Born in Newark, NJ, Al began playing the bass guitar at the age of 13. He was influenced early on by Jack Bruce and Felix Papalardi, two bass visionaries who helped expand the role of the bass guitar in rock music. His musical horizons were broadened to include Jazz, Classical, and Indian music after hearing John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Later on, the music of Allan Holdsworth inspired Alfred to take up the electric guitar as a means of expressing another side of his musical persona. Other influences on his playing include the music of J.S. Bach, Charlie Parker, Bela Bartok, Eric Johnson, Jaco Pastorious, Jeff Berlin, Brand X, ELP, Yes and pianist Bill Evans.
Al has performed and recorded many types of music. These include Fusion, Progressive Rock, Jazz, Rock, Afro-Cuban, Blues, Country, and Reggae. Alfred believes this varied experience is responsible for his desire to create music that transcends musical boundaries yet remains respectful of tradition.
Al plays 4, 5, and 6 string fretted and fretless basses, various 6 string electric and acoustic guitars, drums and percussion. He uses digital technology to record, compose, and perform music and plays a guitar synthesizer to gain access to sounds usually unavailable to string players. Al uses this varied sonic palette to create a wide variety of moods and textures.
Al is one of the few players who double on bass and guitar to appear in Guitar Player Magazine’s Spotlight column.