St. Louis, Missouri has long been the birthplace and breeding ground for some of America’s greatest musical icons, from Scott Joplin, Clark Terry, Oliver Nelson and Grant Green to Donnie Hathaway, Michael McDonald and Nelly. Bassist/vocalist, composer and bandleader, Jim Greene, another St. Louis native, has captured and bottled the spirit of that great city and shared it on the world stage, bringing his unique musical sensibility to music venues, scenes and communities all over the world.
Greene attended the highly competitive Jazz Studies And Performance program at William Paterson University in NJ, started by Thad Jones. While there, Jim studied with bass gurus Rufus Reid and Todd Coolman and gigged around the NJ/NYC area, playing with the likes of saxophonist Dan Faulk, pianist Tomoko Ono as well as getting opportunity to perform with guitarist Vic Juris, and Jazztet co-founder Art Farmer.
Jim returned to St. Louis after college and made a name for himself playing with Ptah Williams, Rob Block, Ruseell Gunn and Greg Tardy Quartet, Willie Atkins band, John Hicks and Oliver Lake. Greene was a recipient of the Midwest Arts Alliance grant which he used to fund a recording that he made with Willie Akins and Rob Block. One of the highlights of his tenure back in St. Louis was getting to meet and study with bass legend, Ray Brown. After a few lessons, a friendship was forged. "It was a complete honor to study and spend some time with Ray! He is one of my biggest hero's and still one of my favorites. The man was a true master!"
With such a successful run in St. Louis, Jim decided it was time to return to NYC, in 1995 and he immediately poured himself into the local scene, receiving a National Endowment Of The Arts Study Grant, for three years toured the US and Europe with the New Orleans born band The Flying Neutrinos, and gigged with a variety of artists and musicians that began to make a name for themselves in the ’90’s NY scene, such as Neal Sugarman, Brian Charette, Paul Tillotson, Adam Scone, Brian Floody, Jon Erik Kellso, Gregg Tardy, David Morgan, Matt Ray, Al Street, Matt Munisteri, Craig Dreyer, James Wormworth, and through gigs with Ron Sunshine, Wycliffe Gordon and Madeline Peyroux.
In 1997, The Delegates were born. Formed with close friend, Dap-Tone Records/Dap-Kings founder, saxophonist Neal Sugarman and Jim singing and thumping his bass out front while leading the band, the Delegates began their reign as one of the country’s premiere jazz/swing/jump bands.
The Delegates, featuring Greene, Sugarman, Jeff McSpadden, Coleman Mellett and later Ian Hendrickson-Smith, Jeremy Manasia, and Brian Floody were mainstays at some of NYC’s top venues. Mixing a clever cocktail of T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Witherspoon, Buddy Johnson tunes and originals, the band began to amass a following all over the country, getting the notice of some of NY’s top critics and record business people.
One night while looking out through the stage lights, Jim could see not only Atlantic Records founder, Ahmet Ertegun but also Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant as well. Greene recalls, "Ahmet walked up to me while we were in between tunes one night at Lansky Lounge and he goes, "I dig the band, I like that you’re doing the Buddy Johnson stuff! Call me tomorrow!' " And like the relationship Jim developed before with Ray Brown, Ertegun became a friend and mentor, providing invaluable business advice and creative direction.
The Delegates heaflined at the Lincoln Center Summerstage, James Beard and Great American Music festivals, performed on their very own hour BET Jazz network TV special, and Greene’s original song “Taking A Chance,” as recorded by The Delegates, was featured in the 2002 MGM motion picture, Rollerball, starring Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, LL Cool J and Chris Klein.
In 2006, Greene decided to take a break from the NYC scene and spent some time in Nashville. He played with a variety of Nashville greats including pianist/singer Jody Nardone, a tour with Dave Matthews Band saxophonist Jeff Coffin, and gigged with Allman Brothers alumnus and guitar wizard, Jack Pearson. He wrote and recorded his own Americana record "Out In The Dark" and played on records by Jody Nardone and songwriter Mike Younger. Residing in New Orleans for a brief stint in 2009, Jim shared the stage with Anders Osborne, Tim Greene, Herlin Riley and Delfeayo Marsalis, Gerald French and drummer Doug Belote.
Jim now lives in Brooklyn NY, and performs regularly in his favorite setting, piano trio, with pianist Steve Einerson and drummer Brian Floody. A project is underway to reunite The Delegates to record a new mix of originals and R&B classics at DapTone Studios to be released on Rondette Records.
Also, over the past few years Jim has written a new body of work in the Americana idiom, and performs with his band "Brother Jim". He has also co-written, and recorded another body of work with Irish songwriter Paul Ryan and is coproducing the record with musician, engineer Craig Dreyer. The project called The Jacks, is scheduled to be released in late 2016.
Musician: Jim Greene
Venue: The Montauk Club, Brooklyn 2016