Glenn Zottola’s solo on “Stardust”

Terry Gibbs and I were talking yesterday day about “Stardust”. He mentioned Artie Shaw’s classic version and I mentioned Lionel Hampton. Of course Louis Armstrong’s definitive version pre-dates them all. I have recorded Stardust several times through the years on record and television but in 1981 I walked in the studio to record an album. I had just signed with Selmer Instrument company and they delivered a Bach trumpet I never played before to the studio for the session. I hired Norris Turney on alto who was playing lead in Duke Ellington’s band at the time. An idea came to me in the studio of paying tribute to Louis Armstrong and asked the rhythm section to give me a certain rhythmic thing on my solo reminiscent of Louie’s version. I wanted to do a second take but Norris and the producer wouldn’t let me I guess that was a compliment. Leonard Feather gave the album 5 stars noting Louie’s influence on the Stardust solo. I put the whole track on my “life in jazz” anthology.

Glenn Zottola “Remembering Miles Davis” All Star Quintet

I met Miles when I was 13 years old at Birdland in NYC. He was there with his historic sextet with John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley. This album is half with all star small group and half orchestra concentrating on Miles work in the 50s that changed jazz forever. My good friend Chick Corea gave me a beautiful quote for this album which is heartwarming as he worked a lot with Miles.

Will be available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and

New Release – Glenn Zottola “Getting Sentimental”

All my albums come out in 2 formats a regular jazz CD and a play along version. My intention is to try to pass down what was passed down to me. Feel free to make a comment on this new release of the great american songbook the label loves hearing from my friends and fans. Click on album to sample tracks and add a comment to the record label website. Thank you !


New release – Glenn Zottola “Sinatra Classics”

All my albums come out in 2 formats a regular jazz CD and a play along version. My intention is to try to pass down what was passed down to me. Feel free to make a comment on this new release of Sinatra classics the label loves hearing from my friends and fans. Click on link to sample tracks and add a comment to the record label website. Thank you !


Glenn Zottola Starts 3 Part Interview “Life In Jazz”

I am about ready to start a 3 part interview this morning on my “Life In Jazz” with Nick Mondello for “All About Jazz” digital magazine one of the best publications in jazz. Nick is a total pro and great guy and trumpet player and did one of the best reviews I have ever received in my career on my Clifford Brown album which inspired me to continue recording on trumpet ! Here is the link to “All About Jazz” with the 3 recent reviews on my tributes to Charlie Parker , Clifford Brown and Stan Getz for Classic Jazz records. It is heartwarming that my homage to these legends that made me who I am is being noticed and appreciated. See link below.

New Release – Glenn Zottola – “All Star Rhythm Sections”


Check out the personnel on this album !!  Jimmy Raney , Mundel Lowe, Milt Hinton , Oscar Pettiford , Nat Pierce , Don Abney , Kenny  Clark , Osie Johnson etc.  Okie Johnson was in the house band at my parents jazz club and I got to play with him every week when I was 13 years old !

CJ 16 Too Marvelous For Words 15003digiLR


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Fine and Dandy :


Glenn Zottola – New Release

CJ 14 GettingSentimental

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Red Sails In The Sunset :

Classic Jazz 14 “Getting Sentimental” Glenn Zottola by Nick Mondello
Our culture – and within that one of its bedrocks, our music – is in somewhat of a topsy-turvy, push-the-envelope-to-the-extremes flux. What excites or tempts, even repulses irrespective of good taste, is attractive and what formerly passed as beauty is bad toast. If it’s not “hot,” it’s not.
The music in “Getting Sentimental,” from trumpeter Glenn Zottola is the antipodal musical pole from entertainment icons and hit-makers such as “twerker,” Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga (actually a homonym from the Italian meaning to defecate) and hip-hopper, Nicky Minaj (no talent, therefore no comment deserved), et al. His is an offering of exquisite taste, talent and beauty that is a throwback to days when talent and taste trumped exposed or undulating body parts – what author, Tom Wolfe once told me they were like “glistening giblets.”
This is simply a gorgeous recording reminiscent of the classic 1960s Bobby Hackett-Jackie Gleason collaborations. Brilliantly covering nine Great American Songbook ballad standards and performing them over lush material drawn from Irv Kratka’s Classic Jazz treasures, Zottola’s lush trumpet and singing style is hypnotically sensuous. I’d swear that there is a Sinatra, a Bennett, or a Hartman hiding in that horn of his. His playing approach values melody over technique – although, rest assured he has plenty of that – and beauty over finger-wiggling. There are very obvious shades of the great Clifford Brown here and Zottola’s sound is Grand, as in “Canyon.”
Post-modernists and “millennials” that have only been exposed to “entertainers,” as opposed to artists, could learn a valuable musical lesson here. This is brilliance and beauty in music. And, it is offered by a gifted performer being at his best. Perhaps on Grammy® night the “twerkers” and hip-hoppers might get to the stage first. That is, of course, if the presenters don’t hand out the awards in reverse alpha order. “Getting Sentimental” is that deserving.

