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"The Fortunato - Gagliardi Duo"

I was contacted by a mutual colleague of mine,  who recently recorded  and collaborated  on a CD with Joe Fortunato (Fortunato & Gagliardi Duo).   This recording consists of five popular standard songs featuring the unreleased version of “Moonlight in Vermont” – “Body & Soul” plus others including the romantic lush sounds of a Saxophone & Guitar duo to be enjoyed.  We have made available these tracks for your listen pleasure and encourage feedback.

During the early 1990’s there was a place called “The Balligo Inn” located on Balligomingo Road in Conshohocken, PA. The Balligo was a weekend quaint rustic Inn that featured a limited menu of sandwiches & salads plus a bar that served many-imported International Beer labels that were not able to find in other places.  The Philadelphia Inquirer and other local newspapers ranked and acclaimed this place as one of the best venues to hear live JAZZ in the tri-state area.  Every Friday & Saturday night the Jazz entertainment consisted of a House Trio or Quartet lead by saxophonist Joe Fortunato that featured Papa John DeFrancesco, organ – Eddie McFadden, guitar – Mike Anthony on drums. The entertainment policy was to have a “Jazz Open House” each weekend in order to give a creative musical outlet to aspiring young musicians and experienced musicians that were traveling through the Philadelphia area.  On many occasions, you were able to witness a major Jazz musician or vocalist stop-by just to say hello and sit-in with the band members for an impromptu performance that would generate standing ovations from a 200-seat capacity crowd.

 

One night a young guitar player named Lou Gagliardi stopped by to sit-in with the house musicians and played for most of the evening.  Ironically, Eddie McFadden former sideman to Jimmy Smith for many years would be taking time off to fulfill prior commitments and would return after a few months.  It was at this time that Joe Fortunato enjoyed playing with Lou Gagliardi and felt that he could be an important asset to the vacated position and offered the spot to Lou until Eddie McFadden’s return.

 

Lou Gagliardi Biography:

Lou was born in Philadelphia 1959.  He began studying guitar at age (8) at the Granoff School of Music.  At age of (13-16), he performed at Classical Guitar Society Annual Student Recitals (14-16). 

In 1977, after graduating from Council Rock High School, Lou attended Drexel University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering 1982.  After working (4) years as an Aerospace engineer for the US Navy, he decided to quit engineering and went into music full time.

He studied Jazz guitar with for many years with three prominent teachers Robert Wall, Dennis Sandole and Tom Giacabetti.

Lou’s notable performances included the 1990 Philly Fest and Mellon Jazz Festival.

His other duet performances with Joe Fortunato included various concerts at the Kimmel Center, located in “The Avenue of the Arts” located on South Broad Street in Philadelphia, PA.

Footnote:  Since I retired from playing – My only regret is that I never had an opportunity to play with this extraordinary duo.

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Reader Comments (2)

Thanks for sharing these -- I have fond memories of taking my future wife to the Balligo Inn -- the best Jazz, great beer and pickled eggs.
December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave K
Dave,

Thanks for visiting our website . . . The Balligo Inn was a special place. Please spread the word in "Keeping Mainstream Jazz Alive!"

Danny
December 26, 2013 | Registered CommenterDanny Luciano

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