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Frank Tiberi

Frank Tiberi, a reed section all-star since 1969 and leader since 1987.

Frank Tiberi studied clarinet at age 8; started playing professionally at 13; toured with Bob Chester, Benny Goodman, Urbie Green, played with Dizzy Gillespie, self taught on flute, (somewhere in between studied bassoon with the renowned Sol Schoenbach of the Philadelphia Orchestra) played as a doubler in many Broadway musical shows before settling into the illustrious "Four Brothers" sound (three tenors and baritone) reed section of the Woody Herman Band in 1969 where, he became a featured soloist, section leader, arranger, music director and ultimately leader of the Herman Band in 1987. FT's contributions include his brilliant arrangement of John Coltrane's Giant Steps and Countdown, which helped measurably to steer the band's reportorial direction with refreshment.

Coincidentally, having been born in Camden, New Jersey, a bordering city of Philadelphia, which is the birthplace of, among other noted reedman, the late Charlie Ventura, Jimmy Heath, the late Stan Getz (a Herman alumnus) and Benny Golson; and the adopted home-town of the late John Coltrane. A quality bumper- crop from within virtually the same neighborhood.

Tiberi has been associated with far too many great musicians to mention. The same is true of the credits due him, a partial list of which are: GIANT STEPS and THUNDERING HERD and is featured on both. He is also featured on the Herman albums, WOODY; WOODY BRAND NEW, RAVEN SPEAKS; LIVE AT MONTREUX; CHILDREN OF LIMA, (includes his bassoon solo); KING COBRA; 40th ANNIVERSARY; MAIN EVENT (Frank Sinatra); TOGETHER AGAIN (Flip Phillips); FEELING SO BLUE; ROAD FATHER; CHICK-DONALD-WALTER-WOODROW (Chick Corea Suite); LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL (Teresa Brewer); LIVE AT MONTEREY (his own arrangement of Coltrane's Countdown); MY BUDDY (Rosemary Clooney); 50th ANNIVERSARY; WOODY'S GOLD STAR; WOODY HERMAN LEGACY; LIVE AT RONNY SCOTT'S (London England); COINCIDENCE ( Harold Danko, Tom Harrell Dream Street Records); and TIBERIAN MODE ( Solo Album with Joe Lovano, George Garzone and Andy Laverne), his epiphanies as a thrilling, imperious improviser and composer can now be better disclosed and shared.

A devout scholar of Coltrane's harmonic development has totally internalized Coltrane's concepts of deceptive resolution, his thorough digestion of Coltrane fed into FT's conceptual development which also included assimilation from Charlie Parker’s way of restructuring/ reharmonizing tunes. Also, FT is like a guru of MVP stature among musicians, especially saxophonists - providing informal mentorship’s of lasting inspiration.

Tiberi has been interested and active in music education since his early days with Herman, who said of him, "I thoroughly endorse his ability as a music educator as he so justifiably performed as a leading clinician throughout all of my scheduled seminars." Tiberi is presently on the woodwind faculty as an ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR at BERKLEE COLLEGE of MUSIC in Boston teaching improvisation to performance students and continues to direct the WOODY HERMAN ORCHESTRA.


SoCal Jazz

Frank Tiberi: The Thundering is Still Heard

Read "Frank Tiberi: The Thundering is Still Heard" reviewed by Jim Worsley

The term “ninety-two years young" is a bit cliché, but if the shoe fits (oops, another cliché). Saxophonist Frank Tiberi (pictured above playing with saxophonist and long time friend George Garzone to the left) spoke with the verve and energy of a much younger man. He got excited, as if being back in the moment, when telling stories of as far back as the 1930s. We laughed, and I learned, in a conversation that covered a lot of ground.

Album Review

Frank Tiberi, Joe Lovano and George Garzone: Tiberian Mode

Read "Tiberian Mode" reviewed by Jim Worsley

While the three tenor saxophone soloists with piano, bass, and drums was already a proven sextet formula, the Tiberian Mode is one of vast reproportioning and accelerated creativity. Led by big band divinity Frank Tiberi and two of his disciples, George Garzone, and Joe Lovano, the project unleashes power, vigor, and contrasting jazz sensibilities. Attention is piqued even before listening when you learn that the first song is the first and last section of John Coltrane's “Giant Steps" ...

Album Review

Frank Tiberi: 4 Brothers 7

Read "4 Brothers 7" reviewed by Gaylord Smith

Ah, nostalgia. What would we do without it? The warm, fuzzy feelings take us back to less complicated times when the cares of the world were always somewhere else, bothering someone else. Tenor and soprano saxophonist Frank Tiberi has chosen, on 4 Brothers 7, to offer a remembrance of the Woody Herman Band and, in particular, its Second Herd, also known as the Four Brothers Band. The 7> in the title represents the Tiberi group's seven players: four saxophones and ...

Album Review

Frank Tiberi: 4 Brothers 7

Read "4 Brothers 7" reviewed by Jack Bowers

This is a clever idea, and a scary one as well. Clever because it seeks to recreate the innovative “four brothers sound (three tenor saxophones, one baritone) made famous by Woody Herman's legendary Second Herd; scary because whoever undertakes the assignment has some enormous shoes to fill (Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Herbie Steward, Serge Chaloff). Happily for the listener, these seasoned front-liners--each of whom played with Woody at various times--wear them quite well, even as one concedes that no claimants ...

Album Review

Frank Tiberi: Tiberian Mode

Read "Tiberian Mode" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Better late than never. Although Frank Tiberi’s stature among his fellow musicians approaches legendary, it took a Woody Herman alumnus (John Nugent) with his own record company to appreciate the benefits of bringing the present leader of the Herman Herd into a studio to document his prodigious talents. And while doing so, to invite two of Tiberi’s ardent admirers and former “students,” saxophonists Joe Lovano and George Garzone, to take part in the session. Lovano and Garzone are graduates of ...

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