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Gene Perla has performed and/or recorded with many great musicians including Elv
in Jones, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Tha
d Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band, Sonny Rollins, Stone Alliance and others.
Equally at home on upright or electric bass, he likes to play all types of music
and has found in Scott Neumann a soul brother who feels equally comfortable in
playing jazz, Latin, pop, rock, funk and free.
Gene grew up in northeastern New Jersey and began his musical studies at age fiv
e with classical piano lessons. His first jazz influence was Nat "King" Cole. In
high school he played the trombone and sang in various choral groups. While att
ending the University of Toledo as an engineering and business major, he heard p
ianist Bill Evans which prompted him to return to music by enrolling in the Berk
lee School of Music. He then became inspired to play bass after hearing Charlie
Haden, and soon thereafter he began to perform professionally.
In 1966, Gene moved back to the New York City area and landed his first major gi
g with The Willie Bobo Sextet. In that group was Carlos "Patato" Valdez the fame
d Cuban conga player. Next came the bands of Nina Simone, Woody Herman, Sarah Va
ughan, Elvin Jones, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis and Sonny Rollins. During this period h
e formed the P. M. Records label, and with keyboardist Jan Hammer he founded Red
Gate Recording Studio. With drummer/percussionist Don Alias and saxophonist Ste
ve Grossman, Stone Alliance was born. This group traveled to three continents an
d recorded four albums.
Since 1983, Gene has concentrated on careers as an educator, currently at Lehigh
University, theatrical sound designer, NYC recording studio owner, Internet spe
cialist, and the Plug Records label. In returning to music, he has formed an ass
ociation with his old friend Bobby Kapp from the Berklee School days. Together,
they are exploring the authentic history of "fine wine" jazz.
"Gene Perla has been important to jazz not only as a bassist but as the owner of
two record labels. Perla studied as a pianist at the Berklee College of Music a
nd the Boston Conservatory of Music. He eventually switched to bass and picked u
p notable experience with Woody Herman's Orchestra (1969-70), the Thad Jones-Mel
Lewis Orchestra, Sarah Vaughan, Elvin Jones (1971-73) and Sonny Rollins. In the
mid-1970's Perla formed the PM (Perla Music) label and a little later also ran
Plug; among the musicians that he recorded were Dave Liebman, Elvin Jones, Steve
Grossman, Pat LaBarbera and (for Plug) Jerry Bergonzi among others. Perla forme
d the group Stone Alliance (which also included Grossman and percussionist Don A
lias) in 1975 and has remained quite active as both a bassist and as a jazz educ
ator up to the present time. "
- Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
Gene Perla earned a BA in Music from Thomas Edison University. He was raised in
New Jersey where he studied piano and trombone. After attending Berklee School
of Music he moved to New York and began his musical career as a jazz bassist.
He has performed and/or recorded with Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie,
Woody Herman, Elvin Jones, Chuck Mangione, Joni Mitchell, Buddy Rich, Sonny Rol
lins, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Stone Alliance, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, a
nd others. In the early 1970's he formed music publishing and record companies,
and his group the Stone Alliance traveled to South America and Europe which gav
e him experience in management and booking. Other efforts include Broadway soun
d design and recording studio operations. He is currently playing his basses, p
roducing records, running an Internet design and hosting company, and teaches at
Lehigh University and the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
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