Gene Ess

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Gene Ess is a Japanese American award winning guitarist.[1] Ess was a member of the Rashied Ali Quintet working with Ravi Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Lonnie Plaxico, and Reggie Workman.[2]


During the 90s he worked with the great drummer and member of the John Coltrane group of the mid-60's, Rashied Ali, touring globally and recording a well received album No One in Particular. Through this group, Gene met and played with Carlos Santana, Ravi Coltrane, Eddie Henderson, Archie Shepp, and Reggie Workman among many others.

Gene's 2009 album, Modes of Limited Transcendence, has received great reviews globally. This album received the 2010 SESAC Outstanding Jazz Performance Award. This album features original compositions by Gene and pianist Tigran Hamasyan.

In 2012, Gene released a new album featuring vocals for the first time. The album titled "A Thousand Summers" was released February 1, 2012. The music features Nicki Parrott on vocals and beautiful songs from the jazz canon carefully arranged by Gene and Thomson Kneeland.

Gene's current album "Fractal Attraction" was released in May 2013. This set of music continues Gene's exploration using voice as an instrument in a chamber group setting. The album has received international acclaim and also charted on the national jazz radio chart peaking at #3! Quite a feat for an independent release album. The quintet includes some of the best NYC jazz musicians and include Thana Alexa on voice, David Berkman on piano, Thomson Kneeland on bass, and Gene Jackson on drums.

Gene's new album "Eternal Monomyth" will be released Spring of 2015. Featuring original compositions by Gene and lyrics by Thana Alexa. Gene Ess - guitar, Thana Alexa - voice, John Escreet - piano, Thomson Kneeland - bass, and Clarence Penn on drums.

Over his career, Gene has performed and recorded with many musicians. Some are Dave Liebman, Al Foster, Rashied Ali, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Carlos Santana, Archie Shepp, Reggie Workman, Tigran Hamasyan, and Ravi Coltrane. [3]


  • One World Tribe, Prayer for September (Paddle Wheel King Records, 1995)[4]
  • Rashied Ali Quintet, No One in Particular (Survival Records, 2001)[4]
  • Gene Ess, Sunrise Falling (Amp Records, 2003)[4]
  • Gene Ess, Sandbox and Sanctum (SIMP Records, 2005)[4]
  • Gene Ess, Modes of Limited Transcendence (SIMP Records, 2008)[4]
  • Gene Ess, A Thousand Summers (SIMP Records, 2012)[4]
  • Gene Ess, Fractal Attraction(SIMP Records, 2013)[4]
  • Gene Ess, Eternal Monomyth (SIMP Records, 2015)
  • Gene Ess, Absurdist Theater (SIMP Records, 2016)


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