Prince of Bebop Greg Abate's total commitment to live jazz for 3 decades
Few alto players on the post-bop scene have the whole package like Greg Abate. The globally recognized bandleader is a composer and multi-instrumentalist, an educator, as well as a true ambassador for jazz music. Through the decades, Abate has impressed enough of the real jazz folks to earn the nickname “the prince of bebop, ” which makes good sense if you’ve ever seen him perform. The trio behind his work is undeniable, the power, passion and creative ability is in full view. Abate's emotions emerge in every note.
“Abate is not content to rely on stock bebop riffs and standard chord progressions, ” says the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich. “Rather, the sharp angularity of his phrases and the often startling pauses in his fast-moving lines give his work a feeling of constant invention and creativity.”
Abate does the alto sax justice. Endorsed by Conn-Selmer, and gifted with impeccable taste and tone, he tours 250 days a year, records consistently and makes sessions when he can. Over the course of nearly two dozen albums as a bandleader, he’s had ample radio chart success, most recently with the Tim Ray Trio, whose album, Road to Forever, peaked in the Top 12 on the JazzWeek charts earlier this year, and his Kindred Spirits: Live at Chan’s with Phil Woods and Tim Ray peaked at #28 early in 2016.
Abate is a musician that is born to play, to create, to collaborate. He is the consummate sharer of the stage, who respects talent and ability and knows that a high tide lifts all boats. Indeed, his trio mates, including pianist Tim Ray, drummer Mark Walker, and bassist John Lockwood elevate every project, and Abate provides them with a slate of perfect straight-ahead (largely) compositions for them to dig into. Recorded in a single session with virtually no rehearsals, Road to Forever is as pure as it gets, and a tribute to the power and glory of real bebop.
“Greg Abate is an absolute powerhouse who will absolutely not let hard driving bebop die, ” says W. Pickowitz at the Jazz Messenger. “Greg is one of the most exciting players around today, and his commitment to the music is total…”