Category Archives: Oceanlight Records Interview

Oceanlight Records Interview, Part 7

OL: OL would like to extend our immeasurable thanks to You, Glenn… for sharing some of your very valuable time with all of our OL Viewers for this week… This being Part 7 of our 7 day Interview for OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. We have no doubt that Musicians reading this worldwide, have come away from this OL Interview, with knowing even more highlights about your ‘shining’ Career! Thanks for sharing, Glenn!

OL: A Quote from Saxophonist great Zoot Sims: “Glenn has ‘big ears’ – he is a natural jazz musician… I find him equally talented on both trumpet and alto.” -Zoot Sims

OL: Glenn, as a young lad, You’ve had wonderful opportunities to play with so many of the celebrated great Jazz Musicians of the world… One night on a Jazz & Blues Club Gig… Zoot Sims was on Tenor Sax, and You were on Alto Sax. Would You say that often being in the special moments & Gigs like this, stays with You, and puts a Musician into a new dimension of performing?

Glenn Zottola: Well, Zoot is a Legend to me, and many others. Milt Hinton, one; we did that gig with Zoot. My first gig with him, he called him “The salt of the earth;” which he was. He was very underrated, I think. They both came up together, Stan Getz and Zoot. They were both in Woody Herman’s Band. Stan went to much higher levels, with the public awareness, with his hit ‘Ipanema’ and so on. But Zoot was equally talented, and he never reached that kind of fame. Although the character on the Muppett Show, called ‘Zoot’, is named after the one that plays the Saxophone. But the point is, that he never reached the fame and the monetary reward that Stan did. So, when I first met Zoot; he found out that I was a player who played by ear, he said, “Me, too!” So, we really hit it off; both being ear players, playing by ear. We had instant simpatico, we really did… kind of like when I first performed with Suzanne. It was a beautiful thing, and he was a Legend to me. He was very nice to me, and very complimentary. Again, that’s another thing that I highly cherish.

OL: Glenn, what would be your own special quote for the great Musician, Zoot Sims, as You think about him, today?

Glenn Zottola: Well, I think that I’ll have to quote Milt Hinton, saying that, “He was the salt of the earth.” What I mean that… he swung like crazy, but he played with so much soul. Really, so much soul. I remember doing a tune; I’m a young guy, and I’m hot stuff, on this gig… and I played this solo, with a million notes. It was a good solo, I got a standing ovation… but then Zoot comes in, he waits a little, but he comes in and played one note, but it was the right note, with the right sound. He made the one note swing, and he put it in the right place. Bells went off in my mind. I said, oh my God, that’s where it’s at. It was like four years worth of College in one note. That’s the way I learned how to play music. I learned so much just being next to these guys. It’s just osmosis, you know what I mean?

OL: Yes, from interviewing You Glenn, it’s very evident that You also listen to the orbits that they are in?

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely, you said it right. You know it’s like in Star Trek, the Vulcan’s mind meld. I get in their heads and in a few seconds, it’s amazing on what I can find out. It’s like the greatest way to learn.

OL: That’s a great analogy, we love that.

Glenn Zottola: Yeah…what a privilege to play next to Benny Goodman every night. I mean, why not get in their heads, and find out what they’re doing. Playing with Chick Corea, playing with Zoot Sims, Milt Hinton; on and on and on. Why not get into their heads and absorb all of that experience?

OL: Right… and at the same time, you’re balancing your own orbit?

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely. You can never be anybody else. I tell people that. You don’t have to be afraid. Imitation, or another word for it; that’s a tremendous learning tool. ‘Emulation’. Emulate to greatness, you know. I want to advise people, that is the quickest way to having your own individual style… is to emulate those you love. That’s the fastest route that I can think of.

OL: Like You said, “Everyone listens to someone.”

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely. For a while in the 60’s and 70’s, people were like, “I don’t want to sound like anybody else, I want to be different.” I don’t think any great player, ever set out as a goal, to be different. They became different, naturally, organically. But I never resisted… oh I don’t want to play like him, I want to be different. That’s not the route. You arrive at your own individual sound, by emulating those before you, not by resisting it.

OL: Available now and on iTunes … You are featured throughout; on the incredible Concord Records CD, “Steve Allen Plays Jazz Tonight…” of what was at the request and the visionary insistence of Talk Show Host Legend Musician, Mr. Steve Allen, himself. That’s quite an honor, Glenn! We especially love You being featured on Trumpet…for the track, “You Go To My Head.” Put us all there right at this session, with Mr. Allen’s free-style approach for the Band?

Glenn Zottola: Well, Steve blew me away, because I didn’t know that he could play that good. He’s a Comedian, right? He did liner notes for the CD I did, called “It’s About Time.” The one with Jim DeJulio. That has “Dewey Square” on it. I gave you that track. Anyway, he did the liner notes. He heard my playing and he never heard me before, he flipped out. He loved it. Concord wanted to do Warren Vache, because Warren has been recording on Concord, forever. Steve insisted that I do the session. And I never even met him. He didn’t even know me, but he heard me, right? So I get to the session. And I knew the guys on the session. And Steve, he didn’t say anything. He just sat down at the piano, with no arrangements. He started playing songs and we had to make up arrangements as we went. It’s a great band; Ken Peplowski on Tenor, Howard Alden, Frank Capp, kind of like the west coast version of Bobby Rosengarden, and the bass player, Chuck Berghoffer. It’s a great album and I love that album. In the beginning when I started my career in New York, the founder of Concord, Carl Jefferson; he sent an A&R guy to New York, to interview me and talk with me. He said he wanted to sign me with a label. At that time, he only had Scott Hamilton and Warren Vache, I believe. So we sit down for a while, and the A&R guy says, “Well, you know I love your playing, etc, etc; but you know if you play the trumpet, or saxophone, you’d be a lot easier to market.” So I said, well, let me get this straight. Are you implying that I give up an ability that only one in three people in the entire planet has, to solve your marketing problems? Anyway, the deal didn’t happen and we just parted ways. Now 30 years later, I’m doing this album with Steve Allen for Concord. So, after the session’s over, Jefferson comes up to me. He’s the founder of Concord, he says, “My God, you are amazing, and I have to apologize for what happened 30 years ago.” And he said, “Would you be willing to record for me, now?” I said absolutely, but he passed away, shortly after that. So, it never came to fruition, sadly, as Carl Jefferson did so much for music… So, that’s the wild story on ‘that session. So, after that session was over, the beautiful thing was Steve invited me down a couple of times to his office, in Beverly Hills. We sat down, and he ordered out for lunch. We had lunch, and we talked. He played the piano, I played saxophone, with him in his office, and we just hung out. It was unbelievable. He had so many stories, he’s got such a history, you know?

OL: Incredible, wow. We enjoyed that.

Glenn Zottola: He had a lot of Jazz Legends on the Steve Allen Show. Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Lester Young, and Coleman Hawkins. He had a lot of jazz players come on his show.

OL: In today’s music world, and with the vast use of the internet & Social Media, more and more Artists are taking more direct control of their Careers, via marketing and promoting. While Major Record Companies are streamlining their Artists Roster line-up, more and more Independent Record Labels are growing in numbers, but pale in comparison to some of the major Record Labels as far production and budget, and things like that. Do You believe that there can be a happy medium between these two entities in working together?

Glenn Zottola: Well, I’ve got to be honest. I’m a little lost on the subject, because there are those that say the CD business is over, with the advent that what Steve Jobs did with the digital downloads. I think it’s a moving target. I think it’s changing. I don’t know if it’s really settled yet. I know that there’s a lot more avenues, and a sense that an artist now, can put out their own CD’s; let’s say, put it on CD Baby or iTunes. So, you can get around the major labels, which is a good thing. But then again, the major labels have the money to promote your product, which means a lot. So, again, back to your earlier question; I think it’s going to be a question of each individual artist really learning about the business, from this angle. There’s a lot to learn; social media, marketing, promotional independent. There’s a learning curve there, for sure.

OL: So, would you say, it’s pretty much like a work in progress?

Glenn Zottola: Well, it is for me. Maybe if you talked to someone more knowledgeable, they would have a better take on it. At least for jazz, but I’m told that even the pop artists are in trouble as far as record sales. So, I don’t know where it’s really settling out. I do know that there’s a lot more routes for people to take, for sure. Like a friend of mine, he was hoping to get a Grammy nomination, at least. So, he produced the CD himself, he’s a very good player in New York. He put it on CD Baby. He did it all himself, no record label. Nothing happened, in terms of the Grammys. So, I don’t know if the game is fixed; in the sense that I don’t have the statistics on how many independent records are winning Grammys. For example, I’m sure that there are some maybe, that have, but I don’t know how many. Because it seems like the record labels do control the environment, a little bit, you know? For example, I use for my research; I use Spotify, it’s a free service. It’s amazing, I can go on there and listen to any CD. In fact, I have a friend who runs a radio station, in New Jersey. She programs her entire show from Spotify. She has no hard copy CDs, in the Library. So, for me, let’s say I’m doing an album with 15 tunes, in all truth of the matter, it might be hard to get someone to really want 15 songs. They might want just one. They want to compile their own set list. Now, the reverse side of that, is that older people, who don’t have any skills with the Internet; but they’re not a large part of the buying public.

OL: But happily, LP’s are coming back. Especially in the European Market, people are demanding that they want something to show for their purchase. LP’s are starting to slowly creep back into the market, and that’s an exciting thing.

Glenn Zottola: I went into the Whole Foods Store the other day, and I saw this huge bin of LP’s. I couldn’t believe it.

OL: Glenn, on our last tour stop with You, on this OL Interview for the week, we’ve come to an equally impressive dimension of your Music Career… to where You’ve played in the Orchestra Pit, on the best of of Big Apple City Stage Arenas… … BROADWAY… Rattling off some of the Hit Broadway Shows that You were a part of… “Annie”, the original ” Evita”, “Dancin”, ” Barnham”, ” 42nd Street”, & on the road playing lead trumpet in the original “Chicago” national tour with Jerry Orbach, Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera. Tell us about this extraordinary run of shows and how B’way rehearsals in particular differ from preparation for TV Show rehearsals?

Glenn Zottola: Chita was amazing. They’re all amazing… Jerry, too. There is a big number in ” Chicago,” “All That Jazz”, where the star character Roxie Hart makes an entrance down the stairs from the Bandstand. Every night, when we would do a show, Chita would just come up and lean on my shoulders, waiting for the entrance, and we would chat and have fun. She was so relaxed and such a pro, and made it fun! We worked seven shows, eight shows a week. She was an amazing, amazing Entertainer. Oh God, I was so impressed with her. That was a great experience. I try to tell people… I was just telling someone yesterday, about this; you used everything, I used it all. I use my efforts, and everything that I did to television. I ran that show like a jazz gig, I used all of my experience with Broadway, from playing Weddings… As a musician, you do all kinds of work. If you’re smart, you will use it all. It all comes to your rescue, at times. So, Broadway was a whole other genre. I couldn’t stay there. Like my Brother, Bob, did Les Mis for 17 years. I couldn’t have that kind of discipline. There is a benefit to that, and incredible pension. But it wasn’t in my nature. I was groomed to be in front of the audience. A funny story: I walk into the studio one day, and they were ripping pages from out of this script. The director is frantic. He did all of Dick Clark shows. He said, “My God, what are we going to do, we have to write all new music, we don’t have any time, we’re going on the air.” I said, wait a minute Barry, relax. Just give me whatever color or mood, whatever you want; like 30 seconds before the commercial break, and you’ve got it. And that’s what he did. I gave him a perfect show with no music, with a script that had completely changed. And he said, “I never saw anybody on television, operate that way ever.” I said, Barry, I’m a jazz player. That’s what I do, improvise. He actually recommended me for The Tonight Show, because Branford Marsalis was leaving. He was so impressed with my work. What I’m saying is, you bring it all to the table.

OL: How did Broadway rehearsals differ from preparations for a Television show?

Glenn Zottola: Broadway is definitely more expansive, because it’s all written music. I had more control over the TV show, because I was improvising a lot of it, and I was the Band Leader. So, I was able to have control on how I was going to fit the music into the show. On Broadway, it’s all scripted out, you’re just reading music. You’ve got to basically, do a lot more rehearsals and it’s not subject to change. Don’t forget I’m playing a show for a cast.

OL: What would be one of your favorite Broadway Shows that You’ve worked on?

Glenn Zottola: It would be ” Chicago.” First of all, it’s a jazz oriented show. It’s in the 20’s. The music was jazzy. I loved the fact that we were on stage, not in the pit. The band was on stage for the whole show. So, it’s like doing a real jazz gig, you know what I mean?

