JIMMY DORSEY (from the book, Living in a Great Big Way) on Gallodoro, "the best saxophone player that ever lived!"
BENNY GOLSON on Gallodoro's April 29th, 2005 Living Legend Concert in New York. "Amazing! The world should know Al Gallodoro, he is a hero in my eyes and in the eyes of the many others who know him.”
PAQUITO D’RIVERA “With deep, very deep admiration, your NUMBER ONE FAN!” "I was inspired as a boy by Al’s Saxophone Contrasts album." “Thanks for your inspiration, dear Super-Rooster!” Your eternal student: Paquito D'Rivera
BUDDY DEFRANCO "Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, Heifetz, Perlman and Gallodoro are UNEQUALLED & may be for years to come" The Clarinet, 6/99.
EDDIE DANIELS "Phenomenal technique, he’s swinging" Eddie Daniels, The Clarinet, 12/99.
PHIL SCHAAP - curator for Jazz at Lincoln Center "Gallodoro is a unique artist whose performance and technical abilities perfectly bridge the idioms of both jazz and classical music.”
"Everywhere he performs or works, the living legend continues. And although legends tend to grow in size, once you hear this artist the stories of his greatness are, indeed understated" "In all aspects of saxophone performance whether it be tonguing, articulation, interpretation or musicality, Al Gallodoro is the consummate master" "His thoughts for musical improvisations are as prolific as his technical wizardry is prodigious" Saxophone Journal Mar 2001.
“He’s too arresting to be easy-listening, because there is nothing easy about such formidable technique!" Newsday, Long Island, New York Dec 1999.
Gallodoro’s performance with JoAnn Chmielowski at Saratoga’s Caffè Lena was enthusiastically reviewed by Albany’s Metroland Newpaper. "Another hot chorus that went stratospheric...hot novelty licks...and he’s going stronger than ever" Live (title of article, Living Room Lingo) Metroland, Albany, NY, Aug 2002.
"On the Daybreak CD his playing has the poignancy and depth of great experience and emotional strength, but also astonishing dexterity, imaginativeness and playful energy" Daily Gazette Capital Region, 5/30, 2003.
"At 92 1/2, Al Gallodoro is a walking and - more importantly - PLAYING encyclopedia of the tone, rhythm and harmonies of the sweetest jazz ever played, as well as being a master of much of the popular and classical music enjoyed in America in the 20th century!" AlbanyJazz, (NY) January 11, 2006
SEPT 2006 Los Angeles Jazz Scene Review!
Infinite Gallodoro, Saxophone Contrast (Chmusic Productions/Golden Rooster)
Al Gallodoro is a true wonder. A saxophone virtuoso whose constant practicing and dedication to his instruments resulted in him developing a technique in which double and triple-tonguing sound effortless, he gained his greatest fame in jazz for his work with Paul Whiteman which lasted on and off from the 1930s into the '60s. A regular in studio and radio orchestras, on Hollywood soundtracks, Philharmonic Orchestras and in all types of settings, Gallodoro has long been recognized as a phenomenon by his fellow musicians even if he never became a household name to the general public.
Today at 93, Al Gallodoro (who became a professional musician in 1926) is still an incredible player. One of only 14 musicians and singers who recorded before 1940 and are still active (along with Svend Asmussen, Johnny Blowers, Lena Horne, Franz Jackson, Herb Jeffries, Lawrence Lucie, Buddy Morrow, Les Paul, George Shearing, Kay Starr, Gerald Wilson, Snooky Young and Zeke Zarchy), Gallodoro is still at 95% of his playing peak, playing phrases that sound completely impossible.
Infinite Gallodoro is a two-CD set that features the saxophonist then and now. The first disc, performed with a rhythm section in 2004, ranges from "How High The Moon" and "Lover" to "Roses Of Picardy" and "Cherokee." Some pieces feature Gallodoro improvising while others are worked out. His tone on his horns, which include bass clarinet, remains beautiful and his technique is unimpaired. The second disc, which is mostly comprised of radio appearances in the 1940s and '50s plus a few private recordings, has more than its share of simply incredible playing. Highlights include "Chopin's Waltz," Jimmy Dorsey's "Beebe" (which is taken faster than Dorsey ever played it"), two versions of "The Bee" and a rapid "Nola."
Saxophone Contrasts/For Your Listening Pleasure is a single CD that reissues in full a pair of albums recorded by Gallodoro in 1951 and 1958. Playing on the level of such early and remarkable virtuosi as trombonist Arthur Pryor, cornetist Herbert L. Clarke and saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft, Gallodoro performs solos on "Liza," 'Dark Eyes," "Carnival Of Venice," "Stardust" and a variety of classical melodies that can only be called unbelievable.
