“Jeff is our swiss army knife. He can play or sing anything.” --Keb Mo.
Jeff Paris (originally Geoffrey Leib) is a notable songwriter and vocalist and is accomplished on keyboards, guitars, mandolin, bass, accordion and harmonica, currently performing as part of Alligator Records artist Coco Montoya’s band.
Jeff toured, wrote, and recorded with multi-Grammy award winner Keb’ Mo for twelve years (2000~2013), performing on keyboards, guitars, mandolin, keys, vocals and harmonica. He occasionally appeared as opening act.
In '10 Jeff and Keb produced blues artist Coco Motoya’s first Ruff Records release "I Want It All Back", featuring two Paris penned cuts "The Life of My Broken Heart," and "She's Gonna Need Somebody."
Jeff toured on keys as part of Ringo Starr's "Liverpool 8" tour (2008) and with Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) . As a singer he’s been featured on TV and movie soundtracks as well releasing his own solo albums. He’s also toured and recorded with Bill Withers, Dan Fogelberg, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, A Taste of Honey, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Bonnie Raitt (Prairie Home Companion broadcast), Cinderella, Y&T, Lita Ford, Vixen, and many more.
Stylistically, his range covers R&B, Motown, Soul, Funk, Blues, and New Orleans and American Songbook/Standards, melodic rock, alternative, Blues and Amercana/Roots.
As a recording artist, Jeff’s album releases are:
“Pieces”, as part of the band Pieces on United Artist Records, 1980
“Race to Paradise” as a solo artist on Mercury/PolyGram, 1986
“Wired Up” as a solo artist on Mercury/PolyGram, 1987
“Lucky This Time” as a solo artist on Now & Then Records, 1993
“Smack” as a solo artist on USG Records, 1997
“Freak Flag” as a solo artist on Barenuckle (Japan), 1998
“Broken Chain” Independent, 2011
As a songwriter, Jeff’s songs have been recorded by more than 60 artists. He’s contributed to gold or platinum albums by Sheena Easton, Jeffrey Osborne, Vixen, Alias, and Lita Ford.
Jeff regularly consults, collaborates and teaches songwriters and coaches vocalists. He taught songwriting techniques and guitar at Los Angeles Music Academy, currently teaches Voice at the Academy of Music for the Blind, and teaches privately at his studio.
About Jeff’s Songwriting...
A stylistically versatile songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Jeff has enjoyed an active and diverse career. He started on guitar at age eight, adding keyboards at sixteen and studying at Los Angeles City College’s Music Department til he was nineteen, when he began to develop his songwriting. Early cuts recorded by Tower of Power and Marilyn Scott brought Jeff to the attention of United Artist Records. Following more tours he was signed to that label as part of the R&B band "Pieces," contributing most of the material.
In 1980 his songs were covered by Jeffrey Osborne, who recorded “New Love” to open his first CD, and also “Ain’t Nothin’ Missin’.” Following the Stanley Clarke produced “Don’t Wanna Let You Go” for Rodney Franklin and George Duke’s cut of Jeff’s “She Can Wait Forever”, he began a long association with Osborne and producer Duke. They worked together on two more Osborne gold albums, "Stay with Me Tonight," and "Don't Stop," for which he wrote the single "Let Me Know." Also cut was the gold record earning "I Can't Wait til Tomorrow" for Sheena Easton, "Dream On" by the Four Tops, and "Thanks But No Thanks" by Billy Preston among other cuts. Jeff also wrote and sang the #1 Dance single “All My Love” on Prelude as part of the band LAX.
On the way to his PolyGram/Mercury artist contract, Jeff co-wrote all the songs on A&M Records hard rock band Y&T's record "In Rock We Trust” and Lita Ford's “Hit and Run” and single "Gotta Let Go" (PolyGram) on her "Dancin' On the Edge." Over the next three years, Jeff put out two albums, "Race To Paradise," and "Wired Up," (Mercury/PolyGram) and wrote a single and three album cuts for the band "Vixen" (Capitol). "Cryin'" went top 20 CHR and earned Jeff another gold record. He also cut all the keyboard and Hammond tracks for (PolyGram act) Cinderella's platinum selling "Nightsongs" CD.
Following cuts by Nia Peeples ("I Know How to Make You Love Me" - top 20 R&B) and J.T. Taylor (of Cool and the Gang), Jeff wrote two songs for Capitol Records act Alias, one of which, "Waiting For Love," went top ten, earning Jeff a B.M.I. airplay award.
In 1993 Jeff earned his first platinum record from Atlantic Records band Mr. Big for the single "Lucky This Time," and album cut "Road to Ruin" off of their "Lean Into It" CD. Following this, Jeff’s activities included work on Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Slash's “Snake Pit” CD, French artist Johnny Halliday, Brazilian artist Valeria Lynch, English rockers Skin, Nightranger, and Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night.
In ’95 Jeff began an association with Spelling Productions that generated much T.V. and movie "master use" activity, as well as performances as a featured vocalist on soundtracks for the movies "Doug's First Movie (Disney), "The Big Green," “The Substitute 2”, and "House Arrest." Also released in Europe and Japan was Jeff's third CD, "Lucky This Time," and “Smack” recorded and mixed in his studio facility. Jeff also joined the faculty at Los Angeles Music Academy, teaching songwriting and blues guitar.
In 2000 Jeff joined Keb Mo and continued his residency in the role of "Swiss Army Knife", playing, singing, and co writing (“Shave Your Legs” on Grammy winning “Keep It Simple” and “The Itch” on “Suitcase,” a Grammy nominee) until 2013.
In 2011 Jeff established United Rockers 4 U with Great White vocalist Terry Ilous to generate donations for Japan Tsunami disaster relief. UR4U raised $10K for the Red Cross.
Also in ’11 Jeff played Firefest, UK's melodic rock festival and released a new CD, “Broken Chain”, as well as performed a full schedule of Keb Mo dates.
In 2013 Jeff joined the staff at The Academy of Music for the Blind (AMB). This experience called him back to teaching privately with a focus on voice. “With music, I felt lucky to have experienced a ‘calling’ at a very young age and I never expected to have another one. But during my work at AMB it happened again...an intellectual and spiritual message that I am so grateful for. My first musical expression was singing and it’s fitting to give back the absolute joy of that in the form of teaching what I’ve learned.”
Recently (2014), Robert Cray released “I Guess I’ll Never Know” by Jeff, Rick Whitfield, & Les Falconer, with his “In My Soul” CD.
“Musically, this new decade is going to be all about who can deliver unusual and creative material,“live” and in person.” - - Jeff Paris