"An accomplished and passionate pianist in the most elusive tradition of
avant-garde masters Cecil Taylor, Andrew Hill, McCoy Tyner, and Don
Pullen. He's captured the magic of being at once sentimental and Space
Pong crazy... [and] crafts a language of intense thinking, feeling,
listening, and creating, mostly all at once." - Erik Lawrence,
"With his exhaustive research and detailed interviews, Bob Gluck
brings the nature and workings of this amazing and influential ensemble
[Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band] to life." - Pat Metheny
After years of conservatory training, Bob Gluck's musical life
dramatically changed after hearing Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and Miles
Davis' electric bands, early in high school. His musical work has
evolved during the past decade to span several musical fields, among
them jazz piano, live electronic musical performance using systems of
his own design, multimedia installation, and musicology. Bob's
repertoire spans jazz performance both acoustic and with electronics and
free improvisation, avant-garde concert music, funk, and music for
electronic expansions of acoustical instruments. Bob Gluck is Professor of Music and he teaches in the Department of Africana Studies
and the Program in Judaic Studies. Gluck is a pianist, composer, writer, instrument builder, and rabbi.
Gluck has released eleven recordings and his work appears on several compilations. Among these are three duet CDs on Ictus Records, "At This Time" with Tani Tabbal, "Tropelets" with Andrew Sterman and "Textures and Pulsations" with Aruan Ortiz. His five critically acclaimed CDs on the British jazz label, FMR, include "Infinite Spirit: Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band" (with Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, and Christopher Dean Sullivan), and document the work of two trios, "Something Quiet" with bassist Christopher Dean Sullivan and saxophonist Joe Giardullo, and "Sideways,"
"Returning" with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Dean Sharp, and in 2020, "Early Morning Star" (with Andrea Wolper, Kinan Azmeh, Ken Filiano, and Tani Tabbal). Gluck's performance of Neil Rolnick's "Faith" appears on Rolnick's CD "Extended Family."
Bob Gluck's writings include modern jazz history and document the
international history of electronic music. He is author of "You'll Know
When You Get There: Herbie Hancock and the Mwandishi Band" (University
of Chicago Press, 2012), "The Miles Davis 'Lost' Quintet and other Revolutionary Ensembles"
(University of Chicago Press, 2016) which addresses the Miles band, Circle, and the Revolutionary Ensemble, and "The Musical World of Paul Winter" (Intelligent Arts ebook, 2019). His essays have
been published in Leonardo Music Journal, Organized Sound, Journal
SEAMUS, Leonardo, Living Music Journal, The Reconstructionist, Tav+, the
EMF Institute, and other journals and conference proceedings.
He has performed internationally at, among other places, The Stone (New
York City), Le Poisson Rouge (New York City), Spanish Synagogue (Prague,
Czech Republic), Connecticut College, Keele University (United Kingdom),
Concordia University (Montreal), Middlebury College, University of
California at San Diego and Irvine, Brown University, Johns Hopkins
University, The Flea Theater (New York City), Mobius Gallery (Boston),
Dartmouth College, and Bard College. Gluck's music on tape has been
heard in Mexico City, Bucharest, Berlin, and elsewhere. His work has
been widely reviewed, in JazzTimes, Down Beat, London Times Literary
Supplement, The New York Times, The Wire, and elsewhere; featured
articles have appeared in the Computer Music Journal, Moment, The
Forward, Organized Sound, Reconstructionism Today, Hadassah Magazine and
in Seth Rogovoy's "The Essential Klezmer."
Gluck's multimedia installation works include "Layered Histories"
(2004), an immersive sound and video environment with Cynthia Rubin
(shown at SIGGRAPH (Los Angeles), ACM Multimedia 2004 (New York City),
Emmersive Gallery (Toronto), Prague Jewish Music (Czech Republic), ICMC
(Miami), the Fine Family Gallery at the Marcus JCC, (Atlanta),
Pixelerations (Providence RI), and the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish
Life at Yale University; and "Sounds of a Community" (2001 - 2002), in
which visitors trigger and shape pre-recorded sounds by interacting with
seven electronic musical sculptures.
Gluck's musical training is from the Julliard, Manhattan, and Crane
schools of Music, the State University of New York at Albany (BA, 1977)
and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (MFA, 2001). His primary teacher of
piano was Regina Rubinoff, first in the Juilliard Preparatory Division).
He is also a rabbi (a 1989 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical
College) and he holds a Master's in Hebrew Letters from the RRC (1989,
and a Master's in Social Work from Yeshiva University's Wurzweiler
School of Social Work (1984). He has held various senior leadership
positions in the Jewish Reconstructionist movement.
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