With his signature Hammond organ style and versatility on many keyboards, Boston native Larry Goldings (b. 1968) has traversed not only the wide spectrum of jazz where he is perhaps best known, but also the worlds of funk, pop, and alternative music. High in demand as a sideman, Goldings' sound can be heard on scores of albums by artists in virtually every musical genre.
In recent years, his distinctive playing has graced the albums of Christina Aguilera, Walter Becker, Solomon Burke, Tracy Chapman, De La Soul, Robben Ford, Steve Gadd, Melody Gardot, Herbie Hancock, Jesse Harris, Colin Hay, India.Arie, Al Jarreau, Norah Jones, John Mayer, Madeleine Peyroux, John Pizzarelli, David Sanborn, Sia, Luciana Souza, and many others.
Goldings has collaborated closely, on the road and in the studio, with such artists as Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, Maceo Parker, Madeleine Peyroux, John Scofield, and James Taylor. Taylor's retrospective album, One Man Band (Hear Music), represents the culmination of two and a half year worldwide tour, with Goldings as Mr. Taylor's sole collaborator/accompanist, or "one man band." The album, which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), features an original composition by Larry entitled "School Song." As a leader, Larry has released 15 albums, many of which feature his long time organ trio with Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart. This group is widely recognized for charting new ground, with the musicians' synergistic playing and their hard-swinging, yet very thoughtful, music. In 2007, Larry (alongside John Scofield and Jack DeJonnette) received a Best Jazz Album Grammy nomination for their recording, Trio Beyond - Saudades (ECM).
In the past decade, Goldings has become increasingly known as a composer, arranger, and producer. Goldings' compositions have been recorded by Michael Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Bob Dorough, Jim Hall, John Scofield, Toots Thielemans, Curtis Stigers, Jane Monheit, Gaby Moreno and Sia Furler, among others. His songs and arrangements also appear in the films Space Cowboys, Proof, and Funny People. Goldings is a featured performer in the 2009 Clint Eastwood documentary, The Dream's on Me, playing original arrangements of several classic Johnny Mercer tunes on piano and Hammond organ. Also sought out by the advertising world, Larry has written music for Amtrak, Time Warner Cable, and others.
Current projects include his recent album, When Larry Met Harry (Cafe Society Records), featuring sax great Harry Allen. In May, Goldings released a solo piano record, In My Room (BFM Jazz), exploring songs by Brian Wilson, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, The Zombies, Stephen Foster, Abdullah Ibrahim and others. It also includes new compositions, and prepared piano improvisations.
born 1967, New York City has been a part of the jazz scene in New York and abroad since 1989. During that time he has participated in over 80 recordings and numerous festival, concert and club performances with musicians from all generations. As a leader, Peter has released nine albums and a DVD, Live at Smoke.
He got his first break while attending the New School when he met the legendary guitarist Jim Hall. Hall asked Peter to participate in his Invitational Concert as part of the 1990 JVC Jazz Festival. The event featured such guitarists as John Scofield and Pat Metheny and was release as Live at Town Hall Vol. 2. by Music Masters. Hall noted that Peter “…has paid attention to the past as well as the future. He is the most impressive guitarist I’ve heard. He plays the best of them all for swing, logic, feel and taste.”
Also in 1990, Peter Bernstein was discovered by alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson and took part in the first of four recordings with him. He was a regular member of his group throughout the 1990s. “Some people just have it.” Donaldson said. “…most of the time you have to teach someone what to do, but Peter knows it all.”
Peter has also enjoyed long musical associations with legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb (Cobb’s Mob), as well as organist Larry Goldings and drummer Bill Stewart as a member of their highly acclaimed trio. The New York Times called them “the best organ trio of the last decade”. Together they recorded a dozen of records, all of which display their distinctive sound, whether exploring the depths of jazz standards or playing their original compositions.
From 1995 through 1997, Peter was a member of Joshua Redman’s band and played on Redman’s Freedom in the Groove CD. He played with Diana Krall’s quartet from 1999 through 2001 and with Dr. Lonnie Smith, the legendary organist who made his debut on the George Benson Cookbook albums. He has also recorded five CDs with organist Melvin Rhyne, known for his association with Wes Montgomery. In addition, Peter has appeared in groups led by Nicholas Payton, Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, and Eric Alexander.
Current projects include his recent album, Monk, recorded for the newly reactivated Xanadu label. Together with Doug Weiss and Bill Stewart, he put their own spin on the rich legacy of Thelonious Monk.
In September, Bernstein released a solo guitar record, Solo Guitar – Live at Smalls (Smalls Live), an intimate recording that makes you feel like you’re sitting in the front row at Small’s jazz club in New York City.
William Harris “Bill” Stewart was born on October 18, 1966 in Des Moines, Iowa. Bill Stewart’s father was a trombonist and a big fan of Bill Harris, an acclaimed jazz trombonist from the 1940s and 1950s jazz scene. His love for Bill Harris’ work was such that he named Bill Stewart after him, as a tribute.
Bill Stewart’s first exposure to music came from listening to his parents’ collection of jazz and rhythm and blues (R&B) records. Listening to records was the most effective way of getting exposed to different styles of music, since Iowa was a relatively isolated state. Live jazz concerts, for instance, were very rare in that area of the United States.
Bill Stewart began playing drums at the age of 7. He taught himself how to play drums by playing along to records at his house. Therefore, Bill Stewart didn’t get the most traditional of drumming educations in jazz. In fact, Bill Stewart learned jazz drumming using matched grip, a grip that’s mostly associated with rock drumming and the one he prefers using till this day. Drum lessons, drum books, and drum rudiments was something he would get into later on.
Bill Stewart continued developing his drumming skills in high school by performing in its orchestra and in a top 40 cover band. He also furthered his studies in jazz by going to the Stanford Jazz Workshop in California, a summer music camp where he was lucky enough to meet jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie.
After successfully graduating from high school, Bill Stewart enrolled at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. There, Bill Stewart played in the orchestra and in the jazz and marching bands. Bill Stewart wound up transferring to the William Paterson University in New Jersey, where he enrolled in its Jazz Studies and Performance program. During his stint there, Bill Stewart performed in ensembles directed by Rufus Reid, took composition lessons from Dave Samuels, and studied drums under Eliot Zigmund and Horacee Arnold. John Riley and Ed Blackwell – legendary jazz drummers – gave him some drum lessons in college as well, when subbing for Eliot Zigmund. Joe Lovano was another musician that subbed for Eliot Zigmund. He would latter join Bill Stewart in many of his musical endeavors.
Bill Stewart made his recording debut in 1987, while still in college, by contributing drums for Scott Kreitzer’s Kick’n Off. However, the album would only see the light of day in 1992. After graduating in 1988, Bill Stewart moved to Brooklyn, New York. He began establishing his reputation as a musician by appearing regularly at jam sessions that took place in New York. Word of mouth and his constant performances at jazz clubs helped him secure his first gigs, which were with pianist Larry Goldings and guitarist Peter Bernstein. At one of their regular concerts at Augie’s Club in Manhattan, Bill Stewart was invited by former James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic saxophonist Maceo Parker, who was at attendance, to take part in the recording sessions for his album Roots Revisited (1991).
Shortly thereafter, Bill Stewart was invited to join John Scofield’s quartet, with saxophonist Joe Lovano and either Dennis Irwin or Marc Johnson on the double bass. This was one of Bill Stewart’s first regularly touring bands. After that band, Bill Stewart wound up performing for various other bands John Scofield put together.