Born: December 20, 1942
In a diverse music career spanning several decades, keyboardist/arranger Pete Levin has performed and recorded with hundreds of Jazz and Pop artists - including Paul Simon, Annie Lennox, Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Lenny White, Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius, Robbie Robertson and John Scofield - receiving critical accolades for his work during a 15 year association with the legendary Gil Evans, and his 8 year stint with jazz icon Jimmy Giuffre. Says Levin,
“What I got from Gil was the unshakable notion that playing music was to create from a place where there are no boundaries. If it can be imagined then it can be done.”...
Deacon Blues, Pete Levin
by Ken Micallef
The New York artist has a serious keyboard resume (playing with the likes of John Scofield, Miles Davis and Gil Evans), so you'd expect him to lay down some real grease and gravy on Deacon Blues, his first album to embrace the Hammond B-3. Levin and company play it cool for much of the album, but when the group catches fire, as on Dragonfly and Uptown, Deacon Blues glows with purpose.
All About Jazz
Pete Levin / Pete Levin Music 2008
By John Kelman
Keyboardist Pete Levin has built a fine discography, closely linked to the jazz world, but it's his recent solo work that's most worth visiting. On Certified Organic Levin recruits a large cast of characters for an album high on groove but broad in reach, with elements of swing, soul-jazz, funk, fusion and more.
Levin's own multifaceted nature drives the record, starting from the get-go with his funkified “I'm Falling,” where guitarist John Carridi's chunky rhythm playing locks hand-in-glove with drummer Harvey Sorgen's in-the-pocket groove. Levin solos with the organ-equivalent of Scofield's uncanny ability to take things out just enough to create a palpable release when he brings it back in, while Carridi's overdriven solo is bop-inflected but blues-centric.
While grabbing several compositional credits, Levin also finds new approaches to popular tunes. But it's Levin's arrangement of Jaco Pastorius' often-covered “Teen Town” that's Certified Organic's biggest surprise. Usually a bass workout, this time the knotty but singable theme isn't its primary focus; it's a steadily-building trade-off between Levin and saxophonist Erik Lawrence. Demonstrating undeniably fine skills as composer, arranger and performer whose reach goes well beyond Certified Organic's groove-happy veneer, it's an album that easily places Levin in the same company as Larry Goldings, Gary Versace and Dan Wall.
Certified OrganicPete Levin Music
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Nord C-1 Organ
Westone in-ear monitors