New Release – Glenn Zottola “Inspired By Sinatra”

This album was inspired by Frank Sinatra. I worked with Frank on TV and he used some of the greatest arrangers of all time. My concept has always been to sing through the horn.
CJ 12 ClasscArrngmnts

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Angel Eyes:

Classic Jazz Records – Glenn Zottola Plays Classic Arrangements inspired by Frank Sinatra by Jazz Writer Nick Mondello.

The arranger’s task is a multi-dimensional one. He/she must develop an aural landscape that – as one certainly would for a great work of art – frame the subject appropriately, while never being so ornate as to distract or misrepresent. The greatest of arrangers, especially those who worked with Frank Sinatra – Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, Quincy Jones, Billy May and others – also had the knack to present material which stimulates the soloist, urging him or her on and effectively simultaneously challenging artist and musicians. Ennui and complacency – whether actual or perceived – are the arrangers’ Satans and Hell on earth for musical artists.

With this superior and fascinating effort, multi-instrumentalist Glenn Zottola brazenly places himself in the “Sinatra spotlight,” performing a baseball team’s worth of Sinatra-affiliated tunes (“Teach Me Tonight,” “Angel Eyes,” “Street of Dreams”). Each selection was inspired by the actual arrangements and was impeccably transcribed – and performed same. It’s brilliant all around.

Zottola’s alto saxophone is a classic one – a throwback to when sonic beauty trumped technical wizardry and when melody reigned supreme. This is a lush, elegant send-up of the highest order. Zottola is a melody marvel, possessing that unique, indescribable element that only occurs when what is written on staff paper flows through the performer’s heart and soul and becomes a “feeling,” a “touch,” a “memory,” or “picture” in the listener’s mind. It’s magic, and Zottola has the wand with which to make it here. Voila!

Glenn Zottola and NYC Jazz

In the 80s for several years before I left for Hollywood to do television, I was part of a jazz record label that had some of the finest jazz musicians in NY on it’s roster. The label was called Famous Door Records started by producer Harry Lim of Keynote and Mercury fame and run similar to the old Blue Note label and we would all take part in each other’s albums. I did about 30 jazz albums during that period, a very special time in my Jazz life and cross section of the albums are included on my anthology “A Jazz Life”.

Glenn Zottola – Carnegie Hall and “Ziggy Elman”

I was with Benny Goodman’s septet for 2 years. In 1988 I played Carnegie Hallfor the 50th anniversary of the historic 1938 Benny Goodman concert. I played lead trumpet all night sitting in Harry James chair but also played Harry James and Ziggy Elman solos.I played my own solo on this famous Ziggy Elman piece as I did with everything that night and even though I am Italian but I played enough jewish weddings to pull it off 🙂

Glenn Zottola Carnegie Hall “Shine”

I put this on my anthology as it was one of the high points in my career. I was with the Benny Goodman septet for 2 years. This is a performance at Carnegie Hall in 1988 on the 50th anniversary of the historic 1938 Benny Goodman concert. I was sitting in Harry James chair playing lead trumpet and jazz. This was recorded from the audience that night.

available on iTunes , CD Baby , Amazon and

Glenn Zottola “Dewey Square”

One of the joys I have had is playing every style of jazz from Benny Goodman to Chick Corea. When I first got to LA great bass player Jim Dejulio did a album using all his favorite players. I did 2 songs , Eddie Daniels did 2 and Bill Watrous did 2. I included this track on my anthology from that album and this track has great drummer Roy McCurdy from Cannonball Adderly’s quintet. Steve Allen did the liner notes for this album and he had never heard me and that is how I got to do his album for Concord records also on my anthology.

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Maxine Sullivan and Glenn Zottola “Come Back To Me”

I guess we could call this Maxine Sullivan week with all these posts celebrating Maxines amazing life in music. My life as been pretty wild also the producer asked me to bring my alto to the session beside the trumpet for one tune. Next thing you know I am in the “ring” dueling alto’s with the greatest studio reed player of all time in NYC Phil Bodner ! The great Bobby Rosengarden on bongos here also.

Maxine Sullivan and Glenn Zottola “Taint No Use”

I worked with Frank Sinatra , Tony Bennett , Mel Torme , Ella Fitzgerald , Peggy Lee and Joe Williams but Maxine is one of my favorite singers of all time. When I mentioned her name to Peggy Lee during the album I did for her she said “Maxine was a huge influence” and sure enough that easy swingin style is priceless and what a “lady”. This track is from her Burton Lane album that I did.

New Release – Glenn Zottola “The Very Thought Of You”

How fortunate I am to have a record label “Classic Jazz” that has given me Carte Blanche to the record the music I love. I have 5 new releases in 2015 coming out 2 of which have just been released the Alto/Sinatra “Classic Arrangements” album and this great american songbook album “Getting Sentimental” on trumpet. My return to trumpet was my “Clifford Brown Remembered” album followed by this one and 2 more coming out shortly. Life is good !