Perhaps that is why Benny Golson has said that among saxophonists "Al Gallodoro was probably the best I ever heard in my life, my entire life. This guy was unreal; he must have been from Mars." He still is amazing. Both sets are available from www.algallodoro.com. By Scott Y Anow
JAZZ TIMES June 2006 Review of Infinite Gallodoro! (page 133)
Al Gallodoro has been one of the world's leading saxophone (and woodwinds) virtuosos since the early 1930s when he joined Isham Jones and went on to become a longtime star soloist with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. He also played under such classical-music icons as Arturo Toscanini and Leopold Stokowski, and even performed Paul Creston's famed saxophone sonata with Creston himself at the piano. Jazz-saxophone great Benny Golson said that Gallodoro "was probably the best (technician) I ever heard in my life."
The two-disc set Infinite Gallodoro contains 15 tracks recorded with piano, bass and drums in 2004, when Gallodoro was an unbelievable 91 years old, and another 12 previously unreleased, re-mastered tracks of live concert and radio performances from the 1940's through the 1970's.
Although Gallodoro does improvise on some tunes, his great strength lies in his fantastic technique, gorgeous tone and moving expressiveness. Whether the vehicle is Ellington's exquisite "Sophisticated Lady," Dorsey's virtuosic "Beebe" or Franz Schubert's demanding "The Bee," and regardless of whether it was performed two or 60 years ago, Al Gallodoro provides a striking lesson on the capabilities of the saxophone in the hands of a master
And not to forget this very important review from Saratoga’s Caffè Lena ………” By the way, there is more graffiti in the Caffè Lena women’s bathroom about Al than about any other performer. Let him know that. And it’s all effusively loving.” –s December 2005."
DAYBREAK PRESS RELEASE APRIL 2007
DR. ALFRED J. GALLODORO, SAXOPHONIST/CLARINETIST, MORE PROLIFIC THAN EVER IN HIS NINETIES, RELEASES NEW CD, DAYBREAK – LYRICAL JAZZ.
With a career spanning over nine amazing decades, Dr. Alfred J. Gallodoro has a specific goal as he releases his third CD in less than two years: to bring a renewed awareness of the lyrical sound of the saxophone to mainstream jazz. He has achieved that end by not simply choosing to re-master his fine older sessions, but recording anew, over the age of 90, with astonishing dexterity, imaginativeness and playful energy.
Gallodoro achieved his personal sound by emulating the human voice, specifically that of opera singers, back in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The collection of songs on DAYBREAK – LYRICAL JAZZ range from Grofé’s melodious title track, through the Latin sounds of Taboo, the spirited Flat-Top Special, a melancholy Autumn Serenade, and finished with rich bass clarinet in When Day Is Done. All tunes not only highlight Gallodoro’s style of extemporaneous composition, but in tandem, showcase his art of bringing the idioms of jazz and classical music together in an unparalleled manner.
This CD would not be complete without also delighting listeners with four bonus tracks, of never-before-released recordings from decades ago, Saxophobia, Flight of the Bumblebee, Idyl and Tico-Tico (live) and treats one to clarinet as well. The brilliance of technique on these tracks further defines why claims of his greatness have indeed been understated.
Also a classical performer in his own right, Gallodoro worked for many years under symphonic conductors Arturo Toscanini and Leopold Stokowski. Thus, one can often detect a classical vein running throughout his art of improvisation. Ferde Grofé was so impressed by Gallodoro’s art that he composed Gallodoro’s Serenade (1957) to specifically emphasize his style, and showcase his technique. The piece (Bridge Records, 2006) had its premier New York City performance and recording when Al was an energetic 91 years old, with pianist Lincoln Mayorga. Perhaps it is his unique ability to bridge jazz and classical idioms that so endears him to a broad variety of fans.
Gallodoro has performed in all forms and venues of music - - - from Vaudeville houses toNew Orleans speak-easies, from nightclubs to symphonies, from Carnegie Hall to international jazz festivals (North Sea and Breda, Holland!) and even the Ringling Brothers Circus! In 2006, he performed the Rhapsody in Blue with the New York City Harmonie Ensemble, a piece for which he holds a world’s record - - over 10,000 performances throughout the 1930’s and 40’s! 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 moniker “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 Northeast Public Radio! In fact, Gallodoro has done more live on-the-air saxophone and clarinet solos than any other performer in history.
For additional information please contact Don Lucoff, DL Media (p) 610.667.0501 (e)firstname.lastname@example.org
INFINITE GALLODORO PRESS RELEASE APRIL 2007
2 CD set, features Live Concert and On-The-Air Radio Performances Live concert and radio performances can be heard on another recent release -
INFINITE GALLODORO – A two-disc set. One contains 15 tracks, mixing jazz standards, Latin, jazz ballads and swing, was recorded in 2004 with a sheen of piano, bass and drums. Appropriately titled, Gallodoro was 91 years old at this recording! Disc II consists of 12 previously unreleased re-mastered tracks of live concert and radio performances from the 1940's through the 1970's. Whether it is Ellington’s exquisite “Sophisticated Lady, the swinging “How High the Moon”, Jimmy Dorsey’s Beebe (played faster than Dorsey would have played it) or Franz Schubert’s demanding “The Bee”, Gallodoro’s moving expressiveness and gorgeous tone are equally evident on both discs, with some recordings well over a half-century old! “Al Gallodoro was probably the best (technician) I ever heard in my life, my entire life. This guy was unreal, he must have been from Mars!” Benny Golson, from the book, Cats of Any Color.