OL: Wonderful! As we come to a close for this OL Interview, Glenn… can You expound upon your own quote of what the “vintage period of jazz…” and what the preservation of it means to You, in the music world of today?

Glenn Zottola: Well, I call it the Golden Age of Jazz. You find that in a lot of genres. You’ll find the Golden age of film, all of those incredible productions. I saw the other night, “Funny Girl,” with Barbra Streisand. Oh my God, you can’t still see movies like that anymore. So, the Golden Age of Film, you have the Renaissance of Paintings. Then, you have the Golden Age of Music, which started with Louis Armstrong in 1920, and kind of ended with Charlie Parker in 1950. Those golden ages, I feel need to be cherished, preserved and studied. Of course, things move forward, there’s nothing wrong with that; but if you don’t have a foundation, as you don’t take what came before, it’s not going to have the same substance. So, I keep trying to fight this point that the golden age needs to be validated. And that’s why I say, I respect what Wynton Marsalis is trying to do at Lincoln Center. I wish that the jazz education system would do a better job at that; really putting attention on the Golden Age of Jazz.

OL: There are some who touch people with their talents, and Jazz Trumpeter great Glenn Zottola is one who has touched so many people, let alone other great Artists. It is therefore fitting that anyone who reads this OL Interview and listening to his wide range of classic recordings, will also feel his musical touch for a lifetime! OL celebrates the major Stage, Recordings & Screen contributions of this exciting and enduring Artist… Jazz Trumpeter Glenn Zottola!

Glenn Zottola: I want to say one more thing; I repeat myself…on a fantastic job and platform that you have given me. As I said, I’ve done a lot of interviews around the world; this is probably the best one I’ve ever done. Because OL has done its homework. Your tremendous love for artists, your questions are right inside of my head. I just want to validate what you are doing. I think you’ve done a fantastic job, and I love what Oceanlight Records is all about. I just want to tell people that your Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series should be supported, also.

OL: Thank you so much, Glenn. We can’t tell you enough how much that means to Oceanlight Records and the Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. Thank you so much for doing such a wonderful and informative interview. It is a joy to have you on the OL Series, one of our top interviews of all time…

Glenn Zottola: Thank you. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You’re very welcome.

OL: Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician Great…Glenn Zottola! And thank you all for visiting OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

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Oceanlight Records Interview, Part 6

OL: Welcome once again, Glenn. This being Part 6 of our 7 day Interview for OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, Quote from Jazz Legend Bassist Milt Hinton: “Glenn Zottola – Top quality trumpet and saxophone. I’m pleased to add him to the list of musical giants I’ve played with. A great asset to the world of jazz.” -Milt “Judge” Hinton

OL: These shared thoughts and words from the great Milt Hinton; Glenn… must have a life-lasting effect, of which we are all too happy to highlight this… a true testament of your friendship and his utmost respect for your talents?

Glenn Zottola: A dear, dear friend. That warms my heart and I cherish that. Milton at the time was the most recorded bass player in history. He played with everybody. Miles, everybody that you could imagine, Billie Holiday, he played with everybody and he was a dear, dear friend. A fan and supporter and encourager. And I cherished what he said, there.

OL: Truly wonderful! You worked with, honored with a plaque. and celebrated Mr. Hinton’s 80th Birthday, at the Clearwater Jazz Festival, with an audience 10,000 people?

Glenn Zottola: Yeah, I had the whole audience sing happy birthday that night. I have a moving story. We went to the Sarasota Jazz Festival, and at that festival, I think it’s okay to tell this. I don’t think he’d mind. Ronald Reagan sent a letter to Milt, declaring Milt Hinton day in Jackson, Mississippi where he grew up. He came up to me and he had tears in his eyes literally, and he said you know you’re the only one that would really understand that. He said, “My Grandmother was a Slave, in Jackson and when they would let the dogs out, to chase runaway slaves. She would put pepper in our shoes. They would smell the pepper and go the other way.” He said “Because I play the bass, because of jazz. I play bass and music, It’s gone from that to Milt Hinton day in the same town.” He’s was crying, he said, “I wish my Grandma could see this,” and we hugged each other. It was a beautiful, beautiful program.

OL: We are sure, no doubt that her spirit was there with Milt…

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely. The point he was making. Because of music, he was able to achieve that. From being a kid, growing up in Jackson, to being a Jazz Star. Universal, Isn’t it? Louis Armstrong used to travel around the world. An ambassador in Africa. They didn’t speak the language, but the music spoke the language. You don’t need language with music.

OL: That’s right! Who are some of your contemporaries that You enjoy working with?

Glenn Zottola: Well, mostly, I don’t work with many contemporaries. The most contemporary guy would be Chick, really. I moved to Hollywood when I kind of left the jazz scene and went to join Suzanne Somers. I left all the guys that were in my click; which were people like Scott Hamilton, Ken Peplowski, Butch Miles and Howard Alden. Pretty much swing-oriented players… great players, but swing oriented. They weren’t really contemporary players… Warren Vache. So, Chick was in another world, because Chick is truly a contemporary player. When I came to L.A., I did work with some wonderful Musicians. I think I included for you, a track with a beautiful Bass Player. His name is Jim DeJulio, who I met with Sinatra. It was beautiful recording that I did with him, and he had Roy McCurdy on drums, who played with Cannonball Adderley. I would say that that session was more contemporary than the usual session, that I had with Swing Players.

OL: Well, we are excited about everyone hearing your wonderful tracks on this OL Interview and for sure on your Site.

Glenn Zottola: Thank you.

OL: Who are some of your contemporaries, or fellow Musicians, that You enjoy listening to and would love to work with?

Glenn Zottola: Well, I like Joshua Redman, on Tenor Saxophone. I think he’s a wonderful, wonderful player. I met him, because he was in Chick’s Band. And he’s a really cool guy. I like the guy that works for Chick a lot. He’s from England… Tim Garland. I’ve been in communication lately, with Wallace Roney, who was in Chick’s Band because he was a big Clifford fan. I was telling him about my ‘Clifford Brown’ Project. So, thank God, there’s a lot of really good players out there. Joe Lovano, I love him. He’s a wonderful player…Eddie Daniels. There’s a lot of really, really good players out there… even though I have my complaint. There’s a select few that I like, and I just feel that Jazz Education could be doing a better job. There’s a hand full that I love. There is more that could done with Jazz Education; that’s why I respect what Wynton Marsalis is doing at Lincoln Center, a lot. Exposing people to the history of Jazz; Louis Armstrong on up. It’s really, really important..he made that comment, “The difference between a Jazz Musician, and a Classical Musician, is that the Jazz Musician doesn’t respect the tradition of the music.” It’s a heavy statement, right? But, a lot of these guys in school, they start with John Coltrane; they move up from there. John Coltrane would be the first one to tell you, Jazz didn’t start with me. So, I respect what Wynton is doing. You never hear a Classical Musician saying, Oh, Bach and Mozart, yeah that’s old stuff. You never hear a Classical Musician call Bach or Mozart, old stuff. So, I think that needs to happen in the Jazz world… people have to go back and revisit these Legends. Everything that I can do and play, I owe it to the Legends, the Founding Fathers of Jazz.

OL: Right! Just as people are still studying still, how Beethoven wrote his Symphonies.

Glenn Zottola: Exactly. They’re re-discovering it. My Brother said something about Schubert re-discovering Bach. When you re-visit again, you find out about things that you didn’t even realize. So you go back to listen to Charlie Parker, or Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, or Roy Eldrige, or Clifford, or anybody. That’s the foundation. You’ve got to do that, you know; no matter what kind of music that you want to play.

OL: That’s a key word there, Glenn that you said, Foundation?

Glenn Zottola: Oh, absolutely.What was I reading, recently? Somebody really great. Basically, Miles. I heard an Interview with Miles, on TV. He was saying that it’s an evolutionary thing. They asked Miles, “Who do you like… what do you think about Louis Armstrong? He said, “Of Course, we all build from each other, forward.” Miles didn’t start the Trumpet, hello. He was asked, “How do you summarize Jazz?” He said, “In two names, Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker.” He didn’t say, Jazz started with me. He innovated some things sure, but that’s not the point. So, that’s what I would like to see happen, and that’s what I’m trying to do with my Jazz Education Products. I would like to see a little more attention put on the Founding Fathers.

OL: This is a continuing goal, Glenn. We hope that we get closer and closer to that goal.

Glenn Zottola: Yes, trying to keep it pure.

OL: Just to name a few more from your 9 year stint, performing on the Suzanne Somers TV Show, we see that You’ve also worked with… Marilyn McCoo, Hector Elizondo, Ben Vereen, Nell Carter, and let’s not forget one of our favorites, Singer Patti Austin, who like You, Glenn, is so musically diverse, in various genre’s. Again, on your terrific site, You have a video clip of a nice swing version of, “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams,” with Suzanne and Patti doing a closing duet… and thanks in part, to your trumpet solo, this number really swings with that New Orleans Jazz Louie feel. Do You have an overall picture of how You want to perform your solo parts, depending on who the Guest Artist is?

Glenn Zottola: Well you know, first of all, I have to give Suzanne credit. She’s kind of like me, like a chameleon. You see her with Patti. Suzanne’s an Actress first, you know, and Patti a Singer. She seems to fit into any scenario, it’s unbelievable. I’ve got to give her credit, it’s the way she sounded on that tune. So, for me, I’m just always listening. Like I mentioned to you, how I love playing with Singers, right, and filling the holes and all of that. I’m always listening and getting my signals from the Singer, from the Stars that I’m working with… and then I do my best to contribute my message to that; rather than being on some weird ego trip. I always want to play in good taste.

OL: Everyone should see that video and hear all of the great work that You did on that show.

Glenn Zottola: Thank you. I mentioned this earlier, it was a pinnacle for me, I had a great time, I really did… and a lot of it had to do with Suzanne. She gave me carte blanche musically, to do whatever I wanted. I remember once, one of the Directors came up to me and he said, “Can’t you play some Rolling Stones?” I’m looking at him like, are you out in space, somewhere? It’s a Jazz Band, it doesn’t even have a guitar in it. So, I went to Suzanne, and I said, You know, so and so is bugging me about playing the Rolling Stones. Suzanne said, “Just stop, don’t worry about it.” She went to this guy, and she just really laid him down. I never heard anymore of him telling me what to play. She backed me up 100% on that show.

OL: Switching gears & mouthpieces…It’s great Glenn, that Musician Trumpeters, can get a wonderful endorsed product of yours, through your association RS Berkeley Musical Instruments Co. They have released a copy of your trumpet mouthpiece, called the “Glenn Zottola Trumpet Mouthpiece” as part of their Legend Series; of which it is now available at select retailers around the world?

Glenn Zottola: Yes, I’m so excited, it’s a real tribute to my Dad… Master Mouthpiece maker. This Company, R.S. Berkley, is a great Company. They make wonderful Saxophones, and they started this Legends Mouthpiece Series. They did a tribute to Stan Getz. I’m friends with Stan’s Daughter. They got Stan’s mouthpiece from Stan Getz’s Daughter. They put out a Stan Getz model. They put out a Charlie Parker model, for the Alto. They have Louis Armstrong, Woody Shaw, and Dizzy Gillespie. I was really honored when he asked me to do my mouthpiece. In 1979, I went to my Dad. I was getting very busy, in the professional scene, doing a lot of varied work. I had my Dad take one of the mouthpieces that he made. I played with my Dad’s mouthpiece my whole life, but I had to make some very minor alterations to fit the bill for me; for all of the different styles that I had to play. So, that’s the mouthpiece that I played with, my whole Career. It’s a one of a kind. You really can’t get it. So I’m thrilled that I was able to get that duplicated, so others could have it. That Company is R.S. Berkley in New Jersey. Beautiful guy, his name is Les Silver; who runs the Company. He’s a Saxophone Player, and he’s a really sweet guy. He has a tremendous love for Musicians.

OL: Anyone can purchase the Glenn Zottola mouthpiece at R.S. Berkley?

Glenn Zottola: Yes, that’s correct.

OL: How do You feel about Social Media, as it relates to your Career, now… and what would You say, Glenn, would be the advantages, if used responsibly?

Glenn Zottola: As you know, Social Media, you can’t deny it. It is what’s happening. Even major Celebrities are on Twitter. So, I’m trying to learn more, and more about it. I’m on Facebook, I’m on Linked In, I’m on Twitter, and I have a Website. I’m trying to learn more and more about it, because through media like YouTube, it is a way to reach a lot of people. I already have reached a lot of people, and I’m thrilled about that… but I do want to expand it, because whether you like it or not, it is the future. I mean there are some things that I don’t like about it, for sure. I feel that it can get impersonal, but you can’t deny the power that the internet and social media has.

