We made the trip to Oneonta last night to see Al Gallodoro at the Sego Cafe, and wound up staying to the end of his show. He killed me on "Sleepy Time Down South." Amazing.
Al started playing professionally in 1926, and worked with such bandleaders as Isham Jones and Paul Whiteman through the 1930s. Today at 93, Al Gallodoro is still an incredible player. One of only 14 musicians and singers who recorded before 1940 and are still active (along with Svend Asmussen, Johnny Blowers, Lena Horne, Franz Jackson, Herb Jeffries, Lawrence Lucie, Buddy Morrow, Les Paul, George Shearing, Kay Starr, Gerald Wilson, Snooky Young and Zeke Zarchy), Gallodoro is still at 95% of his playing peak, playing phrases that sound completely impossible.
I found out that Al is going to be playing in the Mohawk Valley for two dates (which turn out to have been arranged by WHCL colleague Monk Rowe) here pasted from the Al Gallodoro website:
FRIDAY MARCH 23, WATERVILLE, NY 7PM, GALLODORO QUARTET with JoAnn Chmielowski piano, Tom Wetmore bass. More details to follow! Just put it on your calendar! Thanks! [This will be at the Waterville Public Library.]
THURSDAY, APRIL 5th 7PM Little Falls NY, Al Gallodoro Quartet, Details to follow, but put it on your calendar NOW! Thanks! [This will be at the Little Falls Public Library.]
The Waterville date, unfortunately, is the night I do my show, but I decided to black out my show that night, with the proviso that I expect every Radiola listener within the scope of the FM signal to attend the concert. This man must be heard.
I'll definitely hit both those shows, and probably the March 24th gig at the Sego Cafe as well. It's a great way to deal with the cabin fever.