitar, Vocals
Tim Blair - Bass
Ben Crider - Hammond B3
Jack Henriquez - Piano
Paul Broderick - Drums
Gary Keith - Harmonica
Robin Bouie, Clarence L. Stevenson - Backing Vocals


Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Sean Chambers counts Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan among his primary guitar influences, and their type of guitar stylings can be heard in his recordings and at his live shows. Raised on the Gulf coast of Florida, like so many others enamored with blues and blues-rock who played guitar, the younger Sean Chambers also lent his teenaged ears to recordings by Johnny Winter, Freddie King, B.B. King and Albert King, as well as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and ZZ Top. Chambers released his debut album, Strong Temptation in 1998, after 15 years of playing out in clubs and refining his vocal and guitar talents. After finishing up college, Chambers caught a break in Memphis in 1998 when he was asked to play with former Howlin' Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin at a Memphis blues festival. He subsequently toured with the veteran guitarist -- who recovered from cancer to get back on the road -- for the next four years. Chambers has shared stages and sat in with many of his blues and blues-rock heroes, including Derek Trucks, Gregg Allman, Kim Simmons, Tab Benoit, Jeff Healey, Leslie West, Rick Derringer, Pat Travers, Kim Wilson, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Walter Trout, Big Bill Morganfield, Koko Taylor, Ike Turner, and Robert Cray, among dozens of others who frequent the Tampa area club scene. Chambers tours mostly in Florida with the occasional foray north or to the Midwest or to Great Britain. His discography includes just two albums, but a third is in the works. They include Strong Temptation for Vestige Records and 2005's Humble Spirits for Rockview Records. In 2001, Great Britain's Guitarist magazine named Chambers one of the Fifty Greatest Guitarists of all time. © Richard Skelly © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved

The Sean Chambers Band

The Sean Chambers Band - Live From The Long Island Blues Warehouse - 2011 - Blue Heat Records

Each of Florida-based blues guitarist Sean Chambers' three studio albums is on a different record label, so it may be that his fourth release, Live from the Long Island Blues Warehouse, which draws its repertoire from them, is a means of putting songs from the first two discs, Strong Temptation and Humble Spirits, on his current imprint, Blue Heat. In any case, it is a summing up of a talented if very familiar-sounding player whose guitar work is deep in the tradition of blues-rock as purveyed by Jimi Hendrix and, particularly, Johnny Winter. Chambers, fronting a trio that includes the rhythm section of bassist Tim Blair and drummer Paul Broderick (and with harmonica player Gary Keith piping up on "Love Can Find a Way"), plays forceful, quick-note leads on tunes that are often billed as originals, even if they sound like a lot of other blues songs. He favors fast tempos, but even when he turns to a slow blues like his cover of the Kinsey Report's "Full Moon on Main Street," he usually sticks to a fleet-fingered approach over the reduced tempo. He sings in a baritone with gruff edges, though not nearly as much of a howl as the voice of Johnny Winter. As with his predecessors, however, the vocals aren't really what matters, and Chambers dispenses with them on "Dixie 45" and "Hip Shake Boogie," the latter billed as a new, previously unreleased original even if, as its title suggests, it's really a jam on a time-tested blues structure. Sean Chambers may not be doing anything new on this live set, but his playing is sufficiently accomplished to satisfy blues fans who have heard others play in this style before him. © William Ruhlmann © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/live-from-the-long-island-blues-warehouse-mw0002208482

If you want to play the blues, there is no better place to learn the craft than as the legendary Hubert Sumlin’s band leader and guitarist for five years, 1998-2003. Sean Chambers did just that before he struck out on his own for a solo career. He has shared the stage with such artists as Buddy Guy, BB King, Johnny Winter, Greg Allman, Otis Rush, Derek Trucks, Robert Cray, Pat Travers, Robin Trower, and a host of others. Chambers is a no-nonsense blues guitarist who combines the roots of Chicago, Delta, and Texas blues into one mix. The result is a hard blues sound that comes close to rock upon occasion. He has put together a good backing band to support his vocals and guitar virtuosity. Bassist Jeff Artabasy, drummer Paul Broderick, and blues harpist Gary Keith form a fine backing unit. His third album, Ten Til Midnight, released during 2009, was his commercial breakthrough release, as it appeared on the Living Blues Chart for three months and received extensive radio airplay. Part of the blues legacy is the ability to play live and so we come to the Sean Chambers Band's new release, Live From The Long Island Blues Warehouse. It combines songs from his three studio releases, several blues covers, and one new composition into a sometimes ferocious but always technically sound blues album. The lead track, “Dixie,” serves as a warm-up. It is a funky type blues instrumental where the band establishes itself as a tight-knit unit. It is followed by “Love Can Find A Way,” which introduces his growling vocal and guitar solos. “Full Moon On Main Street,” a cover song from an early album by The Kinsey Report, is a slower tempo song that is presented in a traditional manner with a harmonica solo. It is one of the highlights of the album. They are some unexpected delights waiting to be heard. “Strong Temptation” has a 1960s psychedelic feel to it. His cover of the Elmore James classic “Dust My Broom” pays homage to old-school blues. His new composition “Hip Shake Boogie” has an improvisational feel and is the perfect party song. Chambers has established himself as an adept blues musician both in the studio and on the stage. Live From The Long Island Blues Warehouse allows him to step forward and prove he is one of the better blues guitarists working today. © David Bowling © Technorati, Inc / Technorati Media / Technorati.com / Blogcritics http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-review-the-sean-chambers-band/

"Live from the Long Island Blues Warehouse" was nominated for a Jimi Award for "Best Live Blues Album of 2011." Canada's Blues Underground Network rated the album #5 Top Ten Album's of 2011 and named it Best Live Blues Album of 2011. “Guitarist” magazine recently named Sean Chambers as one the top 50 blues guitarists of the last century. This live album features 10 tracks of mostly originals, along with Sean’s searing takes on “Full Moon on Main Street,” a song from an early album by The Kinsey Report, and a blistering version of Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom,” reminiscent of Johnny Winter. “Hip Shake Boogie" is making its first appearance on any Sean Chambers album. The remaining tunes come from Sean’s three earlier albums. Included are several fan-favorite songs, such as “Crazy for Loving You,” “Strong Temptation” (the title track from his first album), plus “Too Much Blues” and the album’s powerful closer, “In the Winter Time” (both from Ten Til Midnight), in which Sean pulls out all the stops on his guitar work. This is the sort of album where you can just enjoy the great playing without over-analysing song structures or lyrics. If you want some old style Texas, Delta and Chicago style blues played with a real feel and passion for the music, you won’t go wrong with this album and if you like artists like SRV, Jimi Hendrix, or Johnny Winter you may like what you hear on this album which is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Sean's great "Humble Spirits" album and support real blues rock [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 102 Mb]


1. Dixie 45 - Chambers 3:08
2. Love Can Find a Way - Chambers 3:34
3. Full Moon On Main Street - James 4:28
4. Strong Temptation - Chambers 3:09
5. Dusty My Broom - James 4:27
6. Crazy For Loving You - McLess 4:57
7. Danger Zone - Chambers 3:23
8. Too Much Blues - Blair, Chambers 3:40
9. Hip Shake Boogie - Chambers 3:54
10. In the Winter Time - Chambers 10:24