OL: Yes, that’s right Glenn… If it’s used in a really positive and responsible way, like you said, it’s a very powerful tool?

Glenn Zottola: Absoulutely. I mean it’s part of the world that’s changed, for sure. You saw the role Facebook played during the revolution in Egypt. It’s unbelievable that social media would have caused a revolution. It’s powerful stuff, and also a word of warning as we all know, it can be dangerous too. Like anything that is powerful, it can be used for good, or bad.

OL: We look forward tomorrow in Part 7 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, as we take a tour on the best of Glenn Zottola’s Broadway Gigs, his recordings and works with Saxophonist Great Zoot Sims and famed Talk Show Host / Musician Steve Allen… and then wrapping things up, finding out about what’s next for Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician Great Glenn Zottola…

OL: Glenn, is there any music commentary you’d like to share with the OL viewers, as we conclude this Interview 6 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola: So yeah, I would like to up my presence, now that I have all of these Products out there. I’ve got a Website, and I have Interviews, including this one. I would like to get a wider reach. I’m not on Television every night, right now… so a good way to do that, would probably be through Social Media.

OL: Thank you Glenn. We’ll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

Continue to Part 7 →

Oceanlight Records Interview, Part 5

OL: Welcome Back, Glenn. This being Part 5 of our 7 day Interview for OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. On this segment… Collaborations!

Glenn Zottola: Hello again!

OL: Tell us about Glenn Zottola Productions, and how your Big Band took off, gigging at the Rainbow Room, in NYC, and how Drummer great Bobby Rosengarden played a partnering role in this successful venture?

Glenn Zottola: Wow, I’m glad you brought that up because Bobby was one of the collaborations like Suzanne and Chick. We had a ball; seven years together. We actually met on the Benny Goodman Sextet. It’s a funny story. Bobby is one of those real New York feisty guys. He came up through all the channels in New York. He was the drummer on The Tonight Show; all of those years in New York, for Johnny Carson. And then he was the Bandleader on the Dick Cavett Show. He was an incredible studio drummer. He played with Toscanini and the NBC Orchestra and everything. He’s an incredible, incredible musician and a beautiful jazz player too. But as I get off and tell this funny story, so I’m with Benny, right… and we were planning to do a broadcast for 2020 TV. The director is counting down like a minute to go, or whatever. And Benny, he could get a little spaced out. He turns around and he sees Bobby on the drums, and we were going to go on the air, and he says, “I thought I fired you.” Bobby had this real fast New York comeback. He said, “Yeah, but you hired me back!” And Benny goes, “Okay”… and he counts off the tune. So Bobby was one of those real New York Jewish you know tough guys; you know that don’t take any crap, studio guys that grew up through all of those channels. So we first met on Benny’s sextet and then we played some jazz festivals together and he called me up one night and he said, “How would you like to lead your own Big Band in the Rainbow Room?” and I said I’ve never led a big band before. He said “Don’t worry about it. I’ll give you my arrangements, and you can have my bandstands. It’s Johnny Desmond going in and you’ll do great.” So he set me all up and I went into the Rainbow Room, and it was a huge, huge hit. I ended up doing many, many engagements after that. I really appreciated that he gave me everything that set me up, and that was really the start of Glenn Zottola Productions. I wanted to come off of the road. My daughter was 2 1/2 years old I wanted to spend more time at home. So, I started to put together booking people from my house in Connecticut.

OL: Okay, well booking over 300 Events a year, with your Big Band, Glenn, it must have been both exciting, and busy at the same time! How did You schedule in your recording sessions schedule in between that?

Glenn Zottola: I was doing 90 hours a week… I had a band six nights a week at the Rainbow Room. I was Entertainment Director of two major hotels, Crowne Plaza and the Hyatt. Plus I was doing Jazz Festivals. Plus I was going to Europe. Plus I was doing all of my Jazz shows and Corporate gigs, too. So, it was intense, but I loved it. I was young, and I was on fire.

OL: Yeah, yeah, well that’s great, so you basically worked 365 days a year?

Glenn Zottola: It was here and there about seven years. Bobby was kind of semi-retired, he had about 25 gigs a year. And I built it up to over 300. In those days, ‘live’ music was still happening, it wasn’t all DJ’s. You know what I mean? I had the finest Clientele. I used to do Oscar de la Renta’s wedding parties. I did a lot of different parties for the Rockefellers. I worked for the Woolworth Family. I worked for a lot of upscale people in Connecticut and in New York; the guy who founded American Express, Great, great Clients that loved good music; loved to dance, all that stuff.

OL: Oh, wow, it must have been really one of a really rich period?

Glenn Zottola: It really was, I think the end; from what I can tell from people telling me today; It was kind of the end of the glorious days of live music, which is sad.

OL: What would be your fondest memory, of working with Bobby Rosengarden?

Glenn Zottola: Well, we had a ball. We had a lot of laughs. We had really become very, very close friends. We would do a gig at the Plaza Hotel. And afterwards we’d go out for dinner, and we would have a lot of fun. We were great teammates with tremendous respect for each other. Musically, I learned a lot from him about being a bandleader for sure. He was a great bandleader. I learned a lot about business from him, and how to run the show. He was kind of a mentor for me in that way.

OL: Also, in the spirit of partnership… on the classic and beautifully recorded, Softly As A Morning Sunrise”… with You on Tenor Sax, and your Brother Bob Zottola on Trumpet; take us to the beginning of how this collaboration project got started ?

Glenn Zottola: Let me refresh myself on that. This is with Bob? Excuse me, I’m sorry about that. Oh, okay, have you heard that track?

OL: Yeah, we believe that this is one of the ones that you recorded first, and then you set the track to Bob?

Glenn Zottola: But how did you get that? I don’t even recall sending that to you.

OL: We did our homework.

Glenn Zottola: Oh, it’s on my website. Oh, you did your homework, OL. I take my hat off to you!

OL: Thank you.

Glenn Zottola: Well, you know Bob and I have been together a long time as brothers; the family jam sessions. We have kind of a rapport together, that’s pretty amazing. That track was just an experiment. Where I basically…we were at long distance; he’s in Florida and I’m in L.A. We’ve been talking about doing the Zottola Brothers album, forever. I laid some stuff down with the Tenor, and I emailed it to him, and he laid down some stuff with the Trumpet. And that’s what that tracks all about. I don’t know anybody at that age. Bob is 77, now… that has those kind of chops, who plays with that kind of fire. He’s amazing!

OL: We’re sure that this will be a great family affair.

Glenn Zottola: He still loves music. He’s definitely not jaded or tired.

OL: That’s wonderful, wonderful. What would be one of your favorite moments in performing and working with your Brother?

Glenn Zottola: You know, I just received an interesting tape from a fan in Finland, oddly enough. And he was at a club that Bob and I were playing at. The quality is not good, but the music was unbelievable and he sent me this tape… that was one night that really sticks out for me; and of course Bob and I have done a lot of things together. We did a Broadway show, we did “Evita” together. And of course we had the Family Jazz Club. It was amazing; that was a real spawning ground for me. He led the band, there.

OL: Okay, so working in the club with your Brother, that was like the pinnacle?

Glenn Zottola: Well, it was tremendous training. A lot of stars played in that club; Tommy Flanagan and Bob Timmons. To get to sit in there every week, was a great spawning ground for me, even though I was very young. And then, we played together a lot later. We were playing together when we were kids in the house. We always had that same mindset on the music

OL: Wonderful! Who are some of the great Recording Engineers that you would work with again, and again?

Glenn Zottola: Umm… oddly enough, there was a guy that just passed away and he did a lot of my early albums. His name was Richie La Page and he recorded a lot of albums that I did. He was great, other than that, Oddly enough, when I did movies when I first came to L.A., there were a couple of Engineers in the movie world that I really and truly loved the way they handled the sessions. With movies, you know you play all kinds of music; if it’s a period piece in the 40s. You would have a lot of 40s music. I found that the movie engineers could really shift gears and they would get the sound of my horn that I would really want for the certain period.

OL: Okay, Okay, all right, wonderful.

Glenn Zottola: Also with Suzanne, there was a guy named Bob Ludwick. He was amazing. He was our live Engineer for our live gigs. He was the soundman on the TV show. He was the original sound man that did all of the work for the group ‘Chicago’. So, he really knew how to mic horns, which I really appreciated; this guy was great. My horn always sounded pristine.

OL: That’s great, Glenn. Thank You once again!

OL: We look forward tomorrow in Part 6 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, as we cover more of Glenn Zottola’s spectacular Stage events, from performing in the many Jazz Festivals, performing with his friend, Jazz Legend Bassist Milt Hinton… to sharing the stage with Singer extraordinaire, Patti Austin & more…

OL: Glenn, is there any music commentary you’d like to share with the OL viewers, as we conclude this Interview 5 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola: Well, now that you brought up Engineers; you asked me about what was it like recording by yourself. It’s not easy being the Engineer and the artist. I have to take my hat off; Chick’s Engineer is a very good friend of mine, Bernie Kirsch. He actually tweaked and polish Chick’s track.. It’s amazing what he did, like in a half-hour. And then, there is a very famous guy at Capitol. He’s like a legend. Al Schmidt, who does all of Diana Krall’s albums. So, I have to take my hat off to a great Engineer. I mean in the old days, the famous Engineer was Rudy Van Gelder. Those guys get the sound of your instrument and they carry it forward and they’re really responsible for that sound. He got the sound on John Coltrane and Miles, and all of that stuff. So, my hat is off to great engineers. They really make the Artists’ job easy, and they also get the Artists’ pure sound out to the public… I’ll never forget I’ll tell you a funny story, working with Engineers. I remember I was helping Chick, mix an album that he did in tribute to Bud Powell. And there’s all this technical stuff flying around the studio. Everybody has their own viewpoint. You know all this technical language. I’ll never forget that day. I always quote it: Bernie at one point turns to Chick and says, “Which one sounds better to you?” Chick says, “that one,” and that was the end of the discussion. Like he was so cool, the way he handled all of those different viewpoints in the studio, you know. He just basically said, “Chick, which one sounds better?” So that’s the bottom line.

OL: Thank you Glenn. We’ll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

Continue to Part 6 →

Oceanlight Records Interview, Part 4

OL: Glad to have You back, Glenn… this being Part 4 of our 7 day Interview for OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. We’re at the segment Interview feature, where we introduce a ‘one word’ Interview question to You, Glenn, and if you can you please playback a One-word Commentary Note for the OL Visitors, that would be cool!

OL: Blow?

Glenn Zottola: The Trumpet!

OL: Memories?

Glenn Zottola: My life in music.

OL: Lights?

Glenn Zottola: Television.

OL: Clifford?

Glenn Zottola: It’s hard to do. I have so much emotion, connected with Clifford.

OL: If You had to choose one word, what would it be?

Glenn Zottola: My Heart

OL: Young?

Glenn Zottola: Me, as a kid.

OL: Contrast?

Glenn Zottola: Jazz.

OL: Mountain?

Glenn Zottola: A Career.

OL: Instrumental?

Glenn Zottola: Orchestra

OL: Illumination?

Glenn Zottola: The audience.

OL: Cool?

Glenn Zottola: Miles Davis

OL: Thank you very much Glenn, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you’d like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview 4 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola: My commentary, is that I think what OL is doing, subjectively for me, is a fantastic service. I want to applaud Oceanlight Records for providing a wonderful platform, so an Artist can just tell a story. I think that it’s a wonderful thing. I wish there was more of it.

OL: Thank you so much, Glenn, and we thank you for being a special part of it. and we have more to share with our OL Viewers, as far as our joy of having You on our Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. We look forward tomorrow in Part 5 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview, as Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician Great…Glenn Zottola tells us about the successful run of Glenn Zottola Productions Co., with his Production Business Partner, Bandleader Drummer Bobby Rosengarden of the Dick Cavett Show, & keeping it in the Family, with a special music project with his Brother Trumpeter great, Bob Zottola & more… Thank you all for visiting OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

Continue to Part 5 →

Oceanlight Records Interview, Part 3

OL: Welcome once again, Glenn. This being Part 3 of our 7 day Interview for OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, we’ll go right into highlighting some of your most renowned and magical TV Gigs and Stage Performances… from the “Suzanne Somers Television Show,” The “Martin” Show, to jamming with Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Dave Koz, and with no less excitement… performing with living Country Singer Legend Kenny Rogers and Grammy Producer David Foster, to performing, honoring the great Benny Goodman, at Carnegie Hall, NYC. What a whirlwind of a Career, Glenn!

Glenn Zottola: I have a lot to say!

