CUOZZO Mike 1956

Mike Cuozzo, who is, at the time of this recording, a jazzman of 31, was first made truly aware of the tone of the tenor saxophone by the great sound man himself, Coleman Hawkins. Not too concious of jazz at the time (he was trying to master the flute and soprano sax), Mike read a rave review in Downbeat of The Bean's original recording of Body and Soul. He went out and bought the record, listened, and knew at once what he wanted to do -he wanted to play jazz tenor with a real sound!
As a working tenor man he was quite successful, for, in addition to playing numerous small jaz combo dates, he blew his horn in such name bands as those of Tommy Reynolds, Joe Marsala, Bob Astor, Shep Fields, Tommy tucker, and, most recently, Elliott Lawrence.
But, as a maturing man, he could see that the future of a jazz musician must, of necessity, be limited. What's more, he realized, without some other form of security, he would be forced to play, as he had in several bands, music which he didn't believe in. And so he turned to an additional, more secure way of making a living.
He and his brother became contractors, and very successful ones, too. Now in Caldwell, New Jersey, Mike build houses -many houses- and he has already achieved far more security than he ever dreamed he would find in a lifetime as a full-time musician. But he still plays his tenor regularly, and he plays it without the restrictions that had once been his. In other words, he has realized the ambition of every jazz musician: he can blow the way he wants to blow.

1955 was the year of Savoy's Mighty Mike! release. Mighty Mouse turned out to be only half as elusive as the tenor man, whose freelance musical opportunities were not providing the type of steady income he desired. 1956 was also the year of Cuozzo's other famous recording, a collaboration with the Costa-Burke Trio helmed by pianist Eddie Costa and bassist Vinnie Burke. Mike Cuozzo with the Costa-Burke Trio originally came out on the Jubilee imprint; as many as four subsequent reissues have fostered a misconception that these musicians got back together in the late '80s for a new project.


Mike CUOZZO ts, Eddie COSTA p, Vinnie BURKE b, Nick STABULAS dr,

To be continued...

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