There are many talented jazz saxophonists today, but few possess such an authentic, soulful, full-bodied sound. HAL STEIN has performed professionally since the age of sixteen, working with an impressive array of seminal jazz artists during his career. He remains very active on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. Jazz writer Herb Wong says "digging his spirited quartet is a mandate!" Professor David Baker adds: "what a joy to hear this brilliant jazz master and his outstanding quartet!"
The HAL STEIN QUARTET features Stein on tenor sax along with:
LEE BLOOM (piano)
JOHN WIITALA (string bass)
DANNY SPENCER (drums)
"Spirit!" - the quartet's new CD - was recorded 'live in the studio' by Grammy winner Todd Phillips and produced by Lee Bloom with Todd Phillips.
The critics are already proclaiming:
"I was delighted to hear the new CD, SPIRIT! The repertoire, ranging from Herbie Nichols and Billy Strayhorn to a mixture of well-known and more obscure standards suits him to a tee and he presents them righteously. I raise my stein to Hal!"
- IRA GITLER, author of "Masters of Bebop" and former editor of Downbeat
"Few players have been able to forge a completely original voice and yet stay within the boundaries of the bebop tradition, and Hal Stein is one of the best. The choice of tunes is great, and the group handles each of them with sensitivity, imagination and - above all - passion."
- DAVID N. BAKER, author/educator/musician and Pulitzer Prize nominee
"Hal Stein's resplendent CD embodies his musical values of vitality, logic, clarity and impassioned sympatico. He is among the endangered species of saxophone jazz masters."
- DR. HERB WONG, radio KJAZ alumnus and Past President, International Association of Jazz Education
"If Hal Stein were better-known, he would be called a living legend. His playing is a joy..."
- SCOTT YANOW, All Music Guide
"God, it's good to have Hal Stein back on disc! He was on the scene during the early days of bebop, and, more than a half century later, his passion is unabated. His tone on tenor saxophone is fat and his conception is mature, the product of a lifetime spent in the jazz trenches."
- LEE HILDEBRAND, jazz writer
Hal's performing experience reads like a who's who of the jazz world! Among others, Mr. Stein has worked with:
Toshiko Akiyoshi, Henry "Red" Allen, Georgie Auld, Art Blakey, Pete Brown, Benny Carter, Teddy Charles, Chick Corea, Sammy Davis Jr., Kenny Dorham, Bob Dorough, Kenny Drew, Les and Larry Elgart, Bill Evans, Art and Addison Farmer, Erroll Garner, Louis Hayes, Roy Haynes, J.C. Heard, Joe Henderson, Joe Farrell, Elvin Jones, Gene Krupa, Charles Mingus, Vaughn Monroe, Buddy Morrow, Paul Motian, Gerry Mulligan, Rob Schneiderman, Tony Scott, Artie Shaw, Charlie Spivak, Claude Thornhill, Mal Waldron, Nancy Wilson, Jessica Williams, Phil Woods, Trummy Young.
Hal Stein was born in Weehawken, New Jersey on September 5, 1928. As a teenager, Hal performed on tenor saxophone with Don Byas, Teddy Wilson, Stuff Smith and Charlie Parker at New York's Town Hall in a concert billed as the 'Best in American Jazz'. This performance and the standing ovation Hal received confirmed his destiny to become a professional musician! Hal was an active participant in the Bebop "revolution" of the 1940's, regularly sitting in with Don Byas and Erroll Garner. He played many of the 52nd Street clubs associated with that seminal era of American music.
Hal Stein selected discography:
"BLUES IN THE RED" with Tab Smith, Doc Pomus and Leonard Feather (1945)
"BROADWAY '54" with Al Cohn (Prestige, 1954)
"HAL STEIN & WARREN FITZGERALD" (Progressive, 1955)
"WORD FROM BIRD" Teddy Charles Tentet (Atlantic, 1956)
"FOUR ALTOS" Gene Quill, Phil Woods, Sahib Shihab and Hal Stein (Prestige, 1957)
"SPIRIT!" Hal Stein Quartet (GuideTone Media, 2006)