Al Gallodoro has been one of the world’s leading saxophone (and woodwinds) virtuosos since the early 1930s when he joined Isham Jones and went on to become a longtime star soloist with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. He also played under such classical-music icons as Arturo Toscanini and Leopold Stokowski, and even performed Paul Creston’s famed saxophone sonata with Creston himself at the piano. Jazz-saxophone great Benny Golson said that Gallodoro “was probably the best [technician] I ever heard in my life.”
The two-disc set Infinite Gallodoro contains 15 tracks recorded with piano, bass and drums in 2004, when Gallodoro was an unbelievable 91 years old, and another 12 previously unreleased, remastered tracks of live concert and radio performances from the 1940s through the 1970s.
Although Gallodoro does improvise on some tunes, his great strength lies in his fantastic technique, gorgeous tone and moving expressiveness. Whether the vehicle is Ellington’s exquisite “Sophisticated Lady,” Jimmy Dorsey’s virtuosic “Beebe” or Franz Schubert’s demanding “The Bee,” and regardless of whether it was performed two or 60 years ago, Al Gallodoro provides a striking lesson on the capabilities of the saxophone in the hands of a master.