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James Michael Bruno, 22 July 1953, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Encouraged by his professional guitar-playing father, who played on the Virtues 1959 hit Guitar Boogie Shuffle, Bruno took up the instrument at the age of five. His first significant engagement came in the early 70s when he toured with the big band led by Buddy Rich. From the mid-70s to the end of the 80s, he played first in hotel and casino bands in Las Vegas, then in Los Angeles studios. From 1990, he was based in his home town where he led his own group and also taught at the University of the Arts. Over the years he had worked with many well-known artists from the jazz and pop worlds, among them Joe Pass, George Van Eps, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.
Bruno began recording for Concord Jazz Records in the early 90s, achieving good reviews for sets with musicians such as Joey DeFrancesco. It was, however, a Birdland engagement in December 1996, where he...