Sean Chambers - Guitar, Vocals
Tim Blair - Bass
Paul Broderick – Drums
Gary Keith - Harmonica


Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Sean Chambers counts Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan among his primary guitar influences, and their type of guitar stylings can be heard in his recordings and at his live shows. Raised on the Gulf coast of Florida, like so many others enamored with blues and blues-rock who played guitar, the younger Sean Chambers also lent his teenaged ears to recordings by Johnny Winter, Freddie King, B.B. King and Albert King, as well as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and ZZ Top. Chambers released his debut album, Strong Temptation in 1998, after 15 years of playing out in clubs and refining his vocal and guitar talents. After finishing up college, Chambers caught a break in Memphis in 1998 when he was asked to play with former Howlin' Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin at a Memphis blues festival. He subsequently toured with the veteran guitarist -- who recovered from cancer to get back on the road -- for the next four years. Chambers has shared stages and sat in with many of his blues and blues-rock heroes, including Derek Trucks, Gregg Allman, Kim Simmons, Tab Benoit, Jeff Healey, Leslie West, Rick Derringer, Pat Travers, Kim Wilson, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Walter Trout, Big Bill Morganfield, Koko Taylor, Ike Turner, and Robert Cray, among dozens of others who frequent the Tampa area club scene. Chambers tours mostly in Florida with the occasional foray north or to the Midwest or to Great Britain. His discography includes just two albums, but a third is in the works. They include Strong Temptation for Vestige Records and 2005's Humble Spirits for Rockview Records. In 2001, Great Britain's Guitarist magazine named Chambers one of the Fifty Greatest Guitarists of all time. © Richard Skelly © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/sean-chambers-mn0000265500


Jimmy Witherspoon & Robben Ford

Jimmy Witherspoon & Robben Ford - Live At The Notodden Blues Festival - 1992 - CrossCut

After an 18 year spell, Jimmy Witherspoon (RIP) and Robben Ford got together to play a live gig. All the tracks were recorded on August 24th, 1991 at the Notodden Blues Festival, Norway except Tracks 1 and 6 which were recorded on August 25th, 1991 at the same venue. Jimmy, despite his serious illness and fading vocals expertly guided the band with one hand and held the crowd with another. The incredible Robben Ford supported Jimmy with absolute spot on timing, and his brilliant blues licks are a joy to hear. A magical performance by two blues giants. Bassist Stan Poplin, Patrick Ford on drums and Espen Fjelle on organ made these two guys sound even better. Listen to Stan Poplin playing bass on Robben Ford’s great “Sunrise” album. Check out the sensational “Jimmy Witherspoon at the Monterey Jazz Festival” album and listen to real music. Check out Jimmy Witherspoon’s bio @ http://www.allmusic.com/artist/witherspoon-mn0000100854 There is plenty of info about Robben Ford to be found on this blog [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 124 Mb]


1 Doodlin' - Horace Silver 6:22
2 Going Down Slow - James Burke Oden 5:13
3 Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues - Al Byron & Woody Harris 3:17
4 I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town - Andy Razaf & Will Weldon 4:22
5 See See Rider - Ma Rainey 5:25
6 Pretty Woman - A.C. Williams 6:05
7 Ain't Nobody's Business - Porter Grainger & Everett Robbins 6:37
8 Patche Patche - Pete Johnson 4:58
9 Wonderful World - Bob Thiele & George David Weiss 3:45
10 Walkin’ By Myself - James A. Lane & Jimmy Rogers 3:04
11 Big Legged Woman - Jimmy Witherspoon 3:25


Robben Ford - Guitar
Stan Poplin - Bass
Espen Fjelle - Organ
Patrick Ford - Drums
Jimmy Witherspoon RIP - Vocal


Jon Herington (Steely Dan Related)

Jon Herington - shine (shine shine) - 2010 - Decorator Records

"Guitarist Jon Herington has the most difficult job, having to paraphrase nearly every lead and rhythm guitarist who has ever played with Steely Dan while a thousand jealous guitarists examine each lick" - John L Walters - The Guardian, London.

In his latest outing, Shine (Shine Shine) Herington takes a less layered, "stripped down power trio" approach, which he describes as going back to his early blues-rock, bar band roots. His two bandmates, bassist Dennis Espantman and drummer Frank Pagano -- with whom he's been playing since the late 80s -- both contribute to the songwriting and singing in a club-friendly collection that also appeals to his fan base from the Steely Dan universe by featuring the guitar more prominently. © Joan K. Smith, Philadelphia-based artist, cultural critic, and independent curator: Posted: 04/19/11 11:53 AM ET © 2013 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joan-k-smith/steely-dan-_b_850265.html

In the late ‘90s, when Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were recording their "Two Against Nature" album, (winner of four Grammy Awards, including "Album Of The Year"), Walt and Don asked the great keyboardist, and friend of Jon, Ted Baker if he was aware of any guitarists who could add something different to the 2Vn album. Fortunately, Ted had a copy of Jon's "The Complete Rhyming Dictionary" with him. When Don and Walt heard Jon's album, they hired him. Playing with Steely Dan has taken up a large part of Jon Herington's career. Jon has said that “The great thing for me in playing with Steely Dan is that, even as their repertoire changes to some degree from tour to tour, I have this opportunity to explore the same kind of music really deeply. The freelancer’s curse, which I have suffered from for years and years, is that you may play in one style for a couple of hours during a session and then you’re not asked to play this style again for another six months. This makes it really hard to see any growth in any side of your playing, except for your ability to think on your feet. Freelancers can adapt very quickly, which is good, but you don’t get into something that evolves over time". “Sometimes I feel it would not hurt to have some more tricks in my arsenal,” explains the guitarist, “and I do a little bit of tapping and things like that. But it’s more natural for me when I am playing a solo to work with lyricism and melody. I like musical solutions. It’s one thing to have the technique to negotiate difficult harmonies and fast tempos, but often it’s harder to play something simple and really beautiful! “For me, the key to lyricism is the connection with the voice, to be singing through the guitar. That’s why I love bending strings, because it’s related to singing. It’s so expressive. The same thing with playing slide. When I’m away from the guitar and listen to a song, I often imagine the notes of a solo and what would sound like a vocal melody to me. All my guitar study has been about being able to immediately play what I hear in my head without a mistake. The closer you get to that, the more free you feel in music.” Definitions are irrelevant where Jon Herington' guitar playing is concerned. On this album, HR by A.O.O.F.C he covers blues, rock and jazz in his own unique style. This is not an album where Jon lets loose with too many stinging guitar solos, but the quality of his work is still terrific, as is the bass playing of Dennis Espantman and the keys of the totally brilliant Jim Beard. Some of the great albums featuring Jon include Donald Fagen's "Morph The Cat", Chroma's "Music on the Edge", Bob Berg's "Riddles", and Jim Beard's "Lost at the Carnival". Not a dud among them! Interestingly, Jon has said that he regards George Benson as "the greatest guitarist on the planet". George's 1965 "It's Uptown" album features some stunning guitar work, and should be heard by lovers of great jazz guitar. Jon plays on Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature" and "Everything Must Go" albums. Buy his "Pulse and Cadence" album and listen to a true guitar genius. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 117 Mb]


