Category Archives: Albums

Glenn Zottola’s Releases Last 4 years

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New Release – Glenn Zottola “Charlie Parker With Strings Re-Visited”

Just Friends :

CJ 32 CharlieParkerStrings.GZ cover

Glenn Zottola: Charlie Parker With Strings Revisited (2015)

By EDWARD BLANCO, Published: October 13, 2015 | 361 views View related photos

Glenn Zottola: Charlie Parker with Strings Revisited
Saxophonist and trumpeter Glenn Zottola came out of retirement from a long distinguished career, for the specific purpose of paying tribute to jazz artists who influenced his life and his music. The tribute series of albums which, include homages to Miles Davis, Clifford Brown and Stan Getz among them, concludes with a tip of the hat to the legendary Charlie Parker with a reprise of his classic Charlie Parker with Strings sessions of 1949 and 1950 capturing the romantic and melodic side of this giant. Zottola’s Charlie Parker with Strings Revisited employs new transcriptions of the original arrangements from both Mercury recordings covering nine pieces (five from the first album and four from the second), in re-visiting and re-imagining Parker’s swinging rhythms section with the help of lush string arrangements that made these recordings a personal favorite of the jazz icon.

One major difference of note here is, that Zottola chose not to simply duplicate Parker’s original solos but rather, to infuse the music with his own solo statements with, as he states, “Charlie Parker’s “spirit” in mind…” the result of course, is another captivating documentation of the “Yardbird’s” music with a decidedly Zottolian twist. Opening up with the 1931 John Klenner favorite and all-time standard “Just Friends,” introduced by the sounds of the harp and strings, provides the saxophonist his first alto solo setting the stage for what is in store. Recording the standards for Parker was a bid for greater exposure and adding the strings just made it a first among jazz artists and as such, Vernon Duke’s “April In Paris” was forever changed and here, Zottola’s treatment of the classic brings the music to life.

The Gershwin’s defining “Summertime” is recalled here quite well, though brief but beautiful, Zottola’s magical solos make it memorable. Two oft-recorded standards, “East of the Sun,” and “I Don’t Know What Time It Was,” are remembered here with much of the saxophonist’s personal style imprinted on the arrangement clearly wielding a lyrical alto. The somber and humble David Raskin/Johnny Mercer classic “Laura,” still conveys the emotional message the authors intended and this version does not change that but rather enhances the high-pitched alto in a delicate way.

The standard “I’m In the Mood for love” features Zottola in a more pronounced manner while the familiar “Everything Happens to Me,” takes on a unique charm complimented well by the strings. The saxophonist does some off his best soloing on the Schwartz/Dietz finale tune “Dancing in the Dark” leaving little doubt that this Parker tribute has an unquestioned Zottola imprint. Traditional jazz at its best, Charlie Parker with Strings Revisited takes one on a musical journey of past glory remembering one of the legends of the genre fulfilling his long-held desire to record with a string section. Alto saxophonist Glenn Zottola pays homage to a legend and one of his most memorable works with a striking musical message that may be just as memorable.
Track Listing: Just Friends; April In Paris; Summertime; East of the Sun; I Didn’t Know What Time It Was; Laura; I’m In The Mood For Love; Everything Happens to Me; Dancing In The Dark.

Personnel: Glenn Zottola: alto saxophone; Mark Stalling: piano, arranger; String Section and other band members not listed.

Record Label: Classic Jazz Records

 

Classic Jazz Records Glenn Zottola Charlie Parker with Strings Revisited by Jazz Writer Nick Mondello.

Musical genius has little regard for boundaries, whether those limits are stylistic, tempo, ensemble format, or, in this example, historical precedent. Expanding on that hypothesis, when an artist such as Glenn Zottola steps into the impossible-to-wear musical Florsheims of Charlie Parker, as he does so effortlessly here, he risks everything in a zero-sum game of musical Russian roulette. The emulation is a Herculean task, a pas de deux with the Devil fraught with musical and possible critical peril.
Here, Zottola, a multi-instrumentalist and musical savant if there ever was one, places himself in a musical Lion’s Den and performs his personal stylistic renderings of Parker’s classic string sessions of 1949 and 1950. The result is a portrait of both Parker’s enormous abilities and impact on jazz to this day and also Zottola’s incredible ability to perform brilliantly at such a level of precision and artistry.
The recording features Zottola playing nine cuts from Bird’s epic Mercury Records sessions along with impeccable orchestral transcriptions of the original Jimmy Carroll and Joe Lipman arrangements. If that weren’t enough of a feat, Zottola plays here entirely by ear and sans sheet music. Shrewdly, Zottola does not “cop” Parker’s original improvisations. He doesn’t have to. His interpretations are musically rich, inventive and, while they shade Parker’s style and technique, they are obviously not an attempt to play Bird’s licks. One gets the immediate impression that Zottola could do that if he foolishly so desired. He’s that good getting around the horn.
There’s a very famous photograph, a close-up of Bird’s fingers gingerly grasping his alto in an almost amorous manner as his musical magic poured out. I’d bet the house that Glenn Zottola probably holds his axe in a similar way since the result here is the same.

From the Liner Notes – About this album :
Charlie Parker has been referred to as the Mozart of Jazz. He had a tremendous love for Classical Music and In 1949 jazz history was made when Charlie Parker went into the studio and recorded an album with strings the first time any jazz player had recorded with strings. There were 2 sessions released on 10 inch LPs one in 1949 with 6 songs and another session in 1950 with 8 songs. These 9 songs are culled from both sessions. Much like my earlier Clifford Brown album this album is truly from my heart and what a joy to be able to re-visit this historic recording. These are all my own solos with Charlie Parkers “spirit” in mind using transcriptions of the original arrangements from those sessions. I simply just wanted to see what it would of felt like had I walked in the studio that eventful day. Of course having Charlie Parker open the door and point the way is priceless. Another thing I loved about this album was how it displayed the romantic side of Charlie Parker and his aesthetic and melodic beauty and I wanted to attempt to get that across in my playing. I want to thank Irv Kratka the president of Classic Jazz records for giving me the opportunity to do this project and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed doing it.
Glenn Zottola
Available on iTunes, CD Baby , Target , Barnes and Noble and innercityjazz.com

 

JAZZ WEEKLY

Glenn Zottola: Charlie Parker with Strings Revisited
by George W. Harris • December 3, 2015 •

Glenn Zottola has had an impressive career serving as a sideman on trumpet, tenor and alto sax for artists ranging from Benny Goodman to Chick Corea. Here, he reaches into the heart of bebop founder Charlie Parker and focuses on the rarely appreciated side of the artist, that of a romantic. Zottola takes the original transcriptions of the historic 1949-50 recordings and breaths a fresh life into them. His sound is warmer and clearer than Bird’s, so that’s a major plus, while his solos and melodic statements are on a par with the originator.

The sweetness and freshness that mix between strings and horn are in abundance here. The lithe freedom of “April in Paris,” or pensive dreaminess of “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” is captured perfectly by Zottola, while “Summertime” is a dramatic aria and “Laura” is fit for Dana Andrews. Zottola’s sound embraces you like a rippling wave foaming at the shore. If you don’t have the original, try this one instead for an intro to a sound that changed American recordings.

Classic Jazz Records

http://www.innercityjazz.com

New Release 58th Grammy Entry – Glenn Zottola “Classic Arrangements’

Published on Jul 29, 2015
CJ 12 Classic Jazz Records Uploaded July 29th :
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.

Available on iTunes , CD Baby , Target , Amazon , Barnes and Noble and Innercityjazz.com.

Angel Eyes :

CJ 12 ClasscArrngmnts

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!

New Release – Glenn Zottola “Triple Play”

New Release on trumpet , tenor and alto with all star band Classic Jazz Records CJ 41 on Jul 13, 2015

Available on iTunes , Cd baby , Amazon , Target , Barnes and Noble and innercityjazz.com.

New Release – Glenn Zottola CJ 41 “Triple Play” by Nick Mondello

When evaluating the finest of baseball talent, scouts refer to the the consummate ballplayers as “Five-Tool Players.” There’s no need for me to explain that, as you get the idea. However, when one evaluates the musical marvel that is Glenn Zottola, the assessment – whether quantitatively or qualitatively – is simply off the charts. Suffice to say that the guy is a true savant. First of all he’s a superior trumpeter, an outstanding saxophonist (alto and tenor, by the way), a world-class musical director and lastly a musician of impeccable taste across all of these. Oh, and he does it by ear, too! Rarely, with of course Benny Carter the other, has there been a trumpet-sax standout of Zottola’s caliber. And, it’s to our extreme benefit that we hear all of this talent effusively on “Triple Play.”
Zottola is at his most lyrical, expressive best here on 15 GAS and other selections “Moonlight in Vermont,” Darn that Dream,” et al). It really doesn’t matter which of the three horns is in his hands, Zottola’s joyous approach to melody, his gorgeous sound on all the axes, his savvy turns of improv and his impeccable taste all flow brilliantly throughout.
Some of the tracks presented here have been culled from other Zottola Classic Jazz releases. However, when they are juxtaposed with other material, they only serve to further amaze one at Zottola’s diverse talents. Whether it’s a small group or full strings component behind him, it’s all glorious music.
Remember when the melody and the music were the dominant attributes of a stellar recording? You know, the Gleason-Hackett material, for example? Well, don’t let anyone foolishly tell you that they don’t make ’em as they used to. Point them in this star’s direction. Trust me; they’ll thank you.

