27 October 1942 |
|Years active||1960s – present|
|Labels||Warner Bros. Records|
Philip Catherine (born 27 October 1942 in London, England) is a Belgian jazz guitarist, born to an English mother and a Belgian father, known for his collaborations on numerous albums and with jazz musicians like Chet Baker, Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, Richard Galliano, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Stéphane Grappelli, Toots Thielemans, Robert Wyatt, Klaus Doldinger, Buddy Guy, Karin Krog, Carla Bley, Larry Coryell, Mike Mantler and Joachim Kühn, and within the prog-rock band Focus.
Catherine came from a musical family where his grandfather was first violinist in the London Symphony Orchestra, and he early evolved an ear for music. When he picked up the guitar after listening to the guitar of George Brassens, he began listening to jazz from this period.[disambiguation needed] Soon he got the opportunity to play with some of those musicians when performing in Belgium, where he was residing at the time. Catherine has been at the forefront on the European jazz scene from the 1960s, and he got to work with artists like Lou Bennett, Billy Brooks, Edgar Bateman, John Lee, Gerry Brown, Jean-Luc Ponty, Larry Coryell, Alphonse Mouzon, Charlie Mariano, Kenny Drew and Tom Harrell, in addition to the those mentioned above. His unique approach and sound, his dedication to music and, above all, the highly emotional lyricism of expression in his playing and in his music, have been important and influential.
In the 1960s he was a member of the Jean-Luc Ponty Quintet, and he recorded his debut solo album Stream (1971), produced by the Frenchman Sacha Distel. The album was recorded in 1970 in Paris, and was released in 1971 on Warner Bros. Records. A year later, he collaborated with John Scofield, Ran Blake, George Benson and other musicians in Boston. In early 1976 Catherine replaced Jan Akkerman in the Dutch rock group Focus and appeared on one album with the band, Focus con Proby, which also featured the American singer P. J. Proby. In the 1980s Catherine played extensively with the Chet Baker Trio and is featured on several of Baker's albums. He also played with Charles Mingus, who named Catherine "Young Django".
The All About Jazz critic Ed Kopp in his review of Catherine's album Guitar Groove states: "Guitar Groove is an astoundingly lyrical effort from a guitarist in his prime. It should appeal equally to fans of mainstream jazz and fusion, and to anyone who appreciates superior jazz musicianship". Another All About Jazz critic, John Kelman, in his review of Catherine's 2008 album Guitars Two states:
Sometimes it's not a good thing to get branded too early in your career. Called 'the young Django' by Charles Mingus and operating in the same fusion sphere as John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell, Belgian Philip Catherine was pegged in the '70s as a firebrand guitarist, albeit an unabashedly lyrical one. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Catherine's career, now nearing its sixth decade, has always been about a lot more than powerhouse fusion chops, something Guitars Two demonstrates in spades. Catherine's ability to reference traditional markers from Reinhardt to Wes Montgomery, while sounding like nobody but himself, makes Guitars Two the kind of career high point that ought to dispel the guitarist's early branding. The qualities that established his reputation remain, but are subsumed in a broader approach that makes Guitars Two deserving of a place alongside Pat Metheny's New Chautauqua (ECM, 1979), Bill Frisell's Ghost Town (Nonesuch, 2000) and Joe Pass' '70s Virtuoso series on Pablo', as a pinnacle of what can be done by one man and a handful of guitars".
He is considered the grandfather of Belgian jazz as he continues to play on the now very active Belgian jazz scene. He won the first Belgian Golden Django (in 1995) as best French-speaking artist.
- 1971: Stream (Warner Bros. Records – 46 149), with Giggs Whigham, Freddy Deronde, Freddy Rothier & Marc Moulin
- 1975: September man (Atlantic Records – 40 562), with John Lee, Gerry Brown, Jasper Van't Hof, Charlie Mariano & Palle Mikkelborg
- 1975: Guitars (Atlantic Records – 50193), solo guitar
- 1976: Nairam (Warner Bros. Records – BS 2950), with John Lee, Gerry Brown, Jasper Van't Hoff, Charlie Mariano & Palle Mikkelborg
- 1980: Babel (Elektra Records – ELK 52 244), with André Ceccarelli, Jannick Top, Patrick Orieux, Jean-Claude Petit & String Quartet
- 1982: End of August (Wea Records – K 58450), with Nicolas Fiszman, Charlie Mariano & Trilok Gurtu
- 1986: Transparence (in-akustik – inak 8701CD), with Hein Van de Geyn, Aldo Romano, Diederik Wissels & Michel Herr
- 1988: September Sky (Fever Music), with Tom Harrell, Hein van de Geyn & Aldo Romano
- 1988: Oscar (Igloo Records – IGL 060), trio with Hein Van de Geyn & Dré Pallemaerts
- 1990: I Remember You (Criss Cross Jazz – Criss 1048 CD), within 'Philip Catherine Trio' including Hein Van de Geyn & Tom Harrell
- 1992: Moods, Vol.I (Criss Cross Jazz – Criss 1060 CD), within 'Philip Catherine Trio' including Hein Van de Geyn & Tom Harrell
- 1992: Moods, Vol.II (Criss Cross Jazz – Criss 1061 CD), within 'Philip Catherine Trio' including Hein Van de Geyn & Tom Harrell
- 1997: Live (Dreyfus Jazz), with Bert Van den Brink, Hein Van de Geyn & Hans Van Oosterhout
- 1998: Guitar Groove (Dreyfus Jazz – FDM 36599-2), with Rodney Holmes, Alfonso Johnson & Jim Beard
- 2000: Blue Prince (Dreyfus Records – FDM 36614-2), with Hein Van de Geyn, Hans Van Oosterhout & Bert Joris
- 2002: Summer Night (Dreyfus Records – FDM 36637-2), with Philippe Aerts, Joost van Schaik & Bert Joris
- 2008: Guitars Two (Dreyfus Records)
- 2010: Concert In Capbreton (Dreyfus Records – FDM 46050 369412), with Enrico Pieranunzi, Joe Labarbera & Hein Van De Geyn
- 2011: Plays Cole Porter (Challenge Records), with Philippe Aerts, Karel Boehlee & Martijn Vink
- 2012: Côté Jardin (Challenge Records – CHR70178), with Nicola Andrioli, Antoine Pierre & Bassist Philippe Aerts
- 2014: New Folks (ACT Music), with Martin Wind (double bass)
- 2015: The String Project (ACT Music), live in Brussels
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