OL: Starting off with Universal Studios, in California… the celebrated Suzanne Somers TV Show… Visitors at your Official website , can have the pleasure seeing some great video footage of You performing with the Band, at her Club Indigo ‘live’ show. Suzanne Somers, surely known for her sparkling character that she played as “Chrissy,” on the famed long-running TV Series, “Three’s Company…” What some may not have known, is that she is a fantastic Singer and Entertainer. On the video clip on your site, she does a great rendition of “I’ve Got The World On A String,” as she features You on Trumpet solo. Glenn, You really pop on this set! Then on the closing number, You provide a nice warm and lush sound for Suzanne on your Sax. Tell us more about the wonderful moments of this show?

Glenn Zottola: I have to say, that I’ve had a lot of high points in my Career. Benny Goodman, Chick Corea, Carnegie Hall. They are real high points, but Suzanne and the TV Show, was definitely right up there, with everything else. I grew up as a child prodigy. I did a lot of TV when I was a kid. After this world of music that I did, traveling the world; I ended up back on TV, with Suzanne, coming full circle. At such a high level, I only wished that the show would run as long as The Tonight Show, because I really, really enjoyed it. I thought I had died and gone to heaven, because here I am at Universal, as a Jazz Musician, with a big office; next to Steven Spielberg. Ten minutes from my house. Doing eight shows a week, for more money that I ever dreamed possible in music. Every time I got on stage, I was playing for tens of millions of people, which few Jazz Musicians ever experience; you know what I mean?

OL: Yes, of course, sure!

Glenn Zottola: I mean, not even Rock Musicians. The biggest stage is not tens of millions. It’s an amazing experience. It’s hard to even explain. Even I explained it to my friends, like Chick Corea, or whatever; what it felt like to be in that position… after all of those years in music. Then working with Suzanne, who was so gracious, and she loved me so much. Let me say about her, you know, that she’s known as an Actress first, but she has a tremendous love for Jazz and Music. She used to go see Carmen McRae. She was good friends with Sinatra. I never had one musical disagreement with her, in nine years. Her instructions to me; she just told me to do your Glenn thing. She never told me one note to play. I’d sit with her, hand-in-glove. As her husband called it; we had real simpatico. Her phrasing was very natural, and I fitted in beautifully with it. It was definitely chemistry, there. It was definitely a very big high point. There’s a video on my website. One of the guys in the band, invited me to her rehearsal. She didn’t know me. I’m sitting there, listening; it sounded pretty good. I said, do you mind if I sit in? She tells the story on stage, and she said like, “Who is this guy?” I pull out my horn, and I say, what tunes do you know? I’m like this crazy Jazz guy (laughing). I said, do you know ‘ But Beautiful’? She said, “Yeah, I know ‘But Beautiful’.” I started playing it with her, and if you look at that clip on my video, you’ll see her melting on the show, but she melted that day, at the rehearsal. She literally melted in front of me. When I got through the tune, she said, “I want you as my Bandleader, now.” The chemistry and the love was instant. It never changed from that moment, on.

OL: That’s wonderful… the feeling that Lady Somers really enjoyed working with You and with a shared mutual respect for each other’s talents, it really shines through, Glenn… and rightfully so. We understand that in all of your 9 years of working with Suzanne Somers, that she encouraged your featured solo moments to be free-spirited, and for You to just be the spectacular Musician that You are. Share with us Glenn, the art of give and take, when performing with and providing instrumental fills for Singers?

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely. Well, first of all, I think I helped her fulfill a dream, because she always wanted to sing standards and Jazz related music, and I gave her that platform. I brought her up to another level, also. She had it in her, for sure, but I gave her that feeding of foil. We’re back to what I said about Singers and Jazz Musicians, possibly getting more into Singers. I love Singers. I feel today, that some of the Jazz Musicians are a little disconnected from Singers. Guys want to blow, they want to play a lot of notes; it’s not a singing type of thing… but I feel different. I come from an era where; if I’m working with a Mel Torme, or a Sinatra, or a Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, or Suzanne… I love, as we say, filling the holes. In other words, not getting in the way. Just enhancing and contributing to what they’re doing. I remember when Chick heard me play ” But Beautiful.” I played that video for him. He said, “Man, you’re comping for her.” ‘Comping’ means, what a Piano Player does for a Horn Player. And it’s true, what I’m really doing is accompanying her on the Saxophone… so I love doing that. I love doing that ‘give and take’, back and forth. It’s almost a lost art, today. I hear guys, sometimes playing with Singers, and they’re colliding with the Singer. They’re playing, not in the holes, they’re playing when they’re singing, and they’re colliding. That’s not the way it’s supposed to go down.

OL: We hear that often, especially in today’s music. Clamoring to be heard; there’s a time and space for both, but just not at the same time?

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely. That’s why certain Piano Players are amazing accompanists, because they know how to make it sound better, by just enhancing it… rather than having to try to be on an ego trip. Suzanne and I, were the epitome of that kind of rapport. I’ve had it with other Singers, too, but the things is I got a chance to do so much with her, over the years.

OL: Glenn, during your time spent performing on the Suzanne Somers TV Show, did You ever think that You would be swinging on a combo jam session with Country Singer Legend Kenny Rogers on upright bass, & the phenomenal Producer David Foster on piano?

Glenn Zottola: That was so funny. The deal with the Guests, that any Celebrity that came on, was whatever they wanted to do, they could. A lot of maybe Academy Award Actresses, people would be surprised, that they can sing. I was at a party with John Travolta. I was telling him that I wanted to do this Stan Getz project. He started singing these Jobim tunes… and I found out he’s a real Pro. He can do Sinatra stuff, and everything. When I think of John, I think about ‘ Grease’. The same thing with Kenny Rogers. He came on, and he picked up the Bass, he started swinging his butt off, and I’m looking at him, and I can’t believe it. I went up to him afterwards, I said, Kenny, listen… I’m so sorry, I’ve got to be honest with you; I’m not a big fan of Country Music, but you sound great! He said, “No, I started off in a group, singing and playing bass in a group that was like the Hi-Lo’s .” So, he had a lot of Jazz in him. Also Actor, Hector Elizondo came on, we did James Moody’s ” Moody’s Mood For Love.” It was Hector, Suzanne and Myself, and he sounded like a Be-Bopper. I said, Hey Hector? He said, “I’m from New York…Birdland!” He’s like a Jazz Be-Bopper. So I learned a lot about everybody, you know.

OL: Wow, that’s great! With the best of the best in the TV Band, including yourself, Glenn; how much does musical spontaneity play into a TV Show, like that of the Suzanne Somers Show?

Glenn Zottola: Well for me, it was total spontaneity. I ran that thing like a Jazz gig. One day I come into the Studio, and they’re tearing out pages and pages of sheets, on the script. Something was wrong, and the Director was frantic. He was a good Director. He did all of Dick Clark’s Shows. He said, “We had just lost one-third of our script. How are we going to do this? You’re going to have to write all new music.” I said, what do you mean, write all new music? Listen, just tell me, give me a color, give me a mood, give me whatever you feel, in my headphones, 30 seconds before the commercial break, and I’ll give you what you want. I did the whole show, without a script, and he was in shock. He said, “I’ve never been with anybody in Television, who could do that.” I said, Barry, I’m a Jazz Musician. So, what I brought to TV, I don’t think anybody before me, or after me, has done that. I ran it like a Jazz gig. Sometimes the Bass Player would tap me on the shoulders and say, “Hey Glenn, it’s like 15 seconds before back on, do you know what we’re playing?” I said, give me 5 more seconds, let me think about! (laughing). I would never be there, if it wasn’t for Suzanne, I’m not a TV guy, you know. Let me tell you how it worked. That show, I’m bragging now, down time on the show at that time, was $50,000 an hour. Since you’re down, because someone made a technical mistake and you’re down for a half an hour, it costs the network $25 grand. Nobody likes that. I didn’t have one minute of down-time, because of any mistake I ever made. They were never down, because of me.

OL: We love that, Glenn! Those were good times, indeed… and with more to come, with the two TV Stars Tisha Campbell-Martin and Tichina Arnold, most notably then of the famed “Martin” TV Sitcom Show. They were set to appear on the Suzanne Somers TV Show, as their show also filmed next door, at Universal Studios, in California as well?

Glenn Zottola: The ‘Martin’ Show was taping right next to us. Suzanne said that, “We’re going to have Tachina and Tisha on, and can you go over there, and find out what they want to do?” I must have spent, a maximum, maybe 30 minutes with them, and we were laughing, having a ball.

OL: On the Suzanne Somers TV Show, Tisha and Tichina did a knock-out duet cover of Chaka Khan’s “Sweet Thing.” You were in on it, Glenn, from the onset, when You were assisting them on the arrangement, as prep, in their dressing room… how did that come about?

Glenn Zottola: I brought a little tiny tape recorder. I said, what do you want to do? They were singing that Chaka Khan & Rufus, Mary J. Blige tune, “Sweet Thing”… and I spent maybe 20 minutes with them, went back to the show, worked up an arrangement for them, and that’s what you see. They’re very good, aren’t they?

OL: It looks like they’ve been singing together, forever. They are very good! It came through on the stage.

Glenn Zottola: They were very tight. They were like two Sisters. I loved working with them. They were a ball!

OL: Moving over to another favorite Guest Artist who appeared on the Suzanne Somers TV Show… Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Dave Koz stopped by to jam with You and the Band…Nice groovin’, Glenn… Both You and Dave killing on the Sax… How often would cool Musicians like that of Dave Koz, sit in on the show and just jam with You and the guys in the band?

Glenn Zottola: I knew who Dave was. He was doing the ‘Make A Wish’ Foundation Show. Dave came on, and we hit it off. We were just jamming on the commercial breaks. I’m not trying to brag, I’m trying to do this, so to tell everybody who I am… trying to impart to younger Players. I love doing a wide variety of stuff. I’m proud of the fact that I can play with Benny Goodman, Chick Corea, do Broadway, do Television… and play with Dave Koz, which is completely different music from what I play. I’m like the real chameleon of music. I’ve always been that way. I think that playing by ear, is a factor there, because I just go where my ear goes.

OL: Carnegie Hall Theater, in New York City… with Clarinetist Bob Wilber & the New Jersey Jazz Society Band… a momentous 50 year Anniversary, in celebration of the great Benny Goodman (1930’s) Swing Band sound. You were a big part of this Tribute Show, Glenn, sitting in on the same chair as Trumpeter great Harry James once performed… Tell us about your terrific trumpet solo and recording cover on the great Louis Armstrong’s, “Shine,” during this Carnegie Hall Tribute Show?

Glenn Zottola: I worked with Benny for two years, and that was an amazing experience. I get a call in New York from a friend of mine, who is a great Pianist, John Bunch. He used to be Tony Bennett’s accompanist. He was working at the time, with Benny… and he said, “What are you doing? Benny needs a Trumpet Player, can you come over to the Astor Hotel, right now?” I said, sure. I was living in Manhattan, so I went over to the Astor Hotel. I walked in, and there’s Benny Goodman, with the whole Band. Not the Big Band, this is the Sextet, a small Band. He doesn’t say anything to me. I pull out my horn, and we jammed for 45 minutes. We get through and he comes up to me, and he said, “Can you leave, tomorrow, to go on the road?” I was trying to be polite, because I knew he had a Trumpet Player, and I’m not going to mention the name, who has quite a name; this Trumpet Player. Benny says, “I didn’t ask you that. Can you leave, tomorrow?” Something must have gone down, obviously. I said, sure… and that’s it. I went on the road with Benny, with his Sextet. It was a great Band. Connie Kay, was on drums, a very famous Drummer. We’re ready to go on stage, and I go up to Connie and I say, do we have any charts? He said, “Yeah, we’ve got charts.” He pulls out this old piece of ripped paper. He hands it to me, and on it, is a rift of this tune, “Undecided.” He said, “Here’s your charts.” So, I got the message; okay there were no arrangements, right? I went on, and I played the gig, and that was it. Benny gets on the microphone, and introduces me for my ballad feature. He talks to the audience for like five minutes about me. He says, “You know, I ran across this kid, and I hired him. Everybody’s been in my Band. This young man can hold his own with any of them.” He names all of these guys… including Harry James, and I can’t believe that he said all of that, because he wasn’t that kind of guy. After the gig, I said, Benny, I really appreciate that. He said, “Well deserved, young man.” I didn’t have any problems with Benny Goodman. He was very, very nice to me. As for Carnegie Hall, you know, you’d have to know the history of music. In 1938, after Benny was on the road. He thought that he was bombing out. He was going to disband his Band, but he didn’t realize, over the radio; he was getting this incredible cult following of Teenagers. People don’t realize, this is very similar to Elvis, or the Beatles, later. What they call the bobby-socks, they were Teenagers, and they were listening to this new music. ‘swing’; which was very different from what was before that. Benny Goodman was the first white Big Band Leader to play Black Music, because he had an integrated Band. He had Lionel Hampton, he had Teddy Wilson, and his arranger was Fletcher Henderson, a great black Arranger. So, his music was not rhythmically, a music that white kids were used to hearing. To put it a better way… what they were used to hearing, was much more ‘corny’. So, when Benny came along, and kids started hearing this music, over the radio, it was like hearing Elvis. Same thing… and I have to tell people this, because Elvis did the same thing. All of these guys were around like Chuck Berry, and Elvis loved that music. Elvis was the first white guy to play that music. Count Basie and Duke Ellington, couldn’t play the big fancy White Hotels in 1938. They couldn’t get into those rooms, so therefore white kids would never hear that music. Chuck Berry couldn’t get on Ed Sullivan, in those days. So, when Elvis brought his thing to the white kids, they went nuts. Same thing… so, when Benny brought that music to the white kids, they went nuts. This was a radical new music. Benny thought that he was bombing out. They would go into these Hotels, and they didn’t like the music, when he was traveling across Country. He was building up this cult following, on the radio. So, in 1938, when he came to Carnegie Hall. which was the first time that Jazz was ever at Carnegie Hall… that was the beginning, really, of the ‘swing’ era. That became the National Music of the Country. The night that I did the Anniversary, which was 50 years later, we played the same exact program of ’38, same songs, and everything. Anybody who was there at the original ’38 Concert, now in their 60’s and 70’s; we let them sit on the same stage with the Band. As I was playing, I was looking at their face, and you can literally see decades come off of their faces, as they were re-living that historic moment. This is when ‘Swing’ music became the National Music of the Country. We’re not talking about something esoteric, like Jazz. This was the music of the Country, that lasted all the way through World War II.

