My record label hired the great Nick Mondello who did my recent interview in “All About Jazz” to write for their website on their jazz catalogue which is extensive. I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart to have a writer of this level write about my music. I have been reviewed by everyone but Nick is in another category and a really nice guy. His writing is like a great chorus.
Classic Jazz Records
– By Nick Mondello
Glenn Zottola – Clifford Brown Remembered
It’s no secret among jazz musicians that, as much as they enjoy stretching out over a speedball tempoed selection, almost to a person they’d tell you that they would love to make a recording with a lush string section behind them. None less than Bird himself – Charlie Parker set a standard for all with his classic effort, Charlie Parker with Strings (Mercury Records, 1950) It produced by – of all people – that “singalong” sultan, Mitch Miller, who also played oboe on the Parker session!). Multi-instrumentalist Glenn Zottola will indeed tell you that, as much of an influence Louis Armstrong was and is on his fine trumpeting, he, Zottola, spent many a sleepless nights endlessly listening to a turntable spinning Clifford Brown with Strings (EmArcy, 1955), Brownie’s classic strings album. While Clifford blew gorgeous tones, Zottola dreamed of one day saluting a trumpet idol. With Clifford Brown Remembered Zottola does just that – and does so brilliantly.
Zottola achieves a near-impossible achievement on this sublime effort. He has, with incredible interpretive shadings – re-created the entire Brown recording nearly note-for-note without written music. And, he performed the session completely from memory! Further, the original Neal Hefti arrangements used by Brown were transcribed also note-for-note by ear by this album’s arranger.
The album follows the sequence of the original recording with Zottola’s lush and highly emotionally-charged tone covering the Brown ballad takes. He simply doesn’t miss. He soars as he salutes the gone-way-too-soon Brown on a dozen Great American Songbook selections (“Laura,” “Stardust,” Willow Weep for Me”). There’s tons of emotion here as Brown’s original interpretations are further interpreted – not mimed – by another Master trumpeter. The strings and rhythm section employed here are a perfect platform for Zottola’s lyric style.
With Clifford Brown Remembered Glenn Zottola distinguishes himself not only as an adoring acolyte and student of Greatness, but also as a marvelous master of the trumpet.