Bill Boris
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Bill Boris


Band Jazz Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music



This goes beyond chops: I get a rush within the first measures. His guitar leaps - here chords, there octaves, sometimes smooth, sometimes swing. Behind him, a world of sound - stacatto mute, a raft of keyboards - all coming and going in swift motion. It makes a heady stew, and worth digging into.

"Hold Back" starts as lowdown funk (Rafe Bradford on the tangy bass), then turns sleek with lush echoes. His solos have a rocker's conception and a jazzman's tone - now there's a combo. "Tears in Heaven" soars with bright chords and church organ - how he makes this dirge dance. "Luther" has the night moves down solid (silky and sneaky, joined to mellow keys), while "The Sunset" finds a perky trumpet, burbling over Bill's slides. Then on "Catalina" he plays open: Walter Henderson twists in edgy spirals, proving himself at once - he needs more solo space. "Anastasia" moves with speedy grace (Henderson is a charm), and "True Romance" drapes aggression on smooth contours, lengthy notes that grasp ever farther. Quite a performance - I doubt Bill Boris holds back. He couldn't be stronger than this!
- John Barrett


Hold Back - Beezwax BW1132A


Feeling a bit camera shy


It takes a sweet intensity. It takes a firm dedication to groove and precision. Most of all it takes a love of music that will not quit. These are the attributes of jazz guitarist Bill Boris that make him one of the most in-demand musicians in metropolitan Chicago.

If the late Charles Earland were here to testify, he’d tell you. After all, he took Bill on the road during the last and best years of his career. Or, you can hear for yourself on the latest release from jazz singer Irene Reid, where Bill’s guitar is heard to compliment the each track with all the attributes mentioned above.

This kind of artistry is the product of neither whim nor fancy. It is born of a desire to study and explore the rich jazz traditions Bill heard and loved from childhood. His formal study took place at the University of Notre Dame and the Berklee School of Music, while he has enjoyed the ongoing fruits of private teaching for over fifteen years.

These things landed Bill a musician’s career that includes an impressive list of tours, performances, and recordings.For example: Musical Director under Gene Chandler for a Chicago TV special; Musical Director for the internationally touring performance of Beehive; performances and/or recordings with Arthur Prysock, Robert Irving III, Doc Severensen, Bo Diddley, Ima Sumac, Mary Wells, Lisa Ono, Manfredo Fest, Peter Ballin, Uncle Art, and many others; a recording of his own, “Hold Back,” which has recently been picked up by Beezwax Records out of Elkhart, Indiana; performances at the Elkhart Jazz Festival, Barbados Jazz Festival, and more club locations in Chicago and the Midwest than can be listed here.

Not one to be satisfied with a mere steady stream of gigs, Bill is intent on carving out for himself a unique tone and style. It comprises a mellow intensity that turns blistering riffs into simmering ruffles, a hearty warmth coupled with urban voicings, and an ear for blends and bends that can make a heart race the morning after. These things, along with all of the above, make for a jazz guitarist worthy of a wide hearing. Indeed, like a rare bird, Bill Boris is meant to be heard.