Tag Archives: Graham Dechter

Graham Dechter: Major Influence



A fantastic new album called ‘Major Influence’ has been released by Graham Dechter in September.  The guitarist wrote and arranged all but one of the tunes. “After completing seven originals and co-arranging the classic ‘Pure Imagination’ with Mr. Hamilton, I came to the realization that every song on this recording, whether consciously or subconsciously, was dedicated to and/or directly influenced by one or more of my musical heroes.”

He reunites with the dream team rhythm section of his first two albums: Tamir Hendelman on piano, John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums.

The album starts with ‘Orange Coals’, a bluesy composition which swings hard and features Graham Dechter and Tamir Hendelmann with excellent solos. What a start.

‘Reference’ is the next song, much softer but still moving with Jeff Hamilton using his brushes, the head is a nice dialog between guitar and piano on one side and bass on the other side, producing this killer sound when guitar and piano play in unison.

The album continues with the title song. ‘Major Influence’ is a melodic song with a beautiful melody and great melodic guitar and piano solos.

‘Moonithology’ comes next. This song swings nicely, again with excellent brush work by Jeff Hamilton on drums. This song gives John Clayton the chance to shine with a nice bass solo.

The album continues with ‘Minor Influence’, another hard swinging (minor) blues. This song is like the trademark of Graham Dechter, very straight and very bluesy. And, no surprise, we hear in my opinion the best guitar solo on the album. Outstanding.

In strong contrast comes the balladesque version of ‘Pure Imagination’. Jeff Hamilton is featured with a fantastic brush drums solo.

‘Bent on Monk’ is obviously inspired by Thelonious Monk and comes with a funky and chromatic melody. An entertaining tune in jam style with solos from all musicians.

The album ends with ‘Billy’s Dilemma’ a fast and artistic song giving this excellent musician and his band a final chance to impress us with their fast and precise playing.

Graham Dechter has deep roots in the tradition of guitar playing and his new album shows this in an outstanding way. All songs are played with great melodic ideas, swing hard and have this connection to the blues.

And here is the complete album on Spotify:






Graham Dechter

Today I would like to present an extraordinary guitar player. His name is Graham Dechter and I had the chance to see him live in Bern at Marian’s Jazzclub on October 17 (see the picture above).

He joined the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra when he was 19. In 2011, he played on Michael Bublé’s best-selling “Christmas” album and made followup television appearances backing the popular singer on The Today Show, Regis & Kelly, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting and on Michael Bublé’s NBC Christmas special.


Graham Dechter follows in the lineage of his guitar heroes like Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, Grant Green and Herb Ellis. “I tend to veer towards the real swinging stuff,” says Dechter. “I love listening to and appreciate many different styles of music, both within and out of the jazz idiom. But in terms of my own conception, I really live in that swinging realm. Guitarists like Wes Montgomery and Barney Kessel, as well as other instrumentalists like Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Ben Webster — all of those musicians have been a huge influence on my playing.”.

Especially Barney Kessel is his main influence. He came to Bern with his Lineage Trio with Alex Frank on double bass and Ryan Shaw on drums and the idea of this trio is to build the lineage from the Poll Winner Trio Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne into today’s Jazz scene. All three musicians have their direct or indirect personal relation to these three poll winners and so they strongly relate to this heritage. The music itself is entertaining and sophisticated, swinging and in line with the tradition.

If you get the chance to listen to these guys, don’t miss it. Graham Dechter is really one of the most remarkable guitar players on the scene and his Lineage Trio is a treat for your ears.

The trio brought a nice EP with them, which I bought and (as you can see) got signed. All five songs on this EP are part of their standard repertoire, so a nice souvenir form this evening. Unfortunately, these songs are not published online.

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Here is a promotional video for his album “Takin’ It There”:

Another video with his Lineage Trio:

And finally links to his website and to the Lineage Trio website: