Chick Corea in my opinion and many others is one of the greatest living jazz artists. What a thrill to record this with him and add it to my anthology “A Jazz Life”.
Glenn Zottola – trumpet and alto with the Chick Corea Trio
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CJ 03 – “A Jazz Life: Glenn Zottola’s Story” By Nick Mondello
In most instances, recorded compilations of a musician’s recording career – especially one as lengthy and significant as this talented artist’s – are usually produced when the body of work is “warmer” than the musician’s body itself. That’s certainly not the case here, thank God. For you see, Glenn Zottola, thankfully, is not only alive, kicking and swinging as incredibly as he always has, but, there’s plenty that is and will surely be emanating from this multi-instrumentalist genius’s trumpet and saxophones. Based on this superlative compilation, you can count on that.
A true wunderkind, Zottola is a scion of a truly talented family. He was a child prodigy (and talent show winner) on trumpet and began playing professionally at an age when most kids can’t spell it. He’s played with – wait! Who hasn’t he performed with over a half-century-plus career that’s taken him from Westchester, New York to world-wide acclaim? From Goodman to Sinatra and from Suzanne Somers to Chick Corea, Glenn’s hot and inventive trumpet has covered it all. And the story so far is here. Rest assured, there’s lots more coming.
The 2-disc compilation is unique in that it is presented in a chronological manner, starting with Zottola’s first recording in 1964 (“Kids Christmas Album”). Even as a youngster, you’ll hear marvelous shades of Louis Armstrong, to this day a Zottola idol and influence. Those Armstrong-esque stylings resonate in his work heard here with saxophonist Bob Wilber (with whom Zottola soared in “The Bechet Legacy”) and other legendary musicians, including Steve Allen, Terry Gibbs and the rest of the Encyclopedia of Jazz. He can play hot a la Louis and cook a la Brownie (whose “Clifford with Strings” Zottola recently recorded with his Brownie-like interpretations without written music – all from his memory! (“I Remember Clifford”).
A musical savant of incredible abilities, Zottola is equally adept (self-taught, by the way) on saxophones. He recently recorded tribute albums to Charlie Parker and Stan Getz for Classic Jazz, cuts of which are included here. No amateur on sax, he channels Bird and Stan with an uncanny flair.
This is a big bite of splendid jazz music. It depicts a musician – an artist – of incredible talent and vision. Sit back, pop up the feet and dig in. You’ll dig.