Born: August 13, 1955 Primary Instrument: Guitar
“one of the finest straight-ahead jazz guitarists on the current NYC jazz scene.”
--Robert Silverstein, MWE3.com
“...This is no-nonsense jazz with a classic dark tone and killer chops.
--Dave Walker, davewalkermusic.com
From his fresh interpretations of jazz standards, to his lyrically evocative originals, Brooklyn-based guitarist Rick Stone is an artist with a clear musical vision. His fluid, full-bodied sound pays homage to the great jazz masters of the past while maintaining a personal style with a contemporary edge.
Rick is a respected teacher at Jazzmobile, BCM, Hofstra and other colleges and has recently launched the educational website jazzguitarlessons.com. His trio performs regularly at the Garage, the Bar Next Door and other NYC venues. In 2010 and 2011 he toured Italy extensively as a guest artist and clinician.
Rick’s latest CD Fractals (2011) features his working trio with bassist Marco Panascia and drummer Tom Pollard. Says Tim Fischer in Just Jazz Guitar “Stone comes across as a solid bebop guitarist, updating his harmonic and melodic language to include the developments of the younger generation of New York guitarists. Odd-time modifications to standards, wide-interval exercises, and exotic modal intros are just a few of the more modern devices Stone explores throughout the album.”
Rick Stone began playing guitar at age nine in his hometown of Cleveland. He developed an early affinity for the blues, but it was in the mid-seventies that his passion for jazz was sparked after hearing a live performance of saxophonist Sonny Stitt. His musical quest led him to Berklee College of Music and then on to New York where he found a fertile and stimulating environment in Barry Harris’ Jazz Cultural Theatre. While studying with the legendary pianist, Rick honed his craft sitting in alongside veteran players like Tommy Flanagan, Lionel Hampton, Clarence “C” Sharpe, and Junior Cook. Then, under the tutelage of jazz masters Jimmy Heath, Ted Dunbar, Donald Byrd, Tony Purrone and Hal Galper, he earned his M.A. at Queens College.
Soon Rick was developing a reputation in his own right, leading all-star groups with musicians like Kenny Barron, Eric Alexander, Vernel Fournier, Richard Wyands, Ralph Lalama, Dennis Irwin and Billy Hart in performances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, The Smithsonian Institution, The Blue Note and Birdland. His recordings Blues For Nobody, Far East and Samba de Novembro have achieved wide critical acclaim. Writes David Adler in JazzTimes His custom archtop sounds exquisite . . . deft, contrapuntal intros and subtle reharmonizations . . . Stone's axe work is articulate but never rigid, impeccably clean yet well-versed in dirt.
In the 90s Rick led a series of guitar duos at the Swing Street Café with guests including Peter Bernstein, Mark Elf, Roni Ben-Hur, Peter Leitch and Freddie Bryant, toured South America with his trio, and played regularly at Sette MoMA, followed by a five year stint with swing clarinetist Sol Yaged (2002-2007). A sought-after sideman, Rick has worked with Irene Reid, Ronny Whyte, Vince Giordano and Eric Person, and is featured on CD’s by Carol Sudhalter, Al Ashley (with Dave Leibman), Mary Ann Hurst, and Carol Leven.
Rick has written for Just Jazz Guitar, Jazz Guitar Life, and several Mel Bay Publications. His clinics have won accolades at IAJE, MENC and numerous colleges and universities. He has received two IAJE Awards for Outstanding Service to Jazz Education and several NEA performance fellowships.
__Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist
Stone's playing combines the economy of Hall with some of the soul of Wes Montgomery, a little of Pat Metheny's lyricism and a deeper, darker-hued tone that brings to mind Pat Martino but with an approach that is more sparing. The result of this blend is an all-encompassing sound that is still fully cognizant of the value of the spaces between the notes . . . is an artist who, with a clear and consistent musical vision that pays homage without losing site of individuality, really ought to record more. He clearly deserves broader recognition
--John Kelman, All About Jazz
...fluid exposition of ideas, mature technique and deep understanding of the material he plays . . . With a purity of tone, understated elegance and economy of execution like Jim Hall at times, Stone wastes no notes, all of them apparently falling into place . . . Samba de Novembro, dazzling in its musical effulgence, contains numerous gems, all of which remaining consistent with Stone's seemingly casual craftsman-like style. . .calls attention to a guitarist who should have been included in the ranks of the top jazz guitarists . . . He certainly deserves repeated listening.
--Don Williamson, JazzReview.com
I find myself transported back to days (& nites) of listening to jazz guitar by guys like Wes Montgomery & Kenny Burrell... but make no mistake, Rick Stone has his own distinctive style, a sound you'll recognize for years to come. . . this gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us, as well as the PICK of this issue for best jazz guitar.
--Dick Metcalf, aka Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation
His lyrical lines and imaginative ideas on a mix of originals and hip standards reflect his maturity as an interpreter of great tunes and his mastery as an artistically adept player. His tone is bright and crisp, some would say traditional, and his ideas are fresh.
--David Adler, Just Jazz Guitar
His may not yet be a household name but Rick Stone shows he's worthy of the accolades that have come his way . . . . Subtle swing and a complete grasp of single note playing are strong cards in Rick Stone's deck. Let's hear more from him.
--Jazz Society of Oregon
Rick Stone has a softer tone than Elf but can also swing hard . . . Throughout, Stone puts plenty of feeling into his playing, listens closely to the ideas of his sidemen (and vice versa) and performs a well-rounded program of tasteful and subtle music .
--Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene
Stone's playing is a bit reminiscent of Kenny Burrell; his tone is warm and clean and the blues never seem to far away from what he is doing.
--Ted Kane, Jazz Review
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Over 30 years private and classroom teaching experience. Currently teach jazz guitar at Hofstra University, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, City College and the Jazzmobile Saturday Workshop Program.
Also accepting private students at my Brooklyn studio. During the school year (from September-May) I'm mostly available on Thursdays & Sundays, mornings-early afternoons, but in the summer months I have more flexibility of hours. My basic rate is $75/hour and I offer discounted rates for blocks of four or more pre-paid lessons.
My studio is a few minutes from the "F" Train Church Avenue stop in Brooklyn.