Doc Dosco began his musical career in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada where at the age of 11 he took beginner guitar lessons from the legendary Canadian guitarist Gordie Brandt. He went on to start his first band at age 13. Doc soon turned to the study of classical guitar and at 16 years of age was graded an honor student and awarded a scholarship to the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. However Doc opted to stay in Saskatoon until at age 18, he moved to Calgary, Alberta where he established himself as busy working guitar player.
During this period, Doc became interested in jazz fusion. This led him to plan a permanent move to Los Angeles in the summer of 1977. "I had gone to see Calgary guitarist Gaye Delorme, who had worked with some big name jazz acts in LA. He kindly gave me several music contacts to call when I arrived in LA. It didn't do me a lick of good when I got there, however it did help to fuel my decision to brave the 1500 mile trip. I packed everything I could manage into the back of my '72 Olds Toranado and started driving. I didn't know a soul in LA and if I hadn't noticed the Capitol Records building from the freeway and found the Hollywood exit, I might have driven all the way to San Diego without knowing any better."
Once Doc established himself in LA, he wanted to learn traditional jazz so he began taking classes at the world renowned Dick Grove School of Music. His studies included improvisation, arranging, composition and orchestration. Doc then found work doing casual gigs along with various kinds of pick-up work (like music prep for the Barbara Mandrell TV show) and soon had a meager but steady income.
Doc's first commercial recordings in LA as a guitar player were on an R&B album. He met his long time friend and jazz producer Esmond Edwards while on these record dates.
Doc's first jazz recording was on trumpeter Blue Mitchell's album 'Summer Soft' for ABC Prestige records produced by Esmond Edwards. "I was a nervous, skinny white kid from Canada that found himself in a room full of monster jazz players like Blue Mitchell, Cedar Walton, Eddie Harris, Bobby Lyle and Harold Land. I did fine on the sessions, but it was a baptism of fire."
Next, Doc hooked up with transplanted Canadian and singer extraordinare Ed Whiting (David Foster, Skylark, Heat). On a series of productions that Doc wrote and played on with Ed, he was able to work with some brilliant musicians, Bill Champlin (Sons of Champlin, Chicago), Brad Cole, (Larry Carlton, Phil Collins), Neil Stubenhaus (Blood, Sweat & Tears, Tom Scott) and singer Carmen Twilley (George Benson, David Foster). Carmen later went on to be the lead voice in The Lion King.
Although Doc always loved playing jazz, most bread and butter gigs in LA necessitated being versatile and playing in a number of different styles. Doc says "I did several years of recording dates and live shows with my own rhythm section for hire." The section was comprised of bass player Pat Carey (Ian Whitcomb, Little Anthony, Drifters) and drummer Jim Carnelli (Ian Whitcomb, Little Anthony, Roger Williams). The Keyboard player on much of this was Steve Welsh (Musical Director for Little Anthony, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler). These were the 'gun for hire' years for Doc as a guitarist. He played numerous concerts with the likes of Little Anthony, The Platters, The Drifters and so on, and he had the house rhythm section for E.J. Emmons, producer and chief engineer at the world famous 'Paramount Recording Studios' in Hollywood, CA.
During these years Doc also wrote (with Ed Whiting) 'Hot Damn' for Jerry Lee Lewis. This song was featured in the movie and on the soundtrack of 'Roadie', starring Meatloaf and Art Carney along with Roy Orbison, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick and Blondie. Doc then recorded at Motown with the classically trained R&B artists Black Russian (who defected from the Soviet Union a few years before it collapsed). Doc also did a number of jazz style recordings during this period with producer Esmond Edwards , co-writing (with Esmond) the songs 'Mango Jam' and 'Love Has Made Me A Dreamer' and playing on cross-over jazz tracks fronted by Tenor saxophone giant Eddie Harris, alto saxophone wizard Red Holloway and jazz pianist Phil Wright.
Doc continues "I'm not quite sure where my checkered past in music started, however I did some odd projects along the line. Aside from a host of forgetable recordings like beer ads for Argentina and pre-recorded Vegas style shows with arranger Pat Valentino for the big cruise ship lines, I also did some pretty crazy record dates. The first that comes to mind is a record I played on and co-produced with Mississippi rocker T. Lester Greene. " This project took on a slightly madcap feature, taking Doc across country first to Nashville for mastering and pressing and then onto Atlanta for a two week long release party. Lastly he ended up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at spring break. Doc says "The record turned out great, but much of that trip was spent in a daze. I seem to remember lots of girls though. After all, that was a crazy time for everyone in the music business."
