Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Balgochian, Albey (Peter)

Balgochian, Albey (Peter), bass, upright and electric; b. Cambridge, MA, 20 April 1948; His mother, Martiza Movsessian, was born in Armenia, and his father, Peter K. Balgochian, was born in Lawrence, MA in 1903. He has two siblings, sister Elizabeth, artist (b. 1932) and brother Peter (1935).

He spent childhood in Dorchester (Boston), MA until the age of 20. He began teaching himself to play electric bass when he was 15 and worked the Boston scene in various venues. Later, he lived and played in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin and New Orleans before returning to Mass. In 1970 he began studying upright bass with Major Holley and in 1971 and 1972 with John Neves. John had 2 steady overlapping gigs, one in the theatre district and one up the block at the "Hamilton House" club. Albey would play the club gig until John could get there. It was at this gig that he met drummer Jackson Krall, and they have played together ever since.

He met his wife Jane Grenier (b. 1950), a tap dancer, poet and artist in 1969. Their son Miles "Nastee" Balgochian was born in 1972. In 1974, Albey quit the road to care for Miles. He was still gigging at night, but during the day he apprenticed with master Luthier Peter Kyvelos studying string bass restoration.  In 1976 he hand-carved his first electric bass and has since made basses in his Waltham, MA shop for Stanley Clarke, Darryl Jones (who now has his own model), Foley McCreary, Tommy Shannon (associated with Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble), and Reggie Scalan (associated with Radiators).
He remains active as a performer in Avant-Garde jazz, Blues, Rock, Reggae and World Beat and has played with Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Big Jay McNeely, Buddy Miles, John Lee Hooker, Big John Croft, Debbie Davies, and others. Since 1999 he also leads his own Band Of Peace, a "free funk" ensemble.

Their son "Nastee" played tuba and bass and at 14 discovered hip-hop. He taught himself how to scratch on the turntables and at the age of 15 was working with Damien "Dizzy D" Neville (son of Jazz singer Charmaine Neville and grandson of saxophonist Charles Neville). In 1989 he performed with his father in the One World Reggae Band. In 1990 he joined "Unity 2" and they were the first band with a scratch d.j. to be signed by a major label (Reprise); their video aired on MTV. Nastee is currently a member of the rap duo "Statik" (www.statikmusic.com).  He also engineered and produced many (gold and platinum) artists while living in NYC from 1990-2000.

Recordings:
Albey's Band Of Peace: Rhythmism (1999); Taxi of Reality (2001); Solo Bass Live at Studio 234 (2002); BassOlogy (2002)

As sideperson:
Jackson Krall's Secret Music Society: Live in Amherst (1996); Full Metal Revolutionary Jazz Ensemble: 7 in 1 (1997), Horizon Event (2002); Musical Director for The Paul Rishell Band (W.C. Handy Award winner): Swear to Tell The Truth (1993); One World: One Reggae World (1989)

Unissued recordings:
Many hours of unreleased recordings (some available streaming by following links at abasses.com and aboptv.com):
ABOP Underground free funkin' sessions  2000-ongoing.
The FMRJE Hit Factory Sundary Afternoon  Jams  1997-ongoing.
The Reade St. Loft Sessions 1987-1988
The Dan Del Santo World Beat Gulf Coast Tour 1988
Knitting Factory NY, Live Performances from 1985 thru the present time.

Festivals & Performances:
Autumn Uprising Festival-Boston, MA; Texaco Jazz Fest-NYC; Visions Fest-NYC; Boston Blues Fest; Cambridge Commons Music Series-Cambridge, MA; Aquafest-Austin, TX; The AlterKnit, NYC; Club Tonic, NYC; CBGB's, NYC; Quando Community Center, NYC; Club Toast, Burlington, VT.; Storyville, New Orleans, LA; House of Blues, Cambridge, MA; Host of "Free Funk" Jams at Summer  Sunday's, All Asia, Cambridge, MA (2002)

Workshops:
Berklee College of  Music Summer Teaching Sessions w/Tomo (1992-1993); Berklee College of  Music Bass Workshop w/ Darryl Jones (1997); Berklee College of  Music Bass Day workshop & lecture (1999)
Radio broadcasts:
Boston Cable Access (2000), WERS (Emerson College), WGBH (PBS, Cambridge, MA), WBRS (Brandeis U. Radio), N.P.R. (National Public Radio, All things considered), WCVB-TV, Boston, MA., UT (University of Texas), Austin On Tap, Austin, TX

Videos:
Rhythmism "Live at The  Cutting Room" NYC (1999)

Bibliography:
American Basses: An Illustrated History and Player's Guide by Jim Roberts (2003)

Contact information:
152 Clark Lane, Waltham, MA 02154
Phone: 781-891-1134
website: www.abasses.com/albey
e-mail:albey@abasses.com

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