Al Gallodoro, 2007
Al Gallodoro has had a close relationship with his saxophone for more than 80 of his 93 years, and the timeless music offered on his latest CD is a testament to just how close. The Oneonta-based musician has had quite the life in music, having played with Toscanini, Stokowski, and Bernstein, as well as countless other notables. The 19 tunes on Daybreak document a world-class virtuoso whose tone is pure, phrasing lyrical, and harmonic sensibility simply stunning.
Many of these tunes sound as if they’ve been pulled from a grand old black-and-white movie. In “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” he stair-steps up and down the melody while pianist Joann Bertone Chmielowski provides the foundation. The standards “Georgia,” “Makin’ Whoopie,” and “Sleepytime Down South” are given the royal treatment, and the jaunty “Saxophobia” is a real treat. Other highlights include a staggeringly fast “Flight of the Bumblebee,” an impressive showcase of technique and fearlessness recorded live at Carnegie Hall in 1948. “Tico-Tico,” another mind-boggling piece that pushes the limits of his instrument, closes this superb collection.