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Gershman, Paul (14th September 1912-March 1986)

Violinist who studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, graduating in 1934, and at the same time was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra were he held the position of Second Violin from 1932 to 1933, then was a violinist from 1933 to 1943 and an Assistant Concertmaster from 1943 to 1944.

He moved on and became a successful session musician in New York and was busy from the 1960s to the 1980s, recording with just about anyone and everyone.

A couple of his early recordings were Wes Montgomery’s Bumpin and Tequila.  In the late ‘60s, he appeared on Child is Father to the Man by Blood, Sweat & Tears, Tony Sings the Great Hits of Today! by Tony Bennett, and Wave by Antonio Carlos Jobim.

He opened the 1970s with Louis Armstrong and His Friends.  In 1972, he appeared on a pair of Grover Washington, Jr. albums, All the King’s Horses and Inner City Blues.  He could also be heard on Washington’s Soul Box and Mister Magic.  In 1976, he appeared on three of Van McCoy’s albums, African Symphony, The Real McCoy, and Rhythms of the World.  This was followed by ambitious projects such as Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk by Meco, Towering Toccata by Lalo Schifrin, and Van McCoy and His Magnificent Movie Machine.

How is this for contrast?  In 1978, he appeared on Sesame Street Fever and Penthouse Presents Pulsating Disco and Romantic Sounds for Loving and Dancing.

The turn of the decade found him on Naughty by Chaka Khan and Christmas in the Stars:  Star Wars Christmas Album by Meco.  In 1983, he played violin on Stevie Nicks’ solo album, The Wild Heart.  Other ‘80s releases on which he appeared include Ralph MacDonald’s Universal Rhythm, Moondog, and Coleman Hawkins’ Body & Soul.

The CD era is dotted with re-masterings and re-packagings bearing Paul’s name in the credits, including Birth of the Cool Funk – Vintage Jams and Serious Grooves, The Girl from Ipanema:  The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook, and Ritmo de la Noche/Rhythm of the Night – The Very Best of Latin Jazz.

He passed away 1986 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, when he was 73 years old.

Van McCoy recording
The Shuffle (Van McCoy)
That’s the Joint (Van McCoy)

He’s a violinist here in a performance of “La Vie en Rose” by Coleman Hawkins…