What’s Hot With Jazz Guitar: Steve Laury

This week we feature Steve Laury, the guitarist that co-founded the popular jazz band Fattburger.

Online Bio:

Born and raised in Vineland, NJ, Steve Laury picked up the guitar on a casual basis starting at the age of 9, but decided to seriously pursue the instrument, and a life in music, at 16. In his formative years, he found himself lured to the blues of B.B. King and the smooth groovin’ guitar work of Wes Montgomery. Other artists who had a major influence on Laury in his early years were talents such as Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Pat Martino, Pat Metheny, Charlie Parker, and Chic Corea. Steve’s music has also been heavily influenced by such Brazilian musicians as Carlos Jobim, Dori Caymni, Oscar Castro-Neves and L.A./Latin star Pancho Sanchez.

On the advice of a friend, young Steve Laury moved to Los Angeles to begin his professional musical career and immediately began playing with such notable musicians as bassist, Nathan East. It didn’t take long for other west coast musicians to realize Steve’s talents and after meeting Carl Evans (keyboards) and Mark Hunter (bass) they launched the popular band Fattburger. As a founding member of the San Diego based band, Laury became a central figure for the ground-breaking group. He wrote many of their hit songs and through his guitar styling, helped the band to develop their unique sound and achieve unprecedented success. After 5 years and 5 successful albums, Laury left Fattburger to embark on a triumphant solo career. To date, Steve has released four successful CD’s and is currently working on his fifth. Nearly everything Laury has been involved with has received rave reviews from critics across the country.

Steve Laury, like Wes Montgomery, is a guitar players guitarist, getting all there is out of his instrument. In a single song, Steve will play octaves, single lines, straight comping, upfront empressario work and finesse it with a guitar question and answer period. As a composer and producer as well as performer, Laury operates in that rarefield air where composition, execution and spontaneity interact to produce truly satisfying music. He also has a rare ability to keep his diverse musical gifts in their proper perspective. Says Laury, “My whole approach to music is that it should be like a painting. The guitar sound and guitar soloing are always the focal point of that painting. But all the other things that go around it – the arrangement, bass line and everything else – must fit into that picture and embellish the focal point.” And what a focal point it is! Steve’s guitar artistry and compositions have made him one of the most heard guitarists in the world today selling over half a million CD’s. Laury can do it all well. Whether performing a spirited interpretation of the work of the Jackson’s hit, “I’ll Be There” (Vineland Dreams CD), one of his own lush, lyrical masterpieces such as Jeananne (Passion CD) or the syncopated electric rhythms of Steppin’In (Keepin the Faith CD), Laury fulfills all the tastes in contemporary instrumental guitar.

The optimistic nature of his work reflects Steve’s outlook on life after recovering from T – cell Lymphoma, a form of cancer. “I’m in total remission. The illness put a lot of things in perspective in my life. I’m just real fortunate to be able to do what I do, to get out there and play the guitar.”

Steve Laury’s website: http://www.stevelaury.com/

Sound Clips: http://www.stevelaury.com/html/solo.html

Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com, where you can find more information on the ‘What’s Hot in Jazz Guitar’ columns, audio clips of Doc’s playing, and many additional features. Doc plays Heritage guitars and endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps — great for jazz (and anything else!)

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