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Entries in Philly Avenue of the Arts (4)


Special Request - Joe Fortunato Tribute

JOE FORTUNATO - "Memorable Tribute" from Danny Luciano 

We have received many requests from our many friends to post this rememberance tribute to a true "Gentleman of JAZZ."

JOE FORTUNATO - "Memorable Tribute" from Danny Luciano on Vimeo.





* HOUSTON        * DALLAS        * AUSTIN         * SAN ANTONIO



Texas often remained unrecognized to the many contributions to the jazz music scene. Many careers were launched in this area during 20's, 30's thru the 1980's. These four cities became important to many jazz and blues musicians in the early days to present. In today's music scene each of the cities have attained a variety of styles from small informal clubs to the more elaborate jazz and blues bars and restaurants.
The memory of the many legendary musicians that performed in the area during the past
will be remembered for many years to come.
Ernestine Anderson - Vocals, Houston, Tx. -11/11/28
Teddy Buckner - Trumpet, Sherman, Tx. - 7/16/09 - 9/22/94
Ernie Caceres - Baritone Sax, Rockport, Tx. -11/22/11 -1/10/71
Charlie Christian - Guitar, Dallas, Tx. - 7/29/16 -3/2/42
Ornette Coleman - Alto Sax, Fort Worth, Tx. - 3/19//20
Larry Coryell - Guitar, Galveston, Tx. - 4/2/43
King Curtis - Tenor Sax, Forth Worth, Tx. - 2/7/34 - 8/13/71
Kenny Dorham - Trumpet, Fairfield, Tx. - 8/30/24 -12/5/72
Herb Ellis - Guitar, McKinley, Tx. -8/4/21  - 3/28/10
Booker Erving - Tenor Sax, Denison, Tx. -10/31/30 -7/31/70
Herschel Evans - Tenor Sax, Denton, Tx. -1909 -2/9/39
Red Garland - Piano, Dallas, Tx. - 5/13/23 - 4/23/84
James Peter Giuffre  - Saxes, Dalls,  Tx. - 4/26/21 - 4/24/08
                                                             . . . plus many more.

It's A Little Known Fact . . .

Henry "Buster" Smith (8/24/04 - 8/10/91) . . . Alto Sax & Clarinetist - arranger who wrote the the signature song "One O'Clock Jump" for Count Basie, failed to copyright the composition.





Philadelphia is a city of musical roots that span more than a 100 years of various types of music from opera, gospel, soul, rock, R&B, and especially in jazz. The "City of Brotherly Love" was called home for many jazz artists of the past decades. During the 1920's an '30s, Philadelphia's nightlife and club scene was centered around South Street, a short distance from center city. In this area, it was the Dunbar, Lincoln, and the Pearl theaters that were hosting many top names in entertainment. The Earle Theater Enlargeonce located at the corner of 11th and Market Street. This was another famous theater that featured many performers from Jack Teagarden, Louis Prima, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and many others during it's heyday of the 1940's. Other nightclubs and taverns within various sections of Philadelphia also played an important part in featuring the top names in jazz from the 1940's until the 1960's.
Another city, which was also known for its contribution to jazz was Pittsburgh, PA. This area produced a number of world- class piano players such as Mary Lou Williams, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Erroll Garner, and Billy Strayhorn along with Ray Brown on bass, Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey on drums.
** Did You Know? **
 Jazz vocalist Ethel Waters a native Philadelphian
. . .starred in the title role of television's early sit-com called
"The Beaulah Show," which aired during the fifties.




-"I remember the first time I heard Stan Ross playing the Saxophone" 
It was back in the early 1970s at a Jam Session in South Jersey. The place was Schilligs Black Horse Farms Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge. This place was not only well-known for their food menu but also for the entertainment provided by  recording star Billy Duke & His Dukes  this house-band also featured name celebrities that always stopped-in to perform and take part of the entertainment. – Billy Duke (aka Bill Tesone) he and his brother Jazz bassist Ace Tesone were native South Philadelphians that played the entertainment circuit on both the East & West Coasts and Las Vegas. 
On the bandstand one evening, that was located behind a Large Bar in the cocktail Lounge section of the establishment. A jam session was taken place with various guest musicians from the Delaware Valley. Joe Fortunato who was the lead tenor sax man with Billy Duke’s six-pc combo invited me to sit-in to take part and play in a Jam Session for the attending large crowd that was requesting a sax- battle between the saxophone players.  While we played a swingin’ rendition of Lionel Hampton’s Flyin’ Home – Joe Fortunato invited another young sax man from the audience . . . his name was Stan Ross.  Stan came-up on the bandstand and joined us playing and swingin’ the familiar jazz standards that generated a crowd reaction from all the patrons who were sitting three deep at the bar.  
I was very impressed at Stan’s style of playing and professional manner in being a true Gentleman musician.  Joe Fortunato, Stan Ross myself and other members of the band spoke in conversation about the music business until the early hours of the morning. During our conversation’s Stan mentioned that the first time he heard Stan Getz who played with creativity and fluency of a tenor sax sound that was pure and clean. We all became friends and played again from time to time. There were times when our instruments needed repair. We would pay a visit to our mutual friend George Sarkis known as “The Doctor Of Horns” this gave us opportunity to meet other friends that included Ray Hyman . . . Ray was a friend that was responsible for the invention of “The Ray Hyman Saxophone Strap” which was distributed worldwide and used by the majority of leading saxophonists throughout the world. 
George Sarkis was like a father to Stan; while spending time in George's quaint shop waiting for the instrument repairs to be completed.   One day Sonny Stitt walked in with his alto sax repairs. He needed the instrument to be in excellent playing condition for his engagement at the SHOWBOAT Jazz Club. During the time George needed to make the repairs, Stan Ross and Sonny Stitt went next door to the (Musician’s Union – Local 77) for a quick lunch. 
   It was in 1972 – I had just returned from working on a road engagement in Florida. During this time, I was spending much time in Atlantic City with a Jazz trio that I formed which included drummer Pete Marsico and a young organist George Mesterhazy. While we were playing the various Atlantic City cocktail lounges and accumulated a large following of friends & music lovers. The idea was formulated . . . this production was to be our rendition of a saxophone jam session.  I called Stan Ross and distinctly wanted him to be part of a production “The Battle of the Saxes” which also would feature Joe Fortunato and our friend saxophonist Ray Fern. Stan agreed, and a special friendly relationship and bond of four local Philadelphia tenor sax men was the beginning of “The Philadelphia Four Brothers”

 ENCORE . . .

"Keeping Mainstream & Straight Ahead JAZZ Alive"