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Eric Gale


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This article is about Eric Gale (1938-94) the jazz guitarist, not blues guitarist Eric Gales (b. 1974)

Eric Gale (Brooklyn, New York, 20 September 1938 - Baja California, Mexico, 25 May 1994) was a leading American jazz and session guitarist.

He began playing guitar at the age of 12. Although he majored in chemistry at Niagara University, Gale was determined to pursue a musical career, and began contributing to accompaniments for such stars as Maxine Brown, The Drifters, and Jesse Belvin. He soon began to attract the attention of King Curtis and Jimmy Smith, who began recommending him for studio work. He became known first as a session musician in the 1960s, eventually appearing on an estimated 500 albums. Among the many artists he recorded with were Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Lena Horne, Quincy Jones, Grover Washington Jr., Herbie Mann, Esther Phillips, Lalo Schifrin, Joe Cocker, Carly Simon, Van Morrison, and Billy Joel. He also had a spell in Aretha Franklin’s stage band.

The epitome of the guitarist’s guitarist, he was also used for many R&B-oriented dates. From the early 1970s he recorded extensively on the CTI label, as a sideman, on his own records, and as part of the group Stuff. Among his own albums were Forecast (1975) and Ginseng Woman (1976) and many more.

According to the New York Times, Gale died May 25, 1994 in a hospital in Baja California, Mexico of lung cancer.


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  • mUCUS32

    miss his style

    26 Jan 2012 Reply
  • KeinSpam

    Gale is waaay too underrated. He plays quite a few fantastic soloes on the CTI albums but he didn't get a lot of space to shine. What a pity...

    18 Apr 2011 Reply
  • veldblom

    An amazing musician!

    30 Jul 2010 Reply
  • OhItsJustDan

    Eric Gale was a colossus. Somewhere around 500 albums he can be heard on. It's a shame most people don't have any idea who he was.

    24 Oct 2008 Reply
  • grillino

    Listen to the great Eric Gale Joe

    4 Feb 2008 Reply
  • waylay00

    Note: I'm referring to the blues guitar great, Eric Gales in the post below. It seems as if some of his songs are appearing on Eric Gale's page, who is an entirely different musician.

    2 May 2007 Reply
  • waylay00

    If you got Eric's new CD, Psychedelic Underground, you need to make sure that when you import his CD to your library, his name is Gales and not Gale. Apparently there is an error on the CD that causes his name to show up as Eric Gale and not Eric Gales.

    2 May 2007 Reply

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