Alan Lewine

Alan Lewine

Instrument: Bass, acoustic | Location: Phoenix

Updated: September 7, 2020

Born: May 14, 1955

Alan Lewine is a bassist and composer currently living in the Philadelphia region. Alan founded Owlsong Productions in 1982, and released the first Owlsong album, Alan Lewine Septet: Original Jazz, in 1986. Alan has performed and recorded all over the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

Primarily a jazz musician, his influences and experiences include all forms of music – he has studied and played for example medieval Sephardic and Indonesian Gamelan, delta blues and afropop, flamenco and various fusions of the above, as well as all styles of jazz from trad to avant garde, and some classical.

Alan began playing string bass in 1978. He studied piano as a child, and later minored in composition and arranging at University when in his late 20s, while playing jazz gigs to put himself through school. Primarily a self-taught bassist, Alan learned from the more experienced musicians on every instrument with whom he had the good fortune to play. The mentorship of Milt Hinton early in his career was a large boost. When he lived in Oregon in the early 90s, he had the opportunity to hang with and learn from Leroy “Walkin” Vinnegar. Alan has received “green room” lessons, counsel and encouragement from the likes of Ray Brown, Harvie S, Major Holley, Lynn Seaton, John Clayton and Bruce Gertz.

Alan’s first recordings were released in the mid-1980s and have received excellent reviews.. Besides leading his own ensembles such as the Alan Lewine Xtet, the PDXtet, the Red Hot Peppers and others, Lewine has been an in-demand sideman for touring musicians and has worked with many of the great names in jazz over the years, including Eddie Daniels, Kenny Davern, Richie Cole, Joe Henderson, Clifford Jordan, Henry Threadgill, Vinnie Golia, Anita O'Day, Sheila Jordan, Dick Berk, Mel Brown (Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, etc.), Mose Allison, Butch Miles (Basie, Brubeck, Ella, etc.), Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Roy Hargrove, Jim Pepper and Bill Mays, and old masters like Gus Johnson, Sweets Edison (Count Basie), Mickey Roker (Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, etc.), Stephane Grapelli (Django Reinhart), Carl Fontana (Tonight Show Band) and many others. Once in the 80s he played duets with the immortal Charlie Haden, an experience that made a deep and lasting impression. Lewine minored in music composition as an undergrad and has also studied traditional Ghanaian (Ewe) percussion and performed with Obo Addy and Balinese gamelan with I Nyoman Suadin, flamenco with Julián Vaquero and Victor Monge, and traditional country Delta and Piedmont blues with Johnny Never (including as bassist on the 2012 release Johnny Never and the Soular Pimps: Never Home ). He has also played occasional bluegrass and “jazzgrass” gigs (remembering his WV roots) with Sam Bush, Alan Munde, Slim Richey and others.

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”Lewine possesses a dark sound, powerful and foreboding.” - Jazz Scene

“...a composer and a scholar in many of jazz's many- splendored forms...” - Wayne Thompson, Jazz Society of Oregon

“...graceful bass work...” - Willamette Weekly

SOPRANO MEETS CONTRABASS Another great review from the Music Librarian of the Philadelphia Free Library: “I just wanted to thank all of you for the amazing concert on Sunday. This was the first pop-up where, not only did we fill up all the seats we had out there, but we even exhausted the reserves I had hidden in the wings

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