AL GALLODORO

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AL GALLODORO

Mesaj  Admin Bir Ptsi Kas. 08, 2010 3:54 am

Alfred J. Gallodoro, (June 20, 1913 – October 4, 2008) was an American jazz clarinetist and saxophonist, who performed from the 1920s up until his death. He is notable for having played lead alto sax with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and bass clarinet for 12 years with the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini. Bandleader Jimmy Dorsey praised him as "the best sax player who ever lived."


Early Years
Gallodoro was born to a Chicago steelworker, but moved with his family to Birmingham, Alabama when he was five years old. About the same time his father began teaching him clarinet on the "Albert Method". Devoting himself to practice, Gallodoro earned a spot with Romeo and His Juliets and made his first stage appearance at Birmingham's Lyric Theatre in 1926. The next summer he toured the Gulf Coast with Birmingham banjo player George Evans and decided to settle in New Orleans, Louisiana, where his family joined him.

After six years of playing nightclubs, speakeasies and vaudeville shows at the Orpheum Theater, Gallodoro moved to New York City and worked in radio bands. In 1933 he briefly joined Isham Jones' big band, making one record session with it. In 1936 he was hired to play lead alto saxophone in Paul Whiteman's orchestra, among the most popular performing groups of the era. After that group disbanded in 1940 he was hired to play bass clarinet in the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini. Among his credits is the famed opening clarinet glissando from the 1945 Warner Brothers film Rhapsody in Blue. He claimed to have performed that particular piece over 10,000 times in his career, more than any other person.

Radio and Television
In 1947 Gallodoro's former bandleader invited him to join him as a live performer on New York's WJZ radio station. Gallodoro contributed countless saxophone solos to that station's programs over two decades and continued to do live radio work throughout his life. Known for effortlessly transitioning from classical to jazz idioms and for a clean and virtuosic style, Gallodoro was much in demand as a session recording artist. Composer Ferde Grofé tailored his Gallodoro’s Serenade for Saxophone and Piano for him in 1958, which he recorded in 2004 (Grofe and Gershwin: Symphonic Jazz). He performed on screen as a street musician in the 1974 film The Godfather, Part II.

Teaching Career
In 1981 Gallodoro moved to Oneonta, New York and began working as an instructor at Hartwick College.[3] His wife, Mary died in Oneonta in 1985. He continued to perform and record, often with pianist, manager and friend JoAnn Chmielowski. He issued several CDs of new and old recordings on his own Golden Rooster Records with the help of his producer and grandson, Kevin Wood. His final performance was on September 20, 2008 at the Corning Jazz and Harvest Festival in Corning, New York.




AL'S ORCHESTRAL CAREER AND BIO
http://www.algallodoro.com/

Al's first job was in 1926 at Birmingham's Lyric Theatre, a one week booking with the `Romeo and his Juliet's' band of the Romeo brothers, whose father would pick him up at school, doing 3 vaudeville shows a day.

Still not quite 14, he joined the orchestra of banjo artist, George Evans, which played along the Gulf Coast during the summer of 1927. He was taken into the union by means which would not stand close scrutiny as he was 2 years under the minimum age for union membership.

In the fall of 1927 he was hired to play in the Forest Club in New Orleans, where his parents relocated from Birmingham, AL.

In 1927 age 15, he became the first alto sax/clarinet in the Orpheum Theater house orchestra in New Orleans, doing big time vaudeville acts (Bob Hope, Edgar Bergen, Milton Berle, Olsen and Johnson, Blackston (magician) Joan Davis, Ritz bros., among them After the last show he would play from 11:30pm to 5 am at a night club called the Frolics. This lasted until July 1933.

Leaving New Orleans for New York, he stopped by Atlantic City to see a friend and after an audition for Isham Jones , was hired for his orchestra as a sax soloist. After union rules barred him from continuing with Jones for a 6 month engagement at the Commodore Hotel in New York, he became a free lance musician while waiting out the time to get his New York Union card.

In the spring of 1936 he joined the Paul Whiteman Orchestra as first chair alto sax/clarinet and featured soloist. The orchestra disbanded in 1940 In 1947 Paul Whiteman became the Musical Director for WJZ Radio ( which later became ABC radio) Paul Whiteman asked Frank Vangnoni, who was the Musical Contractor for Wiz to contact Al and ask him to join the staff as a soloist. Al joined, and over twenty arrangements were written for him. He performed up to four live solos per week for WJZ and stayed with them until 1967. He doubts that any other musician has played as may live solos on the air as he has.

