Mintz Quartet

Billy Mintz – John Gross – Roberta Piket – Putter Smith: Mintz Quartet


Thirteenth Note Records is pleased to announce the release of drummer Billy Mintz’s debut CD, entitled simply Mintz Quartet. A veteran of both the LA and New York jazz scenes, Mintz is that rare breed of jazz musician who is as comfortable playing standards in a piano trio (which he did in an eight-year stint with the Alan Broadbent Trio) as he is as he is exploring more abstract forms with icons such as Ellery Eskelin and Mark Feldman.

Billy Front Cover

“The leader walks alone and, like Paul Motian, he’s got a great way of drifting through the waves while steering the ship.” -Village Voice


While a debut CD of all original material can be a dangerous proposition in less experienced hands, Mintz’s writing is the personal expression of a mature and deeply gifted artist who has quietly been working on his craft. (Several of his originals, such as Flight and Cannonball, have taken on the status of unofficial jazz standards among his peers in the New York jazz world.) The resulting statement is moving, honest and engaging.

“If you are a fan of modern jazz drumming but have not heard Billy Mintz, you have not heard it all.” – Tom Conrad, JazzTimes

billy quartet at smalls feb 2013

Recorded in one night, the easy rapport and trust evident on Mintz Quartet reflects the long-term musical relationships Mr. Mintz has with the band members. Underground saxophone legend John Gross (a Portland, OR resident) has been a colleague for almost thirty years. (Their 2005 duo CD on Origin Records, Beautiful You, also consists entirely of Mintz compositions.) Bassist Putter Smith is another long-time West Coast colleague who played with Billy in Alan Broadbent’s trio. Billy has played in the trio of New York pianist/organist Roberta Piket for roughly ten years. (Mintz also encouraged her to sing on Destiny.)

Billy Mintz was born in Queens, New York. During his formative years in New York City, he played and recorded with the Lee Konitz Nonet, Kundalini with Perry Robinson and Badal Roy, the Eddie Daniels Quartet, Gloria Gaynor, the Steve Tintweiss Quartet, and the Harold Danko Quartet.

In 1981 Mr. Mintz relocated to Los Angeles where he was a member of the Mike Garson Trio with Stanley Clarke, the Kim Richmond Sextet, the Bobby Shew Quintet, the Joey Sellers’ Jazz Aggregation, and the Vinny Golia Quartet. He also performed several times with the Mose Allison Trio and did a stint with the Merv Griffin Show band. In 1988 he toured Europe with saxophonist Charles Lloyd. In LA, Mr. Mintz was also the drummer for Road Work Ahead, with Bill Mays, Bob Magnusson and Peter Sprague.

Since 2003 Mr. Mintz has lived in New York where he has recorded and performed with the Hal Galper Trio, the Russ Lossing Trio, the Mark Feldman-Sylvie Courvoisier Quartet and others. He also leads a ten-piece ensemble (the Two Bass Band) and has performed numerous solo drum set concerts worldwide.

Artist: Billy Mintz – John Gross – Roberta Piket – Putter Smith

Title: Mintz Quartet

Release Date: September 15th, 2013


John Gross: tenor saxophone

Roberta Piket: piano, organ (and vcl on track 4)

Putter Smith: bass

Billy Mintz: drums, percussion, compositions

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