OL: In this 50th Anniversary of Benny Goodman at the Carnegie Hall, you did the cover of “Shine?”

Glenn Zottola: The story behind that… I was sitting in Harry James’ chair, and with original Benny Goodman arrangements; little hand-written notes from Harry James. Harry loved Louis Armstrong, and he asked Benny if he could take a try, because Louis had a very famous solo on ” Shine.” Harry wanted to take a shot at it. That’s how ” Shine” occurred. It was just Harry playing a couple of choruses on that very famous Louis Armstrong piece. So, it was an unbelievably historic night, playing the exact program of ’38. Isaac Stern was there. Isaac Stern did the Intermission, and unbelievable; you should hear him talk about Jazz. He said that when he came to New York, he used to hang out on 52nd Street, and go see Charlie Parker. He was a big Jazz fan. He said, “Growing up in Washington, all of my Classical friends, we used to listen to Benny Goodman, this new beat; we were going crazy, when we were kids.” Who would have thought, right? So, at the end of the night, Benny Goodman’s daughter came out, and gave Benny’s Clarinet to Isaac Stern, to put into the Carnegie Hall Archives. It was a packed house. I was on air, because the Reviewer John Wilson, of the New York Times said… I don’t know if this is true, but it was a compliment; he said, “Harry James was not missed tonight, with Glenn Zottola’s horn.” The reason why I gave you that ” Shine” track… I never knew that it was recorded. No one said it was, and no one knew. I get this tape from a guy that was in the audience. I don’t know where it was recorded. I got that like just last year. All these years, it was the first time that I got to hear the Concert. I’m amazed that I could go back and hear it.

OL: What a terrific story, Glenn! This is indeed your life! As our readers are enjoying listening to some of your most celebrated recordings, Glenn… what would be one of your own favorite recordings, so far?

Glenn Zottola: I really like the Chick Corea track, for sure. When I go back over my Anthology, and I look back over all of the recordings, I’ve got to be honest with you. Every recording has a little something that I like. There are different periods of my musical development. I really can’t pick one thing. I’m glad that they exist.

OL: In your Career travels, Glenn, give us your Musician’s take on performing on both ends of the music world, from the New York Jazz music scene, going all the way to the entertainment Mecca of Hollywood ( Tinseltown), California?

Glenn Zottola: Quickly on Europe, because I spent a lot of time there, and I achieved a lot of acclaim. The Europeans regarding Jazz, is a totally different audience. They are steeped in tradition. At the time when I was going to Europe in the 80’s, they are not so fad oriented. They remember and they’re very knowledgeable on Classic Jazz. A lot of Jazz Musicians move to Europe, because of that reason. Black Musicians moved to Paris, and they were treated like royalty. In Europe, if you say that you’re an Artist, it’s like ‘oh my God’; it’s like saying in America, that you’re a Doctor. Whereas, if you say that you’re an Artist, or a Jazz Musician, in America; they say, well that’s fine, but I don’t want my daughter to marry one, you know! (laughing)… So Europe is completely different, regarding appreciation of history and the arts. The two top towns in America, for Musicians, is obviously New York and L.A. The best Musicians in the world, are in New York, or L.A. The New York Musician is very different, than the west coast Musician. I used to travel in Europe and people didn’t know where I was from. I would play a set, and I would come off and the guys in the Band would say, “You’re from New York, right?” I said, yeah, how did you know? They said, “By the way that you play.” New York playing is very aggressive. It’s like the City! Whereas west coast Jazz is much more laid back, but Hollywood, is Hollywood. There’s nothing like it. I’m a New Yorker at heart, you know what I mean?… but when you talk about Movies and Hollywood, New York doesn’t have that.

OL: That’s true. Each of the two Mecca’s have their own way of shimmering. Thank you Glenn.

OL: We look forward tomorrow in Part 4 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, where we get to shine a one-word spotlight on Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician Great Glenn Zottola’s One-Word Playback, for the OL Viewers… Glenn, is there any music commentary you’d like to share with the OL viewers, as we conclude this Interview 3 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola: New York and L.A.; they have their own vibe. I’m anxious to see… I watched the premier of Jimmy Fallon with The Tonight Show, which has not been in New York, since like 40 years ago. I’m curious to see how he does with it. I’m sure he’ll do great, but it is New York; and you know ‘ David Letterman’ and you know ‘ Saturday Night Live’ has a certain vibe, that is not Hollywood. The cities are very different.

OL: Thank you Glenn. We’ll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

Continue to Part 4 →

Oceanlight Records Interview, Part 2

OL: Welcome Back, Glenn. We are certainly enjoying our time spent with You, this week, this being Part 2 of our 7 day Interview for OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. Thank you once again.

Glenn Zottola: Thank you, OL!

OL: For our OL Readers, Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician Great…Glenn Zottola will be sharing with all of us, his most celebrated Solo recordings, including his many recordings, with the many world-premier Artists.

OL: Glenn, your wonderful recording sessions with music giants like Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Gerry Mulligan, Milt Hinton, and Zoot Sims, are legendary. Let’s start off with your recording with one of the most celebrated Jazz Artists in the world, none other than 20-Time Grammy-Winning Jazz Legend, Pianist and Composer… Mr. Chick Corea! Tell us about your timeless recording with the one and only Chick Corea, on the George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin classic, “But Not For Me,” and how it came about?

Glenn Zottola: Well, you know, Chick is my best friend. He’s a very colorful guy… but I told him, that I felt that he was not only the greatest living Jazz Artist, but I felt that he’s one of the greatest Artists on the planet, today. He’s 72 years old. He has decades of amazing, amazing stuff. We got to be very close friends. We hang out a lot together, and we jam together. I got a call one night. I was going to bed and I was tired. He said, “Hey, what are you doing?” I said, I’m going to bed, I’m tired. He said, “Well, why don’t you grab your horn and come on over?” I was reluctant, because I truly was tired, but you know, getting a call from Chick Corea, is like getting a call from Mozart. You don’t really want to say ‘no’, you know?… so I grab my horns, and I go over to his house. He happened to be rehearsing his Trio for a tour. Some players I’ve never met before. I walked in, and he said, “What do you want to play?” I said Well, why don’t we do ‘But Not For Me’?… kind of like the Miles’ arrangement, which is kind of a classic arrangement. That arrangement has little interludes between each solo. He said, “Sure!”… so he sat down, and that’s it. He just started an intro. There was no rehearsal, nothing. One take. I laid down that track… and then we hit one more tune, which is not on my new album. We did Miles’ tune “Walkin’ ” Then I said, great, I’m going back to bed! I went back home and went to bed, and the next day, he hands me this tape. It’s a real testament to him, but it’s a testament to Jazz, how you can get together with a bunch of guys that you’ve never met before. One take, and it just happens… and I’m very proud of that track, because it just all felt right. A lot of it, has to do with Chick. Not only is he a great player, but he a great accompanist, oh my God. He just gives you so much space. That’s true with any great player. They always bring you up… up to a higher level. In fact, I’ve had people tell me that, “My God, I love playing in your Band. I feel like I play better than ever.” Good players do that to each other.

OL: Right, they bring each other up to a higher place?

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely. Unfortunately, there’s not enough places for guys to play anymore, like it was when I was growing up… where I’d go to Clubs and sit in with Legends, you know what I mean?… that were playing in those places, and to be next to greatness. I’m not a trained player, I play by ear. It’s all learned on the Bandstand, playing next to Legends.

OL: Wow Glenn, that’s wonderful. We didn’t realize, after listening to ‘But Not For Me’, that this was a one-take recording. Incredible!

Glenn Zottola: One take. No rehearsal. Never met the guys, before. People hear it, and they don’t realize that, that’s what is actually happening. It is amazing, and that’s the amazing thing about Jazz. Sometime when it goes down that way, it’s even better. I know Stan Getz didn’t like to over-rehearse. A lot of guys don’t like to over-rehearse. You want spontaneity, you know.

OL: In your ‘live’ recordings with Mr. Corea and his Trio, on this song and also on the song, “Walkin’,” what was your first thought in how you wanted to approach any type of particular recording style, especially on the recording of “But Not For Me,” the Miles Davis arrangement?

Glenn Zottola: Well, like I said… when I said to Chick; that kind of laid it down, when I said to him, listen, to the Miles’ arrangement. It’s better than a rehearsal. It kind of gives you a guideline of where you want to go… what kind of pocket that you want to put it in. Luckily, the guys were so good. As you know, Chick plays a lot of modern music. With those cats, that he had in the Band, at that time… plus Chick himself; he has great roots. Those guys were able to just fall right into that groove that I wanted.

OL: Tell us about the Musicians that were on Mr. Corea’s Trio, and what it was like working with them?

Glenn Zottola: Well, there’s a guy… he’s actually Israeli, and I was following his Career recently, because he’s out on his own now. He does a lot of stuff in Europe, with String Quartets and Symphony Orchestras. His name is Avishai Cohen. Anybody listening, can Google him. At the time, when he was playing with Chick, he was a real straight ahead Jazz Bass Player, and he still is, I’m sure; but now he’s doing his own music, playing with String Quartets. Some of his music sounds to me, for lack of better words, very Mediterranean, now. He’s into a lot of grooves that are from his culture, and everything like that. The Drummer is a really good Drummer from New York, Adam Cruz. I have a lot of stuff with Chick playing drums… Avishai and me and Chick on drums . I have stuff with me and Chick; Chick playing the marimba.

OL: Is it something you are looking to release?

Glenn Zottola: I would love to, if he’s cool on it. I sent him some new tracks. Man, “That sounds great.” He like it. I thought it would be interesting for people hearing him play the marimba.

OL: Wow, that would be interesting. He’s a Piano Man, so to hear him on another instrument; that’s just another dimension. Glenn: You know, I got to say something about Chick. Chick has been around a long time, but he’s not resting on his laurels, or faded in any way. Being with him, is like being with Mozart. He’ll play me some chords and stuff and he’s so excited about music, still. A hundred albums, 20 Grammy’s, 44 nominations tied with guys who aren’t even in Jazz… but still fresh. In fact, as far as I know, I think that he’s doing an album with John Mayer, right now. John Mayer came into his dressing room I believe, and said, “We should do something, together.” He does this stuff with Gary Burton all of the time. You know like when he was at the Blue Note, who can stay in the Blue Note, for like eight weeks straight? Nobody. He did a different Band every week. Basically, what I’m saying; besides being a great person, he’s so fresh, still.

OL: Working and recording with Chick Corea, must have been like no other jam session. Glenn, listening to this spectacular gem of a recording, we surely know the great and spirited sound that You yourself, brought to the already special Chick Corea session…so can you share with us, what was the one special memory that you took away from playing on this session?

