Graham Dechter

Graham Dechter is an accomplished guitarist, composer, and arranger. His young age belies the swinging authority and mature maturity he displays. Los Angeles native Dechter, 26, has been a Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra member since he was 19. His warm-toned renditions blues, bossas and blues show a deep respect for jazz guitar tradition. He is a formidable soloist and a consummate accompanist. However, he also brings a unique enthusiasm to standards and a natural bluesiness. Additionally, he creates his own path with several original compositions. Dechter is a unique jazz guitarist. While many contemporary jazz guitarists are drawn from the six-string trio of Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Bill Frisell, or heavily imitating current guitar players like Kurt Rosenwinkel’s, his tastes are strongly rooted in a distinct aesthetic. Dechter is a talent that deserves greater recognition. He follows the footsteps of his guitar heroes, Wes Montgomery and Barney Kessel, Grant Green, and Herb Ellis. Dechter says, “I tend towards the swinging stuff.” “I enjoy listening to and appreciating many styles of music, both jazz and non-jazz. However, my personal conception of the swinging realm is what I live in. “Guitarists like Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, and other instrumentalists such as Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, and Ben Webster have all had a major influence on my playing.” Dechter’s debut album as a leader in 2009’s soulfully swinging Right On Time, (Capri), features the all-world rhythm section from the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, including pianist Tamir Hendelman and John Clayton, and drummer Jeff Hamilton. These three outstanding talents will be back for Dechter’s 2012 follow-up, Takin’ it There (Capri). Dechter’s second album is full of exhilarating energy and exudes the same magic chemistry as his debut. Jeff, John, and Tamir are my musical mentors. They were my musical heroes growing up. I have played with them for six years in the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. They are so supportive and responsive musically. They are all professional heavy duty leaders and tour with their own bands. Their music is so tightly-knit and well-thought-out that it has influenced my work with my own band. It’s just natural to make music with them. Dechter’s slick take on Kessel’s signature tune, “Be Deedle Dee Do”, is a clear Barney Kessel influence. Graham’s string-bending skills on Clayton’s blues-soaked, “Grease for Graham” are a direct result of Herb Ellis’ influence. I did my best B.B. to try and do justice to the title. I tried to do the title justice and put my best B.B. Graham says that Josh wrote the song as a feature for him with my sound in his mind. This was a great compliment. I kind of took inspiration from it both conceptually and musically. It has a certain vibe and I wanted it to be the soundtrack to the rest of my songs.”

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