Michael Musillami

Primary Instrument: Guitar

Michael Musillami

Veteran jazz guitarist/composer Michael Musillami is known to critics as “a superior guitarist” (DownBeat), “one of the more imaginative guitarists in jazz” (Signal to Noise) and “a modern-day jazz master” (Edmonton Journal). They have also noted that his distinctive original compositions “mine not only the fertile vein of classic jazz but the outer reaches of creative music” (Hartford Courant), calling his music “honest, frequently surprising, and consistently exciting” (JazzTimes).

Born and raised in California, Musillami was inspired early on by musicians including Chet Baker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Bill Evans. He studied with renowned guitarist Joe Diorio before moving permanently to the East coast in the early 1980's, working primarily in organ trios led by Richard “Groove” Holmes and Bobby Buster among others....
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Musillami's abilities on his electric guitar are without parallel. And there is no question that he feels every note that every instrument makes.
--Lyn Horton, All About Jazz

Musillami has developed a very distinctive guitar voice over the years. His early work was fluent and well-executed, but in recent years his playing has matured, along with his writing ability.
--Chuck Obuchowski, Hartford Courant

...he continues to assert himself not only as a very competent performer, but especially as one of the most innovative composers on the scene.
--Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

As much as any of their trio dates, From Seeds shows Musillami, Fonda and Schuller to be one of the finest working units in jazz today...
--Robert Iannapollo, AllAboutJazz-New York

Guitarist Michael Musillami’s appealing brand of inside-out jazz marries bluesy twang to tasteful abstraction.
--Time Out New York

Musillami is a refreshingly swinging outcat who plays long lines with angular intervals with lyricism and intelligence...
--Jim Macnie, DownBeat

A protean player with a prolific output over the past six years...
--Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes

Musillami's intricate compositions are both thematically memorable and ear- grabbing due to their zealous playfulness.
--Jay Collins, Signal to Noise

Michael Musillami stands out in the crowded field of jazz guitarists for his ability to synthesize different traditions into a personal style.
--Ed Hazell, Boston Phoenix

Musillami commands attention, not with force but with sophistication and understatement...
--Bill Donaldson, Cadence

His clean guitar tone, ability to rise over active rhythm sections or dig deeply into ballads, and often percussive background playing show not only his influences but also his commitment to the overall sound of a group. His own compositions mine not only the fertile vein of classic jazz but the outer reaches of creative music.
--Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant

Why Musillami, a critical favorite, continues to fly under mainstream radar is anyone's guess. Possessing a rich, hollow-body tone and lightning-quick, angular phrasing, his singular aesthetic charts a serpentine course from Grant Green to Joe Morris. His writing blends pithy melodies and intricate arrangements with magnanimous group interplay and adventurous improvisations that are among the finest new music can offer.
--Troy Collins, All About Jazz

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Download jazz mp3 “The Treatment” by Michael Musillami Trio with Mark Feldman
  • The Treatment
  • Michael Musillami Trio with Mark Feldman
  • The Treatment
Download jazz mp3 “Seven Blend” by Michael Musillami's Dialect
  • Seven Blend
  • Michael Musillami's Dialect
  • Fragile Forms
Download jazz mp3 “Part Pitbull” by Michael Musillami Trio (with special guest Peter Madsen)
  • Part Pitbull
  • Michael Musillami Trio (with special guest Peter Madsen)
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