Hod O'Brien

Born in Chicago, Illinois on January 19th 1936 Hod grew up in Salisbury, Connecticut. In the mid 1950's he hung out at the Music Inn in Lennox, Massachusetts, and attended the Manhattan School of Music for a brief period. realizing he would learn more being in the "Big Apple" (New York) he stayed on and began playing with many of the musicians living and working there.

His first most important gig came about in 1957 with the great bassist Oscar Pettiford, then a recording date with Prestige Records - "Three Trumpets" with Donald Byrd, Art Farmer and Idrees Sulieman.

O'Brien names Bud Powell, Horace Silver, George Shearing, Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, and Errol Garner as his main influences, and added Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane as sources of inspiration.

He worked in Albany, New York with saxophonist J.R.Monterose and in 1960 recorded with the legendary Belgian guitarist Rene Thomas for the Jazzland label. By the end of 1960 he had become part of the house rhythm section along with bassist Teddy Kotick in a club in Staten Island backing such as Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Stan Getz, Bob Brookmeyer and Al Cohn .

Through the 1960's Hod became involved various non-musical pursuits, which included the study of mathematics, a degree in psychology, and a position as a research assistant at New York University.

Returning to music full-time in the early 1970's he operated his own club, "The St. James Infirmary" and then began to freelance.

Recommended recordings:"Three Trumpets" with Donald ByrdOJC OJCCD-1801-2
"Blues for a Reason" with Chet BakerCriss Cross 1010
"Ridin' High" Reservoir RSR CD 116