I was born in Berkeley, California in 1955, to Robert and Judy Belote. I have two older brothers Bob, Mark, and a younger sister, Jennifer. I have been married to Julie since 1986 and we currently
live in Granada Hills with four cats. People sometimes liken their pets to children. I disagree. A child
is a much more profound bond. To us, the cats are more like demi-gods, imponderable and attractive,
bestowing affection in direct relation to the level of devotion shown by their humans. It is rather
ridiculous but true, we have a worshipful rapport with our furry four legged friends.
More on the family later.
I began composing music in college, and it came as a complete surprise to me. I grew up in a house with a piano and a mother who sometimes played and sang. She was good, and it clearly gave her some joy. I loved hearing the music in the house mostly classical and Broadway shows, but it seemed that to become a musician would be entering a sphere that was inaccessible to me. After high school and a childhood spent immersed in athletics, socializing, and admiring other musicians, I discovered that I could improvise at the piano in a manner that gave me great joy and endless fascination. My initial keyboard wanderings were based upon the Gymnopodies of Erik Satie. These simple straight from the heart compositions tinged with melancholy and mystery were evidence that music held a power to move the human psyche and emotions with just a few well-chosen notes. The world of classical music beckoned like an emerging vista through the fog.
Hearing the bursting creativity of players like Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock was further inspiration for my own improvisations, though I was naively unaware of the training necessary to enter those realms of perfection. Also, my interests were scattered between being a jazz piano titan, a classical composer, and a songwriter. Bach, Stravinsky, and Debussy would compete for my affections with the Jazz giants and the likes of The Beatles, Paul Simon, and Stevie Wonder. It was an orgy of music.
While attending school at Berkeley, I came under the influence of a local jazz giant, Homer Paine.
He taught me theory, but most importantly an attitude of complete freedom at the keyboard and
in considering musical ideas. Moving to Denver introduced me many talented musicians. I was
very fortunate to capture the attention of Prof. Donald Keats, a composer/pianist/teacher of the
first rank. He is legendary at the Lamont School of Music in Denver and is responsible for greatly
expanding my musical imagination with his towering intellect and easy familiarity with the various
schools of compositional outlook.
I played in a number of legendary rock bands. The fact they were obscure, to put it mildly, makes
them no less noteworthy for myself and the people who heard us play. Atman and the Immortal Selves
fronted by Atman Hutchinson, a mystic, teacher, songwriter, and performer. Concurrent with that great
late 70s band was a group I fronted called Ocean. My move back to California brought me into the
orbit of the Ramirez brothers, Fred, Marty, and Chris. Supremely talented musicians, I was honored
to join their band Teleport. We performed original progressive rock and did the L.A. club scene for
a while. Unfortunately, there was very little business acumen among the four of us and we didn’t
break out of the pack.
More and more, I realize the gift of my wife Julie. She has believed in me, but she also long took
the reins of the production train to propel me in writing and producing 7 instrumental CDs and several
film scores. She spent tireless hours promoting the music to radio and retail outlets nationwide with
enthusiasm and amazing chocolate chip cookies. I always wondered what the real motivation of some
music directors was in playing my music. The cookies helped! Though I can now be more self-motivated
and independent, she remains a source of boundless love and support. My blessings exceed my ability
to survey them.
The release of my new album “Portraits of Albert E.” culminates years of hard work. It was produced
with my close friend George Landress, who just happens to participate in most of the best work I have
done. I am greatly honored to be scoring films for the Self-Realization Fellowship, founded by
Paramahansa Yogananda. Some of the films, shown at Convocations, Temples, and retreats give
a glimpse into the life of the great avatar and world teacher.
With deepest humility, I acknowledge that I possess a prolific imagination, and I have a splendid
opportunity to continue producing a full range of music and visual art. This web site will be a prime
avenue for my life’s work to be shared. Welcome.