Joel Press

Joel Press, a saxophonist, is versatile and has played with many musicians, including pianist Jaki Byard, guitarist Jimmy Garrison of John Coltrane Quintet, singer Sheila Jordan, and Ray Nance, Duke Ellington’s ubiquitous violinist/ cornetist/ vocalist. He is a native New Yorker and studied classical music at The Manhattan School of Music where he received a Master’s degree. Joel Press is a master of the language and style of post-World War II swing jazz. This music has been a part of his life for nearly a century. CADENCE JAZZ RECORDS, which released MAINSTREAM EXTENSIONS’ CD, recognized the artistry of Mr. A.J. and included his MUSIC IN A PASSIONATE TIMES in their historical series. This is a rare collection of multi-track recordings that include compositions and improvisations for dance and film from the early 1970s. Although his music is rooted in mainstream jazz, it has a distinct avant-garde nature. Press continues to explore this language with his quartet and duo performances with pianist Kyle Aho. Press was recently called “The legendary Boston jazz musician” by National Public Radio. He moved to Boston in late 1970s. Grammy winner Bob Blumenthal wrote this review of The Boston Globe Jazz Festival’s Tribute to Lady Day and Prez. Joel was the music director. Although Press was the closest to the source, he took the most cool approach. However, all the other performers were equally passionate. Arthur Hepner of The Boston Globe, wrote that “solid techniques, rich sounds and well-meshed interplay resulted in fine embroideries from music by Johnny Green, Cole Porter, and other artists.” The highlight was Press’s soft work on BODY and SOUL. From

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