Ed Spargo
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Ed Spargo

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"Ed Spargo/Playroom (All About Jazz)"

Ed Spargo/Playroom
December, 2006
Dan McClenaghan – All About Jazz
For a guy who has spent the bulk of his musical career as a sideman,
bassist Ed Spargo has certainly cranked up the energy level on his work
as a leader in 2006. Earlier this year he released Ed Spargo, his second
CD outing as a leader, after 1998's Invisible Man (City Boy Records). With
Playroom, a top notch funk-based outing, the bassist/band leader's focus
sharpens considerably.
The funk category seems a little confining, though. Spargo says his
musical interest lies in fusing funk, Latin and mainstream jazz into his own
personal sound, and he has indeed stirred up an engaging stew of those
styles, with a very together quintet that infuses Spargo's compositions
with an upbeat organic energy.
“Toy Box” has a elastic Latin vibe, with Dino Govoni (tenor sax) sounding
particularly inspired, cutting loose over the groove. The rhythm team of
Spargo, drummer Tom Brechtlein and percussionist John LaMoia lets the
sound breathe joyfully on a tune that should get just about anybody up
and dancing. “Christina,” a highlight, has a more mainstream feeling, with
some delicately lush piano work by Steve Hunt, backed by the always
adept Spargo's bass lines.
Ten of the eleven tunes here are Spargo originals, the one cover being
guitarist Wes Montgomery's “Road Song,” another highlight, which that
showcases Spargo's in-the-pocket bass lines and finds keyboardist Hunt
adding a cool organ breeze to the bluesy groove.
This is an uplifting listening experience; the groove doesn't get much
better. - All About Jazz

"Ed Spargo/Playroom (Jazz Improv Magazine)"

Jazz Improv Magazine

By Clive Griffin | Volume 7 #3 Summer 2007

For the past 20 or more years, bassist Ed Spargo has planted firm roots in the Boston area. His reputation as one of the solid players in the region has multiplied over time. As a bass player, he often plays the role of accompanist. Instrumentalist in that position run the risk of getting overlooked in a band – often unintentionally deferring attention to the more high profile soloists whom he accompanies. Clearly not one to be lost in the back, Spargo finally recorded his first CD in 1998, eponymously titled, Ed Spargo. He indicated that improvisation is essential to his music-making. His concept is reflected effectively in his latest release Playroom.

Expectedly, his style has developed and like fine wine, the richness of tone, technique and ideas are all in place, as evidenced here. No doubt this is just the beginning of the ongoing journey – and a great place from which to pursue his muse. While his first album in 1998 assimilated his favorite three styles of this music – Latin, funk and straight ahead jazz, Ed Spargo’s album Playroom is focused on the Latin and contemporary sides of his personality.

Playroom is a noteworthy snapshot of Spargo’s talents. He surrounds himself with a handful of seasoned, well-known players with pedigrees in some of the more well-known fusion bands. Tom Brechtlein played with Chick Corea, and Steve Hunt has performed with Stanley Clarke, Billy Cogham, Allan Holdsworth among others. Spargo made a smart move. Not only could he count on these superb players to deliver great music, they also serve as a palpable source of inspiration in his own performance. Spargo seamlessly draws all of the players and elements toward him and creates a compelling colorful tapestry.

The first track is “Min.” It’s laid back for an opener. It’s got a contemporary groove, overlayed with a simple melodic motif. There are no showy chops on Spargo’s part here. He simply lays down pure groove. Dino Govoni opens up on soprano sax – and fleetly traverses the range of the horn.

“Brother Andrew” kicks the tempo up, add a floating Latin groove. Spargo is right in the pocket driving this lively piece home.

If you enjoy dancing like I do, I felt like I wanted to move my feet from the first note on “Toy Box.” It is a lively Latin number solidified by a Mambo-like groove underneath. Don’t think this is what you would have heard in the showroom at a Catskills summer resort in the 1950s, 60s or 70s. Watch your step. Here, the melody is overdubbed to give the impression of two horns. Govoni is on tenor here and displays his formidable technique – clearly influenced by Michael Brecker, as so many tenor sax players of this generation have been. Steve Hunt follows with another energized solo, showcasing his own well-honed chops.

In addition to his muscular bass playing, and solid time, Spargo composed all of the songs on the album except “Road Song” by Wes Montgomery. He gives this standard a more edgy treatment than Montgomery did on the original from the 1960s.