1 The Only Fool (J. Herington, F. Pagano)
2 Fabulous (J. Herington)
3 Thirteen Feet Of Rain (J. Herington)
4 Up For Grabs (J. Farmer, J. Herington)
5 She Reminded Me Of You (J. Herington)
6 In Love With Love (D. Espantman, J. Herington)
7 Say You'll Stay (J. Herington)
8 Dreaming (D. Espantman, J. Herington)
9 Everything (D. Espantman, E. Herington, J. Herington)
10 Aveline (D. Espantman, J. Herington)
11 Harsh Light (J. Farmer, J. Herington)


Jon Herington - guitars, Wurlitzer electric piano, Hammond organ, vocals
Dennis Espantman - bass, vocals
Jim Beard - keyboards on Tracks 3, 6: piano on Track 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11
Rob Morsberger - keyboards, Hammond organ, accordion
Ed Alstrom - Hammond organ on Track 11
Frank Pagano - drums, percussion, vocals
Stan Harrison - saxophones on Track 5
Amy Ralske - celli on Track 10
Jim Farmer - blues harp on Track 11


Jon Herington (born Jonathan Reuel Herington on April 14, 1954 in Paterson, New Jersey) is an American guitarist, singer-songwriter and record producer, most known for being a session musician. Currently, he is known for being Steely Dan's lead guitarist. He has been active on the New York City music scene since 1985. Herington was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and grew up in West Long Branch, New Jersey on the Jersey Shore. His first band (called Highway) opened for local Bruce Springsteen on several occasions. He started playing piano and then saxophone, but began playing guitar when his friends left their guitars at his house as a child. Herington studied guitar with Ted Dunbar while at Rutgers College and also studied privately with Harry Leahey and Dennis Sandole. In 1999, toward the end of the recording of their 2000 released album Two Against Nature, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan wanted to hire another rhythm guitar player for some tracks. Ted Baker, a close friend of Herington's, was playing keyboard for the band and Becker and Fagen asked for a recommendation for a guitarist. Baker played "The Complete Rhyming Dictionary," a 1992 solo album on Pioneer's Glass House Records that was released only in Japan, for Becker and Fagen. Soon after, Herington got a call to record Janie Runaway with the rest of the band. Herington then toured with the band to promote the album. In 2003, Steely Dan had Herington back to record their release, Everything Must Go, as well as to tour in promotion of the album. In 2006, Donald Fagen hired Herington to play on and tour for his solo album Morph the Cat. He appears on Walter Becker's latest solo album Circus Money. In 2000, Herington released a solo album, entitled Like So. In addition to Steely Dan, Herington has toured with Boz Scaggs, Bette Midler's "Kiss My Brass" 2005 tour, the Jim Beard group, The Blue Nile, Phoebe Snow, saxophonist Bill Evans, the contemporary jazz superband Chroma, Lucy Kaplansky (of Cry Cry Cry), and jazz/blues organ great Jack McDuff. He was the pit guitarist for Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida on Broadway for several years. Some of Herington's other recording efforts have included Dennis Chambers' "Outbreak"; Michael Leonhart's "Slow"; Jim Beard's four recordings (three of which were co-produced by Jon); two Bill Evans records, Escape and Starfish and the Moon; Michael "Patches" Stewart's Penetration; Bob Berg's "Riddles" and "Virtual Reality;" Lucy Kaplansky's "10 Year Night;" Michael Brecker's "Now You See It...(Now You Don't); " Randy Brecker's "Toe to Toe;" Victor Bailey's "Bottoms Up;" Chroma's "Music on the Edge" (with Mike Stern and others); Robert Secret's "Waiting for Wood" and "Relativity [Blues]," and Lynne Robyn's "Red Bird in Snow." He shares a music studio in midtown Manhattan with Jim Beard.


Larry Carlton

Larry Carlton - Eight Times Up - 1982 - Warner Bros. Records (Japan)

Despite the high praise of critics over the last forty years, Larry has never really achieved true "Guitar Hero" status, on the level of Jimi Hendrix, Jan Akkerman, Robben Ford, BB King and many more great guitarists. Much of his work has been in the light-jazz fusion genre, as a session musician and playing with groups like Fourplay, The Crusaders, and The Yellowjackets. His relatively minor involvement in rock music would be a large factor in him not receiving more acclaim than he has. There's no need to mention Larry's guitar solos on Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne" and Third World Man", so I won't ! Rolling Stone magazine called Larry's solo on Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne" one of the three greatest guitar solos in rock history. Best not to mention that either ! "Eight Times Up" was recorded live on January 28, 1983 at Yuninchokin Hall in Tokyo, Japan between the "Strikes Twice" album and the follow-up album, "Friends". There are six tracks of extended jazz fusion improvisations from the great guitarist, who is backed by Abraham Laborial on bass, John Ferraro on drums, Terry Trotter on Fender Rhodes, and Brian Mann on organ and synths. The album was originally issued only in Japan and Europe. There are no vocals, horns or saxes on the album, just Larry Carlton's trademark unique phrasing. This blog is not a big fan of smooth jazz, but an exception will always be made for Larry Carlton as his playing is phenomenal, and also the tracks here are more on the fusion side than the bland, smooth, elevator jazz that Larry has become embroiled with too often. He remains one of the worlds most gifted and respected guitarists and this album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Larry’s great “Last Nite” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 88 Mb]


1 Strikes Twice 9:10
2 Salud 7:31
3 Blues Bird 4:53
4 Black And White 5:47
5 Upper Kern 7:38
6 House On The Hill 7:10

All tracks composed by Larry Carlton except “Salud” by Abe Laboriel


Larry Carlton - Guitar
Abe Laboriel - Bass
John Ferraro - Drums
Paulinho Da Costa - Percussion
Brian Mann - Keyboards, Organ, Synthesizer
Terry Trotter - Fender Rhodes, Keyboards