In October of 1948 , under the direction of Paul Whiteman, Al went on a 29 day tour. On the tour he performed an extremely elaborate three-way concerto (music by George Gershwin) The concerto consisted of the following:

1st Movement Summertime on Alto Sax
2nd Movement Bess, you is my Woman on Bass Clarinet
3rd Movement Liza on B flat Clarinet

In October of 1940 he started with the orchestra of "It Happens on Ice" show where he stayed until the summer of 1943. Sonya Heine, famous ice skater, sponsored the show but did not perform.

He joined the NBC Symphony in June 1942 where he played bass clarinet under Toscanini and Stokowski, as well as Dr. Frank Black.

From 1967 to date he has free lanced in New York, making countless records on various labels as well as playing for dozens of radio and TV programs.

Moving to Oneonta, NY in 1981, Al continued to play with local groups and teaching until 2008.

DR. ALFRED J. GALLODORO BIO




During a professional career spanning an amazing nine decades, Alfred J. Gallodoro has played his saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet in all forms and venues of music - - - from vaudeville houses to New Orleans speak-easies, from night clubs to symphonies, and from Carnegie Hall to international jazz festivals.  (North Sea at The Hague, and Breda Jazz Festivals in Holland!) His longest association (nearly four decades) was with the “King of Jazz” Paul Whiteman, where Gallodoro played lead 1st alto sax, as well as clarinet and bass clarinet for the orchestra. Hence, the nickname, Triple Threat! He was a regularly featured “front stage” soloist on live broadcasts spanning from the 1930’s through the 1970’s, and even continues those live radio performances today with regular appearances on North East Public Radio!



Gallodoro has also performed classical music as well as jazz under famed conductors Isham Jones, Arturo Toscanini, Leopold Stokowski, Alfredo Antonini, Leonard Bernstein, Andre Kostelanetz., Johnny Green, Tutti Camarata, Arthur Fiedler, Percy Faith, Skitch Henderson and Dr. Grank Black. George Gershwin, Victor Borge, Dina Shore, Sid Caesar, Raphael Mendez, Les Paul, Bob Hope, Edgar Bergen, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Mario Lanza, Frank Sinatra and Milton Berle are amongst some of the greats he has appeared with. No doubt you’ve also heard him in countless movie and cartoon soundtracks!



AL GALLODORO was featured in 2002 on CBS’ Sunday Morning, and has also been the topic of a PBS documentary, the Al Gallodoro Story.  In 2005 Alfred J. Gallodoro received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Hartwick College in recognition of a lifetime of extraordinary achievement in music performance and teaching. His admirers include more than just saxophone aficionados - - -- he recently appeared twice at Cornell University's Weill Medical College for concerts AND as the subject of an extensive interview on longevity and vitality.  Holding the distinction of having the world’s record for the most performances of the clarinet slide in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (OVER 10,000 TIMES), Gallodoro was called upon in April 2006 to perform the piece in NYC with the Grammy-nominated,  Harmonie Ensemble Orchestra. Needless to say, he brought down the house!  The Gallodoro Serenade, which was written for Al  in 1958 by Ferde Grofe had its NYC premiere performance and recording with the Harmonie Ensemble with pianist Lincoln Mayorga in 2004 and was released in the Fall of 2006!  http://www.bridgerecords.com/pages/catalog/9212.htm



One can often detect a classical vein running throughout Gallodoro’s art of improvisation. Perhaps it is this unique ability to effortlessly bridge both the idioms of jazz and classical music that so endears him to a broad variety of fans young and old. To this day, Gallodoro has been unmatched in his virtuosity. At 93 years young,  Gallodoro continued to thrill his listeners with his impeccable musicianship and incredible mastery of his instruments.  He can arguably be regarded as the greatest saxophone/clarinet virtuoso in history. (And he even lent his saxophone to Harpo Marx!)



With  6 CD’s to his credit, a music video and another CD in the works, Gallodoro maintains an active performance, recording and teaching schedule. His music video CLOSE YOUR EYES, and Saxophone Contrasts/for your listening pleasure CD (best Historical CD category) were both submitted by Chmusic Productions in July 2006 for Grammy consideration for the 2007 awards.   In fact, he is one of only 14 artists who recorded before 1940 that is still active and recording! With a bit of Southern flair, credited to his Birmingham and New Orleans roots, the Mediterranean influence of his Sicilian heritage, and the sounds attributed to nearly six decades of working in New York City, Dr. Alfred J. Gallodoro (born June 20, 1913) is still absolutely inimitable!  
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Mesaj  Admin Bir Ptsi Kas. 08, 2010 3:56 am


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