The tenor of Playroom is decidedly in the contemporary side – the grooves and the melodies take it there. The musicianship and the quality of the recording is absolutely top-shelf from end to end. The driving solos, harmonically-sophisticated language and rhythmic acrobatic and syncopation of all three soloists – saxophonist Govoni, pianist Steve Hunt and drummer Tom Brechtlein – combine to make Playroom artful and playful. Spargo made all the right choices in terms of repertoire, apropos personnel, mixing and creating a happy album and impressive showcase for his talents. - Jazz Improv Magazine

"Songs about fatherhood 'Playroom!' captures stay-at-home dad's life in music"

By Rosemary Ford , Staff Writer
March 29, 2007

One of the oldest writing adages is: write what you know.

For jazz bassist and stay-at-home dad Ed Spargo of Billerica, that meant writing about his son Max, now 21 months old, and the way he discovered the world.

The result, the independent CD "Playroom!" is out this week, and you can hear Spargo playing selections from the album at Methuen's Sahara Club Tuesday. Spargo will perform with his band, which features drummer Brendan Byrnes, pianist/keyboardist Steve Hunt, saxophonist Dino Govoni and percussionist John LaMoia.

"I assembled my dream band," said Spargo, who is a big fan of all these musicians.

Spargo, best known as "an MVP among Boston sidemen," has been an part of the Boston music scene since the mid-'80s. He's performed with a bevy of local greats, from Johnny A. to The Heavy Metal Horns to James Montgomery.

On "Playroom!", Spargo's songwriting mixes jazz, Latin and funk with the story of his adventures in fatherhood. His ability to write original songs is a skill he feels sets him apart in the local music scene and makes his CD unique.

"I hope people would say the songwriting is special and worth listening to," he said.

The title track, "Playroom!" conveys Max's adventurous personality. "Playbox" has a salsa dance groove, with percussive elements inspired by little Max as he threw things around and banged with his various toys.

"Apple Cinnamon Tree" is a soulful ballad, about an apple tree Spargo and his wife planted in their front yard when Max was born. "Hands Off," is an upbeat swinging track that refers to Max's interest in pulling out cables or playing with the keyboards of Spargo's computer setup.

While Max inspired his latest work, Spargo said the toddler hasn't had a big influence on his career yet.

"He's still a little too little," he said. - Eagle Tribune

"Ed Spargo/Playroom (Cadence Magazine)"

March 2007

ED SPARGO introduces a complete package of groove on PLAYROOM (Ed Spargo Jazz 2). The thing that sets this CD apart from the multitude of Smooth Jazz copycats is that Spargo was smart enough to diversify musical styles and to spice up his CD with numbers like “Road Song,” a Wes Montgomery solid hit from the Straight Ahead Jazz world. This song alone lifts Spargo’s production to a new level. Other cuts are Min / Brother Andrew / Playroom / New Fence / Christina / Toy Box / Apple Cinnamon Tree / Tina’s Tune / Psalm / Road Song / Hands Off. (Ed Spargo, b; Tom Brechtlein d, John LaMola, Perc; Steve Hunt, Keyboards; Dino Govoni, s.) Dino Govoni dominates the tracks with his inspirational saxophone solos. Still, he does not diminish the impact of other talented musicians on this session. Steve Hunt on keyboards is a driving force, while drummer Brechtlein and LaMoia on percussion are solid as granite rocks. Spargo has written all of the music they perform with the exception of the Montgomery composition. Listening to his original compositions, you get a feel for his sense of melody and harmony. On “Brother Andrew” his bass runs are intricate, rhythmic and, although understated in the mix, his bass still shines through. Spargo takes improvisational chances, but is always cognizant of holding the rhythm section together. “Playroom” is a Funk tune that gets the party going. The rhythm section is cooking on this one. As they turn the heat up, their energy encourages Govoni to let loose on his saxophone solo. When bassists become leaders of ensembles, they can tend to commandeer other members of the group, turning their instrument up high in the mix. Not so in this production. In fact, I was surprised to discover Spargo was the bass player/leader, composer and producer. He has fairly and sensitively balanced the music to bring out the best of everyone. This CD is full of pleasant, unexpected surprises. For instance, the track titled “Toy Box” takes a Latin turn. I love the intricate motion of the horn arrangements against the piano syncopation. The strong percussive rhythms, the ‘breaks’ and the interesting horn harmonies intrigue the ear. Smooth Jazz takes a step South and this step outside the regular Smooth Jazz format is a welcome relief from the predictable. Spargo’s solo electric bass journey sings “Tina’s Tune” for us. At last the leader is center stage and it’s a nice touch. All in all, this is a pleasurable stew of creativity, talent, and amiable song choices. Like any good chef, Spargo has combined just the right musical spices; a pinch of Jazz history, a tablespoon of interesting original music and a cup of creativity. Hmmm – hmmm good!