The impressive career of jazz guitarist Larry Carlton dates back more than 30 years. During the 1970s and 1980s, Carlton served as a session player with some of the biggest and most respected names in the music industry, covering a vast musical terrain. Although often referred to as a "smooth" jazz musician, he aptly played everything from rock, pop, folk, and jazz to country, gospel, and R&B. His credits include work with the likes of John Lennon, Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, and hundreds of others. At the height of his career as a session player, he contributed to more than 500 recordings per year and, in total, played on more than 100 gold albums. He furthermore worked on numerous film and television soundtracks, including the theme from the show Hill Street Blues, which won a Grammy Award in 1981 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. All the while, Carlton gained recognition for his own work in the studio and on stage. After securing a major-label contract in 1977, he recorded several solo albums and, in March of 2002, at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, won the prize with fellow guitarist Steve Lukather for Best Pop Instrumental Album for No Substitutions: Live in Osaka. Lawrence Eugene Carlton was born on March 2, 1948, in Torrance, California. He displayed an aptitude for music early in life. Picking up the guitar at the age of six, he subsequently discovered jazz while in junior high school after hearing the album Moment of Truth by the Gerald Wilson Big Band, featuring guitarist Joe Pass. As a high school student, Carlton also gravitated toward players such as Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery, and B. B. King, as well as saxophonist John Coltrane. He was influenced in particular by Coltrane’s classic album from 1962 entitled Ballads. Throughout the early 1960s, Carlton honed his skills playing club gigs and taking on occasional studio work in and around Los Angeles. In 1968 he released his debut album, With a Little Help from My Friends, which proved a success among critics and colleagues. Immediately, the entertainment/media industry took notice, and the young guitarist landed a job playing with a group of singers, the Going Thing, for radio and television commercials. In that same year Carlton toured with the group the Fifth Dimension. Then, during the middle of his second year as a professional, he was appointed musical director for the Emmy-nominated children’s television show Mrs. Alphabet. With this gig, Carlton additionally displayed his acting skills as "Larry Guitar," the show’s co-star. By 1970 Carton was regarded as a solid session player, and his early studio dates included work for pop stars such as Vicki Carr, Andy Williams, and the Partridge Family. In 1971 he accepted an offer to join the legendary jazz/rock group the Crusaders, remaining with the band until 1976. In between touring and making records with the Crusaders, Carlton, who released his second album, Singing/Playing, in 1973, continued to contribute to the recordings of other artists. Some of his most celebrated performances of the decade include Joni Mitchell’s 1974 album, Court and Spark, and Steely Dan’s 1976 recording, The Royal Scam. On both works, Carlton displayed his distinctive style—one marked by a bluesy sound and the use of a volume pedal. "I try to exercise the utmost taste at all times," he said of his technique to Guitar Player in February of 1977. "That’s where a lot of players falter—they try to impress too many people. I’m a subtle guitarist, but it pays off. The expression of honesty and emotion best describes what I try to do when I pick up my guitar." When Carlton’s association with the Crusaders ended, the guitarist opted to concentrate more on solo work and signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records. Remaining with the label through the early part of the 1980s, he released six albums during this period: Larry Carlton, Strikes Twice, Mr. 335 Live in Japan, Sleepwalk, Eight Times Up, and Friends. In 1985 Carlton moved to MCA Records, releasing three albums—Alone/But Never Alone, Discovery, and Last Night— the following year. The song "Minute by Minute," recorded with Michael McDonald, won Carlton his second Grammy Award in 1987 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. Additionally, Carlton’s live album Last Night received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. In 1988, while working on his next album for MCA, Carlton was shot in the neck outside his Los Angeles-area home, leaving him temporarily without control of his left arm. Fortunately, a positive attitude and intensive therapy allowed him to make a full recovery. The event also encouraged Carlton to form Helping Innocent People (HIP), a nonprofit organization designed to aid the victims of random gun violence. "It made me realize that we’re all the same, that good and bad things can happen at any time," he told Los Angeles Times writer Bill Kohlhaase of the incident. "It was a very humbling experience. I was fortunate that nine months after the shooting I was back to playing, if not better than ever, and had full use of my arm." Just one year after the shooting, in 1989, Carlton released the Grammy Award-nominated set On Solid Ground. In 1990 MCA acquired GRP Records, placing all the label’s jazz artists on the new subsidiary. That year, GRP released an album of Carlton’s "greatest hits" for MCA entitled Collection Vol. 1. His next effort, the 1992 poporiented jazz set Kid Gloves, saw Carlton for the first time combining electric and acoustic elements on the same album. Afterwards, Carlton resumed work on a blues-based album he had begun back in 1991 with drummer John Ferraro, keyboardist Matt Rollings, bassist Michael Rhodes, and harmonica player Terry McMillan. He took six original tracks to Nashville, met up once more with Rhodes and McMillan, as well as new drummer Chris Layton, and recorded four new songs. The resulting Renegade Gentlemen appeared in 1993. Following an extensive tour, Carlton teamed with Four play guitarist Lee Ritenour for the album Larry and Lee. Released in 1995, it garnered Carlton another Grammy Award nomination. In 1996 he returned with The Gift, followed by the release of Collection Vol. 2 in 1997. That same year, he accepted an offer to join Fourplay, as Ritenour had departed in order to form his own label. He recorded three albums with the band—including 4 in 1998, the Christmas album Snowbound in 1999, and Yes, Please! in 2000—while simultaneously pursuing his solo work. Returning to Warner Bros., he released Fingerprints in 2000. The following year, Carlton and longtime friend/guitarist Steve Lukather toured for three weeks together in Japan. The highlights of these concerts were thereafter released by the Favored Nations label under the title No Substitutions: Live in Osaka, which won a Grammy Award the following year. Back in 1996, Carlton relocated from his Hollywood Hills home to the Nashville area in order to live closer to Lebanon, Tennessee, home of his children from a previous marriage, and to fulfill a longtime dream of living in the country. "I knew in my 20s that I wanted to eventually live a more rural lifestyle," he explained to Michael McCall in the Los Angeles Times. "I was born and raised in Torrance, but my parents are Okies. As a kid, I’d go on vacations to farms in southeastern Oklahoma. We’d fish and hunt, and I’d ride horses and play along the rivers and creeks. I always loved that, and I wanted to have that kind of a life as an adult." Carlton and his second wife, Michele Pillar, a former Contemporary Christian singer, make their home on a 100-acre farm in the community of Lieper’s Fork, Tennessee. Besides assuming a simpler way of life, Carlton also found the music scene in Nashville much more fulfilling. "In the music community, and especially the song-writing community, it’s just an open book here," Carlton told Los Angeles Times contributor Josef Woodard. "They welcome you, they appreciate you and want to interact with you.… It’s not clique-y like it can be in Los Angeles. Consequently, there are many opportunities to interact with people who you think are great." Although he does not miss living in Los Angeles, Carlton nevertheless looks forward to frequent visits to play gigs and spend time with his parents and friends. © 2011 Answers Corporation http://www.answers.com/topic/larry-carlton


Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson - Anaheim Live - 2008 - Vanguard

Filmed at the Grove in Anaheim, CA on May 3, 2006, this DVD presents 50 minutes of Eric Johnson in concert, leading a trio that also includes Tommy Taylor on drums and Chris Maresh on bass. The nine songs showcase Johnson's versatility and virtuosity on electric guitar on both instrumental and vocal numbers. Johnson moves between Hendrix-indebted effects (in fact, according to the back cover blurb, this has his only recorded performance of Jimi's "Manic Depression") to passages which nod to jazzy fluidity and folky dexterity, though most often with a hard rock base. While five of the songs are Johnson originals, Maresh contributes "Rocktopus," and in addition to the Hendrix cover, versions of standards by Bob Dylan ("My Back Pages") and Neil Diamond (the Monkees hit "Little Bit Me Little Bit You") are also tackled. Visually it's a basic but very accomplished document of the event, focusing on the fairly no-nonsense musicianship, with plenty of angles allowing aficionados to watch Johnson's fingering and techniques in action. Also included on the DVD are three acoustic performances, two of them on piano (including another Hendrix cover in "Wind Cries Mary"), as well as a short interview sequence from July 2007 in which Johnson discusses the creative process and working on his upcoming album, interspersed with some concert footage not found in the disc's principal feature. © Richie Unterberger © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/anaheim-live-mw0001676319 [N.B: This is the DVD version review]