Glenn Zottola: That it was perfect, for lack of better words. I mean, it’s not always that way. In Jazz, a lot, it is that way, but this was perfect… and the way the Band was playing behind me, and with me; I mean it just felt right. Everybody was in communication, and I’m sure that it helped that Chick was rehearsing all day long. Everybody was like, there, before I got there; so there was no effort. Absolutely zero effort.

OL: It just flowed out, so easily?

Glenn Zottola: It just flowed out, for sure.

OL: That’s a terrific moment recording with the great Chick Corea and his Trio, Glenn… and thanks for giving us an inside look at some of your most prized recording sessions. Okay, now let’s visit your special Frank Sinatra recording sessions… Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, who was more than a Legend… he had the world in his voice. What was this great big world like Glenn, playing on the Sinatra recording sessions?

Glenn Zottola: Well, it wasn’t a Recording Session, actually it was Television. It was the Mary Tyler Moore Juvenile Diabetes Telethon, in L.A. We got a call. I was partners with Bobby Rosengarden, a great Drummer, and we had an Orchestra together. We got a call to go out there, because we were already doing the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Bobby was the Drummer on the “Tonight Show,” all of the years it was in New York… so, he called Doc. Said, “Doc, I’m in L.A., doing this Telethon, I need a Band, can I borrow your Band.” Doc said, “Sure.” So he basically gave us The Tonight Show Band. You can’t beat that. We had a lot of acts on that show and Frank was one of them. What I can tell you about that night, was playing Frank’s charts, that I knew so well; like, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “I’ve Got The World On A String,”… I heard those charts so much. It was like someone else was holding my Trumpet for me; Nelson Riddle’s charts and all of that. Nelson Riddle had the best arrangements in the world. The music was playing me. It was an amazing thing, especially with a great Band, like The Tonight Show, it wasn’t a pick-up Band. It was a thrill, and it was a thrill being on stage with Frank. I’ve been thinking about doing a project. I never really thought about it much. I would like to say this now; if someone is listening. You know I always had a vocal approach to playing through my horn, since I was very, very young. The concept of singing through the horn is very natural to me. That’s why I am very confortable around singers… Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee… and I never collide with them because my approach on the horn is a vocal approach. I never thought about this…I’ve been listening to a lot of Sinatra, lately and he was amazing. That’s why he was the ‘Chairman of the Board’. He admits it himself, working in the Tommy Dorsey Band. He was listening and watching some of those great horn players, how they used breath control. Tommy Dorsey was a master at breath control. I think that he got into that before any Singer before him, and he took that away with him, as a foundation. Not only does he swing, but just his whole phrasing and his breath control, and the power he has, it’s amazing. What I’d like to impart to horn players today, regardless of what music you want to play; I just feel if there’s more of a vocal approach in players playing, Jazz players… the music would communicate more, and have more emotion. I feel that it can get a little mechanical, these days. These guys, they are all virtuosos; nobody is putting anyone down. The modern music doesn’t really demand someone…The older music demands that you kind of sing through the horn. I’m realizing this now. I am going to try do something along the line that will try to get this vocal approach across, because it’s something that I’m strong in. I was reading some interviews, that Miles would hang out at Jilly’s Club, with Sinatra, and he talked a lot about Sinatra and Sinatra’s phrasing. Miles Davis of all people. Miles was a very lyrical guy. My experience with Frank was definitely a high point in my Career.

OL: Bravo Glenn! Yes, Frank Sinatra allowed the arrangements to come through. He wasn’t intimidated by the arrangement.

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely! He let the music breathe. I love that fact that people, obviously got that. No one has really been able to top Frank.

OL: Chairman of the Board!

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely! But the thing I want to get across that he had a way… Suzanne Somers told me that she was a very good friend Frank. When he went to gig, he would sit on a plane and he would be writting up the lyrics to a song over and over and over again. She said, “I asked him, ‘he said make those lyrics your own so you will never take them back.” He really delivered the lyric, but I want to say, he had that foundation (breath control and phrasing).

OL: Okay… on the many sessions that You have worked on; in general, do Producers prep Musicians before-hand as to whether the session will be an overdub session or a ‘live’ session; and with your extraordinary versatility on playing the Trumpet, Alto and Tenor Saxes, Glenn, do You bring all three of your instruments to your recording sessions?

Glenn Zottola: Well, yes and no. For my own albums, I do. Tenor Sax is a new instrument for me, but I always brought my Alto and my Trumpet to my own recording sessions. For other people’s records; not so, I would just play sometimes, Trumpet, because they already had Saxophone Players, and stuff like that. There was one album that I did which… I didn’t know, I had the guts to do that, because I was just getting into Tenor. This was a tribute to Count Basie, with a lot of the Count Basie guys. I brought my Tenor, and just put it on the side. You know Frank West was on saxophone and Freddy Green the bass fiddle; I got inspired, and I’m sitting in the Trumpet area, and I pulled out my Tenor, and luckily I had a Producer that wanted me to fool around like that. I recorded my first recording on that album on Tenor, from the Trumpet section. which is unheard of, and I got so inspired… so yeah, if it’s someone else’s album, I would be playing on trumpet, but sometimes they would ask me to bring the Alto. As far as overdubs, I’ve done some on my recent sessions, but all my 50 albums, all my old records, never any overdubs.

OL: Do You prefer ‘live’ sessions to overdubs?

Glenn Zottola: Well of course. Although it’s a funny thing; at one point, I really wanted to do an overdub. Most Jazz Players don’t do that. I remember doing lots of them in the pop world, in the 60’s and 70’s. But I wanted to do the overdub thing, and that’s why I’m doing that, now. I remember asking Chick, and he said to me “Why do you want to do that, Jazz is all about interaction.” He was right about that. I said, I want to overdub. I asked him to write me a track and he did. So, it’s not a normal thing. Usually Jazz Players don’t do that.

OL: The gifted Vocal Jazz Legend Peggy Lee… of Stage & Screen can no doubt be one of the most shining moments in your illustrious Career, Glenn. You are featured on Peggy Lee’s beautiful samba-styled Harold Arlen song, “Love Held Lightly.” When You do your solo features, what is most important to You as a featured Artist, the entrance or exit of your solo? Or is it just the whole feel of the moment?

Glenn Zottola: I never met Peggy before that session. Of course, I knew who she was. I think that was her last album of her Career. She did the whole thing while she was in a wheelchair. Her spirit was so great, and she was so feisty. When she found out that I worked with Benny Goodman, oh man, she started telling me all of these Benny Goodman Stories, and we had a ball. Working with a Legend like that, it’s like working with Sinatra, or Chick. These are people that you read about and hear about. Now, you’re playing with them; and they’re loving it, they are loving what you’re doing, on top of it.

OL: We understand that this recording session with Peggy Lee was in the twilight years of her extraordinary Career. You must have really cherished this recording even more, Glenn, knowing this?

Glenn Zottola: She had a Nurse there, at the session, but her spirit was bright, and she was feisty and everything. Great Band and Grady Tate on Drums.

OL: Glenn, in this day and age, if it’s not a major Recording Studio booked for ‘live’ Big Band, or Orchestral sessions, some of the more economy-friendly Studios, are becoming less in demand; as Musicians can now record more independently, with their own digital equipment. In your view, what would be the pro’s and con’s of this and can the two systems co-exist, and still get a quality product?

Glenn Zottola: There’s a learning curve, to being your own Engineer. It’s not the best situation. I’ve never recorded at Capitol, and would love to record there. I’ve recorded at the best Studios in the world, and I’ve recorded at the best Studios in England, where the Beatles recorded “St. Pepper.” There is an advantage because you’re not on the clock, when you’re recording in your own Studio. Just relax, take a break whenever you want, as many takes as you want. The Jazz world is not like the Pop world, where guys have unlimited time in the Studio, to spend three months, five months, or six months, doing an album. All of the early albums that I did, they all required that you do, 2 or 3 hour sessions, because they had a budget… so, the con is the fact that there’s a learning curve; and the equipment they get to rent, is not cheap. Chick’s microphones are like $9,000 each. So not everybody can afford that. I get a pretty good sound, I think, that people have liked what I did.

OL: Without question.

OL: This next question Glenn, is a very unfair question, but we’ll just go for it. Which top 5 of the many recording sessions, do You treasure the most?

Glenn Zottola: The one with Chick, for sure. Peggy Lee’s session. Maxine Sullivan, also. Not because I didn’t have as much to blow on, as I did with my own albums, but I’m a funny kind of guy. I’m a head-liner, but I also love to contribute, when I’m around Legends like that. And I also love Singers… so, those sessions were done really great. They spent a lot of time on the mixing in the studio. The quality level was really high. Peggy’s quality level was high, the Band was great. There’s a couple more. I like that session that I did… ‘My Secret Love’ session. That was a really nice session.

OL: We’re guessing that they all had their own special unique moments?

Glenn Zottola: They really do. Someone asked Miles on an Interview, they want to know what was his favorite. He couldn’t even answer it. I’m looking at my list here… a Jazz session with Milt Hinton, that was extremely special. Then Suzanne Somers, of course, that would be a ‘live’ Concert Video. The Steve Allen album… I would say Steve Allen album was a very good album. I’ve got to be honest, now that I’m looking at all of this; I really didn’t have any bad experiences, recording. I loved them all. I walked away with something really special. They are all like a part of my recording track, through the years.

OL: As we will be highlighting even more of these very recording sessions, in this OL Weekly Interview with You, Glenn… for our up and coming Musicians, who want to do session work, what goes into prepping for a booked recording session, and how important is it to be able to sight-read, even when so many of the great Musicians play instinctively by ear…

Glenn Zottola: That’s a really good question. I pretty much improvise, by ear. I’m a pretty good reader. I sit in the Big Band, I did Broadway, I could read, for sure… but as far as improvisation, I don’t know anything about chords, or harmony. I play strictly by ear, which a lot of the old cats, play that way. Lester Young… the first time I played with Zoot, he said, “I’m an ear player, too.” A lot of the older cats played that way. They don’t hear anything like harmony. I don’t even know what key I’m playing in. It’s all by ear. If you’re going to do session work… the guys that really do session work, they’re great Musicians; but Jazz players that do session work… you’re not necessarily great readers. They’re great readers for what they’re doing, when they are doing a Jazz session. All of those albums that I did; I walk into the Studio, and there’s charts there… and very little rehearsal, or no rehearsal. When I listened to them back, I’m amazed that I was able to play that stuff. I tell you why, because I was using my ear, a lot, because I love the music that we were playing. So, I didn’t have to struggle reading the charts. They kind of were natural. As opposed to when I did, the Broadway show, “Evita.” It was really, really tough. That music was changing 3/4, 5/4, 6/8, every two bars, was a different time change. I remember this funny story. Bob was playing 1st Trumpet, I’m playing 2nd. Bob knows my ability, reading-wise, my Brother, Bob. He’s great, like a Studio Player; even played 1st Trumpet in American Ballet… so, he much more schooled than me. I’m playing this stuff perfectly. He turns to me, in amazement, and he says, “You’re not reading this, right? You’re using radar.” I said (laughing), Yeah, you caught me. Forget about trying to read that music, it was impossible. I had to use my ears. You’ve got to use the strength that you have, no?

OL: Well Glenn, You’ve got great ears, of course!

Glenn Zottola: You’ve got to be to able read. You don’t have to be the best, or the greatest, but you’ve got to be able to read, if you’re going to do a variety of work. You can’t play in the Big Band, if you don’t read.

OL: Thank you Glenn, for that advice for our up and coming Musicians! We look forward tomorrow in Part 3 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, as we make a visit to the Television & Stage aspect of your Performance Career… from the Suzanne Somers Television Show to Airchecks, to performing ‘live’, honoring the great Benny Goodman, at Carnegie Hall, NYC. Thank you very much Glenn, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Glenn, is there any music commentary you’d like to share with the OL viewers, as we conclude this Interview 2 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola: I think just the point that I made, with Sinatra, and the singing through your horn; and trying to get that kind of emotion into the music. I’m not being critical of anybody, but I’m just saying that the music today… sometimes, not with everybody, but sometimes to me, it sounds a little mechanical. I think if you’re playing very modern music, if one listens to Stravinsky, or any classical music, it is very modern, but you see that those players are playing with a lot of emotion. I would advise players to go back and listen to some great Vocalists. Listen to Billie Holiday, listen to Sinatra. I think today, that Jazz Musicians don’t have the same rapport with Singers, that Jazz Musicians had in the old days. In the old days, a lot of Jazz Musicians, knew the lyrics to tunes. Lester Young, put with Billie Holiday. There’s a tremendous rapport between Singers and Musicians. Today, it can be mechanical, but just basically, I would like to see players today really get that emotion that you hear from a great Singer.

