Chapter 1

It All Began in New Jersey

I was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. I was introduced to the trombone in 4th grade in 1963 through the public school system. I wanted to play the trumpet, but they were out of them, so they suggested I try the trombone. I never could have forseen that the trombone and my love of playing music would be a constant through all of my life's challenges and relationships!

 

The Early Years

From 1968 to 1972 I attended Ridgefield Park High School. By my junior year I had become a pretty good trombone player and started playing in local bands that had horn sections. We would play at school dances, etc. Three of the groups I played with were Bluff, Spindrift, and a big group called The Mixed Emotions. That group had 5 singers, organ, guitar, bass, drums, alto sax, trumpet and myself on trombone. The trumpet player was Dennis Truncellito who to this day is my very best friend. Unfortunately, there are no audio recordings of any of these groups.

At the end of my senior year in high school I performed in the Fairleigh Dickinson University Honors Youth Ensemble which I had to audition for. Dennis and I also played a show with "The Four Freshmen", "Vic Damone", and "The Three Penny Opera" at Newark College of Engineering.

It was in 1973 that my professional music career began.

 

Strutt 1973-1976

In 1973, at the ripe old age of 19, I joined a new group called Strutt. Two of the members of The Mixed Emotions, Roger Zumbo on drums and Dickie Harmon on vocals were also in the group. We performed in discos and nightclubs in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. In 1975 we were signed to Brunswick Records and recorded our only album Time Moves On.The members were Roger Zumbo, drums; Ed Walker, bass; Carmen Cosentino, guitar; Frank Portolano, Hammond organ; Jim Mecke, alto sax; Joe Escobar, trombone; Ronald Jones, vocals; Dickie Harmon, vocals. The album made it to the Billboard top ten in 1975. The album also was recently released on CD and is still being played in discos in Japan.

The tracks below are from the album Time Moves On as well as an audio clip from when we opened a concert with The Spinners in Ithaca, New York. The Ithaca recordings had some water damage from storage, but I was able to save a couple of tunes from the show.

You can select tunes separately or play them as a stream from the bottom player.

Time Moves On
 
Said You Didn't Love Him
 
Front Row Romeo
 
We've Come a Long Way Baby
 
Funky Sign
 
If Wishing Made It So
 
Funky Baby Feet
 
Strutt opening for the Spinners
 

Full Playlist of Strutt Album "Time Moves On" >>>>>

Time Moves On
 

 

The Truth Band 1976-1978

The year was 1976. I left the group Strutt and joined a band called the Truth Band. While most bands played cover tunes of what you would hear on the radio, the Truth Band was unique in the fact that they played mostly original music. To this day I feel that this group had some of the most talented musicians I've ever worked with. Just prior to my joining the band, they had recorded an album on Roulette Records. I was now part of the new horn section.

The members in the pic from left to right: Phil Girlando on lead vocal, guitar and electric violin, Ron Zampini on drums; John Gatti on vocals, multiple keys, clarinet, harmonica and flute; Bill Zecker on vocals and bass; Lenny Northover on alto sax; and myself on trombone and baritone.

The tracks below are from a live gig at a club called Crazy Horse Pub in Englewood, New Jersey.

Party Hearty
 
Financial Fright
 
Love at First Sight
 
The Promoter
 
Expressway
 
On the Move/A Train
 
I'll Be Waiting
 
My Baby Means Business
 

Full Playlist of Crazy Horse Pub 1977 >>>>>

Live at Crazy Horse Pub
 

 

Find out what happens next in Chapter 2. "California Here I Come!"

 

Chapter 2 California Here I Come!

 

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