Emily Remler

Emily Remler - "firefly" album cover

Here’s a great jazz guitarist you may not have heard. Emily Remler (1957-1990) was born in New York City and grew up in New Jersey. She started playing guitar aged 10. She attended music camps as a teen but didn’t start learning jazz until she went to Berklee College where she studied for two years. After that she moved to New Orleans where she continued taking private lessons and practicing until she became an astonishingly good guitarist.

Listening to her one can hear influences such as Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel, and Herb Ellis as well as elements, later on, reminiscent of Larry Coryell and Pat Metheny. In 1990 she played a memorable gig at the Bowlers Club in Sydney with Kevin Hunt (piano), John Poche’ (drums) and Ed Gaston (bass). Sadly, Remler died in Sydney after a heroin overdose while on that tour. If you’ve not heard of her, she is well-worth listening to as an example of a top-class mainstream, swinging jazz guitarist well-aware of more modern developments on the instrument. Her early loss was tragic, but she left behind a wonderful legacy of recordings. Here’s some rare live footage of Remler at her swinging best.

Video of Emily Remler playing ‘Blues for Herb’, shared by Youtuber JAZZODUC13:

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