OL: Thank you Glenn. We’ll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting OL’s Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

Continue to Part 3 →

Oceanlight Records 7 part Interview with Glenn Zottola

 Part 1  :

OL: We’d like to Welcome the incredible Glenn Zottola, Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician Great… and famed Recording Artist to the Grammy Stars! & much more, to the OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly feature as our Special Guest Artist!

OL: Welcome Glenn, and thank you for giving us and all of the OL Site Visitors, for what will be a 7-part Interview on the Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, for the entire week of April 27, 2014. Once again, thank you and welcome…

Glenn Zottola: It’s a pleasure! The first thing I want to say… I’ve been studying the Oceanlight Records Website before our Interview, and I’m blown away. It is so beautiful and it’s such a wonderful service. The way that You present it; it is very impressive! I want to say…’well done’.

OL: Coming from You, Glenn, that’s a special honor. Thank you.

OL: Glenn, you’re a Native New Yorker, whose fantastic Career has spanned from East Coast to West Coast… from performing on the famed Ted Mack Show at the tender age of 13, to the who’s who of the Hollywood line-up of Recordings and Shows, including the Suzanne Somers TV Show. Can You take us back to where it all began in New York. You were playing the trumpet in Jazz Clubs as early as nine years old?

Glenn Zottola: Well, I grew up in Port Chester, New York. I grew up in a musical Family and that was my foundation. My Mom played a wonderful piano…kind of like Count Basie… and my Dad was a trumpet player, my Sister sings, and my Brother is a wonderful trumpet player… so it was growing up in a musical Family, with Family jam sessions. I remember back to being in a crib, and my Dad would be rehearsing Big Bands, in the living room… so that’s the foundation, for sure. He was also a Conductor, so there was a lot of classical music and opera in the house, too.

OL: Wonderful! So you’ve been exposed to it all?

Glenn Zottola: He formed the ‘ Westchester Pops’, and I actually performed at the ‘ Westchester Pops’ at 9 years old. In New Rochelle, we used to do concerts, and he was the Conductor.

OL: Wow, that’s incredible, Glenn. To have that kind of exposure, and with your Dad at the helm. Were You self-taught?

Glenn Zottola: I was kind of an interesting character. I had perfect pitch, when I was a kid; and I also had imperfect patience (laughing). I wasn’t one that was a very studious type of guy, to sit down in front of books and practice. I just wanted to make music. I heard lots of music in my head, From when I was 3 years old. I wanted to play right away, and get out the music that I heard… so, that’s why jazz attracted me, you know, as opposed to being a classical Musician. A lot of my early years: were jam sessions, playing records, getting together with guys older than me, in the neighborhood and jamming. Basically, everything that I learned was on the Bandstand.

OL: The undeniable influence of coming from a Musical Family…respectively your Father, Frank Zottola, the consummate Musician, Conductor and Arranger for many of the Jazz giants… and without a doubt, your brother, the great Bob Zottola on Trumpet/Flugelhorn. As a young lad, what made You choose to first play the trumpet and that it would become such a natural evolution for You, being a part of the Musical Family Zottola Dynasty?

Glenn Zottola: Let me just add one more thing to my last question, just to give you a real graphic idea…my Mother would sit me on her knee, and she would play the piano and sing the tunes. I learned like 500 standards, by ear, like that. Trumpets… they were all over the house, because my Brother being 10 years older, and with my Dad ; the trumpets were hanging on hooks, all around the house. I mean when I went to school, I thought that everybody played the trumpet. I didn’t know that… so it was kind of natural. I heard trumpets since I was in the crib; as I say, it’s kind of a natural evolution. They were right there. My Dad was my first Teacher, so I gravitated to it. Plus, the trumpet matched my personality. I have a pretty strong personality, and I don’t have to tell anyone, that the trumpet is pretty powerful.

OL: Yes, indeed it is, Glenn. You play it so beautifully and with such excitement. It’s just terrific… the way that You play. We love your style!

Glenn Zottola: Thank you.

OL: We know Glenn, that in your expanding Professional Career, travels have taken You to many musical corners of the earth. Speaking of expanding… You also play both the alto and tenor sax, in addition to mastering your first instrument, the trumpet. How do You feel each of these instruments affects your exciting and versatile playing style?

Glenn Zottola: Well, luckily no one told me that I wasn’t suppose to do that, because there are very different embouchures. Last time I checked, there was like three of us that did that; Benny Carter, Ira Sullivan and Myself . So, no one told me ‘hey, what are You doing?’ …but, when I was a teenager, I was listening to records: for example, Clifford Brown was a big influence and Louis Armstrong before that. Also, I always did love Saxophone players, like Sonny Rollins, early John Coltrane. I loved the instrument, and the reason I loved the instrument; that’s true in what you’re saying, it did have a different mood to it, and that’s what I take from it. On the Saxophone, I can express a different side that cannot be done on the trumpet. The saxophone is a real romantic instrument… so when I was a teenager, I wrote to the instrument company, because I was endorsing instruments as a Trumpet Player, since I was thirteen. I said to them You think You could send me a Saxophone? …and he sent me a Saxophone. That’s how it started. It only took one lesson; just where to put my fingers. Only one, and I taught myself the rest.

OL: And it was just so natural from there on?

Glenn Zottola: Well, I transferred over everything. I was already a Trumpet Player; so I transferred everything musically, that I knew from the trumpet, over to the Saxophone. It was natural. I was pretty much kind of a natural on the trumpet, also… so, I never really had problem with that kind of stuff. I think that if I’m going to tell any kids, or help them; if people encourage you, and they don’t stop you, or put up barriers, you can do amazing things. That’s the whole thing with Jazz Education, its just to open the runway, so the person can do some exploring, and not feel hindered.

OL: How very true, Glenn… Speaking of exploring, what was it like to perform at the Atlantic City Jazz Festival, on a seat in your High School Band, with Russ Martino, Conducting? As a teenager, it must have been awe-inspiring to perform on the same bill as some of the greats, like… Dinah Washington, Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson Trio, Art Blakey, and Wayne Shorter, to name a few… Tell us about that experience?

Glenn Zottola: I grew up. Let’s say, for lack of a better word, kind of like a child prodigy. My Parents were not Stage-Parents, they wanted me to be a normal kid. For example, when Maynard Ferguson heard me play on the Ted Mack Show, he wanted to take me on the road as his protege… and my Dad gladly turned him down. He knew Maynard. He said, “You know, that you’ve got plenty of time.” I had a boat, I enjoyed trying to be a regular kid, but I wasn’t a total regular kid, so-to-speak, because of the music. People were listening to Elvis Presley, I was listen to Charlie Parker. I mostly hung out with older people, but these experiences… like my Parents had a Jazz Club, The Atlantic City Jazz Festival. It’s like yesterday, when I think about it. I’m in the wings, waiting to go on; literally watching Dinah Washington, sitting on a stool, singing her hit of the day, which is “What A Difference A Day Makes…” and I’m mesmerized, by watching this amazing Lady sing, and waiting to go on, myself. Then, at the same time, Gerry Mulligan’s back stage, having a tantrum over something. Oscar Peterson’s there, and I’m hanging out back stage with these Legends. It was both educational, and like a wild experience for me at thirteen.

OL: Just to see how life is back stage, that’s a part of performing, wouldn’t You say?

Glenn Zottola: Also, I’m a Jazz Musician that absolutely loves Singers. Some guys, today, don’t. The old days, they did… But today, you know Jazz Musicians are into instrumental music, but I was mesmerized by Dinah. I think I was more attracted listening to her, than anybody. As I mentioned, I grew up around a lot of opera, and basically my approach to playing, is a very vocal approach, and lyrical, in a sense that… if I’m playing a ballad, I would always want to emulate, Sinatra, or Dinah Washington, and Billie Holiday. I have a lot of vocal approach ingrained in my playing. I mean, in the old days, the horn players like Lester Young; these guys did lyrics to songs, so when they play the music, they even knew the lyrics.

OL: In some Jazz Clubs where there are Singers performing; a lot of Musicians do play very lyrically, when intertwining with the Singer’s performance.

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely! It’s actually a lost art. I’ve played extensively with Sinatra, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, and Joe Williams. I’ve played behind these people, and it’s an art form that I just love to do… it’s just kind of not getting in their way, but adding to it.

OL: Right… enhancing the performance. As a teenager, Glenn, tell us about the Family’s “Someplace Else” Jazz Club in New York, and what it meant to You, as a young Musician, being in the company of your brother Bandleader Bob Zottola, performing with more top Musicians such as, Tommy Flanagan, Ray Bryant, Horace Parlan, Bobby Timmons, Booker Erwin, Bobby Jasper, & many others?

Glenn Zottola: That was a tremendous spawning ground for me. For all the same era as The Ted Mack Show. I was 13 around that time. I didn’t realize how amazing that was, because I hadn’t really gotten into the professional scene, yet. I mean, You talk about guys like Tommy Flanagan, You sit in every week, with someone like that; I thought that was the norm for piano players, you know what I mean? And then, I learned something different later, obviously. As you get out gigging, not everybody is Tommy Flanagan. The main thing about that experience, besides the music; was the fact that all of those guys, took me under their wing, and they treated me so amazing! They saw some talent and they were just so encouraging. That was amazing for me.

OL: What a wonderful launch into the gig world! What was your very first solo performance, and what selection did You perform?

Glenn Zottola: It’s kind of a funny story. I’m in the 2nd grade in Grammar School, where they get the whole School together; where one event, I was to do this solo with my Mom accompanying me on piano… and it was this song called, “Red, Red Robin,” and I get to the bridge, to the middle, and I go blank. I was kind of scared you know, 2nd grader, I was 6 or 7. I was kind of scared in front of the whole School like that, right?… and I ran off stage, crying because I forgot the middle. My Mom comes over and said, “Listen Son, I understand that this is a big deal, but I know that You can do this.” She just gave me this pep talk. I went back on, and it all came back to me. I finished the tune to a standing ovation. I never faltered, since.

OL: Wow… that must have been quite an experience… and you got a standing ovation!

Glenn Zottola: That shows that encouragement early on, can make a difference.

OL: That shows a testament to strength of your Family encouragement and your talent. When You combine the two of those, You get a standing ovation!

Glenn Zottola: Yeah, you know, it was great, and I never looked back. Can you imagine if I had ended on a loss and had gone home like, Oh my God, I screwed up… I might have never continued, who knows?

OL: Well, give yourself a break, Glenn. You were seven years old…

Glenn Zottola: You’re right! (laughing)

OL: Being around your Dad , and watching him work, both as a Musician and Arranger. You also got to learn from your Dad about how an instrument works on the technical side. He also extended his talents in the manufacturing production of instrument mouthpieces. This must have given You a true and direct understanding of both the production and performing aspect of the Music Business. What a huge world for a young man, as yourself, Glenn. What would be the most important thing that your Dad, Frank, has taught and stayed with You, on your wonderful journey, starting out as a Musician?

Glenn Zottola: He was a master’s, master craftsman. This was a love for him. He had another factory, making mouthpieces; tried to help brass players, and it was a love for him to do that. A lot of great players would come up to the shop, and buy mouthpieces, you know… but I learned, and he kind of taught me how to use all of the machines. I became pretty good at it. I think it’s an advantage for anything… like, if you’re going to learn how to drive a car, it helps you, if you know how the car works, right?. It’s fine while you’re driving, and then something happens, and you panic. If you know how to change a tire, it’s a good thing… so learning about mouthpieces and trumpets, and how they work… I think that understanding helps you, as a player, too. You don’t have to, but it’s a good thing.

OL: What would be the most important thing that your Dad has taught and stayed with You, on your wonderful journey, starting out as a Musician?

Glenn Zottola: Well, my Dad, you know, was a great lead Trumpet Player, he was a great classical guy, and he played jazz, like Louis Armstrong, and he was the first one to introduce me to Louie through records… and he gave me a few pieces of advice, that were very simple. I’ve got to be honest; they have carried me throughout my whole career, all the way from playing with Benny Goodman, all the way through Chick Corea. Basically, one of the things he said… when he saw that I really wasn’t really the kind of guy that liked to play with books, and I’d rather play with records… he had all of Louie’s records. He said, “Listen, regarding Jazz, Song, just embellish the melody like Louie.” So that’s what I started to do. I started to take the melody, and take little embellishments with the melody. That advice… even when I got up to be much more advanced; like let’s say Charlie Parker and Be-bop, people don’t realize when I equate Charlie Parker to Louie… Charlie Parker is a very melodic player, and he’s embellishing the melody, much more sophisticated, but is still embellishing the melody like Louie did… so that’s one piece of advice, that really carried me all the way, because I’m an ear player… so I just use that ability of taking a song, and embellishing the melody, creating my own themes with the melody. If you talk about Mozart, you have the themes and variations… so that’s what jazz is all about. It’s variations and improvisations.

