One of the reasons that I explore the daily birthdays at All About Jazz is that it gives me names of musicians that I don’t know, like yesterday, when I discovered Pawel Kaczmarczyk the great young Polish jazz pianist. The odds of coming across his name elsewhere are pretty low. Anyway, the first name on the birthday list is actually someone I already knew, but only because when I was checking the birthdays at All About Jazz, I saw his latest album on the same page! That artist is Behn Gillece and the album is Top Shelf.
Behn Gillece was born on this date in 1982, in my home state of New Jersey. He is a vibraphonist, who cites Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson, as the artist who inspired him to make a commitment to vibes. Since 2006, Behn had become a fixture on the New York jazz scene. In addition to playing at venues around New York and the Delaware Valley, Behn has performed at various festivals around the world including:North Sea, Montreux, Nice, Molde, Ghent, Montreal, and Toronto
Top Shelf is his fourth album as co-leader with tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser, The album features their original music that they have performed the past few years throughout venues in NYC, NJ, and Philadelphia. Several of today’s top musicians, including Michael Dease on trombone, (Michael’s 2013 release Coming Home ended up as number 5 on JazzWeek’s Year end Chart for 2013), Steve Einerson (piano), Dezron Douglas (bass), and Rodney Green (drums). also appear on the album.
I first listened to the album a while ago,and enjoyed it! It was nice this morning to go back an listen to it again!
Like many jazz musicians, Behn also teaches! He has been invited to colleges and universities throughout the area for clinics and masterclasses. He has prepared over 200+ lessons for online instruction via vibesworkshop.com, where his lessons are studied by members internationally.
Here’s Ben and Kevin Fowser and the rest of the Quartet performing “Signals” at the Moonstone in Philly!. Oh, and Happy Birthday , Behn!!