Alden performing in 2007
|Birth name||Howard Vincent Alden|
October 17, 1958 |
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
|Instruments||Seven-string guitar, tenor banjo|
|Labels||Concord, Arbors, K2B2, Delmark|
|Associated acts||George Van Eps, Dan Barrett, Ken Peplowski|
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.
Howard Vincent Alden was born in Newport Beach, California on October 17, 1958. He grew up in Huntington Beach, playing piano, harmonica, the four-string tenor guitar, and then four-string banjo at age ten. 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. 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. At GIT he assisted Roberts in organizing and preparing curriculum materials. Alden then conducted some of his own classes at GIT.
He moved to New York City in 1982 to play an extended engagement at the Café Carlyle with jazz pianist/songwriter Joe Bushkin. Soon afterwards, 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.
Alden formed the Alden-Barrett Quintet in 1985 with Dan Barrett, which played in the swing idiom, as he has done for 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.
Sweet and Lowdown
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.
- 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)
|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||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|
- 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.
- Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. pp. 6–7. ISBN 0-141-00646-3.
- Yanow, Scott (2000). Swing: Third Ear—The Essential Listening Companion. Backbeat Books. p. 388. ISBN 0-87930-600-9.
- "Howard Alden @ Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz NPR". Retrieved 2007-06-04.
- 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.
- "Benedetto Guitars profile". Retrieved 2007-06-04.
- Bailey, Peter J. (2003). The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen. University Press of Kentucky. p. 310. ISBN 0-8242-0493-X.
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