biography: the musicians

The musicians who perform on Carefully Taught are all world class players whom I've worked with since attending Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Pianist Alain Mallet is currently touring and recording with Paul Simon and Phil Woods, he's also worked with or produced records for The NY Voices, Jonatha Brooke, Paquito D'Rivera, Marc Cohn, Dave Samuels, Club D'Elf and Chiara Civello among others. He is a professor at Berklee College of Music.

Pianist Teese Gohl has worked with Nana Vasconcelos, Sergio Brandao, Cyro Baptista, Ictus, Tiger Okoshi, George Russell, Bob Moses, Dave Stewart, and Carly Simon. He also worked as a music producer with the composer Eliot Goldenthal on feature movies such as Batman Forever, Alien III, Michael Collins, Titus Andronicus, Frida Kahlo, (last two directed by Julie Taymor), and many others. His collaboration with composer John Corigliano on the movie The Red Violin led to an Academy Award for best score. Teese has also worked on several documentaries with Ken Burns including The West. He is co-owner of his own movie music production company.

Pianist Renato Chicco is a graduate of both the College of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria and Boston's Berklee College of Music. He played with the legendary Lionel Hampton Orchestra from 1990 to 1991, and was the pianist and musical director for Jon Hendricks & Company from 1991 - 1997. In addition, he has performed with Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Wynton Marsalis, Lou Donaldson, Junior Cook, Benny Golson, Jerry Bergonzi, Milt Hinton, Gary Burton and many others. As a sideman he has recorded with Woody Shaw, Hal Crook, Jerry Bergonzi, and Jon Hendricks. As a leader, he recently released two trio records with his arrangements of Slovenian folk songs. He has also recorded three play-along records and demonstration tracks for Inside Improvisation, written by Jerry Bergonzi. Renato is the recipient of the Oscar Peterson Jazz Masters Award at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and has been called pianist par excellence by Jon Hendricks. He is currently living in Verona, Italy.

Bassist Ira Coleman has toured and recorded with so many artists it might save space to list who he has not accompanied! However, a short list includes Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jessye Norman, Freddie Hubbard, Baaba Maal, Jackie McLean, Geri Allen, Joanne Brackeen, Roy Haynes, Didi Bridgewater, Monty Alexander, Betty Carter, Joni Mitchell, Wynton Marsalis and others too numerous to mention here. He has recently recorded with and produced projects for Jamaican guitar legend Ernest Ranglin (Below the Bassline and In Search of the Lost Riddim on Palm Pictures Records), Senegalese kora master Kawding Cissouko, and Beninese singer and composer Angelique Kidjo. Ira was born in Sweden, then raised in France and Germany before settling in the US after attending Berklee College of Music.

Bassist Peter Herbert has performed with Art Farmer, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Sheila Jordan, Woody Shaw and many others.

Bassist Ed Friedland is a contributing editor for Bass Player Magazine, the author of 7 popular instructional books for bass, and has a new funk/slap bass instructional DVD out for Hal Leonard Corp. He has played with a wide range of artists including Johnny Adams, Robert Junior Lockwood, Illinois Jaquette, Larry Coryell, Eddie Daniels, Ken Peplowski, John Stowell, Randy Johnston, Marc Elf, Bud Shank and many others. Check out the photo gallery on Edıs website filled not only with great pictures of him and his gear but also witty commentary from the life as a musician trenches.

Guitarist Bill Brinkley. Education: Roughly 8 lessons in Georgia, primarily focused on getting the guitar into and out of the case without damaging it. Many years of stealing others' notes from records. Somewhere there's a BA in Music Composition from the B place, and an MSW from Simmons College; private guitar studies with Pat Metheny, Mick Goodrick, improvisation studies with Charlie Banacos, and composition studies with Hugo Norden. Bill played with numerous bands in the south before joining Motown Records in 1969, to tour with David Ruffin, and continues to play in various venues in Boston. Bill currently owns and operates a graphic design/web design company (Wm.R.Brinkley & Associates, Inc.). See

Drummer Ben Wittman has performed and recorded with many artists including Bob Moses, Billy Martin, The New York Voices, Peter Eldridge, Sam Rivers, Don Byron, Michael Gibbs, Lucy Kaplansky, Jonatha Brooke, the Story and Patty Larkin. He has also produced projects for Lucy Kaplansky, The Story, Patty Larkin and many others.

Evelyn Rosenthal is head of publications at the Harvard Art Museums. For a number of years she sang in clubs in the Boston-Cambridge area with guitarist Bill Brinkley, sax player Greg Badolato, drummers Bob Gullotti, Bob Kaufman, and Bob Weiner, and other outstanding musicians. Two of her passions were singing Brazilian music and performing lyrics she wrote for songs that had been written as instrumentals, or whose lyrics were difficult to track down. "Samba de Orfeo" the great Brazilian tune that become a jazz standard, combined both those passions. Evelyn thanks Ernie Petito of Warner/Chappell Music for permission to have her English lyrics for Luiz Bonfá's great song recorded on Ruthie's CD.

And what about Ruthie Ristich? Here's Jaime de la Noche's observations:
"Musician, singer, organizer, director, caregiver, cook, seamstress, carpenter, traveler, photographer, priestess, artist, filmmaker, teacher, student, reader, painter, prophet, lover, writer, ethnobotany enthusiast, mycophile, lover of lepidoptera, aunt, cyclist, planner, fixer, dancer, woman, kayaker, healer, poet, friend, swimmer, peace advocate, conduit, inspiration. There--that's the essence of Ruthie."

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