John Lee (guitarist)

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John Lee (born June 28, 1952 in Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts) is a well known American bass guitarist of modern jazz and jazz fusion. He has been the director of the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars and the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience featuring Machito Jr. He is active as a composer, arranger, producer and recording engineer.

Life and career[edit]

Lee is the son of an African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) minister and musician, and grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, Amityville, New York, and then in Philadelphia. At Overbrook high school, he met drummer Gerry Brown, with whom he also studied at the Philadelphia Musical Academy from 1970 to 1972. After which he and Brown moved to Europe and played in bands led by Philip Catherine, Charlie Mariano, Jasper Van't Hof, and Chris Hinze.

Lee has played in the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Gary Bartz, Larry Coryell, Gregory Hines, Claudio Roditi, Jon Faddis, Roy Hargrove, and Roberta Gambarini. Lee was also a founding member of the The Fantasy Band with Chuck Loeb, Marion Meadows, and Dave Samuels. In 2009 John Lee co-founded the jazz recording label JLP (Jazz Legacy Productions), with partner Lisa Broderick.[1]

Albums as a Leader[edit]

Albums as a Producer[edit]

  • Fire Carlos Garnett
  • Bruce Fisher
  • Art Webb
  • Chaser John Lee & Gerry Brown
  • Sweet Dreams Fantasy Band
  • The Kiss Fantasy Band
  • Endless is Love Jon Lucien
  • Dizzy's 85th Birthday Celebration Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars
  • Slide Plays Jobim Slide Hampton
  • Dizzy's World Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars
  • Things to Come Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band
  • Dizzy's Business Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band
  • I'm Beboppin' Too Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band
  • Spirit Cyrus Chestnut
  • Eloquence Steve Davis
  • Relentless Sharel Cassity
  • Endurance Heath Brothers
  • Incorrigable One for All
  • Grace Michael Dease
  • Musicá Helio Alves
  • Resonance Yotam Silberstein
  • Uplift Monty Alexander
  • Source Benny Green
  • Warriors The Cookers
  • Journeys Cyrus Chestnut Trio
  • Resiliance Tim Mayer
  • Brasil Yotam Silberstein
  • Respect Roy Assaf
  • Coexist Winard Harper
  • Uplift 2 Monty Alexander
  • Blackside Mark Gross
  • Togetherness Jimmy Heath Big Band
  • The Shadow Of Your Smile Roberta Gambarini

Selected Albums as a Bassist[edit]

With Chris Hinze

  • Virgin Sacrifice 1972
  • Mission Suite 1973
  • 2nd coming 1974

With James Moody, Sahib Shihab, Jeremy Steig, Chris Hinze

  • The Flute Summit 1973

With Charlie Mariano 1974

With Toots Thielemans 1974

With Joachim Kuhn

  • Hip Elegy 1975
  • Spring Fever 1976

With Jasper Van't Hof

  • Eye-Ball 1974
  • However 1977

With Larry Coryell & The 11th House

  • Level One 1975
  • Aspects 1976

With Luther Allison

With Eddie Henderson

With Philip Catherine

  • September Man 1975
  • Guitars 1976
  • Niram 1976

With Alphonse Mouzon

  • Back Together Again 1977

With McCoy Tyner

  • Dimensions 1983

With Dizzy Gillespie

  • Live in Havana 1986
  • The Source
  • The Symphony Sessions
  • A Night In Tunisia
  • Live at Blues Alley

With Dizzy Gillespie's Big Band

  • Live at the BBC 1988

With Dizzy Gillespie's United Nation Orchestra

  • Live at Royal Albert Hall 1989
  • Adventures in Paradise 1990

With Claudio Roditi

  • Samba Manhattan Style (Reservoir) 1995
  • Double Standards (Reservoir) 1997
  • Simpatico (Resonance) 2010

With Fantasy Band'

  • The Fantasy Band
  • Sweet Dreams
  • The Kiss

With Slide Hampton

  • Slide Plays Jobim

With Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars'

  • Dizzy's 85th Birthday Celebration
  • Dizzy's World

With Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band'

  • Things to Come
  • Dizzy's Business
  • I'm Beboppin' Too


  1. ^ "Artist: John Lee - (Bass)" (in German). Konzerte im Fronhof. Archived from the original on 16 January 2005. 


  • Kunzler, Martin (2002). Jazz-Lexikon, band 1: A - L. (in German). Reinbek, Germany: Rowohlt. pp. Section 14, paragraph 2399. ISBN 3-499-16512-0. 

External links[edit]