Steve Giordano is a Philadelphia jazz guitarist in great company.
He has lived, learned, loved and played in the most evolutionary age of creative music in America. Early teachers were by way of radio and then 45 and LP records from the nineteen fifties. Giordano learned from the best: screaming guitar solos from Elvis Presley’s guitarist Scotty Moore then lured to jazz by Dave Brubeck, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and John Coltrane. The first spoken jazz lesson was from a Columbia LP with Leonard Bernstein called “What is Jazz” Every note of Wes Montgomery; then, Jim Hall. Illuminated by writings of Persechetti, Schillinger, and Hindemith. No traditional schooling, but all the best teachers.
New technology emerged and he tried it all: synthesizers, string synthesizers, multi-track tape machines, and samplers. Digital replaced analog and computers expanded possibilities beyond imagination. Entire jazz orchestras were synthesized in his studio.
Jazz went from blues, swing, be-bop, straight-ahead, hard-bop, post-bop, fusion, progressive, avant garde. Sparked by Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Ralph Towner, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and Chick Corea; Giordano played rock in clubs in his teens gradually subverting jazz into the repertoire in his early 20′s. His jazz baptism was playing with drummer Chico Hamilton and then came the organ circuit with Richard Groove Holmes and Willis Jackson, here and in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain. Playing in all kinds of jazz situations here on the East coast in festivals, clubs and concerts.
The composing years followed. Listening to arrangements of early Quincy Jones, Gil Evans and Claus Ogerman. Being romanced by the Brazilian players Egberto Gismonti, Joao Gilberto, and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Wanting to hear more of those lush harmonies in string lines. Getting immersed in the music of the more modern classical composers: Debussy, Ravel, and Barber. Then the reaching of the ECM label artists stretched his ears. What came out of the mix was what has been attributed to Giordano as his particular style of composition called impressionistic jazz. Stressing interactive playing rather than solo conscious spotlight on guitar. Progressive with strings. Modern rich harmonies. Lush and unpredictable passages.
The first recording contract was with Muse records in the company of Mike Richmond, Billy Hart, and Barry Miles. Then, formation of a Philadelphia based quartet of guitar, bass, drums, and trumpet surviving over twenty years.
The past several years have proven incredibly fruitful for Giordano. He formed an ensemble known as the Steve Giordano Spacetet. The Spacetet is the culmination of decades of Giordano’s compositional development and musical relationships. The Spacetet is comprised of Bob Meashey on trumpet and flugelhorn, Brian Howell on bass, John Mosemann on drums and percussion and Peter Cobb on alto saxophone. Giordano has recently composed a number of pieces designed to highlight the group’s sensitive and interactive sound. The Spacetet has since released three recordings featuring these compositions: Sea Dreams (2004), Utopia (2006), and Timeline (2008). With performances at The Painted Bride Art Center, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Clef Club, the University of Pennsylvania, Drew University and upcoming shows at Chris’ Jazz Cafe and Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus, the Spacetet continues to expose their particular expression of beautiful music.
Giordano’s career as a soloist and educator has recently included two tours to Italy in 2004 and 2005 offering master classes at the Accademia di Chitarra Moderna and continuing collaborations with Sicilian jazz musicians drummer Francesco Branciamore and guitarist Andrea Quartarrone. Locally Giordano has enjoyed inspired duets with various artists including John Swana on trumpet, and John Blake on violin. Player, composer, arranger, synthesist, writer, teacher. Exploring, challenging, pushing, experimenting, and enjoying the making of beautiful music with dedicated Philadelphia musicians. Ideas ever evolving. Playing from his heart with passion always.