New Release – Glenn Zottola “Come Fly With Me”

Classic Jazz Records CJ 40 Published on Jul 11, 2015
It has been quite a journey these last 4 years since coming out of retirement after my TV show closed at Universal Studios. I have done 14 album’s giving me a career total of 65. What a joy playing in all these different settings small jazz group , strings , big band , Latin on trumpet , alto and tenor. This album CJ 40 follows CJ 39 Miles Davis Remembered and is very different. My thanks to Irv Kratka at Classic Jazz Records for giving me the opportunity to record in all these settings and the beautiful artwork.
Available on iTunes, CD Baby , Amazon , Target , Barnes and Noble and innercityjazz.com. More info on glennzottola.com

CJ 40 Glenn Zottola “Come Fly With Me” by Nick Mondello
As portrayed in Chuck Granata’s fascinating “fly-in-the-studio” book, “Sessions with Sinatra – Frank Sinatra and the Art of Recording” (A Cappella Books/Chicago Review Press, 2004) the Master would always enter the studio ready to record with a fervent desire to nail first takes. The orchestra, whether under the baton of Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, “Q,” et al, would have been rehearsed and collectively primed for the business at hand.
With “Come Fly with Me,” trumpeter Glenn Zottola takes a rather unique turnaround of the Sinatra session routine. He has brilliantly prepped and recorded over magnificent session material which was culled from the enormous vault of Irv Kratka’s Classic Jazz Records. The result is an exquisite display of musicianship, preparation and trumpeting chops of which OBE, who certainly knew his trumpet men (i.e., Conrad Gozzo, Charlie Turner, Harry James, and Count Basie’s Guys) would be proud.
The 10 well-known GASser selections (“Come Fly with Me,” “How High the Moon,” “Come Back to Me”) – most of them recorded at one time by Sinatra (but not Frank’s arrangements, in case you might ask) – feature Zottola’s lush horn blowing and swinging over terrific charts performed by top-tier New York studio types. Their skill, combined with Zottola’s marvelous lyrical playing (“People,” “Come Back to Me”) is enthralling and vividly reminiscent of a time when art emanated from soundstages. This effort certainly falls into that designation. One would not be off-base if a memory is jogged of those wonderful Jackie Gleason sides that featured Bobby Hackett spinning melodies from his Angelic-speaking cornet. Zottola is that good.
To prepare one’s self to record in any environment is a daunting task. However, a pre-recorded environment of this caliber? That takes chutzpah. Yet, Zottola, obviously savant-like – blends so seamlessly into the material that if I weren’t aware of the methodology, I would not have discerned it. You won’t, either.
Enjoy “Come Fly with Me.” This jet is under Glenn Zottola’s able command and Frank is seated in First Class. That’s him with headphones on. Gee, why is he smiling?

New Release – Glenn Zottola “Remembering Miles Davis”

chick quote

A quote from my friend Chick Corea who was a great sounding board while recording heartwarming.

Uploaded on Jul 10, 2015
I met Miles Davis when I was 13 years old at Birdland in NYC in 1961. 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 ala Gil Evans concentrating on Miles work in the 50s that changed jazz and my life.

Available on iTunes, Target, Amazon, CD Baby , Barnes and Noble and innercityjazz.com

Glenn Zottola “Miles Davis Remembered” by Nick Mondello

A young musician’s mind can be so very impressionable, so capable and available to lock onto a recording, a phrase or texture and hold it. The effect is almost nuclear – one note, perfectly placed by the performer and into a young listener’s ear, can set into play a chain of music-driven events that can spawn professional careers, if not a lifelong interest in the art. Such was- and is – the case with trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist, Glenn Zottola. A phenomenon in his own right.
With Miles RememberedZottola, as he did with his prior tribute recordings of Clifford Brown, Stan Getz and Charlie Parker (all superb, by the way), Zottola offers a salute to another of his early childhood influences – {{Miles Davis}}. And, this effort is terrific.
Incorporating and recording in two accompaniment formats – a sextet and a full orchestra (both of which were previously recorded and plucked like gems mined from the exhaustive Classic Jazz Records vault ) Zottola’s complete focus here shades and genuflects to Davis and his classic Prestige and early {{Gil Evans}}/Columbia period. It’s the best of all jazz worlds – great GAS material (“This Heart of Mine,” “I Cover the Waterfront,” “My Funny Valentine), highly-expressive improv, and trumpeting wizardry.
Throughout the recording, Zottola demonstrates a deep, musically sincere affection for Davis and this celebrated period. He wisely avoids any “Miles Davis classics,” direct playing imitation, or “Miles licks.” Zottola doesn’t have to; he’s an Ace player with a great sound and jazz touch (“Just You, Just Me,” “Beta Minus”). But, as any jazz trumpeter worth his valve oil would, the Davis influences on Zottola percolate effortlessly from the recesses of his mind and out the end of both his Harmon-muted or open horn.
A word about the accompaniment; as one would expect of Davis, Zottola or any performing great, the accompaniment here is A-1, swings and frames the front man fine. Zottola’s overdubbing onto the support of {{Jimmy Raney}}, {{Stan Getz}}, {{Ed Shaugnessey}} and also the All-Star orchestra is dead-on. This is not karaoke or recorda-me, by any means.
While Miles Davis was a constantly evolving jazz entity over many decades, with Miles Remembered Glenn Zottola ‘scopes a robust Davis period and in doing so does one of his idols – and himself – most proud.

Glenn Zottola- “Miles Davis Remembered” by Scott Yanow
(Classic Jazz)

Glenn Zottola had his greatest prominence in the jazz world in the 1970s and 80s when he appeared on many high-quality mainstream and swing sessions. An exciting trumpeter, he doubled on alto-sax during that era, working with Benny Goodman, Bob Wilber’s Bechet Legacy, Peanuts Hucko and his own combos,. His playing can be heard on recordings for such labels as Famous Door, Dreamstreet, Concord and Chiaroscuro. However Zottola’s career took a surprising turn when he became Suzanne Somers’ musical director, working on her television show away from the jazz scene. After that period, he largely retired from playing, just picking up his horns now and then for the fun of it.
During the past few years, Zottola’s life has taken another turn. He has returned to jazz, at least in the recording studios. In addition to a few previously unreleased sets of music being been released from his earlier years, he has also recorded 14 albums for the Classic Jazz label including tributes to Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Ben Webster and Clifford Brown. What is particularly unusual is that Zottola is heard playing to pre-recorded tracks, some of which of which were Music Minus One productions from the 1950s and ‘60s. While the backgrounds are set, Zottola’s playing is full of life and constant invention. While some of these sessions feature him on alto or tenor, his comeback on trumpet was quite notable on the Clifford Brown set.
Miles Davis Remembered has Zottola on trumpet interacting with an orchestra on some Gil Evans-inspired arrangements and playing with a classic combo that includes Stan Getz and guitarist Jimmy Raney. Zottola has always been proud of the fact that he never copies his heroes and predecessors. While he purposely hints at vintage Miles Davis’ relaxed style and cool sound throughout these ten performances, most of the songs (other than ‘Spring Is Here” and “My Funny Valentine”) are actually not from Davis’ repertoire. Many, including “This Heart Of Mine,” “Just You, Just Me” and “Sunday,” were never recorded by Davis. Zottola even includes two originals, “Jupiter” and “Beta Minus,” as orchestral pieces. His trumpet solos are both melodic and fresh.
Glenn Zottola’s comeback is to be cheered.
Scott Yanow

Glenn Zottola – New Release

CJ 14 GettingSentimental

Available on iTunes , CD Baby , Amazon and innercityjazz.com

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

Available on iTunes, CD Baby , Amazon and Innercityjazz.com

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!

New Release – “Inspired By Ben Webster”

Ben Webster

Availble on iTunes , CD Baby , Amazon and Innercityjazz.com

Blue Moon :

Classic Jazz Records – Glenn Zottola “Classic Standards with Strings” Inspired by Ben Webster – By Nick Mondello

Jazz Legends Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Ben Webster are rightfully considered the Swing Era’s Pantheon of the tenor saxophone. It is from that glorious rock-solid foundation of the jazz tree that yet-to-come tenor greats such as Stan Getz, John Coltrane and others blossomed. The influence of the tenor triumvirate on those who followed them was enormous – Hawkins improvisational genius exemplified in the still-examined “Body and Soul,” Young’s suave and silky-smooth cool melodic and improvisational approach and Webster’s sensually breathy balladic and hard-swinging up-tempo interpretations.
With “Classic Standards with Strings – Inspired by Ben Webster,” multi-instrumentalist Glenn Zottola, yet again musically validates his worldwide reputation as both an insightful and highly expressive musical artist. Here he grabs his tenor and brilliantly delivers a dozen of the Great American Songbook’s most melodic and romantic jewels. The result is an aural masterpiece of tone, melodic passion, and lyric sensitivity.
Webster was a large man who was nicknamed “Brute.” However, his breathy entrances and tonal sensitivities belied the moniker. Zottola, who shrewdly doesn’t mime Webster’s sound or articulation here and who certainly isn’t brutish in any way – musically or otherwise – renders all of the smoothness and sensitivity that both the esteemed material and his mentor deserve. Working exclusively with the greatest of balladic material (“Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,” “Laura,” “Embraceable You”) and backed by a lush string orchestra and superior arrangements, the recording is reminiscent of the great Jackie Gleason sides – you know, when music was about elegance, romance and class.
Zottola, first and foremost a melody man, takes this classic material and literally breathes interpretive life into it. His reserved dynamic feel and vocal-tinged vibrato are a case study in lyricism and stellar ballad playing (“Where or When?” “Yesterdays,” and “Stardust”). When he covers the melody, Zottola gives the marvelous illusion of singing via his horn. And, his well-thought out improvisations all gravitate from a melodic core. The entire effort is a rapturous dream.
Ben Webster is still revered worldwide and especially in Denmark where there is a street named after him (as well as a foundation that awards scholarships to young jazzers). However, I’m dead-certain that when the Danes get a hold of this effort from Glenn Zottola, they might consider getting a second street sign ready for another superb tenor man.

