When Bruce Springsteen debuted Born to Run live in 1975, it was at The Bottom Line in Greenwich Village, around the corner from The Bitter End. On Monday, October 17 and Tuesday, October 18 vocalist/arranger Paul Jost performed his jazz interpretation of Born to Run which was recording live at The Bitter End.
Jost, a New Jersey native like Springsteen, assembled an outstanding band made up of jazz artists and friends that include Jim Ridl – piano, Tony Miceli – vibraphone, John Swana – E.V.I. (electronic valve instrument), Chico Huff – bass and Donald Edwards – drums. He shared arranging responsibilities with good friend and legendary musician Barry Miles. Jost was commissioned to do this work by Michael Kline, Producer of Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May, NJ, and headlined the show on May 29, 2015. Kline said, “He was amazing. The show belongs on performance stages everywhere.”
The concert has been performed this year in several venues and, coincidentally, Charlie Calello, the original conductor and string arranger of Born to Run, was in the audience in a Philadelphia concert. He said, “Paul is brilliant. He’s the real deal. I’m a really tough critic and he knocks me out.” He added, “The arrangement of Jungleland is better than mine.”
Two time Grammy winner Marc Swersky (Joe Cocker, Natalie Cole) has become a great fan of Paul Jost, and he arranged for the Live Recording at The Bitter End. Swersky says, “Paul is an amazing talent. I think what he’s done with Born to Run is incredible and his interpretation of the music is very unique.”
The innovative Paul Jost is known on the international jazz scene and is a regular in New York at 55 Bar where he performs the last Wednesday of each month. Jost has extended his stage credits to Ireland, South Korea and Germany where he was showcased at Jazzahead, the international jazz conference and expo. Uli Beckerhoff, the artistic director of JazzAhead, said of Jost, “He’s a vocal monster.”
Jost is a prolific arranger and composer. He has written over 40 CD’s for music libraries. He wrote the highly acclaimed song “Book Faded Brown,” that has been recorded by The Band, Carl Perkins and Rick Danko and is included in his latest recording Breaking Through (Dot Time Records.)
Originally a drummer, over the years Jost’s musical talents extended to guitar and harmonica, but it’s his voice that truly makes him a standout. His vocals are so soulful that music journalist Buster Maxwell wrote, “He nearly single-handedly reclaims the male voice as a valid and critically important jazz instrument.” Peter McLaren in Jazz in Europe reviewed Jost’s recording Breaking Through and said, “Paul Jost has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with and an artist that deserves to be seen on all great festival stages worldwide.”
Established in 1961, The Bitter End is the oldest rock and roll club in New York City. The classic red brick stage backdrop and intimate vibe make this historic venue almost as iconic as its headliners. For over 50 years, audiences have been blown away by legendary artists like Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Jackson Browne, Neil Diamond, Gavin DeGraw, Woody Allen, Jon Stewart, Randy Newman, Billy Crystal, Tommy James, Norah Jones, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, and thousands more.