Great gig recorded at the Grove in Anaheim, CA on May 3, 2006 by the brilliant guitarist Eric Johnson and his band. SQ could be better but the musicianship is top notch. As well as seven band originals, (6 x Johnson & 1 by Maresh), there are covers of Bob Dylan’s “My Back Pages”, Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression”, and Neil Diamond’s “Little Bit Me Little Bit You”. Listen to Eric Johnson’s “Live from Austin, TX '84” album [All tracks @ 319 Kbps: File size = 88.6 Mb]


1 Summer Jam - Eric Johnson
2 My Back Pages - Bob Dylan
3 Trademark - Eric Johnson
4 Manic Depression - Jimi Hendrix
5 On The Way To Love - Eric Johnson
6 Rocktopus - Chris Maresh
7 S.R.V. - Eric Johnson
8 Little Bit Me Little Bit You - Neil Diamond
9 Cliffs Of Dover - Eric Johnson
10 Outro - Eric Johnson


Eric Johnson - Guitar, Vocals
Chris Maresh - Bass
Tommy Taylor - Drums

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson - Tones - 1986 - Reprise

Tones, Eric Johnson's first solo album, is an exceptionally strong debut, and a record that is just as good as the guitarist's breakthrough 1990 release Ah Via Musicom. Grouped with long-time compatriots Roscoe Beck and Tommy Taylor, Johnson's trademark composing voice and so-sweet electric guitar are already on full display. True to the album's title, Johnson showcases many different guitar tones, from the violin-like sustain of his trademark distortion to the bell-like timbre of his clean-toned rhythm work. Johnson also sings on five of the nine songs on Tones, and his voice is as competently expressive as ever. The second half of this record is really where it moves from being simply "good" to "great." Emerging from Stephen Barber's almost new-agey Fairlight CMI vamp, "Trail of Tears" kicks into a driving groove punctuated by Johnson's chordal stabs and arpeggios and carried by one of the guitarist's best vocal melodies. The multi-tiered arrangement is also one of the high marks of Johnson's catalog. This track segues in turn into the wonderful "Bristol Shore." This song features Johnson making his guitar sound like a koto as well as throwing in some impossibly in-tune upper-register licks that are played so sweetly they seem to threaten to fly off into the stratosphere (pun intended). The lack of a "Cliffs of Dover," a catchy, driving instrumental showcase for Johnson's chops, does not cheapen Tones in any way. It is a beautiful and important album by one of the greatest electric guitarists ever to pick up the instrument. © Daniel Gioffre © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/tones-mw0000193561

Guitar maestro, Eric Johnson has been called "A perfection-driven, genre-bending axe slinger from Texas with one of the most distinctive electric guitar tones in music". Guitar Player Magazine called Eric “one of the most respected guitarists on the planet”, and called “Tones” a majestic debut. Eric also made the cover of Guitar Player magazine after the album’s release. The track “Zap” earned Eric his first Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Eric has been criticized for being too much of a technical musician and not playing with his heart, but he takes great pride in his technical mastery of the guitar and sees himself fulfilling a different role in the guitar world. He says "you have to start out slowly and develop your “ear theory” before you worry about the “book theory” of playing guitar. Eric may be a perfectionist but his albums are worth waiting for. “Tones”’ songs' structures are mostly progressively influenced. The album has Latin, jazz, Beatlesque, and even classical influences but all these elements are embedded in beautiful bluesy fret runs and jazzy fusion grooves. A truly great album and HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Eric's stunning "Ah Via Musicom" album. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 110 Mb]


1. Soulful Terrain - Eric Johnson 4:15
2. Friends - Eric Johnson 5:35
3. Emerald Eyes - Eric Johnson, Jay Aaron 3:22
4. Off My Mind - Eric Johnson 3:59
5. Desert Song - Eric Johnson 4:19
6. Trail of Tears - Eric Johnson, Carla Olson, Stephen Barber 6:02
7. Bristol Shore - Eric Johnson 6:39
8. Zap - Eric Johnson 4:42
9. Victory - Eric Johnson, Roscoe Beck, Tommy Taylor 6:38


Eric Johnson - Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals
Roscoe Beck - Bass, 6-String Bass
Stephen Barber - Piano, Fairlight Cmi Computer
Tommy Taylor - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Jerry Marotta - Percussion, Vocals
David Tickle - Percussion, Fairlight Cmi Computer
[See sleeve notes] - Background Vocals


Very few musical artists achieve a true signature style -- one that makes comparisons to other musicians impossible. But Texas guitarist Eric Johnson arguably comes as close to this echelon as any musician from the past quarter-century. Like fellow Lone Star State guitarists Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnson blends the rock style of Jimi Hendrix and the blues power of Albert King. Yet Johnson's wide array of additional influences (from the Beatles and Jeff Beck to jazz and Chet Atkins) makes for a guitar sound as unique as his fingerprints. "When I first heard Eric," Winter recalls, "he was only 16, and I remember wishing that I could have played like that at that age." Former Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter says, "If Jimi Hendrix had gone on to study with Howard Roberts for about eight years, you'd have what this kid strikes me as." The Austin prodigy appeared on the cover of Guitar Player magazine while working with Texas jazz/fusion band the Electromagnets and as a session player (Cat Stevens, Carole King, Christopher Cross), and a 1984 performance on the TV show Austin City Limits set his recording career in motion. Johnson's 1986 debut album, Tones, certainly proved that the hype was warranted. Playing with the ace rhythm section of bassist Roscoe Beck and drummer Tommy Taylor, Johnson mixed blazing instrumentals ("Zap," "Victory") with Beatles-influenced vocal tunes like "Emerald Eyes" and "Bristol Shore." Johnson used the same half-and-half format on the 1990 follow-up, Ah Via Musicom, but a trio of the album's tunes surprisingly made him the first artist to have three instrumentals from the same album to chart in the Top Ten in any format (with "Cliffs of Dover" earning Johnson a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental). But, if Johnson had a perceived weakness, it was the perfectionism that caused four years to pass between recordings. Even in concert, he would painstakingly tune his guitar between songs, by ear, for minutes on end. With the success of Ah Via Musicom, the guitarist admitted to feeling pressure to raise the bar again. But Johnson's studio nitpicking delayed Venus Isle until 1996, and the disappointing CD contained fewer instrumentals and sounded forced. A stint on the 1997 G3 tour with fellow headlining guitarists Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, and its resulting live release, breathed new life into Johnson and sparked the idea of a live album. Overhauling his band for the 2000 CD Live and Beyond, Johnson brought in bassist Chris Maresh and drummer Bill Maddox, and concentrated on more of a blues feel. The guitarist still blended instrumentals with his vocal tunes ("Shape I'm In," "Last House on the Block"), but perhaps realized that his thin voice was too one-dimensional for guttural blues or R&B. Guest vocalist Malford Milligan ignites "Don't Cha Know" and "Once a Part of Me," helping Johnson's blazing debut on Vai's Favored Nations label and reestablishing the versatile virtuoso's status for the 21st century. As Vai himself testifies, "Eric has more colorful tone in his fingers than Van Gogh had on his palette." Souvenir, an album available only through Johnson's website, appeared in 2002, followed by CD and DVD versions of New West's Live from Austin, TX and Bloom, the second album for Vai's Favored Nations imprint, in 2005. Johnson returned in 2010 with Up Close, a studio album that slightly emphasized the guitarist's Texas roots. © Bill Meredith © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/eric-johnson-mn0000188261188261


