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Take Five With Bob Albanese

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Bob Albanese: Bob Albanese was born in Newark, N.J. in 1957. Growing up and the Jersey shore, he began practicing the piano at age 8. At age 15, he won top honors in the Garden State Talent Expo which culminated in a solo performance at the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J. This was the beginning of his professional career. Graduating Neptune High School (Neptune, N.J.) he moved to Boston where he studied at Berklee college of Music for approximately 3 years, while playing in various bands employed in the greater Boston area.

From there his career has taken many turns; from Cape May, N.J. where he played steady solo gigs, to a brief stop in Atlantic and a final move New York City where he has been based since 1981. He performed as alternating Latin and jazz house pianist at the Rainbow Room for a number of years with bandleader Mauricio Smith. His musical sojourns have taken him all over the world. Having played with artists ranging from Buddy Rich to Anita O'Day, Warne Marsh, Ben Vereen, Freddie Hubbard and Datevik Hovenesian, he is a highly versatile pianist composer and arranger. He holds both and BM and a MM from Manhattan School of Music.

He has recorded with many artist as a sideman. His debut recording as leader is called One Way/Detour, recorded in January of 2008 and distributed worldwide by the Zoho music label, featuring Tom Kennedy on bass and Willard Dyson on drums with special guest artist, legendary multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan.


Piano, Hammond organ, synthesizer, melodian.

Teachers and/or influences?

Teachers include:

Morris Nanton, Harold Danko, Dennis Sandole, Herb Pomeroy, Michael Gibbs, Madam Chaloff, Warne Marsh, Garry Dial, Kenny Barron, Michael Abene, Clare Fischer


Louis Armstrong, the The Beatles, Burt Bacharach, Santana, Grand Funk Railroad, Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, Motown, Lee Michaels, Jimmy Smith, Poncho Sanchez, Alan Broadbent, Claus Ogerman, Lalo Shiffrin, Michele Colombier, Michel Legrand, Marian McPartland, Dick Wellstood, Jack Six, Brubeck, Bradleys: Ronnie Mathews, Kenny Barron, Hank Jones, Harold Danko, Kirt Lightsey, Bill Evans, Stevie Wonder, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Clare Fischer, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Noro Morales, Vince Guaraldi, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Eddie Palmieri, Freddie Hubbard, Bob Mintzer, Michael Brecker, Don Grolnick, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Chopin, Debussy, Mahler, Messian... Zimbo Trio. Milton Banana, Kahlil Gibran, Eric Fromm, Aldous Huxley, Jimmy Durante, Lord Buckley, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Woody Allen, Victor Borga, the swing of the cosmos, and more...

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

As far back as I can remember.

Your sound and approach to music:

I play what I hear. The music I love is reflected in what I improvise within the context of the jazz tradition. I am always absorbing and seeking further understanding of music, as per the respected traditions, but I am a non-traditionalist in my playing and composing for the most part. However, I believe that the styles of Bill Evans, Clare Fischer, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock (to note strongest influences) are evident in my musical approach.

Your teaching approach:

I try my best to allow the students individuality to blossom. I offer theoretical information (the perennial language of music) as it pertains to their individual needs. I demonstrate the applications of this information in spontaneous improvisations as well as myriad Jazz and Classical references. I write etudes for students when I feel it will benefit and help to advance their goals. I use technology, i.e. music notation programs (Sibelius), via the Internet, file transfer, video conference, YouTube et al.

Your dream band:


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