Dennis Sandole

Jazz guitarist/teacher Dennis Sandole's classes have included such luminaries as John Coltrane, James Moody, Pat Martino, Rob Brown, Matthew Shipp, and Michael Brecker. Sandole began playing guitar in his late teens. His older brother Adolph Sandole played sax and the two began playing Philadelphia-area clubs during the '30s. That led to him sharing the stage with such acts as Tommy Dorsey and Charlie Barnet. Moving to California, Sandole broke into the lucrative field of session recording, appearing on numerous film soundtracks and records by Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, among others.

Around 1945, he moved back to Philadelphia. Jazz legend John Coltrane became a student of his. Sandole shared his knowledge of music theory and the different music genres from around the world. Some of Sandole's radical musical concepts appeared in Coltrane's music in later years. Sandole had an esteemed reputation of not only opening up musicians' minds to new ways of creating music, but also bolstering their self-confidence. Some of Sandole's knowledge was committed to print in the 1981 book Guitar Love published by the Theodore Presser Company. His brother Adolph self-published a music book, Arranging and Harmony. He also can be heard on numerous recordings, including Charlie Barnet's Swingsation and Drop Me Off in Harlem, Boyd Raeburn's 1944-1945, Tommy Dorsey's The Carnegie Hall V-Disc Session (April 1944), Sandole Trilogy with Wendel Marshall, Modern Music From Philadelphia, Compositions and Arrangements for Guitar (both on Fantasy1956), and The Dennis Sandole Project (Cadence Jazz1999).

At the age of 87, Dennis Sandole died in his Philadelphia, PA, home on October 7, 2000. ~ Ed Hogan

    Philadelphia, PA
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