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Penguin Jazz Quartet

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Customer Reviews

The First PJQ Album

The Penguin Jazz Quartet started as a trio in the fall of 1994. Guitarist Pat Smith and drummer Russ St. John had been playing in a blues band together when bassist Sumit Das moved to the San Francisco bay area from Chicago. Pat and Sumit had played together in several Chicago bands in the early 1980's. All three wanted to explore the jazz repertoire. They were soon joined by pianist Bill Walker, another Illinois native. The Quartet finds inspiration in the work of jazz greats like the Gene Harris quartet and the Bill Evans trio, and has been creating their own interpretations of jazz standards. In 1996 they recorded a self-titled compact disc featuring such songs as My Funny Valentine, God Bless the Child, and Pat's own Penguin Jazz. The Cd was recorded in two sessions at The Music Annex in Menlo Park, CA and engineered by Tom Carr. The studio piano is a Yamaha baby grand. Pat's guitar is a solid body built in 1980 by Tom Holmes. Sumit plays a six string Ransom electric bass. Russ uses D'Amico drums. The PJQ have played at numerous Bay Area venues, including the 1996 Healdsburg Summer Series, and two appearances at the KCSM Jazz On the Hill festival. A second CD was released in mid-1999, featuring six original compositions plus four more jazz standards. The group disbanded in 2000 when Sumit took a job with Sony in LA. Pat and Bill went on to play with the Brazilian Jazz group Nossa Bossa, a group who's accolades included being chosen by Bose to help introduce its PAS sound system. Nossa Bossa disbanded in 2004. Pat and Bill have also collaborated on original music for two shows with SF Shakespeare. Russ went on to various musical projects in the SF bay area. In early 2006 Pat and Bill reformed the PJQ with new members, Bassist Erik Turkman and Drummer Keith Wald. Look for a new CD by fall.


Good album.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

The San Francisco Bay Area-based Penguin Jazz Quartet began as a trio in 1994. The trio, which consisted of guitarist Pat Smith, drummer Russ St. John, and bassist Sumit Das, were soon joined by pianist Bill Walker. According to the quartet, they garner inspiration from the works of such jazz stalwarts as the Gene Harris Quartet and the Bill Evans Trio. The Penguin Jazz Quartet recorded a self-titled CD in 1996 that included both jazz standards (e.g., My Funny Valentine and God Bless the Child) along...
Full Bio
Penguin Jazz Quartet, Penguin Jazz Quartet
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 2003

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