Dee Dee McNeil

©Cadence Magazine 2007
www.cadencebuilding.com ph: 315-287-2852

- Cadence Magazine

"An Interview with Ed Spargo (Metronome)"

March 2007

Since the nineteen eighties, bassist Ed Spargo has played sideman to a host of Boston’s finest bands that include the Heavy Metal Horns, the Toni Lynn Washington Band, the Bruce Katz Band and Johnny A. among others. His playing has also graced their albums while maintaining a busy freelance schedule. Most recently, Ed has been fronting his own jazz outfit that includes some of New England’s best players. His latest album, Playroom, is a hip, contemporary outing featuring 10 of Spargo’s original instrumentals with a lone Wes Montgomery song rounding out the disc. I talked to Ed one January afternoon as he filled me in on his music, gear and career. Following is a glimpse of our conversation.

METRONOME: You’ve been on the scene for a long time. Do you live on the north shore? How did you get started in music?

ED SPARGO: Actually I was born in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1982 I moved to Boston to go to Berklee College. When I graduated in 1985, I never left. I stuck around and I’ve been lucky enough to have plenty of work.

METRONOME: Tell me about some of the people you’ve played with in the past.

One of the very first gigs I got in the eighties was with the Heavy Metal Horns. I played with them for a few years and was on a couple of their CDs. I wrote a couple of songs that made it on the CDs. I’ve always done tons of freelancing gigs here and there.

I played with Greg Piccolo and Heavy Juice. He was the saxophone player who founded Roomful of Blues. I’m on one of his CD’s, Red Lights. I crisscrossed America with him. It was relentless touring the whole time I was in the band. Then I played with Toni Lynn Washington and did her CD called Good Things. I played with Johnny A for about two or three years. I’m on his debut CD Sometime Tuesday Morning which did really, really great. Around that time, I released my first CD which was just called Ed Spargo.

METRONOME: What year was that?

2002. Then I got married and had a baby a couple of years ago and decided I was going to play Mr. Mom. I stayed home and watched my kid grow and took care of my baby. That’s when I wrote the songs that are on Playroom.

METRONOME: You’ve done a lot of road work with a lot of different bands. Do you like that or does it get old quickly? Is it a tough life?

It’s good for about six weeks to two months... it’s fine. After that, you’re looking forward to heading home. But I haven’t traveled since I had a kid so I don’t know what that would be like. I’m pretty attached to him.

METRONOME: So family life started your solo career?

Yeah. I decided it just didn’t make sense for me to drive to New Hampshire and make $100 to play a blues gig, when I could be at home with my family. So I decided to cut back on the freelance GB [General Business] work that I didn’t enjoy that much and concentrate on my own thing.

METRONOME: Are you playing any GB gigs now?

Yeah. I’m in a GB band called Charisma and we’re busy during the wedding season. It’s a very organized, tuxedo, well-run band with great players. The money is excellent. We only do about thirty or forty gigs a year bit it’s good to have that income, and I also like it.

METRONOME: What was your major at Berklee College?

I graduated in 1985 and majored in Professional Music. I got a pretty diverse education there focused mostly on the performance/playing stuff and harmony and theory. Jazz type stuff.

METRONOME: Do you teach music?

I teach privately at my home here. I’ve always done that.

METRONOME: Do you teach just bass or guitar as well?

I teach electric bass and I also give harmony and theory lessons. Sometimes I’ll get a high school kid that’s going to Berklee and just wants to get an idea about some of the stuff he might be running up against. Most of my students are electric bass students.

METRONOME: As the new millennium dawned you started a family and decided to stay home. Your first album came out in 2002. Were you sitting home writing music for that album?

That album took me a long time to put together. This latest one is really when I wrote the songs while staying home with my kid.

