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Eric Gilchrist

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Biography of Eric Gilchrist

Eric Gilchrist plays alto sax, tenor sax, clarinet and sings. For over 40 years he has played with jazz groups, rock bands and blues bands and in the early 70's toured Europe extensively with an Australian jazz band called the
Yarra Yarra Band.

When the band returned to Australia he began forming his own jazz groups made up with musicians he particularly respected and admired. At this time he also returned to full time employment in the advertising industry and worked as a writer and as a lyricist and composer for jingles, trade shows, videos and radio programmes. He was fortunate to be able to work closely with such well-known composers as Harry South, Jeff Wayne and Roger Greenaway.

In the 1980's he formed a swing band called Route 66 which made several tours of Germany, Holland and Belgium. This band developed into a jazz funk band called Hot Licks which played around various London venues and featured many well-known London jazz musicians.

He was also invited to be a guest musician with Chris Hodgkins' Jazz Band in Cardiff where he made several TV and radio broadcasts and worked with and supported visiting American musicians such as Buddy Tate, Wild Bill Davidson and Bud Freeman.

During this period Eric also formed his own music company and was commissioned to write original compositions and lyrics for a wide range of clients including General Motors, Levi's, and Coca-Cola etc. He also worked closely with composer Martin Koch on lyrics for a number of BBC programmes.

A musician who can play in various styles his particular favourite is 30's and 40'swing, plus ballads from the American song book and of course the blues.

From the 1990's to the present time he has worked primarily with his own quintet featuring the musicians on the CD. Martin Blackwell on piano, Max Brittain on guitar, Harvey Weston on bass and Steve Rushton on drums. This quintet has played mainly for private functions and corporate events as well as in London venues such as Pizza on The Park and the Spice of Life. In January 2005 American singer Joe Francis particularly requested the quintet to back him at the Pizza on the Park for a 6 night residency.

"The CD reflects the quintet's various influences and styles including blues, ballads and swing, as well as compositions from Stevie Wonder and Joe Sample." Chris Sheridan, Jazz Review, July 2002

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