Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 64

COLUMN Fretprints

ERIC GALE

Figurehead of Funky Fusion
By Wolf Marshall

T

he marketing term "smooth jazz" caught
up with trends begun in the '70s, two
decades after it originated in the instrumental R&B of CTI Records and the music
of Grover Washington, Jr., Bob James, Eumir
Deodato, and Eric Gale.
Creed Taylor, Inc. (CTI), formed by Creed
Taylor as a subsidiary of A&M Records, was a
laboratory for sonic experiments blending pop
and jazz. Taylor produced Wes Montgomery's
A Day in the Life (1967) and set the standard
for fusion living at the intersection of R&B,
easy listening, jazz, and pop. With a succession
of significant albums in the '70s, CTI and its
soul-jazz offshoot, Kudu, became synonymous
with a movement that merged R&B grooves,
jazz harmony, world-music allusions, slick
arranging, and pop aspirations.
Eric Gale was a significant player in this
movement from its inception, and its leading
guitar voice. Though he emphatically identified himself as an R&B musician, he blurred the
line between genres and fell into the catch-all
label that grouped most uncategorizable music
under the "jazz" umbrella.

Gale enjoyed a pan-American lineage; his
parents were from Barbados and he was born
and raised in Brooklyn. As a child, he gravitated
to jazz sounds on local radio - particularly saxophonist Charlie Parker - and started playing
upright bass at age 12, then soon after switched
to guitar. He studied chemistry, earned a degree from Niagara University, and worked as
a chemist while playing musical jobs at night
until he realized he preferred the chemistry
inherent in R&B grooves. He also discovered
he earned more money playing music, so he
turned to music as a profession, playing with
numerous acts including the Drifters, Maxine
Brown, the Flamingos, Jackie Wilson, Baby
Washington, Jesse Belvin, and Little Anthony
and the Imperials. King Curtis and Jimmy
Smith recommended him for studio work,
and he developed a busy career as session and
side player. He was on the Isley Brothers' 1962
hit, "Twist and Shout," and went on to play
on more than 500 albums, including those
of John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon,
Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley,
Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, Nina Simone, Van

VINTAGE GUITAR

64

October 2017

Morrison, Mose Allison, Joe Cocker, Kenny
Loggins, Gato Barbieri, and Al Kooper. Gale
was CTI's house guitarist and also appeared on
various jazz dates for Freddie Hubbard, Herbie
Hancock, Quincy Jones, Stanley Turrentine,
George Benson, Sonny Stitt, Benny Golson,
Oliver Nelson, Yusef Lateef, and many others.
His guitar work and appearance enlivened
Paul Simon's music and 1980 feature movie
One Trick Pony, where he played himself with
the stage name Lee-Andrew Parker. Moreover,
he is forever enshrined in musical Americana
and the world of sitcoms through his playing
on Bob James' "Angela," the theme to "Taxi."
Gale rode the wave of jazz-tinged R&B in his
solo career. His debut on Kudu, Forecast (1973),
boasted diverse R&B, jazz, funk, soft rock and
pop, his effective rhythm-section arranging,
intriguing originals like "Tonsue Corte,"
"White Moth," "Cleopatra" and the title track, a
well-textured reading of "Killing Me Softly with
His Song" (released as a single), a slow soulful
string-laden interpretation of Jobim's "Dindi,"
and featured NYC luminaries Bob James,
Randy Brecker, Joe Farrell, Hubert Laws, Idris
Muhammad, Ralph MacDonald, and Gordon
Edwards. After years of roadwork, session dates,
and struggles with alcoholism, Gale retreated
to Jamaica, where he recorded Negril (1975), a
reggae-dominated program with the region's
top players including guitarist Peter Tosh.
Gale's return to the NYC session scene led to
the formation of Stuff, a unique supergroup
founded on funk and jazz with fellow studio
guitarist Cornell Dupree, keyboardist Richard
Tee, drummer Steve Gadd, and bassist Gordon
Edwards. The sextet recorded five albums for
Warner Brothers, all of which earned gold:
Stuff ('76), the Grammy-nominated More Stuff
('77), Stuff It ('78), Live Stuff ('78) and Live in
New York ('80). They also recorded as support
band for Joe Cocker, Salena Jones, Carly Simon,
and Carla Bley from 1977 through '81. Stuff's
music was glaringly influential to musicians
worldwide. Robben Ford, on his '79 debut,
The Inside Story, covered "Need Somebody"
and wrote the undisguised tribute "Tee Time
for Eric." The effect was also felt in the Galeinspired guitar work on Earth Wind & Fire's
1975 hit "That's the Way of the World," which
Stuff covered in its live set at Montreux in '76.
Eric continued his solo career with the critically acclaimed Ginseng Woman ('77), Multiplication ('78), Part of You ('79), and Touch of Silk
('80) on Columbia, followed by Blue Horizon
('81, Elektra), In the Shade of a Tree ('82, JVC)
and Island Breeze ('83, Elektra). In '87, he stepped
out of his usual format to make a straight-ahead
jazz album In a Jazz Tradition for EmArcy with
esteemed veterans of the genre - CTI stablemate


http://youtu.be/PvpEGjbr3ZM?list=PLaynhNdfLBF7QBKzUBBQ7oTDFiOkIr-mx http://www.vintageguitar.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 3
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 4
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 5
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 6
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 7
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 8
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 9
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 11
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 12
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 13
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 14
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 15
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 16
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 17
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 18
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 19
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 20
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 21
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 22
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 23
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 24
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 25
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 26
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 27
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 28
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 29
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 30
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 31
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 32
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 33
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 34
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 35
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 36
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 37
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 38
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 39
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 40
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 41
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 42
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 43
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 44
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 45
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 46
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 47
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 48
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 49
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 50
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 51
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 52
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 53
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 54
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 55
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 56
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 57
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 58
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 59
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 60
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 61
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 62
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 63
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 64
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 65
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 66
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 67
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 68
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 69
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 70
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 71
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 72
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 73
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 74
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 75
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 76
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 77
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 78
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 79
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 80
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 81
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 82
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 83
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 84
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 85
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 86
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 87
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 88
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 89
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 90
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 91
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 92
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 93
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 94
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 95
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 96
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 97
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 98
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 99
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 100
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 101
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 102
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 103
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 104
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 105
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 106
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 107
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 108
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 109
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 110
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 111
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 112
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 113
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 114
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 115
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 116
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 117
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 118
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 119
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 120
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 121
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 122
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 123
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 124
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 125
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 126
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 127
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 128
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 129
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 130
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 131
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 132
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 133
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 134
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 135
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 136
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 137
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 138
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 139
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 140
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 141
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 142
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 143
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 144
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 145
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 146
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - IBC
Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - BC
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201903_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201902_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201901_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201812_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201811_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201810_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201809_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201808_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201807_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201805_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201804_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201803_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201802_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201801_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/2018priceguide_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201712_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201711_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201710_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201709_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201708_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201707_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201706_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201705_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201704_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201703_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201702_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201701_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201612_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201611_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201609_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201607_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201606_v2
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com