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Joe Locke: Versatile Vibes Master

By Published: February 15, 2010

"I had the opportunity to tour with Cecil Taylor. That was an amazing thing to play with Cecil and get inside his process. I feel like I've been real fortunate to have experiences wide in scope. Before I moved to New York or before I started playing music I would have thought this stuff was beyond my wildest dreams. So when I look back, I feel like a pretty lucky guy... I've learned from everyone I've played with. Not only the elder statesmen, but from my peers. And now from players much younger than me I'm learning a lot," he says with an unforced humility."

The process goes on for Locke, as it does all working musicians. In addition to the project surrounding his new CD, Locke also has his working band Force of Four, which will be touring this year. "It's very, very close to my heart. Robert Rodriguez on piano, Johnathan Blake

on drums and Ricardo Rodriguez on bass are, besides being great guys, they're incredible musicians. I always feel inspired to play with them. They play the hell out of the music. It's important for me to keep pushing my own growth, my playing and writing, forward and to continue growing as a musician. I feel like those cats really help me... I'm really looking forward to that and recording with them again. I'm writing music for the band for the next record and the upcoming tour."

He continues to get calls to participate on projects of other musicians, lending his special touch, personal sense of swing and creative story-telling to whatever the situation.

"I can't complain," says Locke, who seems as though he wouldn't even given good reason. "So, onward and upward, man."

That's a direction Locke, no doubt, should be taking for some time to come.

Selected Discography

Joe Locke, For the Love of You (E1 Music, 2010)
Joe Locke, em>Mutual Admiration Society (Sharp Nine, 2009)
Edmar Castaneda, Entra Cuerdas (ArtistShare, 2009)
Joe Locke/Frank Kimbrough, Verrazano Moon (OmniTone, 2008)
Hadley Caliman, Gratitude (Origin, 2008)
Trio da Paz & Joe Locke, Live at Jazz Baltica (MaxJazz, 2008)
Joe Locke, Force of Four (Origin Records, 2008)
Joe Locke, Re-velation: The Music of Milt Jackson (Sharp Nine, 2005)
Joe Locke, Live in Seattle (Origin, 2006)
Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group, Summertime (SONY Music/Eighty-Eights, 2005)
Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group, The Summer Knows (Sirocco, 2004)
Joe Locke & Four Walls of Freedom, Dear Life (Sirocco, 2004)
Joe Locke, Beauty Burning (Sirocco, 2000)
Joe Locke, Slander and Other Love Songs (Milestone, 1998)
Joe Locke, Inner Space (Steeplechase, 1996)
Joe Locke Quartet, Moment to Moment: The Music of Henry Mancini (Milestone, 1995)
Joe Locke, But Beautiful (Steeplechase, 1991)
Joe Locke, Present Tense (Steeplechase, 1990)
Joe Locke, Restless Dreams (Chief Records, 1983)

Photo Credits

Page 1: Alexandros Lambrovassilis, Courtesy of Joe Locke

Page 2: Russ Titelman, Courtesy of Joe Locke

Pages 3, 4: Kay-Christian Heine

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