New Release “Clifford Brown Remembered”

CJ 6 Clifford Brown Remembered

This was truly a labor of love very close to my heart.  Clifford was my first major influence on trumpet after Louis Armstrong and changed my musical life.

Available on iTunes ,CD Baby, Amazon, Target , Best Buy  and Innercityjazz.com. enjoy !

Memories Of You :

 

First Review :  “All About Jazz”  :

Glenn Zottola: Clifford Brown Remembered (2014)

By NICHOLAS F. MONDELLO, Published: May 6, 2014 | 1,040 views
Glenn Zottola: Clifford Brown Remembered The trumpet is a cruel—yet loving—mistress. It can announce the slightest executional blemish, instantly betraying its player’s most sincere efforts, while also allowing its lover to express every possible nuance and emotion. The greatest Masters of the instrument in jazz—Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Chet Baker and others—all could brilliantly deliver expressive emotion. Of those in the trumpet’s pantheon, Clifford Brown, by virtue of his genius and enhanced by his mythology, stands out. Any attempt by a trumpeter to emulate Clifford would have all the risk of a tightrope walk across Niagara Falls.

With Clifford Brown Remembered, trumpeter Glenn Zottola takes up the Herculean task of playing tribute to Brownie in the most extraordinary manner. He’s taken the classic Clifford Brown with Strings recording (EmArcy, 1955) and, deploying his own formidable talents, recreated the recording in a musical salute. And, he’s done it marvelously.

The dozen selections (with an added cover of Dinah Washington’s recording of Benny Golson’s, threnody, “I Remember Clifford”)—were originally drawn primarily from the GAS (“Yesterdays,” “Embraceable You,””Stardust”) and are performed here in the same sequence as the 1955 recording. Zottola, well-respected as a mainstream and swing performer, interprets the Brown ballad performances with reverence and interpretive artistry. His lush sound is warm and inviting, and nearly as resonant as his idol’s. He possesses a fine vocalist’s sense of phrasing and lyric savvy. While there may be understandable comparisons to the original, Zottola’s ease of playing, technical and articulation skills, and superlative dynamic control make this recording shine.

Incredibly, in this recording, Zottola re-creates the legendary session performing it completely from memory, interpreting Clifford’s playing by ear. The original string charts (by Neal Hefti) were transcribed by Mark Stallings and are superbly performed. Given that the original recording was done in 1955, the music’s beauty withstands time’s test and glows yet again.

Rarely does a performer rise to a level of excellence as that of the artist that he or she salutes. Zottola certainly comes close. Be that so, while Clifford Brown remains to this day, nearly 60 years after his tragic death, an influential voice in jazz trumpet, the adulation that is performed here is indeed apropos. Glenn Zottola portrays himself not only an adoring acolyte, but a superlative and sensitive trumpet artist in his own right. And, just as Brownie did, Zottola certainly speaks.

Track Listing: Yesterdays, Laura, What’s New?, Blue Moon, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man of Mine,Embraceable You, Willow Weep for Me, Memories of You, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Portrait of Jenny, Where or When, Stardust, I Remember Clifford.

Personnel: Glenn Zottola: trumpet.

Record Label: Classic Jazz Records

 

 

 

New Release – Glenn Zottola “A Jazz Life”

HI !  Just received copies of my anthology from the record label.  This a 2 CD set of all my recorded work over the last 53 years over 50 recordings including tracks with Chick Corea , Suzanne Somers , Zoot Sims , Milt Hinton , Steve Allen and many more plus Carnegie Hall and TV.  The record label has offered a discount for any fans and friends contact  Steve Rose in sales at Classic Jazz  914-592-1188 or  iTunes.  Enjoy !  Glenn

CJ 3 A Jazz LifeCJ 3 A Jazz Life.Glenn Zottola.15034digipak

Avaliable on itunes, CD Baby Amazon and Innercityjazz.com

But Not For Me with Chick Corea :

 

New Release Tribute to Stan Getz and Bossa Nova

CJ 11 Bossa Nova Story

Available on iTunes, CD Baby , Amazon, Innercityjazz.com

Stan Getz was truly a one of a kind steeped in the swing era and when he crossed over to Bossa Nova that music became a national phenomenon .  I was at a party and mentioned to John Travolta I was considered doing this album and he broke out into song singing some Jobim music beautifully .  I was stunned and asked  him about this and he said “I am a child of the 60s and love Stan Getz and this music.  That certainly closed the deal for me.

Triste :

First Review in “ALL About Jazz”  :

Glenn Zottola: The Bossa Nova Story, Glenn Zottola, Salutes Stan Getz (2014)

By EDWARD BLANCO, Published: June 6, 2014 | 282 views
Glenn Zottola: The Bossa Nova Story, Glenn Zottola, Salutes Stan Getz Trumpeter and saxophonist Glenn Zottola has been a serious part of the music business for more than four decades, recording thirty albums as a sideman and leader as well as adding Broadway and TV show musician to his resume. In 2014, Zottola decided to embark on the tribute circle recording a series of homage albums for the Classic Jazz Records label such as (Clifford Brown Remembered (Classic Jazz Records, 2014), Reflections of Charlie Parker (Classic Jazz Records, 2014) and now, The Bossa Nova Story, Glenn Zottola, Salutes Stan Getz. The album is a combine tribute to Getz’s involvement in the bossa nova, the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Brazilian jazz in general. The result of course, is a warm and beautiful portrait of the bossa style from the perspective of the tenor saxophone and the everlasting influence Stan Getz left on the music.

The world first learned of the samba and bossa nova from the 1959 film Black Orpheus by French director Marcel Camus where the original sound track had a Luiz Bonfa composition “Manha de Carnival” represented on this album as simply “Black Orpheus.” The album starts off with the Orpheus song led by a gorgeous introduction from Argentinian guitarist Marcelo Berestovoy leading to Zottola’s masterful solos on the piece. There have been many interpretations of Jobim’s signature piece, “The Girl from Ipanema” but somehow, Zottola’s Getz’s impersonation, along with Tom Hartman’s string arrangements, elevates this one to elite status. On the fiftieth anniversary of this classic and the twentieth anniversary of Jobim’s passing, this seemed a perfect inclusion to The Bossa Nova Story.

The gorgeous homage rolls right along with delightful treatments of such classics as “Gentle Rain,” “Once I Loved” and Zottola’s superb interpretation of Jobim’s “One Note Samba” equally as enchanting as the famous Getz instrumental rendition. Other memorable Jobim classic such as “Dindi,” Meditation,” and “Triste,” are all presented with the saxophonist leading the way with tasteful accompaniment from a stellar group and a delightful string section. Also Included in this tribute album are non-bossa standards like Cole Porter’s “I Concentrate on You,” and the Robert Wright/George Forrest classic “Baubles, Bangles and Beads”—both transformed into bossa songs on the Grammy—nominated Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (Reprise, 1967) recording.

The program end as it began with delicious interpretation of another Bonfa standard “Samba de Orfeu” where the saxophonist’s high flying solos are splendidly supported by guitarist Berestovoy with a little help from percussionist Emiliano Almeida capping off a memorable taste of Brazil. As tribute albums go, Glenn Zottola’s The Bossa Nova Story tells a tale of a jazz icon whose saxophone changed the music and of a musical style that changed the world. The great Stan Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim are no doubt, smiling from heaven after hearing Zottola’s graceful treatment of their enduring music, well done!

Track Listing: Black Orpheus; The Girl From Ipanema; Gentle Rain; One Note Samba; Once I Loved; Dindi; Baubles, Bangles and Beads; Meditiation; Triste; I Concentrate On You; Samba de Orfeu.

Personnel: Glenn Zottola: tenor saxophone; Marcelo Berestovoy: guitar; Jamieson Trotter: piano; Tom Lerner: bass; Joe Dougherty: drums; Emiliano Almeida: percussion; Tom Hartman: string arrangements.

