Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Colangelo, Christopher, bassist, acoustic and electric; b. Camden, New Jersey, 30 August 1964. He and his family grew up in neighboring town, Pennsauken, N.J. and he remained here until the age of 27. His father Lorenzo Colangelo (1927-98), his mother (born Olga DiCiano, 1930-2003), two brothers (Lawrence, b.1953; Mark, b. 1960), and sister (Karen, b. 1957), still live in and around the south Jersey/ Philadelphia area. Chris was surrounded by a lot of jazz music in the household, his father being his main influence musically, singer/bassist Larry Collins (stage name), who worked mainly in the Philadelphia area on nights and weekends as a musician, while holding various 9-5's during the day.
Chris started playing acoustic bass at age 10. He played in elementary school band and took school lessons until adding electric bass in junior high and high school. While taking lessons privately on electric bass at 13 with local teacher, it wasn't until high school that he concentrated on acoustic bass, with well known Philadelphia bassist / teacher Al Stauffer from about 1981-86. After graduating high school in 1982, he attended Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) majoring in performance from 1982-84. At Glassboro studied with Al Stauffer in the jazz department and Delaware Symphony bassist Boris Blumenkranz in the classical department, along with taking classes with famed arranger Manny Albam. Started gigging in Atlantic City from 1984-91, doing various things as lounges, club jazz gigs and shows including with such performers as Clint Holmes, Joan Rivers, and Merv Griffin. While commuting to Atlantic City 6 nights a week from the Philly area, Chris also did jazz gigs in Philadelphia as well as some session work throughout the Delaware Valley.
In 1987 Chris studied with Philadelphia guitarist Steve Giordano (former student of famed Dennis Sandole) from '87-90. He got married to Elaine (born Elaine Erickson, 1965) on Oct. 3, 1990. Chris had the house gig at the Showboat Casino Hotel in Atlantic City from 1989-91, when deciding to leave the area and move west to Los Angeles. Upon moving to L.A. Chris wanted to concentrate on playing jazz. He did other touring to supplement income, such as touring with Seals and Crofts (1992), Keiko Matsui (1995-99), Percy Faith Orchestra (Japan Tour 1999). Other pop style gigs Chris has done also include, Melissa Manchester and Donna Summer. Started working locally in the jazz scene doing many playing gigs with well known resident artists such as, Bill Perkins, Frank Strazzeri, Med Flory, Lanny Morgan, Buddy Collette, Ernie Watts, Sal Marquez, Benny Maupin, Phil Upchurch, Herb Jeffries, Roy McCurdy, Jack Sheldon, Pete Christlieb. In 1996 got the opportunity to work with Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra under the direction of Bob Brookmeyer, and in 1997 played with Yusef Lateef and his group "The World At Peace" in New York at Symphony Space. Chris started his family in 1997. He and Elaine had three sons (Christopher,b.1997; twins Michael and Colton,b.2001). Has been a member of Jimmy Cleveland's (former Monk trombonist) ensemble and also done many gigs with Doc Severinsen, including symphony dates as well as gigs with the "Tonight Show Band". Played with Richie Cole at the IAJE Convention in Long Beach (2002) and also plays with him locally in town. Played with New York alto sax player Jim Snidero (2003). Also since 2001 has been involved with Alex Acuna playing clinics/concerts and local club gigs in the L.A. area.
2 Trios + 1 Live (2000); Colangelo/Clatworthy/Ruiz/Paxson: LIVE (2004)
Chris Greco: Well You Needn't (1995), Pleiadian Call (2000); Jennifer Robin: Eye of the Storm (1996); Robert Van Penumbra (1997); Keiko Matsui: Keiko Matsui Live (1999);
Mike Botts: Adults Only (2000); unreleased CD Jonathon Dane: From All Sides (2000); Danny Pucillo Quartet: You Know What I Mean (2001); Patty Clark: I Love You (2001); Terry Landry: Amazonas (2002); Howie Shear: Bopliography (2002); 4 West: Blue Coast (2002); James McEachin: Pebbles In The Roadway (2003); Steve Lockwood: Equipoise (2004); Heather Evans: A Little Thing Called Love (2004)
Episode recordings for T.V. shows Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210 (199395)
Diagnosis Murder theme (19992001) and various episode recordings (19952001)
Keiko Matsui PBS Video Light Above the Trees (1999); Black Entertainment Television BET on Jazz (1999)
KABC's Red Eye Radio with Doug McIntyre for singer/songwriter Aubrey Tadman (2003); JAZZ LIVE-SAN DIEGO KSDS 88.3 FM -Benn Clatworthy Quartet (2003), Michael James Turre (2004), Jon Mayer Quartet (2004)
Wishful Thinking (1998)l Black Sheep (1998)
LA Times article (Oct. 29, 1998) "Talking Bass" by Zan Stewart
Professional Musicians Local 47 Directory (Los Angeles)
Photo by: Bob Barry