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Eric Kloss

Master Hard Bop Saxophonist and Recording Artist on the Prestige and Music Labels

Eric Kloss is a world renowned alto and tenor saxophonist, a multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, composer, and clinician, educator, and television personality. Blind from birth music became his vision. A true child prodigy he performed with his mentor Sonny Stitt at age 12. Backed by jazz guitarist Pat Martino, his recording career began at age 16 with the release of “Introducing Eric Kloss”. Blending hard bob, be-bop, pop, rock, funk, free jazz, classical and world music, he went on to release 22 critically acclaimed recordings on the Prestige and Muse labels. A who’s who of jazz masters appeared as sidemen on his albums including Gerald Veasley, Barry Miles, Don Patterson, Jaki Byard, Gil Goldstein, Richard Davis, Alan Dawson, Cedar Walton, Jimmy Owens, Kenny Barron, Booker Ervin, Leroy Vinnegar, Billy Higgins, Kenny Barron, Bob Cranshaw, and Alan Dawson. His most acclaimed album, Eric Kloss and the Rhythm Section, features the Miles Davis rhythm section of Corea, DeJohnette, and Dave Holland. Kloss toured the USA and Europe for 25 years wowing audiences with his technical brilliance and wild improvisations.

Eric was a frequent guest on the PBS TV show Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, second only to pianist Johnny Costa for most appearances by any musician. In 1989 he became a spokesman for Yahoo Music promoting and performing with the sax-like MX-11 wind synthesizer. In the 1990s he began teaching at Duquesne University and went on to become head of the jazz department at Carnegie Mellon University. As an educator and clinician he mentored a new generation of jazz performers and instructors. The Fantasy Jazz label has reissued several of his recordings: First Class, About Time, the 2 CD box set Eric Kloss & the Rhythm Section/Love and All That Jazz, and the 2 CD box set Sky Shadows/In the Land of the Giants. Eric withdrew from teaching and performing in 2001 when he became seriously ill. He continues to write and plans to perform and record if his health improves. The unreleased work Cosmic Adventures demonstrates his musical mastery.

What the Jazz World Says about Eric

“A brilliant player” – Scott Yanow of the All Music Guide

“All of just 16 years old when Kloss cut his first album in 1965 (Introducing Eric Kloss), the maturity displayed is still staggering even after all these years. In fact, the album might still be one of the most impressive debut sets ever cut by a jazz artist in the modern history of the music.” Chris Hovan -Allaboutjazz.com

The website jazzguide.de points calls the recording of “Summertime” from the In The Land Of The Giants album as one of the definitive Hard Bop recordings, along side recordings by Wayne Shorter, Wes Montgomery, Herbie Hancock, and Les McCann.

The Italian e-zine Piero Scaruffi names Consciousness (1970) and One Two, Free (1972) in the list of 100 Greatest Jazz albums of All Times.