Glenn Zottola – Salutes Stan Getz by Nick Mondello
Etymologically, the Portuguese words bossa and bossa nova derive from a number of suggested derivations – “new trend,” “charmed” and, of course, the beach-like “fashionable wave.” The Portuguese word for genius is gênio. Of course, taking the sublime to the sublime in jazz, when the bossa nova is paired with saxophone, the result is Getz. With this lusciously performed effort, it could also be offered as Glenn, as in saxophonist, Glenn Zottola.
The great jazz artist, Stan Getz and vocalist Astrud Gilberto paired in the early 1960s to bring to the United States and its listeners a unique, elegantly smooth, samba-flavored groove that was topped with marvelous melody from another gênio, Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim. Zottola’s The Bossa Nova Story salutes Stan Getz (and, by extension, musical co-conspirators Gilberto and Jobim), but also, it provides a spectacular display of multi-instrumentalist Glenn Zottola’s awesome talent and boundless artistry. He simply nails this Five-Star performed and delivered effort. And, for that, he can also thank his globe-trotting friend and fellow Getz fan, John Travolta, who gave Zottola the idea for this album.
Unless one has been on a half-century trip to the far depths of space, the selections presented here are familiar (One Note Samba,” Meditation”). They are material drawn from what is now not only the bossa nova canon, but also, are an integral part of the jazz standards songbook (“The Girl from Ipanema,” “Gentle Rain,” “Triste”). Zottola channels – but wisely does not dare imitate – Stan Getz with a lush sound that screams “I’m inviting you. Come.” Parlay that with Zottola’s axe springing a rhythmic tension to the beat that is enchanting. While part of that sound and approach is due to Zottola’s custom-made Getz-copy saxophone mouthpiece, the real reason comes from the breath, fingers, heart and samba soul of one Glenn Zottola. He is as rhythmically smooth as a wet string bikini sashaying on Rio’s Ipanema Beach – and as sultry as they come (even on the more domestically composed “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” and “I Concentrate on You”).
Rest assured, The Bossa Nova Story is an elegant and equatorially warm album. It’s also very appropriate homage to both Stan Getz and the bossa nova genre itself. Copping an old Peter Allen tune, what’s “I Go to Rio” in Portuguese? Here, it’s Glenn Zottola.
Record Label: Classic Jazz Records

Chuck Corbisiero REVIEW: Like a summer breeze, this ‘Bossa Nova Story’ gives me oxygen. My lungs inhale the mist of warm salt earth. The melodies envelope my heart, my mind. Inhale. Exhale. Life’s great. Glenn Zottola’s here. The sounds of an angel sent from the heavens to make this life even better. Smooth, soft winds of the instrument caress the ear of my soul. God Bless him.

Vicky Felina : So very beautiful!
Glenn captures all the saudade and deep sentiment that Mestre Jobim intended to express.

Glenn Zottola – Reflections of Charlie Parker

CJ 7 Reflections Charlie Parker

Available on iTunes, CD Baby , Amazon and Innercityjazz.com

Moonlight In Vermont :

I would like to say something about this “tribute”.  Webster’s definition of tribute is “something given, done or said to show gratitude, respect, honor, or praise”. This album is not a re-creation of anything Charlie Parker did which would be pretentious and silly on my part.  Bob Wilber once told me Charlie Parker was the last great swing player and true enough if you listen to his early recordings with Jay McShann, you will hear he is straight out of Lester Young.  I did many festivals with Jay and spoke to him about
Charlie Parker who was in his teens when he played in Jay’s band. Actually there is a Charlie Parker solo where he quotes the entire intro to Louis Armstrong’s ground breaking “West End Blues” from the 1920s so his roots go back for sure and Charlie Parker was one of the great improvisors of the 20th century along with Louis Armstrong in my opinion. What I would like to pay tribute to is how he “culled together” everything before him making it work in whatever setting he was in, putting a glorious final stamp on what was the Golden Age of Jazz that started with Louis Armstrong in the 1920s and ended with Parker in 1950 which was the great Renaissance in Jazz that sadly America has still not acknowledged. He was most known for his small group playing and the inventor of “be-bop” with Dizzy Gillespie but oddly enough he himself was most proud of his playing with strings.  I think that is where he was going and he wanted to study with classical composers and had he not had the personal problems that sadly ended his life way before its time, I believe some of his best music was to follow.

Being an ear player myself and self taught on the saxophone I never transcribed or even copied anyones solo which is certainly not a bad thing to do, but I did listen and that is something I want to impart to the student and it’s not just listening but what you listen for. You may think it’s strange that I draw similarities of Charlie Parker to Louis Armstrong.  Tony Bennett once said Louis Armstrong set the standard for phrasing for all popular singers, a pretty heavy statement. Louie embellished the melody and where he put the “time” nobody had done prior. Great saxophonist Bud Freeman who I also played with said when Louie first came to Chicago in the 1920s he and Bix Beiderbecke and others went to see this “new guy in town”.  At first he said they couldn’t understand what he was doing with the time as they never heard anyone lay back behind the beat like that.  Eventually they fell in love with the way Louie placed the “time” and “swung”.  Louie himself said “I always play with 2 bands the one I am playing with and the one in my head” as obviously it all came from inside as he had nothing before him to draw off the way he approached jazz.  It would behoove the student regardless of what style you want to play to go back to the “founding fathers” and listen as it could only enhance your style and whatever jazz you want to create.  Much like any classical player who would certainly listen to Bach and Mozart along with Bartok and Stravinsky.  As glorious as it may seem jazz did not start with John Coltrane and he would be the first to tell you that.  So back to Charlie Parker.  He took everything before him including Louie’s time and swing along with what Lester Young did with it and took his own “embellishments” of the melody up to a higher harmonic and rhythmic level with what some call “Bird Flights” but he never lost his sense of swing and melodic approach.

Most important to me is “Bird’s” aesthetic and beauty in everything he played whether it was fast or slow and that comes from the soul which is so evident in his string album. Just listen to his ground breaking intro on “Just Friends” on his string album total aesthetic beauty.  Great Be-Bop pianist and teacher Barry Harris once said Charlie Parker’s lines which were very advanced worked with standard chord changes, a real testament to his genius.  Also Charlie Parker in many ways took Jazz from the dance hall to the concert hall. The two major influences for me in creating my own jazz style was Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker, the alpha and omega in jazz in my opinion. Miles Davis summarized jazz in two names Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker.  If you just listen and get the concept of how Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker approached music as improvisors in a “general sense” it will organically seep into your own style and that is all I did.  Basically with this tribute I just wanted to acknowledge Charlie Parker in my own way for pointing the way for all of us.

Enjoy!
Glenn Zottola

 

 

First Review : “All About Jazz”   :

Glenn Zottola: Reflections Of Charlie Parker

By GEANNINE REID, Published: May 10, 2014 | 2,423 views
Glenn Zottola: Glenn Zottola: Reflections of Charlie Parker After nearly four decades Glenn Zottola has become one of the most respected, versatile and in-demand trumpet players—and saxophonists—in the world. Born and raised in Port Chester, New York, Zottola started playing trumpet at age three. By virtue of his musical household, this seemed almost as natural as learning to speak. His big brother, Bob, was also a gifted trumpeter who went on to play with the bands of Charlie Barnet and Maynard Ferguson. His mother, Marie, played piano, and his sister was a gifted singer. However, Zottola credits his father Frank as his primary influence and teacher. “He was a great trumpet player in the Louis Armstrong and Conrad Gozzo style,” says Glenn. “As a child, he was taught by a music professor in the strict style of La Scala, Milan, and he was required to study theory, harmony and solfeggio before he was allowed to even touch the trumpet.” “Dad also has an impeccable hand at writing music notation, and music publishers used his manuscripts to make their printing plates.” When the score for Stravinsky’s Petrouchka was smuggled into the U.S., it was Frank who prepared the autograph, or printer’s manuscript. The multitalented Frank Zottola eventually became a maker of world class trumpet mouthpieces.

Zottola’s playing on both the trumpet and saxophones have a strong affinity for the swing-era sensibility with bebop’s complex harmonic concepts. “I came home from school and heard Bob [Glenn’s brother] playing a record by [bebop trumpeter] Clifford Brown and I knew my life would never be the same!” At 17, Zottola’s first ‘road gig’ was as a trumpeter with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, under the direction of clarinetist Buddy DeFranco. “That job really gave me my first taste of real life, of what it was like to be a working musician, traveling on the bus and playing one-nighters. And it was inspiring to hear Buddy play clarinet every night.” From the Miller band, he joined Lionel Hampton’s big band, and then spent the next few years backing a string of big name stars like Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Patti Page and Mel Torme.

In 1977, Zottola moved to New York and quickly became an in demand freelancer and pit-orchestra musician. Zottola also founded a production company that employed 70 musicians at its peak. “Financially, it was a very successful venture,” states Glenn. “I was booking more than 300 gigs per year, including six nights a week with my own big band at the Rainbow Room in New York.” But the success had its downside. “I was working 60 hours a week. I didn’t even have time to buy a reed for my saxophone.” Sensing career burnout approaching, Zottola sought counseling from Scientology, the religious philosophy to which he subscribes and attributes much of his success.

Zottola soon found himself leading his own groups (including his own big band), recording 30 albums both as a leader and with many jazz legends, and touring nationally and internationally with all-star groups. The list of musicians he has played or recorded with reads like a who’s who of jazz: Gerry Mulligan, Chick Corea, Milt Hinton, Bob Wilber, Count Basie,Ella Fitzgerald, Zoot Sims, Joe Williams, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett—and the list goes on.

The fact that Zottola is a world-class trumpet player and an equal talent on the saxophone is very unusual and adds to Zottola’s value and versatility as a performer. “When I was about 13,” explains Zottola, “I found an old alto lying around the house, and I began fooling with it.” With no formal training, it wasn’t long before Zottola started feeling almost as at-home on the saxophone as on the trumpet. Aside from the obvious disparities, such as fingering and embouchure, Zottola notes that the main difference between the two lies in the mood each instrument can capture. “There are certain emotions I can express better on the sax than on the trumpet. The trumpet has a beautiful, majestic sound, but on something like a ballad, I might want that romantic, gentle, sensual feeling that I can get more easily on the saxophone. It requires a different frame of mind.” A typical Zottola CD presents the listener with a mixture of jazz styles. One track might find Zottola on muted trumpet emulating the moody hues of Miles Davis, while the next track he plays the alto saxophone à la Charlie Parker. “I’m proud of my versatility,” says Zottola. “It’s very much a part of who I am musically.” Versatility, however, is considered a marketing challenge by many record producers and concert promoters. “They tell me, ‘Man, if you played just trumpet or just saxophone, one or the other, it would be a lot easier to market you.’ But what am I supposed to do—give up something I love in order to sell more records? That’s just not going to happen.”

