Take Five With Joe Albano

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Meet Joe Albano:

Joe Albano, a native of Boston, MA, began his instrumental studies at 14 with local hometown hero, saxophonist Ray DeNice. Quickly gravitating to the saxophone, and ignoring all logic and reason, he attended the Berklee College of Music in Sept of 2000. He graduated in 2005 and holds a B.A. in Professional Music. His performance studies were with such luminaries as saxophonists George Garzone and Joe Lovano, clarinetist Harry Skoler, pianist JoAnne Brackeen, trombonist Hal Crook and vibraphonist Dave Samuels. Joe has also studied composition with Mark Muzzerol, Bob Pilkington, Greg Hopkins, and Ken Pullig.

Over the years, Joe has developed an extremely eclectic and vastly unique improvisational/compositional style that spans not only the jazz and creative music realms, but also carries tinges of rock, heavy metal, classical European art music and modern art music. His style combines extreme technical virtuosity with guttural, raw emotional content.


Saxophone, clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon, EWI.

Teachers and/or influences?

Teachers: Ray DeNice, George Garzone, Harry Skoler, Joe Lovano.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I saw an ad on tv for the local smooth jazz radio station and saw a guy playing sax. Something clicked in my head and I decided then and there that I was going to play the sax. Of course, my music sounds nothing like that now. Weird...

Your teaching approach:

Get them to stop staring listlessly into space, drooling on themselves. After that, we put the instrument together...

Your dream band:

I can do this one and be halfway serious!

The dead guys:

Myself (obviously); Frank Zappa: guitar; Tony Williams: drums.


Me (duh), Steve Ruel: reeds; Aki Ishiguro: guitar; Nick Jozwiak: bass; Dave Cole: drums. My band is my dream band!

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Paul Desmond/Gerry Mulligan, Two of a Mind.

CDs you are listening to now:

Tyshawn Sorey, That/Not (Firehouse 12);

Joe Albano, Open the Gate and Flood the Valley (Self Produced);

McCoy Tyner, Atlantis (Milestone);

Frank Zappa, Jazz From Hell (Barking Pumpkin).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

A bunch of dead guys.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Forget about the dead guys and concentrate on those that are alive and trying to actually create new sounds.

What is in the near future?

Me trying not to loose my mind!

By Day:

I work in a coffee shop.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Heavy metal guitarist/lead singer.

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