It’s obvious watching this Video the fun that Suzanne and I had and she was definetly a great foil on stage. But beyond that on the inside there are 3 elements here for me that are why i got into music and this comes from early Louis Armstrong who was my first inspiration and mentor beside my dad. Louie combined not only being a great and powerful jazz trumpet player (the greatest of all time) but also an entertainer and bandleader with a real element of “showbusiness” as is obvious in his famous 1934 footage of “Dinah” in Denmark something worth checking out on you tube. For me Suzanne and the TV show gave me that type of platform that the straight jazz world didn’t and i had a ball ! Glenn
In my career I have had several what you might call “foils” to create with. These are artists where i had a tremendous rapport right from the start and it was just easy to make music together. In the Jazz world Benny Goodman was one of those artists who I spent 2 years with side by side on stage. Bob Wilber the great soprano player was another and we were together several years and recording many albums. Suzanne Somers was a very special artist and we had a rapport or “simpatico” that was very special from the first moment as is very obvious from this clip. This song one of my favorite standards “But Beautiful” is the one that started that musical relationship with Suzanne that lasted for 9 years and definitely was a high point to an illustrious career for me. This clip is from our live show on a video titled Suzanne Somers Live at Club Indigo featuring Glenn Zottola available on Amazon.
I got a nice response from my “But Beautiful” post and i am looking at more from our show. Basically I improvised this entire show without one piece of music and Suzanne’s instructions where “just do your Glenn thing” . She was a really great lady and having grown up in a very abusive situation had a message to deliver. We truly had a ball and in 7 years not one disagreement. For a jazz player this kind of quality presentation was a joy and it was so pleasurable.
I was talking to a friend telling him about my 7 years with Suzanne Somers which was wonderful. I have played with a lot of great singers starting with sharing the bill with Dinah Washington when i was 13 years old at Atlantic City Jazz Festival and later Sinatra , Tony Bennet , Mel Torme , Ella , Peggy Lee , Joe Williams and Maxinne Sullivan. I actually love working with singers (some jazz players don’t) as they tell stories and that is what I try to do on my horn. Suzanne is known as an actress first but she loved jazz and was a natural. We had a special rapport or “simpatico” as her husband called it and never “collided” musically. I played this track for my buddy Chick Corea and he said something I never thought about before “your comping for her”. Pianists do that all the time (the good ones) but it is a lost art for horn players knowing how to fill the holes. The old greats like Lester Young with Billie Holiday and Ben Webster and Getz with Astrud and Joao Gilberto knew how to do it. This is the track in full that Chick commented on. Amazing as of all the things I have done in my career I am very proud of the “aesthetics” on this one.
This is another clip from the pilot. As you can see we really had fun from the start and Suzanne was the driving force behind that as you can see ! Glenn
Suzanne loved this song and we are about the same age (although I would say she looks better than me) and we both talked about hearing Eydie Gorme sing this on the Tonight Show growing up years ago. I truly love playing behind singers and for sure Suzanne and I had a very special rapport or “sympatico” as her husband called it. Music and a song are timeless. Glenn
This was our pilot for the TV show at Universal Studios. Glenn