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Channel: ASGN '09 Winter
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ALAIN CARON - Canadian bassist Alain Caron’s musical career began at the early age of 11 and he soon discovered the music which would become his life’s passion - jazz. In the early 70s he moved to Montreal and started doing extensive studio work and played in every jazz club around town. The self-taught musician took correspondence courses, and eventually , journeyed south to attend Berkley College of Music. While in Boston, he was quickly introduced to some outstanding young musicians, co-students, as well as, seasoned well established professional jazzman. Soon performing nightly, in the Boston area, with David Kikovsky, Tom Harrell, Sal Nestico, Frank Tiberi, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, to name a few.

Opportunity knocked in 1977 when he met the Michel Cusson Group. Caron found himself in the company of like-minded musicians - who could appreciate jazz and its origins, as well as looking ahead to the future. They emerged in the early 1980s with Quebecois fusion group UZEB. Gradually the group evolved into a mature outfit, interested in intelligent fusion-impressive but always musical. By the time Noisy Night (Avant Garde, Nova Record in USA, 1988) and the outstanding swan song?, World Tour ‘90 (Cream Record, 1990) was released, it was clear UZEB had achieved great stature and respect amongst it's piers. Recognised by Down Beat magazine as one of the best electric jazz bands of the decade, the group received nine Felix Awards - Best Jazz Album (1983-84-86-87-90-91), Best Group (1984-89), and Most Recognised Artist Abroad (1990), a Gemini Award For Best Original Score (1989), a SOCAN Award, and the Oscar Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award (1991).

With UZEB Alain, recorded ten albums and found himself on extended world tours.
1980-90 UZEB:
¨Live in Bracknell¨ (1981); ¨Fast Emotion¨ (1982); ¨You be Easy ¨(1984); ¨Between the Lines¨ (1985); ¨Live à l'Olympia¨ Paris(1986); ¨Absolutely Live¨ (1986); featuring Didier Lockwood, Noisy Nights (1988); ¨Live in Europe¨ (1988); ¨UZEB Club¨ (1989); ¨World Tour '90¨ (1990)

Caron soon developed a reputation as a master electric bass player, a virtuoso on the 6-string bass guitar. Not surprisingly, as he became increasingly well known, Caron taught master classes in most of the world’s major cities, including Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Geneva, Frankfurt.

In 1992, he produced the first of his numerous solo albums to date ¨Le Band¨. He quickly embarked on a tour of the States, Europe and Canada with the Mike Stern Trio. USA, Germany and France with the Leni Stern Band. Performed a series of concerts in Canada for the release of ""Le Band. followed with a European tour . Performed to a sellout audiences at the Spectrum de Montreal as part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Concerts with the CARON-ECAY-LOCKWOOD trio in Europe, Canada, Korea and China.

Following in 1995 with the release of ¨Rythym And Jazz¨, (American magazine Bass Player ranked Alain Caron fourth among its Top 10 bassists in 1996)

¨Play¨ was releasedin 1997, (Bass Player magazine ranked Alain Caron's ""Play"" one of the ten best bass albums of the decade.)

¨Call Me Al¨ followedin 2000. Along the way, recording numerous albums with friends, always maintaining his feverish touring pace.

¨His latest release, ¨5¨, makes no bones about Caron’s inestimable talent on electric and acoustic bass, but this album is as much a showcase for Caron the writer and orchestrator as it is Caron the player.¨ (John Kellman. This album fully delves into Caron`s appreciation for Electronica. Incorporating slick loops, clubby, vibe-y textures to human sense and phenomenal performances. Caron has always managed to create his own sound. His use of the Roland V-bass processor on this record, to sound like a bass horn, proves him to be a richly lyrical player, where the space between the notes is of equal importance. There’s an atmospheric quality to much of Caron’s writing on this record. But equally, groove and chops predominates. ¨5¨ is the kind of album that makes the leader’s instrument clear. Caron puts the music front and center.


FRANK GAMBALE - Frank began playing guitar at age 7 in Canberra, Australia, where he was born and raised. He was influenced by the blues playing of Jimi Hendrix. John Mayall, and Eric Clapton. In his mid-teens he discovered Steely Dan, The Brecker Brothers and Chick Corea, which pointed him in a jazzy direction. In 1982 at 23 he decided to leave his home to study at the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) in Hollywood. He graduated with the highest honor, Student of the Year, and was offered a teaching position which he kept for four years. During this time he was playing the local jazz club circuit with his own band, and already had published his first book, ""Speed Picking."" In 1986 he signed a three-album contract with a small label called Legato and began his recording career. The same year he was recruited by Jean-Luc Ponty to tour. Shortly after that tour, he auditioned for Chick Corea and began a six-year, five-record and Grammy award-winning period with him. Chick helped expose Frank to the world, for which he is grateful. ""Playing with Chick was like dream come true,"" says Frank.

That same year, Ibanez guitars approached him to endorse their guitar, which culminated in a long relationship and spawned the Frank Gambale model guitar, which was first on sale worldwide in 1987. There has been four versions of this guitar to date: the FGM100, FGM200, FGM300 and FGM400.

In 1987 Frank signed a four-video deal with DCI for instructional videos. In 1988, Frank signed his major label deal with JVC.

In 1990 he released ""Thunder From Down Under,"" which sold well all over the world and at one point was #1 on the Japanese Jazz charts, along with all his three Legato releases in the top 10 at the same time.

In 1992, Frank decided it was time to go out there on his own, and has been touring with his group ever since. He has toured in many countries with his own band including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and the U.S. He has done countless seminars and master classes worldwide, in countries as far away as South Africa and Uruguay.

In 1996, Frank was offered a position of Head of the Guitar Department of a new musical school in the Los Angeles area called the L.A. Music Academy. He wrote the core curriculum/study program for this one-year vocational school. So far the school has been a great success and is an inspirational place for guitarists the world over. He teaches one full day a week at the school when he is in town and maintains the guitar department which he hand-picked.

He keeps a busy schedule, either writing for an album, book or video, or helping design a new guitar model with Ibanez, or giving a seminar tour in Germany, or doing a session for an Italian pop record.

Frank loves his work and is happiest when working to the extreme. ""I can't believe I get paid to do what I do, I wouldn't trade it for the world.""

Thinking Out Loud
The Great Explorers
Thunder from Down Under
A Present for the Future
Brave New Guitar

Muriel Anderson's All Star Guitar Night benefits the Music For Life Alliance