Joe Alterman, piano
James Cammack, bass
Hot House Jazz described JOE ALTERMAN as “a pianistic wunderkind whose style recalls the elegantly swinging trappings of artists like Erroll Garner and Red Garland…eschewing the well-mined vein of hard bob favored amongst today’s younger players in favor of a more rounded vintage technique. Alterman brandishes a lyrical pianistic touch and an intuitive sense of swing that are a uniquely wonderful joy to hear. Alterman’s remarkable gifts are enough to reassure anyone that the future of jazz is in good hands.”
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Joe moved to New York in the fall of 2007 to study music at New York University. He graduated in May of 2012 but is now back to complete his master’s degree. While there, he has studied with greats including Don Friedman, Jean Michel-Pilc, Ralph Lalama, Joe Lovano and John Scofield, among others.
He has performed at venues around the world including the Blue Note Jazz Club in Milan, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and Preservation Hall in New Orleans; he has led groups at venues in New York City including the Blue Note Jazz Club, the Iridium Jazz Club, and Cornelia Street Café, among others. He also recently performed at the "Marian McPartland Piano Jazz All-Star Celebration" at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, as well as at Jack Kleinsinger Presents "Highlights in Jazz" 2012, as a part of the "Next Generation All-Stars," where he performed alongside tenor saxophone great Houston Person. He and his trio recently performed at the Blue Note Jazz Club opening for the great Les McCann.
His current group features Ahmad Jamal’s bassist James Cammack and his new release as a leader, entitled "Give Me The Simple Life" (available on Miles High Records) features jazz greats Houston Person, James Cammack & Herlin Riley. After hearing a recording of Joe, NEA Jazz Master Nat Hentoff remarked, “Talk about the joy of jazz!...It’s a pleasure to hear this music…You’ve got it!”
In a feature article on JAMES CAMMACK, Bass Player Magazine reviewer Richard Johnston nicknamed James, who was at the time a Chicago resident, “Chicago fire,” for his hard-driving, creative approach to playing both acoustic and electric bass. At rehearsals of even the most complicated jazz pieces,Cammack just puts a finger on his instrument to find the key, asks for the general feel, and takes off. An extremely sensitive player, Cammack is an excellent sideman and his own solos demonstrate both virtuosity and musicality.
It’s no wonder. For the past 28 years, James Cammack has performed continuously with legendary pianist Ahmad Jamal. Cammack has visited more than 30 countries backing Jamal and has also toured with singer Nancy Wilson, tubist Howard Johnson, and singer Vanessa Rubin. He has performed in some of the world’s most famous jazz clubs such as the Village Vanguard in New York City and Yoshi’s in San Francisco; and major jazz festivals, including the Montreal Jazz Festival, Italy’s Umbria Jazz Festival, and the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland.
Cammack has several recordings with Ahmad Jamal under his belt, including Rossiter Road (Atlantic), which reached the number-five position on the jazz chart billboard and the last release is It’s Magic(Dreyfus). There is also a new dvd just released, Ahmad Jamal Live In Baalbeck. He has also recorded with pianist Chris Neville, Russian actress Natalia Nazorova, tubist Howard Johnson, and Senegal super star, to name a few.
A piano and trumpet student in his early years, Cammack is largely self-taught. He became interested in playing the bass through an uncle who was also a professional musician. Later, by the recommendation of a high school teacher, Cammack was accepted into the West Point jazz band following an audition. During his stint in the military, Cammack had ample opportunity to play weddings, shows, and jazz gigs in the New York area and learned his trade. A great music associate, pianist and mentor, the late Frank Richmond, mentioned Cammack’s name to Ahmad Jamal, who snapped him up right after West Point.
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New York, NY 10012