Today, Zottola is as hard to classify as ever. He continues to lead his own band, a “little big band” that comprises six horns and a rhythm section. The band performs its blend of styles regularly at international festivals and at gigs stateside, with the leader playing trumpet and saxophone. Zottola moved to Los Angeles to become the band leader on the Suzanne Somers TV show out of universal studios.

Zottola hasn’t recorded as a leader in a number of years, but true to his individuality and self-determination, Zottola has returned to recording with a new approach for his CD project, adding a different twist. “I feel I’m ready to enter another stage of my career. I tried to do something a little more ambitious, with an orchestra, including strings and full horn section.” Zottola’s Reflections of Charlie Parker is the result of that goal and this tribute does a fine job of capturing the essence of Charlie Parker’s feeling in the music (mainly in the style of the 1949 recording, Charlie Parker with Strings, on the Clef label). Zottola creates an intimate setting with arrangements that will give the listener another angle of exploration of these well love selections.

Five of the ten standards on Reflections of Charlie Parker are orchestrated with a full string and horn section in lush, lyrical, graceful arrangements and are the perfect backdrop to Zottola’s creative bop disciplined blowing. Bird recorded his project with a full string section and an oboe, Zottola has a full horn section and a full string section, yielding a fresh full sound. A live recording at the Apollo Theater, New York City in 1951 of Bird covering “What Is This Thing Called Love?” with a string and horn backing and Bird also recorded “I’m In The Mood For Love” in the studio with strings. Both of these tracks are on Reflections of Charlie Parker and listening to Bird’s approach to playing the songs and then Zottola’s version, one can really hear that Zottola has captured the inner essence of the feeling that Parker was able to create, which is not an easy accomplishment! The intimate nature of the setting allows Zottola to express a romantic sensibility and fresh perspective, while still maintaining a sophisticated bebop approach to the American Popular Songbook.

On “Moonlight in Vermont,” Zottola’s warm alto captures the spirit of Bird’s unique rhythmic and harmonic lines without cliché imitation or ‘licks.’ Zottola’s playing is full of fresh angles to the bebop language; lagging slightly behind the beat for some phrases, high accented notes are derived from the melody with complex melodic lines underneath, a rhythmic feeling that falls into double time and a high use of chromatic embellishments all without ever losing the sense of swing and melodic continuity. The orchestration is full and supportive of Zottola’s melodic explorations through the harmonies while the backing lines have multiple layers and counterpoints; they never distract the listener from Zottola. Zottola explains, “This album is not a re-creation of anything Charlie Parker did which would be pretentious and silly on my part. Bob Wilber once told me Charlie Parker was the last great swing player and true enough if you listen to his early recordings with Jay McShann, you will hear he is straight out of the Lester Young school. I did many festivals with Jay and spoke to him about Charlie Parker who was in his teens when he played in Jay’s band. Actually there is a Charlie Parker solo where he quotes the entire intro to Louis Armstrong’s ground breaking “West End Blues” from the 1920s, so his roots go back for sure and Charlie Parker was one of the great improvisers of the 20th century along with Louis Armstrong in my opinion. What I would like to pay tribute to is how he “culled together” everything before him, making it work in whatever setting he was in, putting a glorious final stamp on what was the Golden Age of Jazz that started with Louis Armstrong in the 1920s and ended with Parker in 1950 which was the great Renaissance in Jazz that sadly America has still not acknowledged. Most important to me is “Bird’s” aesthetic and beauty in everything he played whether it was fast or slow and that comes from the soul which is so evident in his string album. Just listen to his ground breaking intro on “Just Friends” on his string album, total aesthetic beauty.”

Reflections of Charlie Parker is not just slow ballads, Zottola has wisely placed a few mid-tempo swingers in to add tempo variety; “Oh, Lady Be Good!,” “I May Be Wrong,” “What is This Thing Called Love” and “Three Little Words” and he has also chosen to scale down the ensemble to just a quintet. “Oh, Lady Be Good!,” “Embraceable You,” “I May Be Wrong” and “Three Little Words” are presented in a quintet format with Don Abney on piano, Jimmy Raney on guitar, Oscar Pettiford on bass and Kenny Clarke on drums. “What is This Thing Called Love” has Nat Peirce on piano, Barry Galbraith on guitar, Milt Hinton on bass and Osie Johnson on drums. “What is This Thing Called Love” has a wonderful chorus of Zottola and Hinton trading fours and Raney’s guitar solo on “Three Little Words” is a treat to hear (ending the CD on a mid-up tempo swinger). Zottola’s soloing on each track is deeply steeped in the bebop tradition, but highly melodic and always swinging. Zottola speaks further about his thoughts about Parker, “Also, Charlie Parker in many ways took Jazz from the dance hall to the concert hall. The two major influences for me in creating my own jazz style was Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker, the alpha and omega in jazz in my opinion. Miles Davis summarized jazz in two names Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. If you just listen and get the concept of how Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker approached music as improvisers in a ‘general sense’ it will organically seep into your own style and that is all I did. Basically with this tribute I just wanted to acknowledge Charlie Parker in my own way for pointing the way for all of us.” Reflections of Charlie Parker is highly recommended, you won’t be disappointed on this one!

Track Listing: Moonlight in Vermont; Oh Lady Be Good!; It Might As Well Be Spring; In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning; What Is This Thing Called Love?; I’m In The Mood For Love; Embraceable You; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes; I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful!); Three Little Words.

Personnel: Glenn Zottola: trumpet, saxophones; Don Abney: piano; Jimmy Raney: guitar; Oscar Pettiford: bass; Kenny Clarke: drums; Nat Pierce: piano; Barry Galbraith: guitar; Milt Hinton: bass; Osie Johnson: drums.

Record Label: Classic Jazz Records

 

jazz weekly

A Tribute to Charlie Parker

Glenn Zottola – Reflections of Charlie Parker
by Nick Mondello
For a man known for excesses of all kinds – musical and behavioral – Charlie Parker had the most unique way of ending his improvised phrases. Ever notice that? Some ended biting and abrupt, others were long tone vibratoed or they cascaded down a scale by way of his magnificent fingers. It was as if he was letting his genius-generated ideas fly off like bubbles from a child’s soap bubble wand here, there and everywhere. They’re for listeners to absorb and be touched. Now, listen to Glenn Zottola here on Reflections of Charlie Parker, this splendid ten tune Parker tribute. He exhibits a similar improvisational sense but that’s just one of the interesting jewels to be found on this superior recording.
For those who might not be aware, Zottola is not only a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing trumpet and alto and tenor saxophones, but, he’s been a child prodigy, talent show winner, musical director, music biz entrepreneur, composer – you name it and name who he’s performed with, just see the Encyclopedia of Jazz for starters. So, it’s no surprise that Zottola, always looking for new musical vistas, would select one of jazz’s greatest artists to salute here.
The Zottola alto sound is an engaging and inviting one. Sweeter than harsh, smoother than biting, it’s the perfect sonic platform for the GAS ballad material offered (“Moonlight in Vermont,” “Embraceable You”). Listen to and soak up his lyrical, gorgeous take on “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” (Yes, Mother, he’s played with Frank. Can’t you tell?). Wisely, Zottola understands both Parker’s awesome technical skills and his own substantial chops (“I May Be Wrong”). Thus, on the up-tempo material here (“Oh, Lady Be Good,” “Three Little Words”) Zottola swings without attempting to imitate the inimitable (Although a keen ear will catch a slick Bird lick or two). One other point of interest that solidifies Zottola’s incredible talent: as both a trumpeter and a saxophonist, he never, not here or anywhere else I’ve heard him, plays the saxophone with a trumpeter’s mindset (and vice versa). Now that’s something that Bird, Diz and Miles would really dig. They’d dig Reflections of Charlie Parker, too!

Birch Hall Concerts Live

Birch Hall Concerts Live

Available on iTunes, Amazon and Innercityjazz.com

This is a new 2 CD set release on the Classic Jazz Label.  In my career I have had several musical “foils” starting with Benny Goodman but Bob Wilber ranks at the top.  We were together 5 years after forming the Bechet Legacy and this band gave me a chance to really spread my wings on my Louis Armstrong roots.  The simpatico Bob and I had together was unequalled and this album documents the pinnacle of this band. Definitely worth owning for your collection available from Classic Jazz Records , iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby.

China Boy :

 

first Review “All About Jazz”  :
The Bechet Legacy: The Bechet Legacy – Birch Hall Concerts Live (2013)By
NICHOLAS F. MONDELLO,
Published: May 1, 2013Every so often a jewel of a recording is unearthed, prompting the obligatory question: “Why not sooner?” This wonderfully energetic, swinging effort is a treasure of an example.“The Bechet Legacy,” with woodwind artist Bob Wilber and trumpeter Glenn Zottola up front, delivers significant homage toSidney Bechet and to the Golden Era of hot jazz. The double-CD set, recorded live in England over three decades ago, is a home run of Ruthian swing.Somewhat overshadowed by his contemporary, Louis Armstrong‘s own legacy, saxophonist and clarinetist Sidney Bechet played a pivotal role in the development of the art form both here in the U.S. and as a longer-term resident and performer in Europe. His is the robust saxophone root of the tree that would eventually sprout Johnny Hodges(a Bechet student), Coleman Hawkins, and Charlie Parker.

Delivering an array of Swing Era standards from Bechet’s and others’ pens, Wilber, (a protégé of Bechet’s) and Zottola soar through the selections with enormous vigor. There’s significant swing across the two session dates where the musical magnificence—and joy—never ceases.

