Locke, Joe

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Locke, Joe

Locke, Joe, American vibraphonist; b. Palo Alto, Calif., March 18,1959. Locke is also a fine arranger who has developed a stimulating group concept for his instrument. Having worked in a wide variety of contexts, from mainstream jazz settings to more edgy situations, he has incorporated far-flung influences in his explorations of film-related themes. Strongly influenced by saxophone lines, he often plays long, flowing, harmonically open passages, while his rich, bell-like tone is highly effective on ballads. He started playing piano and drums at age eight and vibraphone at 13. As a teenager, he participated in the Eastman School of Music’s preparatory department and studied privately with bassist Steve Davis and pianists Phil Markowitz and Bill Dobbins. Right out of high school, he went on the road with Davis and Spider Martin, and was soon recording with saxophonist Pepper Adams and drummer Billy Hart and working alongside saxophonists Sal Nistico and Joe Romano. He made the move to N.Y. in 1981 and has worked and recorded with a wide variety of musicians, from Kenny Barron, Walter Davis Jr., and Eddie Henderson to Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Bob Moses, and Byard Lancaster. He has also worked with Jerry Gonzalez’s Fort Apache Band and the Mingus Big Band, participating in the recording and tour of Epitaph.He has recorded a number of excellent albums for SteepleChase, including a brilliant duo session with Kenny Barron, Longing, and contributed four strong arrangements to the Milestone all- star Miles Davis tribute album Dream Session.


Moment to Moment (1996); Sound Tracks (1997).

—Andrew Gilbert