Rob Whitlock, a naturally gifted musician, finds himself
equally comfortable writing, arranging and producing
music, soloing spontaneously or comping supportively
behind other soloists, making them sound even better
themselves. It's easy to see that Rob enjoys playing
and even more enjoys whom he's playing with. Musicians
with this balance of style and grace are not as easy
to find as one might think. Finding expression through
an artist with this combination of gifts is what truley
makes music a language in it's own right, and Whitlock
speaks it fluently.
Rob has been playing the Hammond
B-3 organ since age eight, when his father, a well
respected jazz guitarist in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale encouraged
impromptu concerts in their family living room for professional musician friends.
He was greatly influenced by Jimmy Smith, Wes Mongomery and Charlie Parker
recordings from his dad's collection of jazz. On his
own he discoverd Herbie Hancock, George
Duke, Chick Corea, Miles Davis and Jaco Pastorius. The young musician quickly
learned how to make a living by gigging around the area on keyboards as well
as bass. At the age of seventeen, Rob met Jaco, who gave advice and encouragement
to his younger friend. Jaco also sent friends to Rob's father for guitar lessons,
having learned quite a bit himself from the senior Whitlock. After having played
with great musicians like Jaco Pastorius, Randy Berensen, Othello Molineaux,
Carl Fontana, Joe Williams, Bill Watrous and "The Peter Graves Big Band",
as well as a host of unknown, but extremely talented New York transplants,
Rob relocated to California at age 25, via a three year stint in Washington,
In California, Whitlock became involved with some gifted
musicians and formed
a band with them playing contemporary jazz by groups like "The Brecker
Jackets" and performed songs by writers Victor Feldman, John Scofield
and Don Grolnick, as well as their own originals. During that time Max Bennett
Scott and the LA Express", asked Rob to join his originals band, of
which Whitlock is currently still a member. Not long after, he began touring
Jazz Crusaders" through the U.S. and Europe on keyboards. With AJ Croce,
while playing the B-3, he toured Scandanavia, as well as many other destinations
with the Dazz Band and Fattburger, for festivals and concerts.
As far as
recording goes, Rob has been on anywhere from Kathie Lee Gifford and Rita
Coolidge, to Fattburger, Steve Laury, Pat Kelley, Wayne Johnson
Bennett albums, ranging from pop to the many jazz genres. He has also been
on recordings with legendary musicians like Vinnie Colaiuta, John Guerin,
Russell Ferante, Tom Scott, Warren Wiebie, Anthony Jackson and including
greats Jeff Lorber, Will Lee, Bill Berg, Jimmy Johnson, Jim Gilstrap, Mike
Scott Henderson, Greg Bissonette, Matt Bissonette, Cliff Almond, John Ferraro,
Tibbs , Othello Molineaux, Bob Magnuson and Peter Sprague.
Concert and club
appearances include; Eddie Harris, Charles McPhearson,
Abe Laboriel, Jaco Pastorius, Felix Pastorius, Tom Scott, Joe Williams,
Laws, Joe Sample,
Lee Greenwood, Mavis Staples, Miki Howard, The Dazz Band, Mundell Lowe,
Bobby Shew, Wayne Johnson, Peter Sprague, Sam Riney, Grant Geissman,
Bud Shank and Fattburger. Television appearances include "Austin
City Limits"," Sound
FX" on Fox, "The Wayne Brady Show", Katie Lee Gifford's
most recent TV concert, "Gentle Grace", and others. Rob has
written for television for the lifetime and other cable channels, and
to do so.
After having completed two new cds for himself ( "Sketchin" and "Sketcthin'
2" ), as well as two for his wife, vocalist Amber Whitlock ("The
Colours of Life" and "The Circle" ), Rob is making plans
to perform the new works in venues in the states and abroad. The musicians
of choice for these
projects were the incomparable Vinnie Colaiuta, Anthony Jackson, Scott
Henderson, Cliff Almond, Pat Kelley and the amazing Michael Brecker.
Also featured are old
friends, Othello Molineaux, Wayne Johnson, Brian Price, his former college
instructor, John Georgini, as well as Rob's father, Bob Whitlock on guitar
and pedal steel.
The horn section was comprised of three of Rob's favorites, Wayne Bergeron,
Andy Martin & great buddy John Rekevics.
Rob's new solo cd "Sketchin" incudes
only a few of the talented artists he has come to know over the years, and includes
original songs that he has written
over the span of two decades. It has been above all, a labor of love; Love of
music, of fellow musicians and their gifts, and of the enthusiast for whom he
is happy to present this work, the jewel of his labor. In the words of eleven
time Grammy Award winner Michael Brecker, "It was a joy to be a part of
the Rob Whitlock project. In addition to his being a fantastic player/composer,
Rob has a knack for bringing out the best in the musicians with whom he plays.
This was fun."