Bob Gluck

Gluck piano performance

"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, Chronogram

"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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