The Harmonious Five “Vintage R&B”
Ed Alstrom (guitar), Dave Keys (piano), Mark Berger (bass), Frank Pagano (drums) – all singing, all the time!
Classics by the 5 Royales, Coasters, Contours, Flares, Andre Williams, and many other artists no one’s ever heard of.
Alstrom, Edward , piano, organ, synthesizers, guitar, bass, vocals; b. Paterson, NJ, 12 October 1957. While an infant, his family moved to Ridgewood, NJ, where he grew up and lived until after college, with his father (Ludwig, a.k.a Ed, 1920-1991, a plumber by trade, who also played accordion and organ semi-professionally), mother Eleanor (b. 1926), and sisters Suzanne, Donna, and Jackie. Ed began playing organ at 5 years of age, started lessons at age 6.
He played mostly organ until family acquired piano when he was 11. Ed later taught himself guitar, bass, and drums. He played in all types of ensembles in the progressive Ridgewood school system: rock, jazz, classical, avant-garde, country, 50s, experimental, etc. Got into jazz at about age 13, when Monk became a big influence on his piano playing and Larry Young on his organ playing. Also, he played organ in several area churches in Northern NJ. His parents had designs on him being a church organist, so he attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ; graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in 1979. He performed with the Westminster Choir under the batons of Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta. He was playing in jazz and disco lounge bands by night during this entire period, frequently appearing with the Vivino brothers: guitarist Jimmy and saxophonist Jerry (of note for their work on the Conan O’Brien television show), and pianist-singer Floyd, better known as “Uncle Floyd”. Ed played in the Uncle Floyd Show touring band for several years in the early 1980s.
Later went on to play keyboards in the off-Broadway, Bottom Line run of “Leader Of The Pack”, the music of Ellie Greenwich, in a band led by Paul Shaffer and Jimmy Vivino. This show later went to Broadway, where Ed played the run on piano. Ed went on to do gigs with many 50s and 60s pop stars, including Chuck Berry, Ronnie Spector, Dion, and Chubby Checker. He has also appeared as a sideman with Bette Midler, Levon Helm, Rick Derringer, Lou Rawls, Steely Dan, Phoebe Snow, and others. He then toured Germany and Austria with Peter Hoffmann, a German opera star who has a concurrent pop career, in 1986, as Musical Director/Pianist/Vocalist for the tour which resulted in a Platinum-selling live album released in Germany.
He continued to play jazz with trombonist Bob Smith, and with Jerry Vivino. He also spent many years working for Casio Inc., where he was in product management, marketing, and design for the electronic keyboards. It was through this affiliation that he recorded or performed with Herbie Hancock, Larry Coryell, Stanley Jordan, Phil Upchurch, Kenny G, Nile Rogers, and others. He currently leads a band called ACID CABARET on the NY/NJ jazz and cabaret circuit. He is also an active member of The Hudson River Rats, a NJ-based blues band featuring harmonica player/singer Rob Paparozzi.
The Record People Are Coming (1996); Acid Cabaret (2002)
Uncle Floyd Show cast album (1983); Leader Of The Pack cast album (1985); Peter Hoffman: Live (1986); Bob Smith: Bob’s Diner (1989), Radioface (1991); Jimmy Vivino: Something Borrowed, Something Blue (1994)
Many private, unreleased recordings with Herbie Hancock (one live duet performance), Stanley Jordan, Larry Coryell, Phil Upchurch, and many NJ/NY musicians
Ed Alstrom/Haywire Productions
PO Box 157
Pine Brook, NJ 07058