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Jeff Barone

An impressive young guitarist, Jeff Barone has developed a strong reputation with his recordings (Crazy Talk and Open Up), live performances, and record producing. His playing invigorates the modern mainstream of jazz, swinging hard while looking forward.

He was born in Syracuse, New York and remembers, “Early on I heard a Joe Pass recording, Virtuoso. I had a cousin who owned a music store and, when I was eight, my parents gave me a guitar for Christmas. That is how it all started.” Exposed to jazz by an uncle who was a bassist and a cousin who played jazz piano, he developed quickly. At 16, Jeff was working in local jazz clubs and being hired to play with touring shows that visited Syracuse. He also performed with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and worked with singer Al Martino under the direction of Tony Riposo. “By the time I was in high school, my life revolved around guitar and music, so it was a natural transition for me to become a professional musician.”

At Ithaca College where he earned a Bachelors in Music Education, Jeff studied classical guitar although his main instrument was classical percussion. He focused on the guitar at the Manhattan School Of Music where he received a Masters degree in Jazz Performance. During that period he also worked in small clubs in the Village including with singer Evelyn Blakey (Art Blakey’s daughter), Hershel Dwellingham’s group (Weather Report) and trumpeter Charles McGee (who had played with Archie Shepp and Rahsaan Roland Kirk). As his school days ended, he became part of the Harlem organ scene. Jeff worked with Jimmy “Preacher” Robins, Mel Davis, and for five years with Reuben Wilson. “It was a great experience playing with Reuben Wilson because he covered the full range of jazz. In Harlem clubs, we played straightahead jazz and standards. When we were outside of Harlem, we played more funk and acid jazz which was what he was known for. The guitar and the organ were made for each other. When the organist plays a left- handed bass, it leaves room for the guitar as opposed to the guitar and the piano where both instruments have to work hard not to step on each other’s toes.”

Guitarist Jack Wilkins has been an important force in Jeff Barone’s career. They have performed together in a variety of settings and Jack has recommended the younger guitarist for several important gigs including a concert with the Vanguard Orchestra, an opportunity to sub with the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra under the direction of Gunther Schuller, and an association with vibraphonist Warren Chiasson. “Jack was also instrumental in my record Crazy Talk happening in 2000. He gave me the push to finally make a recording.”

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Jeff Barone: Open Up

Read "Open Up" reviewed by John Barron

With ample chops and a firm grasp on tradition, New York-based jazz guitarist Jeff Barone proves a capable leader, bringing fresh ideas to the straight-ahead realm. Open Up showcases the Syracuse native's relaxed approach on a hard-swinging set of standards and originals.

Barone displays strong compositional skills on the up-tempo modal opener “Duban's Groove," the Brazilian flavored “New Samba," the funky title track and the lovely ballad “Jenna's Song," one of two duets with guest guitarist Jack Wilkins. The guitarist ...

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Jeff Barone: Open Up

Read "Open Up" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

New York first-call guitarist Jeff Barone's Open Up creates a platform that covers a range of song types for the leader/composer and his colleagues--all aces--to work both as a terrific team and highly inventive soloists. There's everything here from Barone's beautiful solo strums to hard-swinging, straight-ahead jazz.

Barone's “Duban's Groove," written for alto saxophonist Mike Dubaniewicz, kicks off with a nice call-and-response with trumpet master Joe Magnarelli filling in and soloing beautifully. Dubaniewicz, a standout with Maynard Ferguson's Band is ...

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Jeff Barone: Crazy Talk

Read "Crazy Talk" reviewed by Jim Santella

A New Orleans shuffle and plenty of traditional swing bring Jeff Barone’s debut CD into focus as a jazz guitar celebration. Echoes of Wes Montgomery and Grant Green reverberate in quartet format, as Barone works with piano, bass and drums to interpret classic tunes and several original compositions.

The session starts off with a blues. Solos around the room and fours with the drummer set the pace for mainstream action. Barone’s light attack and clear articulation usher ...

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“……Open Up is uptown jazz at it's best. The CD matches technique and Barone's smokin' instro jazz guitar improvisational skills.” Robert Silverstein, 20th Century Guitar Magazine

“…..One of the most listenable and accessible CDs of this decade.” “This is a guitarist on the rise.” Eric Shoaf, Vintage Guitar Magazine “NYC-based guitarist Jeff Barone will make new fans with this wide- ranging, imaginative release.: Zan Stewart, NJ.com

“ …..Barone sounds comfortable in his own skin, rolling out a series of potent, tasty bop phrases that fit the groove like well-worn gloves, saying more in a few droplets of notes than many others could say with tsunamis of sound. Plus he definitely swings, with flawless timing and a strong, precise attack.” -Bill Barnes, Jazz.com

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Love Notes









New York Attitude...



Open Up

Jazzed Media


Crazy Talk

String Jazz Recordings




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