Howard Alden

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Howard Alden
Howard Alden.jpg
Background information
Birth name Howard Vincent Alden
Born (1958-10-17) October 17, 1958 (age 58)
Newport Beach, California, United States
Origin New York City
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Seven-string guitar, tenor banjo
Years active 1973–present
Labels Concord, Arbors, K2B2, Delmark
Associated acts George Van Eps, Dan Barrett, Ken Peplowski
Website howardalden.com

Howard Alden (born October 17, 1958) is an American jazz guitarist born in Newport Beach, California. Alden has recorded many albums for Concord Records, including four with seven-string guitar innovator George Van Eps.

Early life[edit]

Howard Vincent Alden was born in Newport Beach, California on October 17, 1958.[1][2] He grew up in Huntington Beach, playing piano, harmonica, the four-string tenor guitar, and then four-string banjo at age ten.[1] After hearing recordings of Barney Kessel, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt and other jazz guitar greats, he got a six-string guitar and started teaching himself to play. As a teenager he played both instruments at venues in the Los Angeles area.[3] He studied guitar with Jimmy Wyble when he was 16. In 1977–78 he studied jazz guitar at the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) in Hollywood with Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, and Howard Roberts.[1] At GIT he assisted Roberts in organizing and preparing curriculum materials. Alden then conducted some of his own classes at GIT.[4]

Musical career[edit]

Alden made his first trip to the east coast in the summer of 1979, playing in a trio led by vibraphonist Red Norvo for three months at Resorts International in Atlantic City.

He moved to New York City in 1982 to play an extended engagement at the Café Carlyle with jazz pianist/songwriter Joe Bushkin. Soon afterward, he was discovered by Joe Williams and Woody Herman. In 1983 he was already collaborating with Dick Hyman, when he appeared with him and a host of other musicians at Eubie Blake's one-hundredth birthday concert.[5]

With Dan Barrett he created the Alden-Barrett Quintet in 1985 and played in a swing style, as he has most of his career. He also began partnerships with Kenny Davern and Jack Lesberg. He joined George Van Eps, innovator of the seven-string guitar, on tour and recorded albums with him, switching to the seven-string himself in 1992.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Alden lives in Manhattan.[6] On January 10, 2015 he was married to Diane Carmen Garcia in San Marino, California.

Sweet and Lowdown[edit]

Alden recorded the guitar performances for Sean Penn's character Emmet Ray in Woody Allen's 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown, and taught Penn how to mime the performances for the film. The score also featured Bucky Pizzarelli on rhythm guitar and arrangements by pianist Dick Hyman.[7]

Awards[edit]

  • Best Emerging Guitar Talent, JazzTimes (1990)
  • Talent Deserving Wider Recognition, Down Beat (1992, 1993, 1995, 1996)
  • Guitar Player of the Year, American Guitar Museum (2003)
  • Top 75 Guitarists, Down Beat (2008)

Discography[edit]

Year Album Leader Label
1985 No Amps Allowed Alden & Jack Lesberg Chiaroscuro
1986 Swing Street Alden Concord Jazz
1988 Swinging into Prominence Alden Famous Door/Jazzology
1988 Plays the Music of Harry Reser (with Dick Hyman) Alden Stomp Off
1989 The Howard Alden Trio Plus Special Guests Ken Peplowski & Warren Vaché Alden Concord Jazz
1989 The ABQ Salutes Buck Clayton Alden & Dan Barrett Concord Jazz
1990 Snowy Morning Blues with Monty Alexander Alden Concord Jazz
1991 13 Strings with George Van Eps Alden Concord Jazz
1991 Misterioso Alden Concord Jazz
1991 Hand-Crafted Swing Alden & George Van Eps Concord Jazz
1992 Good Likeness Alden Concord Jazz
1993 Seven & Seven Alden & Van Eps Concord Jazz
1994 Keepin' Time Alden & Van Eps Concord Jazz
1994 Your Story: The Music of Bill Evans Alden Concord Jazz
1994 Encore! Live at Centre Concord Alden & Ken Peplowski Concord Jazz
1995 Concord Jazz Guitar Collective Alden, Frank Vignola, Jimmy Bruno Concord Jazz
1996 Take Your Pick Alden Concord Jazz
2001 The Jazz KENnection Kenny Davern & Ken Peplowski Arbors
2001 Live in Belfast Frank Tate Nagel-Heyer
2002 My Shining Hour Alden Concord Jazz
2003 In a Mellow Tone Alden & Bucky Pizzarelli Concord Jazz
2004 Live in '95 Alden & Dan Barrett Concord Jazz
2005 Everything I Love Alden & Dave Cliff Zephyr
2006 Howard Alden's UK 4 Live at Lewes Alden Woolf Notes
2006 Maurice Hines: To Nat King Cole With Love Maurice Hines Arbors
2006 Dialogues with Kenny Davern Arbors
2007 Howard Alden and Ken Peplowski's Pow-Wow Alden & Peplowski Arbors
2010 I Remember Django Alden, feat. Anat Cohen & Warren Vaché Arbors
2013 Heavy Artillery Alden-Andy Brown Quartet Delmark 5008
2014 Guitar Alden (solo guitar) K2B2 4469

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Kennedy, Gary (2002). Kernfeld, Barry, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 26. ISBN 1-56159-284-6. 
  2. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encycolpedia. London: Penguin Books. pp. 6–7. ISBN 0-141-00646-3. 
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott (2000). Swing: Third Ear—The Essential Listening Companion. Backbeat Books. p. 388. ISBN 0-87930-600-9. 
  4. ^ "Howard Alden @ Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz NPR". Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  5. ^ Levin, Floyd (2002). Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians. University of California Press. p. 134. ISBN 0-520-23463-4. 
  6. ^ "Benedetto Guitars profile". Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  7. ^ Bailey, Peter J. (2003). The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen. University Press of Kentucky. p. 310. ISBN 0-8242-0493-X. 

External links[edit]