METRONOME: Why did the first album take so long?

I was just too busy to get it done. I was doing it on top of my gig schedule. But for Playroom I wrote the songs in about a six month period, the first six months of my kid’s life, and then I recorded it in four days.

METRONOME: There must have been a lot of inspiration from your son’s birth?

It was very inspired and when he was a little guy, he really didn’t do that much, so I had a lot of free time. I set up a computer rig in his playroom where I was hanging out with him and that’s where I wrote the tunes.

METRONOME: Is that where the name of the album came from, Playroom?


METRONOME: What are some of the other inspirations for writing the songs on Playroom?

There’s a song on the album called “Christina” which I obviously wrote for my lovely wife. Some of the other titles are really silly. When my son was first born, my wife and I planted an apple tree in the front yard. My wife ate apples during her entire pregnancy, so we planted that tree. There’s a song on the album called ”Apple Cinnamon Tree.” We live in No. Billerica now and we had our yard fenced in... I called one of the songs “New Fence.” In his playroom I had a “toy box”...

METRONOME: So the song titles all have a special meaning for you?

There’s meaning. It doesn’t really go that deep. It’s just that naming instrumental songs is kinda silly. There’s not really much going on. For the “Brother Andrew” song, there was a pastor that spoke at my church from Africa and he was very inspiring to me, so I named a song for him. He does a lot of good work over there.

METRONOME: I like “Tina’s Tune.” Is that another reference to your wife? There’s a lot of bass playing in that song.

Yeah. That song actually appeared on my first album as a duet between bass and percussion. I wrote that song as a wedding gift to my wife, recorded it and gave it to her on the night we got married. Then I put it on my first album as an afterthought. I didn’t really flesh it out the way I wanted to. So I ended up recording it again for this record with the whole band... with live keyboards and drums.

METRONOME: Who are the guys that played with you on your new album?

The most interesting story is about the drummer Tom Brechtlein who I met a really long time ago at a club in Cambridge called Nightstage. He was playing with the Robben Ford Band. The band I was in at the time opened that show. I liked the way he played and became a fan of his. I wanted to get somebody pretty famous so I emailed him and as it turned out, he flew out from L.A. to do the CD. He’s been on records with Wayne Shorter, he was in Chick Corea’s Band, he played with Robben Ford and he does a lot of freelance recording in the Los Angeles area. When it came time to do my CD I said, “I’m just going to go for it.” I took care of his accommodations and his plane fare and as it turned out it was the smartest thing I ever did. He was such a great guy... so professional, so creative, so inspiring, he never made us feel like, I’m the cool cat from L.A. It was actually the best four days of my life.

Steve Hunt is the piano player. He’s on my fist CD also. I have been seeing him play since I was in high school in Rhode Island. He was in a band called Bel Vista, a Boston band that I used to go see in Providence. I loved the way he played and became a fan of his career. He went on to play with Stanley Clark, Allan Holdsworth and do other great things. These guys were like my dream players. It ended up that he lives in the Massachusetts area. He played unbelievably great. He’s a great guy and very generous with his creativity.

Dino Govoni is a great sax player from the Boston area. He teaches at Berklee but lives in New York city so he goes back and forth between Boston gigs and New York gigs. I’ve been a big fan of his playing. I called him up and said, “Hey, do you want to do this?” He was the sax player on both my CD’s.

The last guy who has been on both my CDs is John LaMoia. I’ve known him since the early eighties and he and I were in Greg Piccolo’s band together. He’s on the Johnny A record that I was on... he’s the percussionist in my live band and on all my CDs.

We did the album in four days. We locked out the studio, we set up and played the tunes. It has a very live sort of vibe to it. I got the best players I could find and stayed out of their way. It was good. I had so much respect for them and they were so generous that it came together in a very exciting and creative way.

METRONOME: So who’s in your live band?

Steve, Dino and John are all in the band and I’m using a drummer, Brendan Burns, from the Boston area.

METRONOME: Do you have some shows coming up?

Yes I do. I have one at the Acton Jazz Cafe on March31st. It’s a Saturday night. I’m doing the dinner show from 7pm to 8:30pm. I’ve been playing there since it opened.

I just got a gig, Tuesday, April 3rd at the Sahara Club in Methuen, MA. They do jazz on Tuesday nights. I have those two gigs booked right now and I’m hoping to get a few more.