As partner with manager/pianist JoAnn Bertone Chmielowski, Gallodoro’s independent label Chmusic Productions/Golden Rooster Records has added 4 CD’s and a music video (Close Your Eyes released 2006) to his credit. Maintaining a rigorous performance, recording and teaching schedule, Al is one of only 13 artists who recorded before 1940 that is still active and recording! His capabilities have sparked the interest of Cornell WeillMedical Center, where he has been recently interviewed. There, he has presented two concerts for doctors, interns and students at the school’s department of gerontology. 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, his Honorary Doctorate from Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY Sept. 2005!) is still absolutely inimitable! More extensive information can be found at www.algallodoro.com.
For additional information please contact Don Lucoff, DL Media (p) 610.667.0501 (e)email@example.com
ALL ABOUT JAZZ, MAY 2007
Golden rooster records
Golden rooster records
By George W. Harris
On my first day taking a sax lesson, my teacher asked me what my goal was. Paraphrasing Robert Redford in “The Natural”, I said, jokingly, “I just want to walk down the street, and have people turn around
and say, “There goes the greatest sax player that ever lived.” Al Gallodoro is possibly the one who can make that claim. Legendary, yet obscurely under-recorded for a plethora of reasons, Al Gallodoro has always been a fascination with me because so many people > have written about his playing. After hearing these discs, everything I heard was an understatement. Parker, Coltrane, Hawkins, they all come close, but Gallodoro beats them all. Imagine being a pianist and hearing Art Tatum for the first time; this man is the Tatum of the sax. His tone, ah! His tone! On alto it is romantically similar to Willie Smith, lilting and evocative of a more innocent era. On clarinet and bass clarinet it is as smooth as silk. Technically, he is head and shoulders above anyone I have heard, and he makes it sound easy. On “Daybreak” most of the disc is comprised of duets with pianist Joann Chmielowski, and every song should be required listening for a sax student. Lyrical, melodious, and he’s over 80! There is simply no need to single out any song, they are all simply perfect.
Included in “Daybreak” are 4 recordings of his from the 48-69.
Listening to him double tongue a lighting fast “Tico Tico” will either inspire you, or make you smash your alto with distraught. “Infinite” is a 2 disc set , the first being recorded back in 2004, and the other being culled from various recordings over the past few decades. Wait until you hear his version of “Cherokee”; you’ll wonder why you ever enjoyed any other recordings before. His delivery of Laura will make you smash your Charlie Parker recordings, and his presentation of “Sophisticated Lady” would make Johnny Hodges weep with envy. On bass clarinet, “Deep Night” is simply awesome. Do I really need to mention every song? Please, find these discs, and you may not need another sax recording this year.
Reflections On Al Gallodoro, by Sam Zucchini
July 12, 2008
For years I'd been hearing about Al Gallodoro, hearing his music and the talk about what he is to this music of ours. Then two years ago I got to play with him and became another in the long list of people floored by the experience of being on the bandstand with him. It becomes an addiction; an addiction to his phrasing, the excitement of his lines: one concept diving seemingly effortlessly into the next, and an exhilaration in the pure honed chops and speed, all wrapped in a classy, regal, and experienced exterior of sound.
Now having played with him, if I found myself again in the company of people who were talking about this cat "Al Gallodoro", I could raise my hand and claim "I know him. I've played with him, I know what you're talking about". This seems to keep happening, that I find myself somewhere in the country, and AGAIN, his name comes up uninitiated by me, and people start talking about him....again. I was in Boston last year and two heavy-hitting tenor players were having a back-and-forth reminiscent of the passionate ones between baseball fans, pouring out their love of the game and its history. They talked about the things that have become common knowledge, the usual things you hear people say about Gallodoro, his historic recordings, his work with Whiteman and Toscanini - the list goes on and on, but they spent particular time on a clinic he had given in which the young kids (as well as the seasoned pros) were blown away by Al, and they spoke of his CURRENT playing, and what they were looking forward to from him the next day, and the next...
Al is quoted as saying that he asked his wife Mary to drive so he could practice in the front seat. Those of us who know the rigors of practice can see behind the 'genius' that an accomplished player is dubbed with; that talent is only a small part of the picture, and that without endless work, tireless practice and self-criticism, the big picture fades; that one must be willing to listen back to his own latest performance and say "yes, that was nice, but I hear a whole host of things that I need to work on, to move to the next level". Al has always been this judicious self-critic and has never stopped being so. When players young and old hear of such dedication of a player like Gallodoro, they are given a gift, a clear picture into the truth of what a great player is and must continue to do.
Simply put, Al is leaving an indelible mark on the history of the saxophone and clarinet. He has upped the ante to a level that has been a critical element to the health of horn playing as we know it. He will continue to be referred to and listened to for as long as people are equipped with ears. If Al were to want to lie low, to bow out of his legacy, truth would kindly tell him that he is out of luck, that it is too late. Al Gallodoro has influenced too many players, too many listeners, and has left too deep a mark on the history of this music. Al Gallodoro is and will be forever everywhere.