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MUSICIAN Born:

Frank Strazzeri

Frank Strazzeri was an American jazz pianist. He was born in Rochester, New York. Strazzeri began on tenor saxophone and clarinet at age 12, then switched to piano soon after. He attended the Eastman School of Music, then took a job as a house pianist in a nightclub in Rochester in 1952. While there he accompanied visiting musicians such as Roy Eldridge and Billie Holiday. He relocated to New Orleans in 1954, playing with Sharkey Bonano and Al Hirt in a Dixieland jazz setting, but his main focus since has been bebop. He played with Charlie Ventura in 1957-58 and Woody Herman in 1959 before moving to Los Angeles in 1960

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Pat Bianchi: B3 Master

Read "Pat Bianchi: B3 Master" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

It may be that young Pat Bianchi had little choice but to follow a career in music. After all, his father and both his grandfathers played professionally in his hometown of Rochester, NY, an area that also produced the likes of the Mangione brothers (Chuck and Gap), pianist Frank Strazzeri, saxophonist Gerry Niewood and drum legend ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Frank Strazzeri: Taurus

Frank Strazzeri: Taurus

I knew Frank Strazzeri could play tasty piano, but I didn't know he could play really tasty Fender Rhodes electric piano. Yesterday, I was listening to Taurus, an album Strazzeri recorded in January 1973 with Conte Candoli (tp), Frank Rosolino (tb), Don Menza (ts,fl), Gene Cherico (b) and Dick Berk (d). Interestingly, Strazzeri's piano style—which was ...

NEWS: TV / FILM

The Frank Strazzeri Film

The Frank Strazzeri Film

Thanks to Rifftides reader Marla Kleman for sending an alert to the posting of a film about one of the late pianist Frank Strazzeri’s loveliest albums. Strazzeri died last year at about this time. He was 84. The album was his Woodwinds West with saxophonists Bill Perkins, Bob Cooper and Jack Nimitz, bassist Dave Stone and ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

In Memoriam: Frank Strazzeri

In Memoriam: Frank Strazzeri

Reports that the veteran pianist Frank Strazzeri had died began circulating a couple of weeks ago. They were impossible to confirm until now. Strazzeri died at 84 on May 9 in his hometown, Rochester, New York, but hespent most of his career in Los Angeles. He moved back to Rochester in late April following a final ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

L.A. Six: Frame of Mind

Read "Frame of Mind" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Once upon a time ('way back in the 1970s-80s) there was the peerless L.A. Four (Bud Shank, Laurindo Almeida, Ray Brown, Shelly Manne) and now we have the L.A. Six, another hard-swinging post-bop ensemble that has chosen to walk in some rather large shoes by recording a splendid debut album, Frame of Mind. With Tom Peterson ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Art Pepper: The Art History Project

Read "The Art History Project" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The tragic jazz life and death story of saxophonist Art Pepper was similar to that of Charlie Parker in many ways. Like Bird's brilliance, Art Pepper's intense flame burned bright, and his genius with the saxophone was subject to fan adoration and critical admiration. Unlike Parker, who died at age 35, Pepper lived into his mid-50s, ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Salute to Stan Kenton: Artistry in Contrast

Read "Salute to Stan Kenton: Artistry in Contrast" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Artistry in Rhythm, the Ken Poston / Los Angeles Jazz Institute's 2009 homage to the renowned bandleader Stan Kenton, was held October 8-11 at the Sheraton LAX Four Points Hotel. As always, there was much to see, hear and admire: films, panel discussions, special presentations and, last but not least, no fewer than nineteen concerts by ...

Jack Nimitz: Baritone-in-Chief

Read "Jack Nimitz: Baritone-in-Chief" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Baritone saxophonist Jack Nimitz died June 10, 2009 at his home in Studio City, California. He was 79 years old. That's hardly headline news except to a relative handful of jazz enthusiasts who were privileged to hear and appreciate his consummate artistry over the span of more than half a century when Nimitz was at the ...


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