Alan Lewine, leader of and composer for the Alan Lewine Xtet, is a bassist currently living in the Philadelphia region and the founder of Owlsong Productions. Lewine has performed and recorded all over the U.S., Europe and Latin America. His influences include all forms of music - one recent project sets medieval Sephardic songs in a jazz/flamenco/Mideastern style.
Alan began playing string bass in 1978. He studied piano as a child, and later studied composition and arranging. Though mainly an autodidact, Milt Hinton was a mentor early in his career. Other important bass mentors have been Ray Brown, John Clayton, Lynn Seaton, Bruce Gertz and Leroy Vinnegar. Alan also studied traditional Ghanaian (Ewe) percussion with Obo Addy and Balinese gamelan with I Nyoman Suadin, flamenco with Julián Vaquero and Victor Monge, and traditional country blues with Johnny Never.
Primarily a jazz musician, Alan contains multitudes - his influences and experiences include all forms of music - he has studied and played medieval Sephardic and Indonesian Gamelan, delta blues and afropop, flamenco, as well as all styles of jazz (dixie/trad, swing, bop, standards, post bop to avant garde), and some new music, classical and baroque, and various fusions of the above.
Alan released several award winning recordings in the 1980s to excellent reviews. He has worked with many of the great names in jazz over the years, including Eddie Daniels, Kenny Davern, Richie Cole, Joe Henderson, Clifford Jordan, Henry Threadgill, Vinnie Golia, Anita O'Day, Sheila Jordan, Mose Allison, Butch Miles, Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Roy Hargrove, and old masters like Gus Johnson, Sweets Edison, Mickey Roker, Stephane Grappelli and many others. Lewine minored in music composition as an undergrad and has also studied traditional Ghanaian (Ewe) percussion and performed afropop with Obo Addy and Balinese gamelan with I Nyoman Suadin, flamenco with Julián Vaquero and Victor Monge, and traditional country Delta and Piedmont blues with Johnny Never including as bassist on the 2012 release Johnny Never and the Soular Pimps: Never Home.
Alan's current projects include preparing the next recordings by the Alan Lewine Xtet: More Original Jazz, to feature his recent compositions, and Jazzes for Lecuona, a set of originals and jazz arrangements based on the music of Cuba's greatest composer. He recently finished mastering Sephardic Treasures, a soon-to-be-released CD from Soprano Meets Bass, his joint ensemble with Spanish soprano Ana María Ruimonte including Spanish flamenco guitarist Julián Vaquero, Israeli percussionist Shai Wetzler, Spanish cajon and percussion star Victor Monge, American jazz trumpeter Duane Eubanks, Israeli jazz flutist Hadar Noiberg, Israeli shofar player Yoni Dror and Spanish pianist Chano Dominguez and other special guests in an exciting fusion of medieval/jazz/classical/flamenco/mid-eastern music.
Alan's primary instrument is a beautiful-sounding (if oversized) German Mittenwald 7/8 bass made probably between 1820 and 1850. He uses Kolstein Heritage strings, Acoustic Image amplification (when needed) and a David Gage original Realist pickup. His airline travel bass is an Eminence with a Realist pickup.