Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Palombi, Phil (Phillip Richard)
Palombi, Phil (Phillip Richard), bass; b. Youngstown, OH, 12 August 1970. He grew up 20 minutes outside of Youngstown in a small country town called Brookfield. Incidentally, pianist Harold Danko also grew up in Brookfield and attended Dana School of Music before it combined with Youngstown State University. His father, Richard Joseph Palombi (b. Brookfield, 1943), was an electric guitarist who played stuff like Santana, Booker T and the MG's, and Sly and the Family Stone. His mother, Carol Ann Palombi, was born in Youngstown in 1944.
His father put an old Fender Precision bass in Phil's hands when he was about 10 (1980). He had alto saxophonist Dave D'Angelo for his band director in his senior year of high school, and he's responsible for hooking Phil up with Tony Leonardi at Youngstown State. It was Tony who put the acoustic bass in his hands. He studied with Tony from 1988 to 1995, and according to Phil, "he was the best teacher in the universe!" Phil's studies began at Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University, where he pursued a dual major in Jazz and Classical Performance and Music Education. He studied jazz and classical acoustic bass with Leonardi while keeping up with a heavy load of ensemble rehearsals and concerts. For five years Phil was the bassist for the Down Beat award winning Jazz Ensemble I of Youngstown State, where he played with jazz greats Nick Brignola, Donald Byrd, Terry Clark, Eddie Daniels, Benny Golsen, Duffy Jackson, Chuck Mangione, Bob Mintzer, Marvin Stamm, Lew Tabackin, Bill Watrous, and Jiggs Wigham. Because of this superb jazz program, Phil was selected for the Ohio All-Star College Jazz Ensemble lead by drummer John Von Olen and trombonist John Fedchock in 1993.
In addition to his studies, Phil was also a very busy working bassist in the Youngstown, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland music communities. Although he enjoyed his work subbing with the Warren Chamber Orchestra for a few seasons, performing with the Greenville Symphony for two seasons, and becoming a regular member of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra for four years, jazz was becoming his main focus. By his senior year in 1994, Phil was heavily involved in the Cleveland jazz scene, playing nightly with artists such as Greg Bandy, Ernie Krivda, Chip Stephens, and Dan Wall. As the President of the school's Jazz Society, Phil was able to obtain funding to bring the legendary jazz bassist Ray Brown to Youngstown for a master class. During Mr. Brown's brief stay, Phil managed to take a private lesson with the master which ultimately sealed the door to Phil's classical career and set him on the path to becoming a full time jazz bassist.
In January of 1995, after a week of performances at the winter N.A.M.M. show in Anahiem California, Phil began his first "road gig" with trombonist Buddy Morrow and The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He spent the following ten months touring extensively throughout the U.S. with a few stops in Europe. By the fall of 1995, Phil had caught the ear of trumpet virtuoso Maynard Ferguson, and was offered a job with his new nine piece group Big Bop Nouveau. After performing with the King of Thailand in Bangkok, Palombi left Maynard to move to New York City where he currently resides. Playing Jazz, Funk, Brazilian, Cuban Salsa on acoustic and electric basses keeps him busy nearly seven nights a week. Since the move, Palombi has been working with a wide variety of great musicians such as Michael Brecker, Billy Hart, Dave Liebman, Randy Johnston, Etta Jones, Ralph Lalama, Dave Liebman, Valerie Ponomarev, Chris Potter, Rich Perry, Ted Rosenthal, John Riley, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lew Tabackin, Mark Turner, Eliot Zigmund and The Village Vanguard Orchestra to name a few. In addition to recording, Phil has been touring, completing two four week stint's at the Blue Note in Fukuoka Japan with both pianist David Morgan and Sarah Jane Cion.
Phil is married to pianist Sarah Jane Cion. Their daughter is Lara Gabrielle Palombi, born on July 9, 2002. They live in the Bronx.
Recordings: 80 East (1999)
Maynard Ferguson and the Big Bop Nouveau band "One More Trip to Birdland", Maynard Ferguson and Big Bop Nouveau: Concord Records Christmas CD, One More Trip to Birdland; Section 8 Saxophone Octet: In a Minute (1998); Koch Records Tribute to Duke Ellington: Two selections with the Frank Vignola/Joe Ascione trio; Sarah Jane Cion: Moon Song (1999), Summer Night (2000); Jeff Rihab and the BMI Jazz Orchestra; Michael Amendola: Big Sunflower (2002); Eliot Zigmund (2003); Live at WBGO with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (2002, not yet released); Lew Tabackin Trio: Live at Nighttown (not yet released)
With Maynard Ferguson: Pat Boullard Show (1997), Good Morning Texas (1997), B.E.T. Bet On Jazz- Jazz Central (1997), The Crook and Chase Show (1996)
The Andy Fusco Quintet (audio only) (2000)
The Dave Morgan Trio (audio & video) from the Blue Note in NYC (1999)
Scott LaFaro - 15 Solo Transcriptions Taken From The Bill Evans Recordings Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby (2003)