Legacy leader, Wilber, of World’s Greatest Jazz Band fame, swings heavy on both soprano and clarinet. His improvised lines burst with chops, innovation and expression. He’s got a gorgeous sound on both axes and is no “vibrato cornball” on either. Partner Zottola, a scion of Zottola trumpet mouthpiece fame, has all of the Armstrong vocabulary in his wheelhouse. He’s got a vibrant sound, chops galore and swings at a level that would send other trumpeters to the woodshed. Like Pops, he uses the upper register shrewdly to fire up his solo forays. These are two stellar musicians performing with the ultimate respect for the tradition at hand.

The selections include tunes associated with Bechet, Armstrong, Ellington and others (“China Boy,” “Lady Be Good,” “Memories of You). Supported by a cooking rhythm section of pianist, Mark Shane, drummer Butch Miles, guitarist Mike Peters and bassist, Len Skeat (and a vocal by Mrs. Bob Wilber, Pug Horton), this legacy creates its own.

There’s a timeless element to this wonderful music. With so much of today’s jazz over-intellectualized and sterile, Wilber, Zottola and team deliver a vivid, swinging exposure to a timeless musical tradition in a romp.

Track Listing: CD-1: Oh, Lady Be Good; Down in Honky Tonk Town; Coal Cart Blues; Egyptian Fantasy; Lazy Blues; Summertime; The Mooche; Daydream; Si Tu Voi Ma Mare; Dans Le Rue D’Antibes; I Keep Calling Your Name; Sweet Lorraine CD-2: I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart; China Boy; I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good; Just One of Those Things; Polka Dot Stomp; Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe; Dear Old Southland; Promenade Aux Champs- Elysees; Georgia Cabin; Memories of You; Swing That Music.

Personnel: Bob Wilber: soprano saxophone, clarinet; Glenn Zottola: trumpet; Mark Shane: piano; Mike Peter: guitar, banjo; Len Skeat: bass; Butch Miles: drums; Pug Horton: vocals.

Bechet_Legacy_CJ4-1

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THE BECHET LEGACY –
Bob Wilber /
Glenn Zottola

Birch Hall Concerts Live

Classic Jazz CJ 4

Bob Wilber formed The Bechet Legacy in honour of his former teacher, Sidney Bechet. Although Bob’s playing doesn’t sound at all like Bechet’s, he keeps the great man’s memory alive by playing his compositions and other music from the era when Bechet flourished. In fact Bob Wilber has a calmer approach to the clarinet and soprano sax than Sidney Bechet did. It was therefore a good idea for Wilber to recruit Glenn Zottola as his colleague in the front line of The Bechet Legacy, because Zottola has a very contrasting style.

Whereas most of Bob Wilber’s playing is legato, Glenn Zottola’s is generally the precise opposite – staccato. In fact Glenn might be called a disciple of Louis Armstrong, because his methods are so similar to Satch’s. While Bob Wilber charms with subtle romance and lyricism, Glenn Zottola astounds with high notes and hugely impressive displays.

This recording was made by an enthusiastic amateur at two concerts in Lancaster in the early 1980s. True to its name, The Bechet Legacy plays no fewer than eight compositions by Sidney Bechet, including the mysterious Egyptian Fantasy, the poignant Si Tu Vois Ma Mère, and the evocative Georgia Cabin. This is a reminder, if it were needed, that Bechet could compose atmospheric pieces.

Other highlights include Summertime, a tune which Sidney Bechet memorably recorded. Wilber follows in Bechet’s footsteps with several emotional choruses. The first CD ends with a cherishable version of Sweet Lorraine, starting at mid-tempo but hotting up when Zottola’s trumpet solo brings on the melodrama. Glenn also features in Memories of You, where he is backed simply by the rhythm section.

We can be glad that these recordings were dug out of the archives and made available for us all to enjoy.

Tony Augarde
http://www.augardebooks.co.uk

I Got Rhythm

CJ 33 I Got Rhythm cvr

Available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and Innercityjazz.com

Jeepers Creepers :

This second album in the series, again features Glenn Zottola on tenor sax performing some of the greatest standards of the 20th century with three all-star rhythm sections. As on MMO 12221, the exact performances have been transcribed to enable the at-home player to study and emulate these solos, gaining a better understanding of the music.  As before, the printed music allows for use by an alto sax, with original melody line, and lyrics provided as well as chords. The rhythm sections sprinkled with such names, as Oscar Pettiford, Kenny Clarke, Barry Galbraith, Jimmy Rainey, Don Abney and Milt Hinton attests to the legendary stature of your accompanying players. The songs, all standards, familiar to all players.  It never gets this good!

Released May 30, 2012

Buy on Amazon.com

Too Marvelous for Words

CJ 16 Too Marvelous For Words

Available on iTunes , CD Baby , Amazon and Innercity.com

When Your Lover Has Gone :

CJ 16 Glenn Zottola “Too Marvelous for Words” by Nick Mondello

Going back to the Ancients, those who wrote – or verbally passed on – about Man were wise to have their subjects appear, act and react greater than life. Whether describing Gods or Heroes, the sagacious story-tellers knew that amplifying mortals was a way of garnering interest and inspiring listeners.

When it is Glenn Zottola, this writer has no need for amplification or exaggeration. The guy is indescribably talented at a level that astonishes and leaves heads shaking 180. Not only is Zottola an ace trumpeter, having performed worldwide with Benny Goodman, Bob Wilber, and other jazz Pantheon residents, not only is he a superior sax man (as demonstrated here), the guy, completely self-taught, does it primarily by ear, brain and most of all – heart. He’s off the planet talent-wise.

With “Too Marvelous for Words” Zottola grabs his tenor and sets off to superbly cover 10 great american songbook sides (performing with previously recorded rhythm section backing) that are absolutely beautiful, swinging, and as tasteful as anyone, be it Getz, Hamilton, Webster could deliver. He’s that good.

Zottola’s sax sound is classic – restrained, baby-butt smooth and reeking of lyric love. I don’t know if he sings, but, the guy certainly “vocalizes” his melodies (and his solos, for that matter). It’s almost magnetic, especially if a listener would already know the lyrics. Are those words flowing from his axe? It’s a grand “Grand Illusion,” for sure. Furthermore, performing across already recorded material, an artist can be easily constrained to accommodate that which cannot accommodate him. Shrewdly, Zottola, ever the “ear-man,” is so in synch with the three different All-Star rhythm sections that, unless the liners indicated it, you’d never know it.

Album Notes
In his career,Glenn Zottola has been best known as a brilliant and swinging trumpeter who occasionally doubled quite effectively on alto. But on this special project, he is heard as a talented tenor-saxophonist who draws on the sounds and styles of Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins, finding his own voice somewhere in between. Glenn sounds quite at home playing with the vintage rhythm sections yet gives the music his own twist and never tries to just merely copy or recreate the past.
Relatively few jazz musicians have been equally comfortable on both brass and reed instruments. Benny Carter, Ira Sullivan and Scott Robinson come to mind along with just a handful of others. Glenn was never told that it was difficult to play both brass and reeds, so he developed his own musical conceptions, giving one the impression that it is effortless. But that is consistent with his career for he has often made the difficult seem natural.

Although he has loved playing tenor since he picked up his first saxophone when he was 13, Glenn Zottola
had never recorded a full set on that instrument. Making this CD even more unique is that Glenn is heard playing along with some of the earliest performances recorded for the acclaimed Classic Jazz series. Dating from 1952, the rhythm sections feature such notables as pianists Nat Pierce and Don Abney, and guitarists Mundell Lowe and Jimmy Raney taking short solos while bassist Milt Hinton, Oscar Pettiford and Wilbur Ware, and drummers Osie Johnson, Kenny Clarke and Bobby Donaldson give quiet and steady support. Because Glenn has a timeless and very flexible style, he adapts his playing on this unique set, sounding a bit like a cousin of Lester Young and Stan Getz. His style, hinting at swing, bop and cool jazz, fits the era perfectly.

Performing 10 standards including “Too Marvelous For Words,” “Body And Soul,” “Three Little Words” and “Fine And Dandy,” Glenn Zottola plays creatively within the style of 1952 cool swing without sacrificing his own individuality. If given a blindfold test, few listeners would guess that Glenn’s playing took place nearly 60 years after that of the rhythm sections and some might speculate that this was a long lost session recorded at the Lighthouse.

In any case, this is timeless music and quite fun to hear.

–Scott Yanow, author of ten books including Swing, Bebop, Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76

Glenn Zottola – Jazz Titans

Jazz Titans

 

 

Jazz Titans (inside)

Available on iTunes, Amazon and Innercityjazz.com

Jubilee :

The music on Jazz Titans, recorded in 1991 in Europe and never previously released, features consistently exciting playing by Glenn Zottola (doubling on trumpet and alto  sax) and pianist Mark Shane.  “Mark and I were doing a European tour with Peanuts Hucko’s sextet,” remembers Glenn, “and this recording came about right after that tour.  When I was with Benny Goodman a few years earlier, I always wondered what it would have felt like to be in his famous bassless trio with Gene Krupa and Teddy Wilson, but on
trumpet rather than clarinet.  This band allowed me to get that experience.”

