Born: February 20, 1944 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Lew Soloff was born in New York City on January 20th, 1944, was raised in Lakewood, New Jersey. He took up the trumpet when he was ten and was fortunate to have been exposed to recordings of Louis Armstrong and Roy Eldridge from an early age. As a teen he worked in the Catskills in the summer and graduated to the New York scene during the Sixties, playing club dates and concerts at Radio City Music Hall. A brilliant high-note trumpeter long in great demand for big bands and session work, Lew Soloff is also a distinctive soloist and an expert with the plunger mute.
After studying at Juilliard, Soloff played jazz trumpet with several leaders, notably Maynard Ferguson and Gil Evans and the Latin groups of Machito, Tito Puente, and Chuck Mangione. He first came to prominence in 1968 with the Grammy Award winning jazz/rock band Blood Sweat & Tears where he remained for five years. Soloff's extensive performances have included gigs with Ornette Coleman, Frank Sinatra, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band, The Magic City Jazz Orchestra (directed by Ray Reach), Machito, Marianne Faithfull, Barbra Streisand, Carla Bley, Dizzy Gillespie and numerous others.
These days Soloff is busy with a number of other projects, recording 16 albums with the Manhattan Jazz Quintet (he's a charter member of the group formed in 1984), US'N (featuring George Young, Will Lee, Steve Gadd, Rob Mounsey, and Sammy Figueroa), Pocket Brass Band (led by trombonist Ray Anderson), and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra. He recently finished recording a new album with his regular working ensemble The Food Group, comprised of Lou Marini, Joe Beck, Mark Egan, and Danny Gottlieb. He is also a featured member of Carla Bley's 4+4 group.
Lew demonstrates his versatility by playing classical music. A fiery, gutsy player, Soloff's broad repertoire has caused some jazz fans to overlook his work. He is, nevertheless, a musician of considerable depth, integrity and flair.
Hanalei Bay (Pro Arte 1983)
Yesterdays (Pro Arte 1986)
Speak Low (Pro Arte 1987)
But Beautiful (Evidence 1987)
Little Wing (Triloka 1991)
With a Song in My Heart (Milestone 1999)
Rainbow Mountain (32 Jazz (2000)
The Best of Lew Soloff (Pro Arte 1983)
Blood, Sweat & Tears Blood, Sweat & Tears (Columbia 1969)
Blood, Sweat & Tears Blood, Sweat & Tears 4 (Columbia 1971)
Blood, Sweat & Tears New Blood (Columbia 1972)
Blood, Sweat & Tears No Sweat (Columbia 1973)
Blood, Sweat & Tears Classic B S T (Columbia 1980)
Blood, Sweat & Tears What Goes Up: The Best of Blood,... (Columbia 1995)
Franco Ambrosetti - Tentets (1985)
Franco Ambrosetti - Gin & Pentatonic (1985)
Ray Anderson Big Band Record (1994)
Ray Anderson - Don't Mow Your Lawn (1994)
Ray Anderson/Alligatory - Heads and Tales (1995)
Ray Anderson's Pocket - Where Home Is (1999)
The Average White Band - AWB (1974)
The Average White Band - Warmer Communications... and More (1978)
Roy Ayers Ubiquity - Vibrations (1976)
Roy Ayers Evolution: The Polydor Anthology (1995)
Gato Barbieri - Ruby, Ruby (1978)
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