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Maxine Sullivan and Glenn Zottola “Killing Time”

This is a song from Maxine’s Jule Styne album I did. The lyrics were written by great lyricist Carol Leigh who wrote lyrics to “Witchcraft” , “The Best Is Yet To Come” and “Young At Heart” and she wrote these lyrics at the end of her life which was quite tragic and alone as you can hear in these lyrics. Maxine delivers this “poignant” song setting a mood that was quite easy for me to contribute to. This is also on my anthology.

Available on iTunes, CD Baby , Amazon and

Glenn Zottola and Maxine Sullivan “The Lady’s In Love With You”

I worked with Frank Sinatra , Tony Bennett , Mel Torme , Ella Fitzgerald , Peggy Lee and Joe Williams but Maxine is one of my favorite singers of all time. When I mentioned her name to Peggy Lee during the album I did for her she said “Maxine was a huge influence” and sure enough that easy swingin style is priceless and what a “lady”. I included this track from her album we did together on my anthology.

Available in iTunes, CD Baby , Amazon and

Samba Rioja

Butch Miles is one of the truly great drummers of all time in jazz and a really great person. He is on a half dozen of my early albums and I am on the same of his. We also shared a quartet together and worked with Bob Wilber for several years in the Bechet Legacy and did many jazz festivals together. This is a track from one of Butch’s early album’s tribute to Gene Krupa which I believe has been re-issued on CD that I included on my anthology “A Jazz Life” which has tracks from over 50 albums I have done. “World Jazz” who bought the whole Famous Door catalogue which Butch and I recorded for early on graciously gave my current record label permission to use this track from the Famous Door catalogue on my anthology.

Zoot Sims and Glenn Zottola Play the Blues

This is my first gig with Zoot Sims as a young lad. The band was Teddy Wilson , Milt Hinton and Gus Johnson. Teddy was late stuck in traffic so Zoot and I decided to start with a blues.When Zoot found out I was an “ear player” he said “me too” and we locked in immediately.. Priceless experience playing with Zoot and as Milt Hinton called him “The Salt Of The Earth” so true. I put this exchange on my anthology as it was an important moment in my career.

Zoot Sims and Glenn Zottola

Years ago as a young lad coming up I had the chance to play my first gig with the great Zoot Sims almost 30 years my elder at the time along with the rest of the band being 50 years  and I had to work hard to keep up !   Zoot came up with Stan Getz and they were both part of the famous Woody Herman “Four Brothers” sax section and the West Coast sound in Jazz that came out of Lester Young.   Zoot unfortunately didn’t achieve the recognition of Stan at least with the general public  but he was loved in the music world as a “musician’s, musician”.  Milt Hinton a dear friend was on this gig and he told me Zoot was “the salt of the earth”.  This was the first time we ever met and Teddy Wilson was on piano and the great Gus Johnson on drums but Teddy was late coming down from Boston due to weather, so Zoot and I started a blues without the piano.  We had instant rapport when we found out we were both “ear players”.   I loved to get in the head of the legends I admired and had a chance to play with – like Zoot and Benny Goodman and share their musical approach which is how I learned and this gig was worth 4 years of music school even if you could get this in school which you can’t.  I am playing alto here and I remembered those incredible Al Cohn (another one) and Zoot records they did and what a honor it was to do some “trading” with Zoot.   My alto almost started to take on a tenor quality as I got into Zoots head and his approach to music. There is something I would like to say to the aspiring student or anyone on this point. If you ever have the opportunity to be around greatness get into their head and “permeate” while being yourself and see what it feels like for a minute. If you remember Star Trek and the “Vulcan Mind Meld” you would be surprised what you can learn very quickly.  My whole musical life has been like that !   Zoot passed not too long after this gig but you would never know it by his playing and I certainly miss him !   A bit later when someone was doing an article on me he said this about my playing which I cherish.

“Glenn has ‘big ears’ — he is a natural jazz musician.”

“I find him equally talented on both trumpet and alto.”

—Zoot Sims

Blues :

Here is another track or “barn burner” as we say . These guys lit a fire under me . Check out the interaction with Milt and Gus a real act in itself :

Undecided :

Glenn Zottola 57th Grammy Entry “Remembering Clifford Brown”

Here is the story on my Clifford Brown tribute album. It was 1961 and I was 13 years old doing my first big jazz gig at the Atlantic City Jazz Festival on the bill with the legendary Dinah”The Queen” Washington , Oscar Peterson, Gerry Mulligan and Art Blakey. It’s like yesterday standing in the wings at 13 years old waiting to go on for my set memorized watching Dinah sing. Dinah recorded “I remember Clifford” a song written for Clifford shortly after his tragic death in that car accident almost 60 years ago at 25 years old which shocked the jazz world. I used her 1957 track and had my arranger add on a chorus for me for the last song on my album to pay homage to Clifford who changed my musical life very emotional for me. Here is the track check out the lyrics :