Frank Gambale Damien Schmitt and Alain Caron

Taken from THIS IS JAZZ Facebook page

Edition, adaptation and comment by Toni Basanta from Fairfax, Vermont, USA

Jazz guitarists from A to Z.

Beginning with letter G we have the fusion jazz guitar Virtuoso Gambale (Frank).

Frank Gambale graduated from the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, with Student of the Year honors. He also taught there from 1984 to 1986.

After graduation, he played the jazz club circuit with his own band and in 1985 released his first studio album, Brave New Guitar, through Legato Records (owned by Mark Varney, brother of Shrapnel Records founder Mike Varney) in what was to be a three-album contract.

In the summer of 1986, he toured with Jean-Luc Ponty and shortly afterwards began a six-year stint with the Chick Corea Elektric Band in 1987.

During his time with the latter, he has participated in five albums and shared a Grammy Award (with two nominations).

In the 1980s, he released two studio albums (Brave New Guitar and A Present for the Future) and a live album. In 1988 he released Monster Licks & Speed Picking through REH Publications, and later reissued in 1994 through Hal Leonard Publications. This was the first of his many instructional videos and particularly the first book to be written on the subject of sweep picking, now a widely-used guitar technique. A 1987 endorsement deal with Ibanez guitars transitioned into the 1991 debut of the Frank Gambale Model (FGM) signature series, modeled after the Ibanez S. Through 1999, four FGM models were produced: the FGM100, FGM200, FGM300 and FGM400. Yamaha also manufactured a signature guitar, the AES-FG, after he left Ibanez later in the 1990s. Gambale signed with Victor Entertainment in 1989 as part of a five-album agreement, and released his third studio album, Thunder from Down Under, the following year.

The 1990s began for Gambale with a pair of albums, Truth in Shredding (1990) and Centrifugal Funk (1991), as part of The Mark Varney Project. These were collaborations with fellow guitarists Allan Holdsworth, Brett Garsed and Shawn Lane, in a jazz fusion supergroup concept put together by Mark Varney.Around this time, he served as head of the guitar department of the Los Angeles Music Academy. In 1998, having parted ways with Victor, Gambale started his own record label named Wombat Records after purchasing his entire Legato discography with the intention of reissuing it himself. A live double album, Resident Alien – Live Bootlegs, was released in 2001, along with Imagery Suite; a duet featuring classical guitarist Maurizio Colonna. He also released a studio album, Coming to Your Senses, on guitarist Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label in 2000. In 2004, Gambale released his ninth studio album, Raison D’être, through Wombat Records; this was his first to be self-released and also the first to feature his newly-invented ‘Gambale tuning’.[clarification needed]

Gambale was  a member of the jazz fusion band Vital Information since 1988, with the group consisting of keyboardist Tom Coster, drummer Steve Smith and bassist Baron Browne.

Furthermore, in a group known as GHS, he has released three collaborative albums (Show Me What You Can Do, The Light Beyond, and GHS 3) with Steve Smith and bassist Stu Hamm through Mike Varney’s jazz-oriented label Tone Center Records.

In addition to concert recordings, he released an instructional DVD called Concert with Class in 2003.

A reunion with Chick Corea came about in 2004, and Gambale subsequently toured with the Chick Corea Elektric Band. In 2006 and 2010, he released two all-jazz studio albums in the form of Natural High and Natural Selection, respectively. In 2011, he endorsed the Carvin FG1, a thin hollow body guitar made at the Carvin factory in San Diego, California.

In 2014, Gambale joined the Isina mentorship program as head of the guitar department.

In July 2015, Gambale will release a new online guitar school website featuring video-streamed instructional courses.In this video we have the sweep jazz- fusion guitar “Meister” performing in a Trio set-up with jazz-fusion super-Star bass-guitarist Alain Caron Music and super drummer Damien Schmitt D-Code.

This is all for now, but there’ll be more soon


My comment


Toni Basanta


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