Robben Ford

Robben Ford - Blue Moon - 2002 - Concord

Guitarist and vocalist Robben Ford is back with a compelling, rock- and soul-infused album of his signature blues. One of the most awe-inspiring guitarists of our day, Robben crosses musical genres: from blues to jazz to rock with as much ease as a fit marathon runner crosses the street. And still the power, soul, groove and essence of the blues is always at the unshakable core of his distinctive music. The definitive result is Blue Moon - a colorful, expansive, and uniquely Robben Ford album, in which the master guitarist/vocalist/songwriter draws from his broad palette of musical hues to create the richest, deepest shades of blue.Featuring: Robben Ford, Guitar, wurlitzer electric piano, piano, vocals; Russell Ferrante, piano; Neil Larsen, organ, piano; Tom Brechtlein, drums; Vinnie Colaiuta, drums; Roscoe Beck, Zeta bass, 5-string bass; Jimmy Earl, electric bass; Lee R. Thornburg, trumpet, trombone; Dave "Woody" Woodford, tenor sax, baritone sax; Julie Christensen, vocal on "Make Me Your Only One"; Louis Pardini, background vocal on "Don't Deny Your Love". © 2011 Robben Ford, All Rights Reserved http://www.robbenford.com/blueMoonPage.html

Over the years many people have asked, "Will the real Robben Ford please stand up?" Those are the people who wonder if the singer/guitarist is really a blues-rock vocalist or a jazz fusion instrumentalist at heart. But truth be told, Ford is many different things. He is genuinely eclectic, which is why one never really knows from one album to the next what direction he will take. Blue Moon, Ford's first album for Concord Jazz, is primarily a vocal date. Ford gets in his share of inspired guitar solos, and he provides one instrumental: the gutsy "Indianola." But most of the time he sings. And as a vocalist, he favors an exciting blend of blues, rock, and soul on tracks like "Something for the Pain," "Don't Deny Your Love," and "The Way You Treated Me (You're Gonna Be Sorry)." Meanwhile, "It Don't Make Sense (You Can't Make Peace)" and the moody "Make Me Your Only One" are among the CD's more jazz-tinged vocal offerings. Ford does not embrace a standard 12-bar blues format on all of the material, but then, he never claimed to be a blues purist. Ford isn't a blues purist any more than he is a rock purist, a jazz purist, or an R&B purist -- he is much too restless and broad-minded to be any type of purist. That isn't good news if you only like one type of music, but it is very good news if you share Ford's eclectic outlook and have admired his diversity over the years. Ford was in his late forties when he recorded Blue Moon in the early 2000s, and this pleasing CD is the work of a musician who is still very much on top of his game. © Alex Henderson © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/blue-moon-mw0000219508

Robben Ford is one of the most versatile, technically accomplished, and talented guitarists in the world today. Over a career of 40 years, Robben has established himself as a "musician's musician" and is highly respected as a blues, jazz, R&B, and rock artist. Although he has never achieved the widespread recognition he deserves, and his music seldom receives radio airplay, Robben has a large and loyal following who revere his blues and jazz credentials and his incredible musical virtuosity. Robben’s website states that he is “one of the most awe-inspiring guitarists of our day, Robben crosses musical genres: from blues to jazz to rock with as much ease as a fit marathon runner crosses the street. And still the power, soul, groove and essence of the blues is always at the unshakable core of his distinctive music”. That is a great description of Robben Ford’s music and the statement is not exaggerated. “Blue Moon” is just one of Robben’s more eclectic albums. He uses his vocals to a large extent on the album which includes a mixture of rock, blues, soul, R&B, and jazz. Nine of the tracks were written or co-written by Robben. He also covers two tracks by Little Walter Jacobs, Big Maceo’s “The Way You Treated Me (You’re Gonna Be Sorry)”, and Willie Dixon’s “ It Don’t Make Sense (You Can’t Make Peace)”. Robben’s guitar work is wonderful and the album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. For a taste of some terrific blues guitar, listen to Robben’s “Truth” album. If you are more into great fusion guitar, listen to the “Jing Chi Live at Yoshi's” album featuring Robben with Jimmy Haslip on bass and the incomparable drummer Vinnie Colaiuta who also appears on this album. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 149 Mb]


1 Up The Line - Little Walter Jacobs 3:48
2 Hard To Please - Robben Ford 4:12
3 Don’t Deny Your Love - Robben Ford, Kevin Bowe 5:02
4 Make Me Your Only One - Robben Ford, Mike Osborn
5 Indianola - Robben Ford 5:19
6 My Everything - Robben Ford 4:41
7 The Way You Treated Me (You’re Gonna Be Sorry) - Big Maceo 6:44
8 Sometime Love - Robben Ford 3:58
9 Good To Love - Robben Ford 3:42
10 Something For The Pain - Robben Ford, Kevin Bowe 4:58
11 It Don’t Make Sense (You Can’t Make Peace) - Willie Dixon 6:13
12 Don’t Deny Your Love (Remix) - Robben Ford, Kevin Bowe 4:56
13 The Toddle (Bonus Track) - Little Walter Jacobs 4:21


Robben Ford - Guitar, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Piano, Vocals
Roscoe Beck, Jimmy Earl - Bass
Neil Larsen - Organ, Piano
Russell Ferrante - Piano
Vinnie Colaiuta, Tom Brechtlein - Drums
Dave “Woody” Woodford - Tenor & Baritone Saxophone
Lee R. Thornburg - Trumpet, Trombone
Charlie Musselwhite - Harmonica on “The Toddle”
Julie Christensen - Vocal on “Make Me Your Only One”
Louis Pardini - Background Vocal on “Don’t Deny Your Love”


Robben Ford has had a diverse career. He taught himself guitar when he was 13 and considered his first influence to be Mike Bloomfield. At 18 he moved to San Francisco to form the Charles Ford Band (named after his father, who was also a guitarist) and was soon hired to play with Charlie Musselwhite for nine months. In 1971, the Charles Ford Blues Band was re-formed and recorded for Arhoolie in early 1972. Ford played with Jimmy Witherspoon (1972-1973), the L.A. Express with Tom Scott (1974), George Harrison, and Joni Mitchell. In 1977 he was a founding member of the Yellowjackets, which he stayed with until 1983, simultaneously having a solo career and working as a session guitarist. In 1986, Ford toured with Miles Davis and had two separate periods (1985 and 1987) with Sadao Watanabe, but he really seemed to find himself in 1992 when he returned to his roots: the blues. Ford formed a new group, the Blue Line, and subsequently recorded a couple of blues-rock dates for Stretch that are among the finest of his career. In 1999, he released Sunrise on Rhino and Supernatural on Blue Thumb. Ford signed to the Concord Jazz label in 2002 and released Blue Moon that same year, followed by Keep on Running in 2003 and Truth in 2007. That same year, he was a billed special guest on Larry Carlton's Live in Tokyo. He followed this with the predominantly live Soul on Ten in 2009. In 2013, Ford began his label association with Provogue, and issued the studio album Bringing It Back Home, comprised mostly of blues and R&B covers played by an all-star band. © Scott Yanow © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/robben-ford-mn0000830063


