Al DeGregoris
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Al DeGregoris

New York City, NY | INDIE | AFM

New York City, NY | INDIE | AFM
Band Jazz Latin

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Music

Press


All About Jazz
May 2008, Vol. 6 No. 4
By George Harris

Keyboardist extraordinaire Al DeGregoris has put out another recording of fun and funky jazz that mixes the groove of Joe Sample with the synthesized textures of Stevie Wonder with elan and remarkable grace. Unashamedly plugged in and proud, DeGregoris lays down infectious smooth reggae grooves on the contagiously catchy opening selection, “J Walkin” that gives Bob Marley’s beat an added jolt of electricity. The hip-hopping beat and bouncy base of “Hot Potato” also features some clever contrasting minimalist piano work that mingles the best of Count Basie with Marcus Miller. Likewise, the Motown snap of “Here To Jersey” includes some guitar work that will cause fans of Wah Wah Watson to rejoice. Some raucous guitar work and infectious keyboard riffs make “BC’s Bounce” a joy, as the no-holds-barred, dizzying Latin party onslaught, mixed with the seductive flute voicings make “North Shore Sunset” a tune that will keep your party working overtime. Smooth jazz fans will like the accessibility, and fans ‘70s R&B will wonder why this music isn’t more prevalent. Seek out three before midnight. It will keep your grooving 24/7. - All About Jazz


Discography

"Three Before Midnight"
3/31/2008-A-PEX Recordings International.
CD receiving Terrestial Radio airplay in US, Canada, Carribean and international airplay via Internet Radio.

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Bio

No matter how talented he is and how high profile the company he keeps, Al DeGregoris knows that stardom as an indie artist in the contemporary urban jazz world takes time. Judging from the clever and creative time-oriented titles of his albums, including his latest Time and a Half, he’s finding unique ways of measuring his development as an artist and resulting success each time out. The multi-talented composer, pianist and keyboardist launched his recording career in 2008 with Three Before Midnight, followed up with Times and Travels (2012) and, on his last release in 2014, reminded his fans that everything promising will be fulfilled All in Good Time. That album, featuring key contributions from contemporary jazz greats Chuck Loeb, Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal, featured the single “Sunnyside”, which earned DeGregoris his biggest airplay charting to date, rising to #28 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz National Airplay chart. 
While showcasing more of his melodic composing style and talents as a skilled jazz keyboardist and improviser, All In Good Time also launched two powerful collaborations, with artist/producers Nils and Jeff Lorber, which have taken DeGregoris to new levels of his artistry both musically and sonically. Time and a Half features seven tracks helmed by Nils - who adds his trademark electric guitar to each - and three by Lorber, who ups DeGregoris’ game considerably with some of his legendary percussive old school keyboard vibes.
Nils’ and Lorber’s collaborations with the keyboardist have once again resulted in a powerhouse recording that runs the stylistic gamut between full of cool, free-flowing R&B/jazz, punchy, adventurous jazz fusion and high octane funk jams, including a joyful, brass fired romp through Sly Stone’s “Everyday People.” Nils told DeGregoris to only do a classic R&B cover if he could bring something new to it – and the keyboardist’s spirited, jazzy approach and dynamic re-harmonization of the tune (which only has two basic chords) transcends that challenge. “I’ve always loved Sly and I thought ‘Everyday People’ was a good message to send out there considering the state of things in the world right now,” DeGregoris says.
“I love working with both Nils and Jeff, as both bring very different concepts and inspiration to my crafts as a composer, performer and artist,” he adds. “Nils’ ideas in the studio are very smooth and radio friendly and I like the way he plays guitar, produces and thinks once we start into a new song. On the flip side, Jeff’s got that fusion background and has a harder edge, writing melodies with more aggressive rhythms and bite. He’ll take my ideas into a whole new adventurous direction. It’s also cool to work with a fellow keyboard player, and we speak to each other in a different language than I would communicate with a guitar player like Nils.
“I love having so much variety,” DeGregoris continues, “and my goal on Time and a Half was to bridge these two styles together with what I can add to them, while also providing the continuity of my voice as a performer throughout. Working with Nils and Jeff has made me grow as a writer and player, and all of that development has an impact on the way I approach my albums and live performances.”   

ON STAGE
Since the release of All in Good Time, and driven by the popularity of its single “Sunnyside”, DeGregoris has had some exciting new opportunities to open for some of the genre’s most elite artists. He opened for Jazz Funk Soul (the trio of Lorber, Everette Harp and Chuck Loeb), at the Madison Theatre in NY, and later opened there for Loeb and Eric Marienthal; he has also opened at the Garden City Hotel for Chieli Minucci and Special EFX. His regular band includes many NYC jazz stalwarts, including drummers Joel Rosenblatt and Lionel Cordew, keyboardist Chris Geith and bassist Ron Jenkins. Nils has joined him when he’s available. DeGregoris will soon be using his electronic keytar during his live performances.
The keyboardist has a long history of live performances playing everything from classic rock to standards—dating back to his days as a music major at Hofstra University and later when he was enrolled in law school. In 2001, he and guitarist Joe “The Man” Bivona formed the smooth jazz group Deja Blue and performed for several years at numerous venues and festivals in NYC and on Long Island. These included BB King’s Blues Club and Grille, The Peconic Bay Winery, Ospry’s Dominion Winery, Town of North Hempstead Concert Under the Stars Series and the Nassau County Noontime Concert Series.   

Band Members