METRONOME: What kind of bass guitar do you play?

I play a Fodera bass made by Vinnie Fodera in New York city. A lot of great bass players use them like Victor Wooten and Anthony Jackson.

METRONOME: Are these all custom basses?

It takes over a year to get one because he makes them all by hand and it’s a one or two man shop. They’re all made to order. I wanted one but never really wanted to put the waiting time in . One day I was surfing on the internet and I saw one for sale at a music store in Seattle, Washington and it was exactly what I was looking for. A single pickup model with a 34” scale like a Fender, 5-string, it looked beautiful. So I said, “Send it out.” I got it quickly and I got it for much less than it would cost to have a new one made. I’m in love with it.

I actually talked to the guy that owned it before me. Fodera players stick together. I tracked him down and sent him an email and we’ve been chatting. I sent him a copy of the CD that I play it on. Fodera is kind of a family thing.

METRONOME: When you play live, what do you use for amplification?

I’m using the Bergantino cabinets, which are made here in Massachusetts. The guys at Rock City Guitars are bass players and they hip me to what’s good. Everyone in Boston plays Bergantino’s now. I play those and I have an SWR amp. My direct box that I used to make the CD is an Avalon U5.

METRONOME: Who are some of your influences?

I’m a giant fan of Jaco Pastorius and all the work he’s done with Weather Report and Joni Mitchell and Pat Metheny. I’m a giant fan of Marcus Miller and his solo records. The way he plays a melody is like thee way Miles Davis plays a melody. It would sound good on any instrument. I think he’s underrated in that respect. I’m a huge fan of John Pattitucci both on upright and electric. I think he’s an underrated composer too. I love the way he writes. Those are some of my big bass influences.

METRONOME: When you compose a song, do any of those players influence your writing?

I hope they do but as a songwriter or a player, I wouldn’t want to put myself in the category of those people.

METRONOME: Where can folks buy your CDs?

They’re both available on CDBaby.com and also on iTunes. I’m not looking for any sort of record deal or distribution. My wife and I have a mom and pop record label. We do everything ourselves. I can sell a relatively small number and make pretty good money. It’s not like I have to recoup or pay somebody else. I financed the whole project myself and whenever they sell, the money goes in my pocket. I sell them at gigs and I always have some on me.

METRONOME: How do you feel about digital distribution and the face of music retailing these days?

I guess it’s kind of a blessing and a curse. In some ways it’s a lot easier for your music to get stolen but it also makes it a lot easier for it to be a one-man business. In the seventies, you couldn’t have your own record label and make your own records. It just cost too much and there was no way for you to market them or make them available to people without distribution and record stores, so I think it’s great. I’m hoping that I can take advantage of it. Between getting my web site out there: www.edspargo.com, and having a myspace page I’m spreading the word. People can listen to three of the songs on myspace.

METRONOME: Tell me about some of the most memorable gigs you’ve ever played?

The one that immediately pops into my head is the first time I played the Montreal Jazz Festival with the Heavy Metal Horns. I had recently joined the band and was getting to know the people. We drove up to Montreal which is a ten day festival where they close off 4 blocks and have ten days of jazz, twelve hours a day. Everyone plays there and there’s outdoor venues and indoor venues. We had gotten put on this outdoor venue and for whatever reason 40,000 people showed up. There were people for as far as I could see down the middle of the street. The band just went over great. We got an encore at the end and it was like standing behind a jet engine. You could actually feel the sound pressure from the applause. That stuck out in my head.

The other things are the first time I went to Europe, I went with the Bruce Katz Band. We played Paris and Brussels. That was great. Going to Paris... my eyes were poppin’ out of my head. That’s another person I played with... not on any CDs, but I played in Bruce’’s band for a while and really enjoyed that. He’s great.

I did a gig at the Regent Theater last year and it was actually the first gig I did as a leader. That was pretty exciting.

METRONOME: It was the Ed Spargo Band?

Yeah exactly . Just the band I’m doing more work with now.

METRONOME: What was that show all about?

That was the record release party for my first CD. That was last March at the Regent. We got a pretty good amount of people to show up and it went over great. It was very exciting.

The other thing I did, and it happened to be with the Heavy Metal Horns, we opened up for Dr. John at Tipitina’s during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. It was 150 degrees in there and the place was packed. New Orleans has a certain sort of vibe. Dr. John’s fans actually enjoyed what we were doing. Those gigs really stand out... I definitely did the right thing playing the bass.

