Gene Ess Releases Modes of Limited Transcendence
Guitarist Gene Ess draws the traits that identify his style with firm brush strokes. On the one hand, we have his jazz streak, and on the other hand, his exquisite sensitivity with the guitar, and as a final complement, his taste for sophisticated rhythms. On January 4th, Gene will present his "Modes of Limited Transcendence" Quartet in an album release performance. The music from Gene's latest album "Modes of Limited Transcendence" brings a journey of transcendence within each compositional passage.
Guitarist Gene Ess brings his award-winning musicianship from a very diverse background. He grew up playing the classical piano and his early years were filled with the classical sounds of Beethoven and Chopin. Simultaneously, Gene was receiving a mix of influences: he was exposed to the indigenous music of Okinawa-Japan, and - growing up on a US Air Force Base- to the pop and jazz music coming out of the clubs for the American soldiers. All this amounted for an early obsession with music.
Gene performed in clubs and festivals all around Okinawa at the age of 14 playing popular music. The popular music did not satisfy Gene and after high school graduation, Gene left for George Mason University, where he pursued classical music studies. There he studied with Larry Snitzler, a prominent concert guitarist who was once Andres Segovia's disciple. Gene also began studying orchestral composition under Dr. Glenn Smith.
Downbeat magazine presented Gene's performance of Lennox Berkeley's 'Theme and Variations' with the 'Outstanding Performance Award' in 1983. Consequently, Gene received a scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he continued his musical quest and was heavily influenced by the music of John Coltrane. During those years, Gene continued performing and started leading his own bands that included, among others, pianist Danilo Perez. The Guitar Player Magazine described the performance of Gene's composition by his group as "electrifying fusion, played with solid technique and soul". After studies with Jerry Bergonzi and Charlie Banacos, Gene graduated from Berklee with honors in 1989 and moved to New York in 1991.
Gene has performed his music in Europe, Asia, and the United States, both as leader of his own group and as a sideman. Gene lists Arthur Schopenhauer and Charlie Banacos as major influences in his art/music.
To this day, it is impossible to list all the outstanding musicians that Gene has worked with. Some of them are: Al Foster, Rashied Ali, Ravi Coltrane, Danilo Perez, Harvie S, Santi Debriano, Gene Jackson, Donny McCaslin, Mika Pohjola, Reggie Workman, Slide Hampton, Cindy Blackman, Archie Shepp, Eddie Henderson, Greg Tardy, David Binney, Yamashita Yosuke, and Carlos Santana.
Players and Instrument Played
Gene Ess – guitar
Tigran Hamasyan – piano (1st place 2006 Thelonious Monk Piano Competition)
Harvie S – bass (Stan Getz, Mike Stern, Jim Hall)
Joey Saylor – drums
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