George Schuller

Born: December 29, 1958    Primary Instrument: Drums

George Schuller

Drummer, composer, arranger and producer George Schuller, a native of New York City, moved to Boston in 1967 where he was raised and educated, and later received a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in 1982.

For the next twelve years, Schuller was a fixture on the Boston area jazz scene performing with Herb Pomeroy, Jaki Byard, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Mick Goodrick, John Lockwood, Ran Blake, Lisa Thorson, Billy Pierce, Bruce Gertz, Mili Bermejo, John LaPorta and Hal Crook.

In 1984, he co-founded the twelve-piece ensemble Orange Then Blue recording several acclaimed albums, including the 1999 release, Hold The Elevator: Live in Europe and Other Haunts (GM Recordings). Orange Then Blue toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, Middle East and Europe during the early to mid-90s. ...
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Massachusetts Artist Foundation Fellowship for Music Composition (1987)
Nominated for Best Jazz Drummer, Boston Music Awards (1990)
NEA Composition Grant (1995)
Julius Hemphill Composition Award (2000)
”Schuller is a graceful, swinging drummer, always tasteful and capable of driving a band without overwhelming it.”
--Chris Kelsey, JazzTimes

”Drummer George Schuller is a significant member of today’s progressive jazz scene. Whether performing as a sideman or leading his own projects, Schuller’s pen represents a potent and forward thinking mindset…”
--Glenn Astarita,

”Schuller knows how to use composition to spur improvisation, and as a way to organize free blowing so that it never sounds arbitrary. What’s more, funky tunes like ‘Band Vote’ will keep you whistling after the CD is over.”
--Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix

”George Schuller's talent on Hellbent lies in his ability to keep the quartet together through periods of order and disorder. He uses drums, rather than cymbals, much of the time to sharpen edges and provide contrast. Schuller's playing is particularly refreshing because he doesn't generally play on (or off) the beat -- instead, he comes in and out unexpectedly, dancing around the pulse.”
--Nils Jacobson,

”Schuller's compositions create an effective balance between form and freedom; his melodic sense is firmly rooted in the post-Ornette vocabulary, and his rhythmic conception is finely connected to the time/space continuum. As a drummer, Schuller propels, swings hard and has the rare ability to conjure form out of seeming chaos.”
-- Ed Friedland, Tuscon Weekly

”Schuller's charts provide fruitful frameworks for the improvising, with loose- limbed harmonic lines and purposeful rhythmic foundations underpinning free-wheeling melodic parts from the horns.”
--JazzReview (UK)

”George Schuller is an endlessly inventive drummer, tooling around his augmented kit he is a whirl of tiny cymbal clashes and ping-ponging percussive accents one minute, a throttling mass of press rolls and punishing back beats the next.”
--Troy Collins, Cadence

RECORDINGS: As Leader: Lookin' Up From Down Below (GM) 1990 JigSaw (482 Music) 2004 With Circle Wide: Round'bout Now (Playscape Recordings) 2003 Like Before, Somewhat After (Playscape Recordings) 2008 With Schulldogs: Tenor Tantrums (New World) 1999 Hellbent (Playscape Recordings) 2002 With Conference Call: Spirals: The Berlin Concert (482 Music) 2004 Poetry in Motion (Clean Feed) 2008 With Free Range Rat: Nut Club (Clean Feed) 2006 With Orange Then Blue: Orange Then Blue (GM) 1987/1998 Where Were You? (GM) 1989 Funkallero (GM) 1991 While You Were Out... (GM) 1994 Hold The Elevator: Live in Europe and Other Haunts (GM) 1999 As Side Person: Gunther Schuller - Jumpin' in the Future (GM) 1989 Miles Donahue - Double Dribble (Timeless) 1993 Emery Davis - Sauce (Accurate) 1993 Frank Carlberg - Blind Drive (Accurate) 1993 Eugene Maslov - Autumn in New England (GM) 1994/2007 Lisa Thorson - From This Moment On (Brownstone) 1994 LaPorta/Wilder/Woodman - Playing For Keeps (GM) 1994 Rob Levit - Singularity (Brownstone) 1994 Mili Bermejo - Casa Corazon (Xenophile) 1994 (w. OTB) Joe Lovano - Rush Hour (Blue Note) 1995 Bill DeArango - Anything Went (GM) 1996 Steve Kirby - Point of Balance (A Records) 1998 Tom Varner - The Window Up Above (New World) 1998 Lisa Thorson - Resonance (GM) 1999 Bevan Manson - Myths and Mysteries (A Records) 1999 Ballin' The Jack - Jungle (Knitting Factory) 1999 Chuck Florence - Remembering Jim Pepper (Saxophile Records) 1999 Tom Beckham - Suspicions (Fresh Sound) 2000 Andrew Rathbun - Jade (Fresh Sound) 2000 Ballin' The Jack - The Big Head (Knitting Factory) 2001 Ran Blake - Sonic Temples (GM) 2001 Gunther Schuller/WDR Orchestra/Remembrance Band - The Music of Jim Pepper: Witchi-Tai-To (Tutu) 2002 Michael Musillami/Mario Pavone - Pivot (Playscape) 2002 Jamie Stewardson - You're Not Far (Steward Records) 2003 Michael Musillami - Beijing (Playscape) 2003 Michael Musillami - Those Times (Playscape) 2003 Michael Musillami - Dachau (Playscape) 2005 Mark Sowlakis - Sinfonetta (Pacific Winds) 2005 Jamie Stewardson - Jhaptal (Fresh Sound/New Talent) 2006 Burton Greene - Sign of the Times (CIMP) 2006 Burton Greene - Ins and Outs (CIMP) 2006 Hayes Greenfield - Because of You (Dots & Lines) 2007 Michael Musillami - The Treatment (Playscape) 2007 Armen Donelian Trio – Oasis (Sunnyside) 2008 Fonda/Morena/Schuller — A Drop of Water (Konnex) 2008

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