Glenn Zottola – Christmas In Jazztime (1986)

frontcover1Glenn Paul Zottola, 28 April 1947, Port Chester, New York, USA. Zottola first played trumpet at the age of three, his early start explained by the fact that his father not only played trumpet but was also a manufacturer of trumpet mouthpieces (his brother, Bob Zottola, played with the bands of Charlie Barnet, Maynard Ferguson and Billy May). At the age of nine Glenn was playing in public, and within three years was performing regularly on television and had made an appearance at the Atlantic City Jazz Festival. In the early 60s he played a leading role in a documentary film, Come Back. In 1967 he joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra, then under the direction of Buddy De Franco. In 1970, Zottola was briefly with Lionel Hampton and then began a fruitful decade that saw him backing a wide range of artists, including Bob Hope, Al Martino, Patti Page, Tony Martin, Robert Merrill and Mel Tormé. Towards the end of the 70s Zottola played lead trumpet in the orchestra accompanying the touring version of Chicago. In 1979 he joined Tex Beneke and that same year became a member of the Benny Goodman Sextet for a national tour.

Zottola began the 80s in fine style, playing, singing and acting in Swing, a musical presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, before playing in the pit bands of several Broadway shows including Evita, Annie and Barnum, and also for the Stratford, glennzottola02Connecticut revival of Anything Goes, which starred Ginger Rogers. In the early 80s he joined Bob Wilber’s Bechet Legacy band, playing on record sessions and international tours. Zottola has also recorded with Butch Miles, George Masso, Keith Ingham and Maxine Sullivan. In the mid-80s, in addition to his regular appearances with Wilber, Zottola led his own big band at the Rainbow Room in New York City and then joined forces with Bobby Rosengarden to co-lead a big band at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Greenwich, Connecticut. He toured overseas, playing jazz festivals in Ireland, Holland and Finland, while his US festival appearances have included St. Louis, Sacramento and the Kool Jazz Festival in New York. In 1988 he was featured soloist in Wilber’s recreation of Benny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. In 1990 Zottola was headlining at the Clearwater Jazz Festival in Florida and late in 1991 toured the UK and Europe with a band led by Peanuts Hucko.

Unusually among brass players, Zottola is also an accomplished saxophonist, playing alto with flair. Although rooted in the mainstream of jazz and with a marked kinship for the swing era, his playing shows flashes of a deep awareness of bop and post-bop developments in the music. The exceptional talent he displayed as a child has not been dissipated but has been nurtured into an impressive all-round ability. (by allmusic.com)

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“I loved doing this Christmas Album which was unfortunately never re-issued on CD with all my dear friends and some real jazz legends that are no longer here with us. I went to my friend Rick Petrone who was the program director for the jazz station in Stamford CT WYRS and they helped on funding the project along with Dreamstreet Records as a holiday promotion.  Everyone was extremely busy with various bands like Count Basie and Duke Ellington so i scheduled the session in NYC on a day everyone was in town and even I had to fly in from out of town to do the session.  I sat down with my dear friend George Masso an amazing trombone player and arranger one day on the beach when we were doing the Sarasota Jazz festival together and told him what I had in mind for the album and he certainly delivered.  At the session that day we did the entire album in 7 hours straight no prior rehearsal unheard of !

Funny story there was a set up guy in the studio and after we were done he came up to me in shock.  He said “I have never seen anything like this before and last week we had a rock band in here (Famous name I won’t mention) and they spent 1 full week trying to get a balance on the drums and you just did an entire album in 7 hours”.  That’s what happens when you have total pros and they gave their all for me that day as it is very intense doing a whole album in one day and I very much appreciated it”. (by Glenn Zottola)

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Personnel:
Phil Bodner (saxophone, flutem clarinet)
Milt Hinton (bass)
George Masso (trombone)
Butch Miles (drums)
Derek Smith (piano)
Maxine Sullivan (vocals)
Joe Temperley (saxophone, clarinet)
Glenn Zottola (trumpet, flugelhorn)

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Tracklist:
01. Let It Snow (Cahn/Styne) 3.53
02. Jolly Old St. Nick (Traditional) 4.35
03.Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 4.04
04. White Christmas (Berlin) 2.42
05. Silent Night (Gruber) 3.29
06. Jingle Bells (Pierpoint) 3.55
07. Christmas Song (Tormé) 4.13
08. Greensleeves (Traditional) 4.37
09. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Gillespie/Cootes) 3.50

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