At that point in time, Glenn Zottola could look back at a career that had started 30 years earlier and included collaborations with famous musicians from swing and classic jazz.  While Glenn may not have actually come out of the womb playing the trumpet, it must have seemed that way.  Born and raised in Port Chester, New York, he began on the trumpet when he was just three.  His father Frank Zottola was a trumpeter, an arranger for Claude Thornhill, and the maker of trumpet mouthpieces while Glenn’s brother Bob Zottola also played trumpet, so it was natural that he would take it up too.  “Louis Armstrong was the first person that I heard.  I remember wearing out his 78 of ‘The Saints Go Marching In’ and ‘I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead, You Rascal You.’ That music just turned me on and I was totally sold.  My mother played the piano like Count Basie so we used to jam all the time.  She taught me 1,000 standards when I was three years old.  I did my first public performance in school when I was in second grade.”

Considered a child prodigy, Glenn toured with the Ted Mack Show for a year (after winning Mack’s amateur contests three times), appeared often on television (including the Chubby Jackson Show), had a band with Chubby’s son drummer Duffy Jackson when he was a teenager, played at Madison Square Garden, and toured with Bobby Hackett and Jack Teagarden when he was just 11.  “A couple of years later, my parents had a jazz club and I played each week with the house rhythm section.”  The band at various times had Tommy Flanagan, Sonny Clark, Bobby Timmons or Ray Bryant on piano, Addison Farmer on bass, Al Harewood, Osie Johnson or Connie Kay on drums and Bobby Jaspar or Booker Ervin on saxophones.  It was around that period that Maynard Ferguson asked Frank Zottola if he could take his son on the road with him as his protégé, but was turned down due to Glenn’s age.

It would not have been surprising if, with such an early start, Glenn Zottola had developed a swelled head and burned out early, but instead he dug in, paid his dues, and continued to grow as a jazz soloist.  When he was 15 he began doubling on the saxophone.  Playing both brass and reeds is supposed to be difficult, but he never found it that way.  “I took one lesson to learn the fingerings and then pretty much transferred over what I knew on trumpet to the saxophone.  I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to do that.  I never had trouble switching between brass and reed instruments.  Now if you play saxophone for several hours straight, you might have difficulty with the trumpet, but as long as you are moving back and forth, it is refreshing.”

Glenn worked with the Glenn Miller Band when it was led by Buddy DeFranco and then with Lionel Hampton’s group. “The gig played $50 a night and you had to pay for your own hotel.  I couldn’t afford to play with him for long!”  After stints with Mel Torme and Tex Beneke, and extensive work as a freelancer and pit orchestra musician with Broadway musicals, Glenn was a member of the Benny Goodman Sextet during 1977-79.  “Benny Goodman was very good to me.  When I was growing up, my Dad told me that since I was playing trumpet and sometimes lead, it was very important to be cocky because that’s what it’s all about with the trumpet. That attitude worked with Benny Goodman and he never gave me any trouble.  He played great all the time and swung so much that he didn’t need a rhythm section.”

After leading a mainstream quartet with pianist Harold Danko and drummer Butch Miles, Glenn became an important member of Bob Wilber’s Bechet Legacy, which put him back to his roots with Louis Armstrong.  During his association with Wilber, he met pianist Mark Shane, a member of Wilber’s group for ten years.

Mark remembers, “When I was seven, my Mom got a piano and I started playing.  It was a joy and I never had to be forced to practice.  By the time I was 12 or 13, I was listening to both jazz and blues.  I actually started out hearing more modern jazz pianists, being influenced early on by the Ahmad Jamal Trio of the late 1950s, Wynton Kelly, Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan.  I also listened to the blues playing of Ray Charles and Muddy Waters.  I started playing professionally when I was 14, working at country clubs with older players.”  At one point, Mark planned to become a dentist, getting a degree in biology.  “But after one semester in dental school, I knew that I just couldn’t take it!”  Fortunately by that time, he was being called often for musical jobs and he was able to become a fulltime jazz pianist.  He spent a period as the house pianist at Eddie Condon’s, worked with Benny Goodman (often as his rehearsal pianist when John Bunch was out of town) and Buck Clayton’s big band.  Of his many musical associations, Mark considers his years with Wilber to be the most important.  “It was only after I started touring with Bob Wilber that I played much more in the swing style.  Bob was a portal for me to many areas of jazz history, introducing me to so many of the greats of early jazz.  In addition, when we toured England, fans would give me cassette tapes of early jazz.  That is how I discovered Teddy Wilson’s recordings with Billie Holiday.  That style seemed very natural to me.  I learned so much during that era.”

After Bob Wilber’s Bechet Legacy ended, Glenn Zottola and Mark Shane came back together for clarinetist Peanuts Hucko’s tour of Europe in 1991.  With the booking agent Mark Manaitt playing quietly supportive drums, they formed the Classic Jazz Trio, recorded the music on this CD, and toured England.

Glenn says of the pianist, “I had worked with Teddy Wilson, and for carrying forward what Teddy was all about with that left hand, Mark is the best that I’ve heard who is still alive.  As both a soloist and as an accompanist, Mark is spectacular.”  Of Glenn’s playing, Mark says, “Glenn has a natural ear, plays with a lot of heart and a lot of soul, has a good sense of humor, and he plays with fire.  I liked his playing immediately.  For this project, I gravitated towards Teddy Wilson and the great swing masters.  With Glenn, the early swing music fit perfectly”.

“This was the first time that we ever got together as a trio,” remembers Glenn. “There were no written charts. We just played the music we loved; it was very spontaneous.  We did a cross section of classic jazz from Louis up to Charlie Parker, and we did it our own way without using a bass.  It is a culmination of what is sometimes called the golden age of jazz.”
From the spectacular trumpet break that begins the opening “Jubilee,” plenty of fireworks occur throughout “Jazz Titans”.  Hoagy Carmichael’s “Jubilee,” which was introduced to the jazz world through Louis Armstrong’s recording, is given one of its most memorable treatments.

“These Foolish Things,” with Glenn on alto, is taken as a medium tempo ballad and is quite reminiscent of a Teddy Wilson small group.  Charlie Parker’s “Yardbird Suite,” which was certainly never recorded by an alto-piano-drums trio before, gets a unique treatment.  Glenn’s playing falls between swing and bop with “Yardbird Suite” being reinvented as a swing standard.  “There Is No Greater Love” is taken at a relaxed pace, with Glenn’s muted trumpet being restrained and tasteful.

One of the set’s highpoints is the heated interplay and tradeoffs by trumpet and piano on “I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me,” showing that small group swing, when played with this much skill, knowledge and enthusiasm, is timeless.

Mark Shane takes “Whispers In The Dark” (which he first heard on a Benny Goodman broadcast from the late 1930s) as a quietly swinging piano solo.  A thoughtful “Polka Dots & Moonbeams” and “2:19 Blues” (which has an expressive vocal by Mark) finds Glenn on alto.  A cooking version of “After You’ve Gone” and a hotter than expected “If I Had You” precede a rare revival of Fats Waller’s obscure but rewarding “Spring Cleaning” which has Mark singing in Fats’ style.  The pianist is mostly in the spotlight throughout “Soon,” which has Glenn playing muted trumpet.

“Love Nest” and a dramatic rendition of “Memories Of You” have Glenn on trumpet while he plays both trumpet and alto on a rollicking rendition of “Whispering.”  The CD closes in a mellow mood with a second version of Mark Shane’s feature on “Whispers In The Dark.”

After the Classic Jazz Trio’s tour of England ended, Glenn Zottola’s musical life took a surprising turn.  “A friend of mine was Suzanne Somers’ drummer and he invited me to her rehearsal.  I listened to her with her trio, asked her if I could sit in, we performed ‘But Beautiful’ together, and she melted.  When the song was over, she said ‘I want you as my bandleader right now.’  I told her that I had my own jazz band and that I don’t back up acts anymore.  She said, ‘No, no, no, not to back me up.  I want to have a band with you and I up front.’  And that is when I left the jazz world.” Suzanne Somers soon had her own television variety show, and Glenn was her musical director and bandleader for the series’ nine year run.  “I played on all of the commercial breaks.  When guest celebrities performed, I would rehearse with them and work out the music for whatever they wanted to do.  It was eight shows a week, we were reaching tens of millions of people every time we played on stage, Universal Studios was a ten minute drive from my house, and it was more money than I ever dreamed possible. I had a big office next to Steven Spielberg.  It was like going to heaven as opposed to being on the road.  Suzanne Somers and I clicked and we didn’t have one fight in nine years.”

Since the Suzanne Somers Show ended in 1994, Glenn Zottola has had a lower profile. He has often played with his friend Chick Corea, he recorded with Steve Allen and drummer Hugh Barlow, has done a lot of private recording, and is currently working on an album on tenor sax.  In the years since recording Jazz Titans, Mark Shane has grown steadily as a pianist.  He has worked extensively with singer Terry Blaine, currently accompanies Cat Russell (Luis Russell’s daughter), has been involved with film work, performs regularly in the New York area, appears at jazz parties and festivals, and was recently featured at the Northsea Jazz Festival.  “I plan to be playing until I’m 95 plus,” he says. “I’m never going to retire.”

20 years after recording Jazz Titans, a musical reunion by Glenn Zottola and Mark Shane would be a very welcome event.  But even if that dream does not materialize, the “new” music that they created for Jazz Titans shows that they have lived up to the CD title’s name.