OL: With your Dad’s well loved arrangements for the Claude Thornhill Band, where he arranged with Gil Evans; arranging on “Autumn Nocturne…” as a Musician Glenn, what did You learn from listening to your Dad’s recording arrangements and what would be your favorite of his recordings?

Glenn Zottola: Claude Thornhill Band, was an interesting Band. It was a very advanced Band, for its day… and of course Gil Evans, who did all of Miles Davis’ historic albums, was an Arranger with my Dad, on that Band. My Dad’s arrangements were pretty simple, they were not very notey, but again, they were very lyrical. If I could have a complaint about some of the Jazz today; I miss sometimes, more lyricism. There’s a lot of technical virtuosity going on, a lot of notes, but I love lyrical music. I pretty much come from what I would call, ‘the golden age of Jazz’… which is 1920, starting with Louis Armstrong, and ending in 1950, with Charlie Parker… and then Miles and people like that, beyond that. That golden age of Jazz; not only did it swing, and have a great groove, it was very melodic and lyrical.

OL: That goes back to what You were saying earlier, about when You perform, You also listen to Singers… you like to shape the melody when you’re performing with Singers…?

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely… phrasing is everything. If you hear a great Singer, and you say, Oh my God, listen at how natural their phrasing is… how they are making those lyrics speak. Suzanne Somers told me that she used to travel and she knew Frank Sinatra very, very well. She lived right near him… and on a plane, going to a gig, he would be writing the lyrics out, over and over, and over again; on a piece of paper. His advice to her was, “Make sure that You make these lyrics, your own… so when You deliver that song, it’s like coming from You.”

OL: They should have a College Course, just on Frank Sinatra’s phrasing. It goes hand in hand. Singers listen to Musicians, just as much. It’s definitely give and take?

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely! Frank grew up in the Big Band era, so he was listening to all of the Musicians playing. I’m sure that he got a lot of that from hearing Musicians. Oh, the other piece of advice that I want to impart, which is kind of cute, but my Dad said, “Listen Son, if you’re going to play the trumpet, just realize something… You have to be cocky. Not arrogant, but You have to be cocky.” (laughing) There was a time when I used that advice, even with Benny Goodman. I’m pretty strong on the Bandstand, in the sense, and not arrogant, but just the fact that he said, “Realize that you’re playing the Trumpet; it’s a lead instrument, you’re leading a section, or in a small group, you have a powerful lead instrument, so you’ve got to be cocky, know what you’re doing and play affirmative.” That’s the other thing that I carried with me, from my Dad.

OL: Well, that’s definitely part of your signature sound… listening to your music here at OL, it really does comes through.

Glenn Zottola: Thank you.

OL: As we look forward to traveling with You Glenn, throughout this OL Weekly Interview, on many of your sensational recordings, first let’s talk about how You pick and choose the material that You wish to record, as it relates to your Solo Albums?

Glenn Zottola: Well, it’s interesting, because yes like on all my albums that I’ve done, in my own name; I have chosen all of the material. They mostly have been standards. I’m not a songwriter… so I’m sure that people who are songwriters say that’s a different scene, because they’re choosing their own material. For me, I had this tremendous repertoire of standards, because as had I mentioned; my Mom taught me 500. I never learned a song from a piece of music… which is unbelievable. I look back at that now… a tune that I recorded in 1981 “Lush Life,” which is not an easy tune. I never saw that music on a piece of paper. In fact, Coltrane had an album out called, “Lush Life,” and I remember I bought that album, and I loved it… and I listened to it like a couple of times, and I had it… I had the song down. The best way that I can put it; these songs are engraved in my soul. They are not something that I learned by memory, from a piece of music, they are something that are in there, so deep, whether it be Billy Strayhorn, Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, or Jerome Kern… they are really in my soul…

OL: It’s just a part of your DNA, right?

Glenn Zottola: Yeah… they’re part of my DNA, and that’s how I pick the material; pretty much on how I feel, at the moment. What do I feel like expressing; what song will do that for me?

OL: That’s wonderful, who are some of your favorite Jazz Artists that You grew up listening to?

Glenn Zottola: Okay well, first was Louis Armstrong. He’s my foundation… and he is the Father of Jazz… and then I was into the the hot Trumpet players for a while, like Maynard; you know, I was very much into Maynard, and then Dizzy… but my next influence that changed my musical life, was Clifford Brown.

OL: Yes, we lost Clifford at an early age. He was only in his twenties?

Glenn Zottola: He died tragically in a car accident. He did some classic recordings with Dinah Washington. I remember when I had his records, when I was a kid, and he had a warmth in his sound, that’s what he’s known for, along with his tremendous technique; but he had a beauty and a warmth that I think that was part of who he was. He wasn’t a druggie, he was a Family Man, clean cut guy. In fact, a lot of people know that, but he was kind of changing the way people view Jazz Musicians, because he was a very clean guy, you know?… and a lot before him, unfortunately had big time problems… so to me, when I was a kid, that all came through the music.

OL: Interesting. In general, would you say Glenn, that music comes through (pretty much what You just said); how a person lives, that You can understand them through music?

Glenn Zottola: Absolutely… I want to say something about the Jazz Musicians, because nobody had more problems than let’s say, Billie Holiday, or Charlie Parker. The thing that I loved about those guys of that era, that I can’t say as much for, I mean I don’t know… I might be wrong in saying this maybe for the rock ‘n’ roll cats… when they went on the Bandstand, in spite of all of the personal problems they had… music was always first. Charlie Parker himself, said, “Listen, it’s not the drugs, it’s me.” He even acknowledged that he would probably be better without the drugs… so they weren’t like dramatizing a lifestyle. They had problems for sure, but those cats; and I grew up with a lot of them, music was always first, before everything. In jazz, you’re naked up there, you really are naked.

OL: Well, you’re bearing a part of your soul… something’s that deep within You. We know that when You play that piece, Glenn, it’s part of You, like You said… it comes from You. You take it and You really make it your own… and so that’s why, the recordings that You have, are just so special and so timeless.

Glenn Zottola: Thank you so much. I really appreciate that, especially coming from Oceanlight Records.

OL: Thank you, Glenn. It’s an honor to Interview You.

Glenn Zottola: I want to say something to everybody, because the Artist is so important. I mean like, I can’t imagine… (like the world is not in good shape, already)… but without art, it would be ridiculous, you know?… Like look what the renaissance did for the dark ages.

OL: For sure.

Glenn Zottola: So, you have these guys through history that you know. Some have been in decent shape, and then some like Van Gogh, or Mozart… he wrote all of this beautiful music, or Charlie Parker…The Artist is out there, in spite of everything, whether it be personal problems, or the resistance they have to the art. They’re still doing it. I’m 66 years old, now… and I’ve had a great run, that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

OL: You mean that you’re 66 years young.

Glenn Zottola: Thank you. I just think that it’s so important for people to continue to create. I talk to Chick Corea about this all of the time… and Chick is 72, and he’s at the top of his game… and he said, “Glenn, this is what we do. We are there to make people feel good, man.” You know, he’s out there cranking it on the road, 50 weeks a year… and I commend all Artists that are doing that.

OL: And like You, Chick has been doing that all of his life.

Glenn Zottola: All of his life. He’s got 20 Grammys, and 44 Grammy nominations… and he’s has never sold out. He had 44 nominations as a Jazz Musician, oh my God!

OL: He stayed true to his sound.

Glenn Zottola: Yes! So, we all are out there, you know… including Oceanlight Records

OL: Thank you, Glenn. It’s a pleasure to be in your company, and to ask You to share with all of our OL Viewers, of your journey that continues on, to this day.

Glenn Zottola: What a beautiful service, of what OL is representing to give people exposure to these Artists… You get the inside, that they might not get otherwise. It’s a fantastic service!

OL: We Thank You for sharing your experiences with many up and coming Musicians, who would love to know what it’s like out there, to be a Musician for a lifetime.

Glenn Zottola: Right! They can always go to my website: www.glennzottola.com There’s a lot of stuff on there. TV, Video, Albums and everything!

OL: Thank you. We’ll certainly post the link, Glenn! For our OL Visitors and all world-class Jazz lovers, your own sound Glenn, has surely been heard far and wide. Tell us about your first ‘road gig’ with the famed Glenn Miller Orchestra. Who does their first gig on the road at on 17 year of age, we ask? None other than Glenn Zottola… but we’ll let You tell us about that, Glenn…

Glenn Zottola: You know, I’ve got to be honest with you. Someone asked me about that recently, and I didn’t really enjoy it too much. I did a little bit, because I was playing with some of the original guys. It was the first time that I was on the road and you’re traveling in a bus, and they do these things called hit and run. When you do a gig, and they don’t even check into a hotel, you get in the bus and sleep overnight, and go to the next gig. I was a very Family guy, you know, used to having my own room in my house, and my boat, and my car… living that kind of lifestyle… and I left, after a short time. I said… you know, this is just not for me. I went from that Band, right into Lionel Hampton… the same thing. You know, I’ve got to be honest. I’ve never really, really enjoyed being on the road, except when I went on the road with my own Band. But sitting in a Band, or Trumpet section, as glorious as that was… I was always groomed to be a soloist to be in front of a Band.

OL: Each experience has its place.

Glenn Zottola: Yeah, some guys are rug-rats. I mean they do that their whole lives, and they love it. That’s great, wow! It just was not my favorite thing.

OL: Well, thank you for your honesty. That’s what Musicians today, need to know. Every experience means something.

Glenn Zottola: When I got the TV Show, I thought that I had died and gone to heaven. I had this huge office, right next to Steven Spielberg, at Universal Studios. I had my own golf cart to go to the gate, to the Studio, to tape the show. I had my own wardrobe person, my own make-up person. I have a runner… say I need a box of reeds, and he gets it for me. I said I died and went to heaven.

OL: Now that’s what You call a real tour, right?

Glenn Zottola: Ten minutes from my house… so after being a Jazz Musician my whole life, to get into that environment, was oh my God, I can’t believe this.

OL: That’s wonderful, what a great story!

Glenn Zottola: With Suzanne, instead of staying in third rate Hotels, I learned by limo and private Jet.

OL: We look forward to talking about your stay on the Suzanne Somers show.

Glenn Zottola: You know, I’ve got a lot to say about that, being a Jazz Musician, in that environment. Let me end it off, saying this: You use everything, and I did. You know, I’ve done everything in my Career… Broadway, all kinds of stuff; Big Band music and Jazz, and I used every bit of it on that gig, as being Bandleader on Network Television. Great questions, too. I totally enjoyed it!

OL: Thank you Glenn. We look forward tomorrow in Part 2 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, as we begin to travel through Jazz Trumpeter Great…Glenn Zottola’s most celebrated Solo recordings, including his many recordings, with the many world-premier Artists. The best of the best. Thank you very much Glenn, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Glenn, is there any music commentary you’d like to share with the OL viewers, as we conclude this Interview 1 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola: What do you mean by, music commentary?

OL: We’ve asked You the questions. Now, it’s anything that You’d like to share, as far as your Career, with our OL Viewers.

Glenn Zottola: I don’t know who your listeners, or who your public viewers are. I’m sure it ranges from a lot of great people and Musicians.

OL: We have a lot of up and coming Musicians that read the OL Interviews.

Glenn Zottola: I’d like to tell all Artists, from Student on up; is just to keep on going. It’s not an easy route; because of the Society we live in, unfortunately. Someone at a store, one day, who I got friendly with: the Manager at a store, I think it was at Bed, Bath & Beyond… and she looked tired all of the time, and I said, what’s going on? She said, “Well, I have two kids, and I’ve been here, thirteen years.” I could see that she was not having any fun. I said, You’re not having fun, right? She said, “Absolutely not…” and I looked at her and I said, You know, I understand. I’ve been very fortunate my whole life, because in spite of any of the problems connected with it; every time I got on stage, I had a lot of fun. I love what I do… so what I want to say to any Musician, or any Artist… Student on up: there may be tough roads, or you maybe even make as much money as other professions, but very few Professionals can say that they love what they’re doing. If you listen to any Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, or any of these guys; always their advice, is ‘do what you love’. I think that’s the best thing that Artists have to realize, that what they’re doing… not only is it valuable, but you can really love it, each step of the way, and that’s worth a lot!

OL: Wonderful, wonderful! Thank you Glenn. We’ll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

Continue to Part 2 →