Bruce Lofgren’s future career as a guitarist and composer first began to emerge when he formed his garage band the Vegas, who recorded his first composition, Ambush, when he was only 17. By the time he left the Seattle area for California in 1970, his musical experiences and accomplishments also included leading the Barons Blues Band, house band at the popular St. Michael’s Alley (a weekend dance hangout) from 1964-66; player and arranger for the locally popular Pacific Northwest Territory Band for which he wrote over fifty musical arrangements; private guitar instructor at the Al Turay Guitar Studio (1967-70); and student of big band arranging with composer/arranger Ralph Mutchler. It was also in the Pacific Northwest where Bruce discovered jazz upon finding a Tal Farlow album in a local record store and subsequently hearing the Barney Kessel Quartet play at The Cellar, a Vancouver, B.C. jazz night spot. From that point on Bruce was passsionately consumed with the language of jazz–a language of a higher plane, exciting and free like the blues, but with a much larger variety of moods and feelings.
When Bruce arrived in CA he found work playing with local latin bands in East L.A., but then took a gig with a travelling show called Brother Love (later Pratt & McClain of Happy Days). Lofgren and his new friend, bassist Brian Vidor (now owner of Typhoon Restaurant in Santa Monica) worked Las Vegas, Tahoe, Miami and Hawaii with that band for almost a year.
While in Las Vegas, Bruce hooked up with Ray Anthony, whose dazzling 10-piece show band (and Bookend Review) was headlining at the lounge of the Frontier Hotel along with Brother Love. Bruce brought some of his original charts to one of Ray’s rehearsals which led to him and Ray making plans to cut an LP of Lofgren jazz-rock originals. Bruce gave notice to his friends with Brother Love (who knew this was an opportunity) and signed on with Ray Anthony’s band. After a year on tour with Ray’s band, and with the album project finished, Bruce decided to settle in Los Angeles. In late 1972 Bruce began to make contact with other L.A. based players and organized some rehearsals in the club rooms of Local #47. You can find more information about the Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra including its early history on this web site.
Jon Lewis, Ron King, Mike McGuffey: Trumpet
Suzette Moriarty, Paul Klintworth: french horn
Jacques Voyemant, Mike Millar: trombone –Glen Garrett, Mark Hollingsworth, Glen Berger, Bob Carr: woodwinds;
Bruce Lofgren: guitars