-Scott Yanow, author of ten books including Swing, Classic Jazz, Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Record 1917-76 and Jazz On Film

Released December 2011

Listen and buy on Amazon.com

CJ 2 Jazz Titans

Classic Jazz Records
by Nick Mondello
The Classic Jazz Trio – The Jazz Titans
In Greek Mythology, the “Titans” were extremely powerful divine beings surpassed in their eminence only by the Gods themselves. With this marvelously entertaining effort, multi-instrumentalist – and supremely talented – Glenn Zottola, superb pianist, Mark Shane and ever-so-tasteful drummer, Mark Manaitt – “The Classic Jazz Trio” – deliver a 16-selection mainstream jazz lightning bolt. Covering selections associated with artists on the Mt. Olympus of jazz – Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker and others – Zottola and his bass-less brethren let it all fly in this hot session.
A truly gifted musician of Herculean abilities, Zottola steps up brilliantly on both trumpet and saxophone – and nails both. That’s no easy task. His melodic and improvisational stylings on the trumpet are spectacular as he shades the great Louis Armstrong. One can easily tell that Zottola is an attentive student and “ear” of the Armstrong legacy. Blowing all-to-the-wall, he soars high and low (“Jubilee,” “I Can’t Believe that You’re in Love with Me,” “After You’ve Gone”). Simultaneously, his alto work channels both that other trumpet-sax genius, Benny Carter and Bebop great, Charlie Parker (“Yardbird Suite,” “Whispering”). Pianist Mark Shane is absolutely ideal in this wonderful Swing vein (“Whispers in the Dark,” “If I Had You”), displaying obvious salutes to Teddy Wilson, Earl “Fatha” Hines, et al. There’s elegance as well as heat here, too (“Polka Dots and Moonbeams”). Drummer Manaitt is shrewdly “there but not there” as he supports but never intrudes on the swingfest – and, festive it certainly is.
While The Classic Jazz Trio is salutes “Jazz Titans,” with this heavenly recording the appellation certainly could also apply to its very mighty performers.

Summertime

This was an interesting project. I met drummer Hugh Barlow in Florida.  He was a protege of the great drummer Barrett Deams who played with Louie Armstrong and i also worked with Barrett on various jazz festivals .  Hugh was also a master cymbal maker and a fine artist and the album cover you see is his painting.  He told me he would like to start a record label and i had done one album for Continue reading Summertime

Steve Allen Plays Jazz Tonight

Steve was an amazing talent in many ways and a true lover of jazz. He first heard me on an album i did for bassist Jim Dejulio where he used his favorite players me being one of them to guest on one tune each. After hearing that album Steve insisted Concord Records use me on his album. When i arrived at the session the band was truly and all star lineup with Ken Peplowski on sax and clarinet , Howard Continue reading Steve Allen Plays Jazz Tonight

It’s About Time

When I first moved to LA I met Jim DeJulio a truly great bass player out of the legendary Ray Brown mold.  Jim did his first album using several of his favorite players as guests artists including Bill Watrous, Eddie Daniels and myself.  It was a swinging session with the great Roy McCurdy on drums who was with Cannonball Adderly.   I did 2 be -bop classics “Dewey Square” and “Confirmation”.  Steve Allen did Continue reading It’s About Time

Exclamation!

This is the first album I did for drummer Hugh Barlow who I met in Florida.  John Lamb was a rock solid and bass amazing player and was with Duke Ellington for 16 years.  Hugh wanted a jam session feel and sound like early Prestige and Blue Note recordings so there were no charts and we just did it.  Bob De Angeles sweet guy and wonderful player got that early 1950s Coltrane sound when he was Continue reading Exclamation!

Love Held Lightly

Love Held LightlyWhat an honor to do this album with Peggy.  This was one of her last albums and she wanted to do a jazz album of rare Harold Arlen songs that have not been heard that much.  What an amazing band with myself and Ken Peplowski along with Jay Leonhart and Grady Tate. The arrangements were beautifully done by pianist Keith Ingam who I had done several of Maxinne Sullivan’s albums with him pior.   Continue reading Love Held Lightly

The Music of Lil Hardin Armstrong

This album i did for Bob Wilber was a true joy. Great band with Doc Cheatum and Buddy Tate on some tracks and great material. After the album i did a tour in Switzerland with Lilette check out her musical history on “Jazz Speak”. Also check out this arrangement Bob did on “Hotter Than That” where he took Louies original scat solo from the 1920s note for note and arranged it for 4 horns what Continue reading The Music of Lil Hardin Armstrong

Maxine Sullivan Sings the Music of Jule Styne

This is the second album of the “songbook” series i did of great Jule Styne songs and wonderful Keith Ingam arrangements and Maxine truly a joy to work with. Also the producers of this album Bill Rodman and Ken Bloom who also did the Peggy Lee project along with were totally quality guys and put so much care into these albums.  Glenn Continue reading Maxine Sullivan Sings the Music of Jule Styne

Live at Bechet’s

This was the first album and gig with the Bechet Legacy.  It was done at a new club that opened at the time in Manhattan called “Bechet’s”.  One night trumpet legend Jabbo Smith a contemporary of Louis Armstrong came in the club and sat ringside he was in his 80s. After the set was over he called me over to his table and said “you know young man when i was young i played just like you”!  I Continue reading Live at Bechet’s

Christmas in Jazztime

Christmas in JazztimeI loved doing this Christmas Album which was unfortunately never re-issued on CD with all my dear friends and some real jazz legends that are no longer here with us. I went to my friend Rick Petrone who was the program director for the jazz station in Stamford CT WYRS and they helped on funding the project along with Dreamstreet Records as a holiday promotion.  Everyone was Continue reading Christmas in Jazztime

Maxine Sullivan Sings the Music of Burton Lane

This album is a first in a series of “songbook” style albums I did for wonderful pianist and arranger Keith Ingham with all star bands.  I must confess I was not aware of the name Burton Lane having learned all the standards by ear with my mom at the piano rather than seeing the music.  Unfortunately composers like writers are not as known as the performers who do their work.  Burton Lane had Continue reading Maxine Sullivan Sings the Music of Burton Lane

George Kelly Plays the Music of Don Redman

George Kelly was the saxophonist and singer with the Savoy Sultans and a beautiful man. On this date for Stash Records  It was cool that I got to play alto with George Kelly and he wrote some really nice charts for the album on great Don Redman songs.  On “Mickey Finn” I am playing alto and trumpet on the opening line and this was done without stopping any tracks or editing, an interesting quick change !!   Continue reading George Kelly Plays the Music of Don Redman

Only Trust Your Heart

This was an album i totally forgot about.  I co-produced it with good friend Sonny Costanzo.  Great band and some nice material. Beside the Jobim material a great tune by Benny Carter “Only Trust Your Heart” and one by Gerry Mulligan “Parade Samba”.  Also a really nice paragraph on the back from Dave Brubeck who lived in Connecticut near Sonny, myself and Gerry Mulligan.

sonny and glenn front cover Continue reading Only Trust Your Heart

Stardust

On This Album I used Norris Turney who was the lead alto player in the Duke Ellington band.  Also I did a few originals one written by Harold Danko and another written by Mike Hall.  The great jazz writer and reviewer Leonard Feather gave this album 5 stars and remarked on my solo on “Stardust” that had Louis Armstong as inspiration which felt very good. Continue reading Stardust

Ode to Bechet

What a great album with Vic Dickenson.  I had the honor of playing in a 3 horn front line with Vic at Eddie Condon’s 6 nights a week when i first moved to Manhattan  Vic is truly a legend and played with Louie and many others.  Funny story we all wore tuxedos at Condon’s and it was a tourist stop for people from Europe.  It was very crowded and during the breaks Vic would go downstairs and sit Continue reading Ode to Bechet

Butch Miles Salutes Count Basie

What a thrill to do this album with all these stars. I will never will forget seeing Freddie Greens hands around the neck of his guitar after playing Rhythm Guitar for Basie for 50 years. I never met Freddie before and after the first tune in which i had a trumpet solo i overheard him turn to Milt Hinton and say “he reminds me of Buck” meaning Buck Clayton.  It is hard to describe how that made Continue reading Butch Miles Salutes Count Basie

Secret Love

This was a very special album with my daughter Christine on the front cover. I moved from Manhattan to Connecticut and didn’t want to travel so much anymore so I could spend more time at home with the family. It was a period of tremendous expansion as i started my own production company and teamed up with Bobby Rosengarden and went into the Rainbow Room in NY with my own Big band a first Continue reading Secret Love

The Music of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band

This was a great project for Bob Wilber. Recreation of the historic King Oliver Creole Band that made Louis Armstrong a star.  Another very interesting point was my older brother Bob who i always very much looked up to as a trumpet player and artist in a similar way to how Louie looked up to the older King Oliver did this project with me.   On this album Bob played all King Oliver’s parts and i played Continue reading The Music of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band

Steamin’ Mainstream

This was a quartet i put together with some of my favorite players and one of my favorite bands.  I booked a 5 night a week jazz gig and then recorded a live album. That was the end of the band and we moved seperate ways Harold Danko doing his own band and Butch and I  joining Bob Wilber. Great quartet and can you believe Butch singing like this and playing at the same time wow ! The Continue reading Steamin’ Mainstream

Butch Miles Salutes Chick Webb

This was one of my early albums for Famous Door.  Butch Miles is a totally amazing drummer with so many wonderful influences.  Chick Webbs band was one of the most swinging bands happening and they would challenge any band in the famous Savoy ballroom.  Eddie Barefield on tenor who was in Chick’s band brought in these arrangements. The great Milt Hinton on bass and Norris Turney who Continue reading Butch Miles Salutes Chick Webb

The Mouse Roars!

This was my very first real pro jazz session for Famous Door Records. I was a “kid” and had just arrived in NYC and was playing at a jazz club “Eddie Condon’s” on 52nd st. with John Bunch and Mousey Alexander when Record Producer Harry Lim who had quite a stellar history from Mercury Records and recorded many legends started his own label Famous Door Records and walked in the club. Continue reading The Mouse Roars!