METRONOME: How do you feel about the climate of the jazz scene right now? Jazz seems to be doing okay.

It’s pretty good. There’s not tons of places to play. I always look back to the days of Pooh’s Pub, The Willow and the 1369. When I was at Berklee, there was a scene like, “Who am I going to see tonight?” It doesn’t seem to be quite as good now.

-Brian M. Owens
- Metronome

"Ed spargo/Playroom (Jazz Week)"

June 22, 2007

WHILE THE SMOOTH end of jazz can have an insistent beat, oftentimes the groove isn’t heavy enough to hit listeners below the waist. The work of Massachusetts-area bassist Ed Spargo does get the hips moving on nearly every track here. Spargo avoids another pitfall as well, making this album much more than a one-trick pony – a broad swath of jazz is covered here, ranging from funk to Latin to smooth to fusion to straight-ahead. Spargo’s electric bass has a nice warm and muscular tone without dominating the sound and, perhaps even more importantly, he doesn’t wank away here with endless solos going nowhere. Straight-ahead radio should enjoy a nice version of Wes Montgomery’s “Road Song,” and smooth folks should get behind opener “Min,” but there are other solid options here as well.

– Tad Hendrickson

- Jazz Week

"Ed Spargo/Playroom (All About Jazz 12/06)"

December, 2006

For a guy who has spent the bulk of his musical career as a sideman, bassist Ed Spargo has certainly cranked up the energy level on his work as a leader in 2006. Earlier this year he released Ed Spargo, his second CD outing as a leader, after 1998's Invisible Man (City Boy Records). With Playroom, a top notch funk-based outing, the bassist/band leader's focus sharpens considerably.

The funk category seems a little confining, though. Spargo says his musical interest lies in fusing funk, Latin and mainstream jazz into his own personal sound, and he has indeed stirred up an engaging stew of those styles, with a very together quintet that infuses Spargo's compositions with an upbeat organic energy.

“Toy Box” has a elastic Latin vibe, with Dino Govoni (tenor sax) sounding particularly inspired, cutting loose over the groove. The rhythm team of Spargo, drummer Tom Brechtlein and percussionist John LaMoia lets the sound breathe joyfully on a tune that should get just about anybody up and dancing. “Christina,” a highlight, has a more mainstream feeling, with some delicately lush piano work by Steve Hunt, backed by the always adept Spargo's bass lines.

Ten of the eleven tunes here are Spargo originals, the one cover being guitarist Wes Montgomery's “Road Song,” another highlight, which that showcases Spargo's in-the-pocket bass lines and finds keyboardist Hunt adding a cool organ breeze to the bluesy groove.

This is an uplifting listening experience; the groove doesn't get much better. - All About Jazz

"Ed Spargo - from sideman to headliner"

Reviewed by Elizabeth Sembower - March 23, 2006

Ed Spargo - from sideman to headliner

For those really in the know, Ed Spargo is no stranger.

"I've always had plenty of gigs," he said, which could be called an understatement.

Since his graduation from Berklee College of Music, the expert jazz bassist has been in demand for two decades as a sideman with noted jazz, blues and rock bands in the lively Boston area music scene as well as through the United States and Europe.

Now, Spargo is determined to come out of the background. And area audiences will have a chance to see his first performance as a leader at "An Evening with the Ed Spargo Band," on Sunday, March 26, at the Regent Theatre in Arlington.

"I kind of feel like this is my first gig," he said with obvious excitement.

In reality, the "first gig" was in Middle School in his native Providence, RI when someone said, "You can be a member of the band if you play the bass."

Spargo, in 6th grade, asked his parents for the instrument, and as supportive lovers of music, they enthusiastically went along.

"The minute I played it, I knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life," said Spargo. "I've done nothing else."

After finishing Berklee, he opted to stay in the Boston area, and has not stopped working since - performing regularly with the likes of Toni Lynn Washington, Martha Reeves, Peter Wolf, Ronnie Earl, nd the Heavy Metal Horns, to mention a few, and dubbed "the MVP among Boston sidemen" by Ted Drozdowski of the Boston Phoenix.

Much more than that, Spargo is also an accomplished composer, and adept arranger and as it is turning out, a savvy record producer and promoter.