Various Artists - Steely Dan Karaoke Anthology (Steely Dan Related)

V.A - Steely Dan Karaoke Anthology - 2006 - Radio Starz

An official album release of 16 instrumental Karaoke versions of Steely Dan songs. These songs are professional re-recordings in the style of the original tracks. The original discs have on screen lyrics using a CDG player. If you're really into The Dan, listen to these near note for note tracks, (great on headphones) and sing the originals to the backing tracks. On second thoughts maybe it's better not to sing! Just use your imagination. Information is needed on the actual musicians on this CD, but they do a fantastic job. VHR by A.O.O.F.C [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 168 Mb]


1. Reelin' In The Years
2. Black Friday
3. Hey 19
4. Do It Again
5. Show Biz Kids
6. Rikki Don't Lose That Number
7. Time Out Of Mind
8. My Old School
9. Kid Charlemagne
10. Deacon Blues
11. Peg
12. Josie
13. Fm (No Static At All)
14. Dirty Work
15. The Fez
16. Bodhisattva

All songs composed by Donald Fagen & Walter Becker except Track 15 by Walter Becker, Donald Fagen, Paul L. Griffin

Leni Stern

Leni Stern - Like One - 1993 - Lipstick Records

It isn't elitism that makes many in the jazz hardcore shudder whenever the word "fusion" is mentioned; it is the attempt to define any and everything instrumental as jazz, regardless of sound, structure, intent and content. Guitarist Leni Stern clearly has improvisational skills, and there are certainly songs on his current session designed in a jazz context. But neither Sting's "Every Breath You Take" nor Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark" qualify; these are clearly pop covers, done with little or no jazz sensibility. Other songs reveal Stern's penchant for light, finely played voicings and bluesy chords, and includes some fervent blowing from tenor saxophonist Bob Malach. There is a lot on this session that is entertaining and commendable; just don't call the Sting cover jazz. © Ron Wynn © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/like-one-mw0000619594

Born in Munich, Germany, Leni started playing piano at the age of six and guitar at eleven. At seventeen, she formed her own acting company. Her radical productions sold out houses across Europe and attracted press and TV coverage. In 1977, she turned her attention to music and left for the United States to study film scoring at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Film scoring gave way to her love for guitar and in 1981, Leni moved to New York City to play in a variety of rock and jazz bands. In 1983, she formed a group of her own with Paul Motion on drums and Bill Frisell on guitar. In between writing, recording, and touring, Leni runs her own record label, Leni Stern Recordings (LSR). Take Ron Wynn’s advice and “don’t call the Sting cover jazz” or please don’t attempt to classify "Court and Spark" as jazz either. That would be musical sacrilege! (lol)! Leaving these hugely important points aside, give this album a listen and enjoy great guitar playing. There may be a misconception that Leni is purely a jazz guitarist. She was definitely categorized as a jazz guitarist very early on in her career but over the years her music has become increasingly difficult to label. Leni, herself has said that “I see myself as an improvising musician, and I sing so.” She plays so also. Leni has introduced many different musical elements into her music over her career including African guitar. She has travelled to many different countries and absorbed many musical influences including Hindustani classical vocal techniques. How many guitarists can you name who have gone to the trouble to take this kind of real interest in their music? Ok. Let’s start with Jeff Beck, George Harrison...(lol)! But really, to get back to the original review, who said this was a jazz album? I doubt if Sting or Joni Mitchell would be upset by Leni’s covers of their songs, and even if you are a jazz lover, it would be hard to be “upset” if some of the songs played by Leni on the album are not strictly jazz. All her musical life, Leni has played jazz, rock and pop and any of her albums are an education in music. “Like One” is HR by A.O.O.F.C. It is really pointless trying to categorise music. Are musical definitions really that important? Music is continuously evolving and Leni Stern has been a major player in it’s evolution. Don’t get stuck in a musical time warp! Listen to Leni’s “Finally The Rain Has Come” album which features Steely Dan drummer, Keith Carlock and also John Mclaughlin on guitar [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 111 Mb]


1. Bubbles (5:12)
2. Jessie's Song (6:04)
3. Low Blow (5:22)
4. Leave Softly (5:39)
5. Lights Out (4:42)
6. Blue Cloud (6:46)
7. Bruze (4:11)
8. Every Breath You Take (4:22)
9. Court And Spark (3:54)
10. Back Out (5:01)

All songs composed by Leni Stern, except "Low Blow" by Mike Stern & Leni Stern, "Court And Speak" by Joni Mitchell and "Every Breath You Take" by Sting


Leni Stern - Electric & Slide Guitar, Acoustic 6 and 12 string Guitar, Tiple
Alain Caron - Electric Bass
Russell Ferrante - Keyboards
Dennis Chambers - Drums
Bob Malach - Tenor Saxophone
Didier Lockwood - Violin on Tracks 5,7,10


