Born: May 14, 1955 Primary Instrument: Bass, acoustic
Bassist/composer Alan Lewine, recently relocated to Phladelphia. He first took up the string bass in 1978. Never formally trained on the instrument, Lewine learned primarily by playing. Most of my early lessons were from pianists or guitarists who would yell at me when I played a wrong chord or drummers who threw sticks at me if I messed up the beat. Lewine considers bass great Milt the Judge Hinton, whom he first met in 1982, a mentor. Leroy Vinnegar was also a great inspiration when they frequently crossed paths around Portland, OR in the early 90s. He has received green room lessons from Ray Brown, Harvie Swartz, Major Holley and John Clayton as well. Lewine has worked with many of the great names in jazz over the years, in all styles - from trad to big band, standards to bop, modal to free, with a little blues, bluegrass, afropop, salsa and other bass-playing experience to spice his background. Lewine has made numerous appearances with alto madness saxophonist Richie Cole. He has also performed with clarinetists Eddie Daniels and Kenny Davern, sax masters Joe Henderson, Clifford Jordan to Henry Threadgill, Jim Pepper and Vinnie Golia, vocalists such as Anita O'Day and Mose Allison, pianists including Ronnie Matthews and George Cables, drummers Gus Johnson and Butch Miles, guitarists Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis, young turk Roy Hargrove, and old masters Sweets Edison and Carl Fontana to name just a few. His career was most active in the last century - from 1978 to 1994, mostly in the western US (especially NM, OR, WA, AZ, CO, CA).
Favorite bassists include the usual suspects - Jimmy Blanton, Ray Brown (the killer groove), Scott LaFaro, Charlie Haden, Milt Hinton, Jaco Pastorius, and David Holland, a list by no means exhaustive. Charles Mingus, Krsyztof Pendercki, Duke Ellington, Frank Zappa, John Cage, Thelonious Monk, and Edgar Varese have been prime influences as band leaders and composers.
His interest in all forms of musical and cultural expression has led Lewine also to study Ghanaian drumming with Obo Addy, Balinese gamelan with I Nyoman Suadin (and performed in his Gamelan Mitra Kusuma on and off from 1999 through 2007) and composition with William Wood.
Alan Lewine retired from full time musicianship in 1994 and now works as an attorney focusing on technology transactions, as well as eCommerce and copyright law, policy and licensing. Before recently relocating to Philly, he still composed and performed occasionally around DC, including with with the Alan Lewine Xtet, the Afro-Jazz Explosion, and as a side man. He's currently developing musical possibilities in SE PA.
Awards:Over a dozen NM-MIC (New Mexico Music Industry Coalition)nominations in the late 80s for best album (jazz), best composition (jazz), album of the year, best producer (jazz), best cover (jazz), etc.
...a composer and a scholar in many of jazz's many- splendored forms... - Wayne Thompson, Jazz Society of Oregon
...graceful bass work... - Willamette Weekly
From reviews of Alan Lewine Sextet: Original Jazz (1986): ... an intelligent and well paced set and makes for good listening. - Cadence Jazz Magazine reviewing Alan Lewine Septet: Original Jazz Outstanding, tight and tasty mainstream jazz. The loose, intelligent excitement of the Septet's playing is reminiscent of the VSOP Quintet of former Miles sidemen. - Albuquerque Journal
From reviews of Alan's Red Hot Peppers: Swinging Dixie (1989): They not only know how to do Dixie, they do it well. ...quality stuff by any standard. - The Mic Line -'New Mexico's Monthly Music News' Sizzling Dixieland and strong mainstream jazz... - Albuquerque Journal
From reviews of Alan Lewine Xtet: Freewheeling (1991): The music was held together by the tight trio of Brown, Lewine and Haines, and carried forward by the unadorned playing of guitar master Brown - Mic Line Monthly
From reviews of BassRespanse (1999): The quartet... writes and performs music that frees the soul, moves the mind to wonder at possibilities, but most of all, sings hymns of exaltation in these most needy of times. - Phillip R Egert
BassRespänse delivers a sonority rich in the lower frequencies... ...the quartet enables a constantly changing stream of ideas - Nils Jacobson, allaboutjazz.com