His 1998 debut album "Invisible Man," descriptive of his healthy sense of humor about himself, received critical acclaim for it's originality and for Spargo's abilities as a musician and performer.

The past two years have brought about a great change in his personal as well as professional life.

A resident of Cambridge for 18 years, he met and married a Billerica girl, moved there, and now, they are parents of a nine month old son - with Spargo spending as much (time) as possible as a "stay at home dad."

Since I had a child, I have gone in a different direction." he said, "I want to stay at home more, of course, but also I want to be more selective, to make my career more focused."

A part of this plan is the release of a new CD called "Ed Spargo," a statement of his coming into his own as "a leader."

Praised by Rich Appleman, chair of the Bass Department at Berklee, for it's "burning improv" and great grooves," the CD includes seven original compositions and an innovative rendition of Wayne Shorter's "Beauty and the Beast." All pieces reflect Spargo's smooth and signature blend of "Latin jazz, straight ahead jazz, and funk."

"My overall concept was to blur the lines between the three styles of music I love the most...," he said, "I strive to play all three styles of music authentically, and they lend themselves to developing harmonic ideas and improvisation... there's plenty of fuel for me as a composer and performer."

And the concert at the Regent is another vital component of the plan.

The show will open with performances by Paul Spiedel and Chris Stovall Brown, followed by a 75-90 minute set played by Spargo and the accomplished musicians who performed with him on the new CD - pianist Steve Hunt, saxophonist Dino Govoni, percussionist John LaMoia and Brendan Byrnes on the drums.

Ed Spargo alone will be playing an electric instrument, which he feels will lend to the effectiveness of the performance.

Above all, "taking these tunes to the stage" will be an exciting "experiment" - a celebration of what Spargo sees as a new chapter opening in his life and art. - Billerica Minuteman


Ed Spargo – Playroom (Ed Spargo Jazz – 2007)
Ed Spargo – Ed Spargo(Ed Spargo Jazz – 2005)
Alizon - So what about you (Bumble Bear Music – 2005)
The Paul Speidel Band - The Paul Speidel Band (2005)
Julien Kasper – Flipping Time (Toulcat Records – 2003)
Tricia Kelly – Keep on Movin’ (LFP Records – 2002)
Toni Lynn Washington – Good Things (Tone Cool Records – 2000)
Peter Parcek – Evolution (Lightening Records – 2000)
Boston Horns – It’s in your Face (2000)
Johnny A. – sometime tuesday morning (Favored Nations – 1999)
Ed Spargo – Invisible Man (City Boy Records – 1998)
Greg Piccolo – Red Lights (Fantasy Records – 1997)
Heavy Metal Horns – Dakini (Danger Records – 1996)
Heavy Metal Horns – Horns in the House (Polystar Japan – 1994)



Bassist/Compser Ed Spargo’s latest CD, Playroom, is an upbeat mix of jazz, latin and funk. It’s diverse compositions take the listener on a satisfying adventure through jazz. Fans of all styles of music will find something exciting and captivating in this release.

Ed Spargo, who has been referred to as “an MVP among Boston Sidemen” by Ted Drozdowski of the Boston Phoenix, has been an integral part of the Boston music scene since the mid-80’s. He’s shared his sympathetic accompaniment with artists such as Johnny A., Toni Lynn Washington, Heavy Metal Horns, Greg Piccolo and James Montgomery, to name a few. But it is in his compositions where Spargo really shines. Penning ten of the eleven tunes on Playroom, Spargo creates a thrilling journey that will easily withstand frequent listenings for years to come. Featured on Playroom are some of the jazz world’s brightest stars. Tom Brechtlein, on drums, is an original member of Chick Corea’s Touchstone Band. Robben Ford culled his drumming expertise for his Blue Line band. Tom has also played and recorded with Wayne Shorter, Jean Luc Ponty and Al Di Meola. Steve Hunt on piano and keyboards spent ten years on the road with renowned jazz artists such as Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke, Angela Bofill, Tom Brown, and Allan Holdsworth. Wailing City recording artist, Dino Govoni, adds his considerable talents on tenor and soprano sax. Percussion duties are tastefully executed by the great John LaMoia.

Berklee College of Music alum, Ed Spargo, currently resides in N. Billerica, MA with his wife, Tina, their son, Max and Parker and Piper, their well loved but poorly behaved English hunting spaniels.