Born: June 8, 1958 Primary Instrument: Trombone
Joe Gil is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He started playing the trombone in sixth grade. Many people have asked me why I chose the trombone. The main reason was that when I was in grade school they needed people for the band. I knew if I took band I could get out of other classes for private lessons. So I thought this was a great idea. I had the choice of playing tuba, baritone or the trombone. The trombone was the smallest and easiest to carry so it was a no brainer.
He formed his own bands in high school and besides doing classical and big band gigs, was also doing some studio work during this time. After graduating from High School he attended SUNY at Stony Brook for two years and eventually transferred to SUNY at Old Westbury. At SUNY at Old Westbury he had the opportunity to study jazz with Makanda Ken McIntyre. And after graduating from SUNY at Old Westbury performed in Ken McIntyre's jazz orchestra....
Another outstanding recent release is Joe Gil’s Breathe Deep and Enter Carefully. What’s fresh here is a combination of instrumentation and composition. Joe’s on trombone, leading a quartet of guitar, piano, bass and drums. There may be a fusion element with rock here, but it’s clearly straight-ahead jazz with a difference. One would think the brassy ‘bone would dominate, or take extensive solos. But not Joe Gil - he leads, blends, makes it work. Listen to ‘Mr. Mambo.’
Jazz is alive and well. As long as there are imaginative musicians and composers like these, we’ll continue to be delighted by fresh new sounds.