Jan 9, 2015
Jeff Golub, a smooth- jazz guitarist who was equallya dept at playing blues and rock,died on New Year's Day in New York City. He was 59. While a cause of death has not been determined, in 2011, Golub contracted a rare degenerative brain disease called progressive supranuclear palsy that caused him to lose his sight, but failed to hamper his guitar playing. His last CD, the first since he lost his sight, had just recently been released.
Raised in Akron, Ohio, Golub’s initial goal was to play bluegrass. That changed with the British Invasion, which revealed to him the joys of playing pop and turned him on to blues. Golub didn't study jazz until enrolling at Boston's Berklee School of Music in the late 1970s. He moved to New York in 1980 bent on becoming a studio musician. Within a few months, he was asked to join Billy Squier's band. The first record they recorded was ''The Stroke,'' and it had found an audience on FM rock radio and AM top 40. Two more singles – ''My Kinda Lover'' and ''In the Dark'' – followed and the album went on to sell millions.
''It was my dream come true, what my dream was at that time,'' Golub had said. ''It was just exciting, suddenly playing coliseums. I was 24 years old and a single guy and traveling the country with a rock band.''
He played with Rod Stewart from 1988 to 1995 on four albums and five world tours. He also performed on albums by Tina Turner, Vanessa Williams, Peter Wolf and Bill Evans. But jazz, in particular the kind of smooth jazz played by Bob James and Kirk Whalum became his real love. He released 12 jazz discs to date (and three with his instrumental band, Avenue Blue), including his latest soul-jazz collection, Train Keeps A Rolling. The title was a reference to an incident that occurred last year when Golub fell onto the New York City subway tracks and was clipped and dragged by a train. He miraculously escaped with only minor scrapes, bruises and a slew of New York City media coverage. Golub’s courageous spirit remained undaunted to the end.