Jay Geils needs no introduction to the legion of music fans that made The J. Geils Band one of the leading acts in the history of rock and roll. After a 25-year career with over 10 million records sold, a Grammy nomination, five gold records, one double platinum record, multiple television and movie appearances and tours with The Allman Brothers Band and The Rolling Stones, the band decided to quit at the top of their game with the number one single and number one album on the charts.
Free to pursue his first musical loves - classic jazz and blues - and take the period out of his name, Jay teamed with J. Geils band mate, Magic Dick, for two successful blues recordings as the band Bluestime. Tours of Europe, Japan and the United States followed, as well as tours with Jay’s longtime idol and friend, B.B King. In 1999, The J. Geils Band re-union tour was the hottest ticket of the summer season, performing once again to sold-out shows in stadiums across the United States. In 2002, their hit single, “Give It To Me,” was chosen by the Heineken Beer Company for their television ad campaign in Europe and America.
A fan of jazz since he was a child growing up in New Jersey and Manhattan, Jay would accompany his father to see many of the greatest jazz musicians alive at that time, including Louis Armstrong, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Count Basie.
Steeped in this tradition, Jay teamed with jazz guitarist Gerry Beaudoin in 1994 and has come full circle. “I started as a trumpet player, but got side tracked by the guitar and the blues and folk revolution sweeping the world in the 1960s,” remembers Jay. “I was fortunate to play and record with many great blues and rock musicians including Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Peter Frampton, Duane Allman and, of course, The J. Geils Band. It was an exciting time in my life, but I look forward to the future performing the music I first loved, classic jazz and blues.”
2004 saw The J.Geils Band, “America’s ultimate house party,” nominated for entry into the prestigious Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. During the summer of that year, Jay also joined his good friend B.B. King onstage for a number of his blues festival tour dates.
Jay Geils Plays Jazz is the first solo album from the guitarist, featuring elements of jazz, blues and even western swing on this recording, which he sees as a tribute to his guitar heroes. Guests on the album include tenor sax great Scott Hamilton, Greg Piccolo and Rich Lataille (both former members of Roomful of Blues) and Crispin Cioe (The Uptown Horns) on horns, as well as Gerry Beaudoin on guitar. Beaudoin joined Geils, along with Duke Robillard, on the critically acclaimed 2004 Stony Plain CD and DVD by New Guitar Summit. Covers on the new album include songs by Bennie Goodman (“Wholly Cats”), Bill Doggett (“Honey Boy”), Duke Ellington (“Solitude”), Clifford Brown (“Blues Walk”), and Roland Kirk (“Funk Underneath”). Jay Geils will be performing selected dates at showcase venues and major jazz festivals during the spring and summer.
© STONY PLAIN Recording Co. Ltd.