Another unusual record at that time was a rockabilly version of White Christmas for producer E.J. Emmons, featuring the leather jacketed, ducktailed crooner 'Hollywood Joe'. E.J. Emmons also produced all the Ian Whitcomb albums that Doc played guitar on. E.J. later introduced Doc to a project called 'Man of Iguana', fronted by a wildman composer and Fairlight electronic music progammer named Zeo. The project was very cutting edge and musically advanced for the time. It also had some incredibly talented musicians such as percussionist M.B. Gordie (Aaron Neville, Neil Diamond) and bassist Carl Sealove (Bob Dylan, Barry Manilow). However politics sprinkled with delusions of grandeur finally sunk the project after the album was finished and mixed.
Soon after that debacle, and while still in cahoots with the electronic music madman Zeo , Doc went futher into the musical twilight zone. At the Los Angeles Record Plant, Doc played guitar synth solos on two elaborate European productions of the operas Carmen and Figaro. These were performed by an internationally renowned Korean opera singer (over electronic dance style tracks) and with orchestrations by the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra and Chorale. "This was a truly weird one..." Doc recalls.
About this time Doc did some playing and writing with Karl Rucker for the German avant-garde singing sensation Nina Hagen. Karl has quite a musical pedigree (Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Chaka Kahn, Cher, Tina Turner, Long John Baldry, Steven Stills, just to name a few) and Doc's association with Karl and Nina Hagen took him into a very strange musical world, indeed.
Doc soon got his feet wet as a record producer in his own right by producing (for Progressive Records) the techno-pop group X-Checker (Karl Brad, Cindy Silk and New York sax phenom George Shelby). Doc then went on to produce the LA rock band 'Stallion'. His last stab at record production was during the mid nineties with pop singer J. Alden.
Going back to the mid eighties, Doc started a Fairlight music production company of his own called Future Soundz. 'I started getting into electronic music production and had a Fairlight production room at three of the hottest recording studios in the LA area. First at Ground Control in Santa Monica, then at Crystal Sound and Baby-O Studios in Hollywood." This led Doc to work with the likes of Sly Stone, George Clinton and Bobby Womack. Doc then became manager of production facility 'Realtime Studios' located at Salty Dog, Van Nuys CA. Besides his producing projects, Doc taught courses in music software, Fairlight programming and record production for The Recording Institute, Van Nuys, CA.
A few years later, with Record Producer Russ Bishop, Doc was owner of the company Digital Monsters located in the Post Complex, Studio City CA. While Doc was doing audio production and consultation, he took an extended sabbatical from playing guitar until he picked it up again several years ago.
High points of Doc's career: Working with mentor and legendary jazz Producer Esmond Edwards, playing and recording with many of the world's best jazz and session players, getting many of his own songs (and songs co-written with Esmond Edwards and Ed Whiting) published, recorded, released, and several of them into movies. Of late, Doc has taken up jazz exclusively and is very excited about his new recording projects. He is looking forward to getting back onto the airwaves again, this time with himself as the 'artist' and featuring his own unique brand of jazz/blues material.
Low point of Doc's career: Doc wrote and produced several Fairlight style dance records for Los Angeles billboard queen Angelyne. "I feel a bit sheepish about the project and I don't usually talk about it much as the artist was a personality rather than a performer (if you get the drift). However one cut from that project called 'Animal Attraction' did make it into the Julian Temple movie 'Earth Girls Are Easy' with Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey. The high point of this low point was working with the brilliant recording engineer/mixer and vocal fix-it-man Joe Romersa."
In conclusion, Doc says: "Over the past few years I have been honing my jazz guitar chops and giging from time to time with some of LA's finest jazz players. I am especially happy that I have been able play out with a some of LA's top jazz guitar players too. (Sid Jacobs and Dan Sawyer to be precise). This has been an real inspiration to me. I feel I am developing my own voice on the jazz guitar and I have found a particular style of straight ahead jazz/blues that I can communicate through the best. This is a very accessible style for everyone (not just other musicians). Even with it's simple blues lines in the melody and basic blues oriented changes, all the players can still stretch out for their solos and they really get the chance to speak through this music without losing the average listener. My hope is that this music will be universal enough to be embraced by the traditional jazz crowd, by smooth jazz listeners and perhaps even by blues aficionados. I guess only time will tell..."