Regarded as the "First Lady" of jazz guitar, German born composer Leni Stern has become a respected force on the global music scene, earning the Orville H. Gibson Award for Best Female Jazz Guitarist for five consecutive years from 1996 through 2000. With songs ranging from the delicately melodic to bebop and funk, Stern has won accolades for both her compositions and her guitar skills from the world’s most respected music critics and publications. Guitar Player once described her work as "a case study in the interactive properties of composition and improvisation," while Jazz Times likewise applauded Stern’s music, calling it "crisp, confident and bursting with energy." In addition to her achievements as a musician, she also ventured into the business side of the recording industry. In the 1990s, Stern established her own record label, Leni Stern Recordings, and handled most of her own business affairs. "I have this rule," she told Andy Ellis of Guitar Player in 1998. "Whenever I get bad news—like I didn’t get a gig—I don’t get up from my chair until I’ve attempted to avoid the bitterness. I translate the energy into a phone call to try and get another gig." Moreover, Stern expressed that dealing with business is a necessary evil for every musician. "But it’s a separate art," she further explained, "and you have to keep it in proportion. You need to admit that you’ll probably never be a great businessperson. I’m sure my lawyer and accountant friends double over laughing at my business sense. But its about being part of the game, if you don’t want to be treated like a child and used like a slave, you have to become a grown-up, sit at the table, and establish a level playing field. My awareness of this is probably heightened by the fact that I’m a woman. I had to get my shit together, because it was too frustrating to be ignored." Born Magdalena Thora in Munich, Germany, in 1952, Leni (pronounced "Lay-nee") Stern was drawn to music early in life. A child prodigy, she discovered the piano at age six, started taking classical piano lessons at the age of seven, and after finding an old guitar in the attic of her home, picked up that instrument and began teaching herself jazz at age eleven. Even as a child, Stern realized she possessed a natural gift for composition. "I didn’t think of it as composing at the time, but I was always sticking chords together and putting a melody on top," she recalled to Bill Milkowski and Jesse Gress in a 1993 interview with Guitar Player. "What I learned from studying composition was how to make that process go faster. I used to randomly search for something I liked. When you study composition, you learn to look in better places for what you like. You eliminate choices and get right to the heart of the matter. And then you also learn to analyze what other people do—and steal." Back then, Stern’s primary influences included Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Ralph Towner, and Pat Metheny, whose "Bright Size Life," she said, later "changed my whole life." In addition to music, Stern held aspirations in other areas of the arts, namely acting. A drama major at Falckenberg Schauspelschule, the young performer went on—upon graduating from school at the age of 17—to found her own theater company, for which she also served as musical director. Before long, Stern and her radical productions sold out houses across Europe, gaining the young artist considerable press and television coverage, especially in France and Germany. As Stern’s reputation blossomed, she started attracting more job offers, for both composing and acting, and by the mid-1970s, she had written two film scores and was appearing regularly on the television hit Goldener Sontag, a popular German show that spoofed soap operas. Jazz Guitar Beckoned: - In 1977, Stern left behind her successful career as an actor and relocated to the United States, where she enrolled as a composition major at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Here, she met and befriended guitarist Bill Frisell, who accepted Stern as a private student and also introduced her to her future husband, fellow guitarist Mike Stern. "I had asked Frisell to show me some rock and blues licks, so he took me to see Michael play at a club in Boston … and he had the chops of doom," she recalled to Milkowski and Gress. "He made all the other guitar players in the audience turn green. So I asked him if he would teach me, and that was that. Two weeks later, he brought his amp over to my place, and soon after that we were married." While at Berklee, Stern also studied with Jon Damián, who taught the aspiring guitarist to listen and play with an open mind. "He really understands how music works, and he knows the connection between playing notes and pure sound," Stern explained to Ellis. "And he can bring you to that place. To Jon, everything is music. I think he’s a genius—or the closest I’ve come to it. My main teacher was Bill Frisell, who also studied with Jon. Along with my husband, Mike Stern, these are my major influences." In 1980, the couple moved to New York City when Stern’s husband landed an eventful gig playing with legendary trumpeter Miles Davis. Meanwhile, Stern herself played with various rock and jazz groups before forming her own band in 1983 with Frisell and drummer Paul Motian. Two years later, in 1985, Stern arrived with her debut, Clairvoyant, for the now defunct Passport label. Produced by Hiram Bullock and featuring Frisell as second guitarist alongside Stern, as well as Motian, bassist Harvie Swartz, pianist Larry Willis, and tenor saxophonist Bob Berg, the album won considerable praise. Since then, Stern continued to form associations with some of the jazz world’s leading musicians. "I’ve always hired the guys who were better than me," she informed Milkowski and Gress. "Michael Brecker once told me that it was the best way to learn." Her follow-up recording, 1987’s The Next Day, featured the same lineup as her debut with producer Bullock substituting for Frisell on rhythm guitar. Secrets, her energized 1989 debut for the Enja label, employed a three-guitar front line, with Stern’s tone contrasted against slide work by guitarist David Tronzo and superb saxophone playing by Berg, while third guitarist, Wayne Krantz, supplied the rhythm. Other featured musicians included percussionist Don Alias, drummer Dennis Chambers, and bassist Lincoln Goines—all top-notch players. Her next record, 1990s Closer to the Light, returned many of the same sessionists, including powerhouse drumming by Chambers and Zach Danzinger, and a special guest appearance by saxophonist David Sanborn. Collaborated with the Best: - Ten Songs, released in 1992 on the Lipstick label, also saw Stern employing a cast of renowned players, such as Bob Malach on tenor saxophone, Gil Goldstein on keys, Badal Roy on Indian percussion, Zawinul Syndicate drummer Rodney Holmes, and bassist Alain Caron from the Canadian fusion group Uzeb, as well as Chambers, Goines, and Krantz. Collaborating with the best over the years evidently paid off for the album, and critics noted Stern’s expanded technique—with Stern additionally playing Spanish and slide guitar—along with her always noted compositional skills. "That’s the Dave Tronzo influence," she said to Milkowski and Gress, referring to her slide guitar spotlight for the fusion track "Trouble." "I love the sound of it—it’s so swampy and emotional." Following the release of Ten Songs, Stern returned as a sole guitarist on 1993’s Like One, which featured Didier Lockwood on violin; teamed with keyboardist John Askew for a more stripped-down sound on 1995’s Words; and reunited with Krantz for an album of guitar duets for 1996’s Separate Cages. In 1997, Stern arrived with her first recording for her own label entitled Black Guitar, which brought the musician’s musical vision into sharp focus. The highly acclaimed work also reached out to a new audience, moving away from strictly jazz elements and adding surprisingly effective vocals alongside some of her most confident guitar playing. Although Stern had previously experimented with singing during her live performances, she had never tried recording her soft, somewhat breathy voice before until Black Guitar. "Be advised that Black Guitar is not a jazz album with some songs thrown in for balance," Jon Andrews concluded in a review for Down Beat in 1998. "Here, we venture into the introspective domain of the singer/songwriter, where hushed, somewhat confessional vocals and storytelling are central to a low key, intimate experience." Stern’s next release, 1998’s Recollection, looked back on the guitarist’s previous work, featuring vintage material as well as new songs that again showcased Stern’s singing ability. Stern and her husband have continued to reside in Manhattan in New York throughout their careers, and each guitarist prefers to keep their professional lives separate. As for possible collaborations with her husband in the future, Stern remarked, as quoted by Milkowski and Gress, "We play together around the house, but it’s so private. But I do have this vision of when we’re old and grey, sitting on the stage of Carnegie Hall playing ’Body and Soul‘ in rocking chairs." Triumphed over Cancer: - Although Stern has enjoyed an accomplished recording career and has earned the reputation as the world’s leading female jazz guitarist and composer, one of her most significant triumphs was of a more personal sort. In 1989, at the same time Stern was making great strides with her music, doctors diagnosed the guitarist with breast cancer. "I’m not the kind of person who worries and suffers in silence, who turns inward and consumes herself," she explained to Milkowski and Gress. "So I found a need to turn my amp up to 10 after I was diagnosed, to let the feedback sing for a while." Determined to defeat the disease, Stern fought back, and following surgery, chemotherapy, and various alternative treatments—including vitamins, improved nutrition, and even magnets—she won her greatest battle and was soon in remission. "I was really afraid that this thing was going to take over my life," she admitted to Milkowski and Gress. "So I really tried to return to normal as soon as I could. I was out of the hospital for three weeks when I went right back to playing just to prove to myself that I could still do it, even though I couldn’t really lift up my arm after surgery. I was deathly afraid that I wouldn’t be able to move my hands. That’s the first thing I told the surgeon: If you have to cut any tendons or nerves that affect my hands, I’d rather die. Don’t do it. Don’t mess up my hands.’" © 2013 Answers Corporation http://www.answers.com/topic/leni-stern