Category: Full Interviews

A Conversation with Blue Lou Marini

Blue Lou MariniCatch Blue Lou Marini if you can. This veteran of the New York saxophone scene has been consistently in demand for nearly 40 years with no signs of stopping in sight. Best-known as a member of The Blues Brothers, and original Saturday Night Live Band, multi-instrumentalist Marini has carved out a career for a who’s who of popular  music. He has performed and recorded with a range of artists including – and certainly not limited to – Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Steely Dan, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and Frank Zappa. Marini’s many television and film credits are well-documented however many may not realize Blue Lou has arranged for and played with many of the big band greats such as Woody Herman, Stan Kenton and Doc Severinsen among others.

Lou Marini was born in 1945 and later attended North Texas State where he was a member of the famed One O’Clock lab band. Following a few years and a failed marriage in Texas, he moved to Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1971. The rest as they say is history.

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Wolfe (Tayne) Taninbaum

Wolfe Tayne is a legendary name among saxophone mouthpiece manufacturers, professional musicians and entrepreneurs in the music manufacturing business. The same Wolfe Taninbaum – now 90 years old – had an illustrious career playing in the studios and sound stages in New York during the Big Band Era of days gone by. His seven-year tenure with Les Brown's Band of Renown is well documented. However, he also shared the stage with big band greats Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, Doris Day and the studio orchestras at NBC and CBS. His self-starter spirit has seen him envision and develop companies including Wolfe Tayne Music Studios, Wolfe Tayne Mouthpieces and BARI, Inc. – all the while maintaining a place among New York's finest recording musicians dating back to the 1930s and 1940s.

Wolfe Taninbaum, a native of Mt. Vernon, New York, has been living in South Florida for nearly 30 years. He still resides in Ft. Lauderdale where he enjoys a "boring life" among other retirees. In June of 2007, Wolfe Taninbaum lost his wife Sylvia to a long-term illness. He and Sylvia were married for almost 67 years and shared many successes as well as challenges along the way. His feelings of loss were still raw at the time of this interview but Wolfe Taninbaum continues to move forward. He still seeks to help others with mouthpiece facings and the search for the perfect mouthpiece.

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Sal Lozano

Sal LozanoSal Lozano is one of the most sought-after saxophonists and woodwind players working in Los Angeles today. Equally comfortable in the theater, studio or on stage as a featured member of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Sal’s presence has become somewhat expected among section players in Los Angeles. Although his name may not be familiar, this native Californian is one of the most recorded woodwind players in recent years. During the past three years, his visibility has increased with his weekly contributions on the hit shows Dancing With The Stars and American Idol.

In addition to his commercial success, Sal Lozano remains a wonderful jazz soloist, serious woodwind player and of course – trained saxophonist. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, San Diego Symphony and the Riverside Philharmonic.

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Bob Mintzer

Bob MintzerBob Mintzer is a consummate musician. – player, teacher and composer who enjoys many different styles of music. Put simply: he just feels lucky that he’s able to do it all and doesn’t see that changing for quite a while – something sure to make his legions of fans very happy.

Many Saxophone Journal readers will instantly know the name Bob Mintzer. Whether you have played his charts for big band or enjoyed the  recordings of  The Yellowjackets,  you’ve likely heard his music.

With the release of a new CD called Old School New Lesson he sat down to talk about his many years in the business, his playing habits and his experience playing with some of the jazz greats.

For pictures and a comprehensive discography, visit .



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Dino Soldo

Dino SoldoSaxophonist and multi instrumentalist Dino Soldo is first and foermost an entertainer. Not content to fade into the background while on stage, the energetic performer can be found along side pop-great Lionel Richie kneeling, jumping or even rolling around the stage adorned in his trademark pork pie hat.  Despite his showmanship and outbursts on stage, Dino is a force to be reckoned with on the saxophone. His critics may cynically refer to him as “Superstar” but this largely self-taught saxophonist is truly worthy of more attention. If you’re not familiar with Dino Soldo, you just haven’t been paying attention.  In his own words, “ I’m the guy that most people call when they want to do a TV promo. If they want to go on to the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, they give me a call. If they want to hire a quick sax player for any daytime show like Wayne Brady, Sinbad, Martin Short or Rosie O’Donnell, usually my phone will ring.

Soldo’s newest offering, Balance, is an all instrumental album. It follows his first two vocal releases, Strange and Beautiful and Thread. Balance, as the title implies features both his funky, soulful saxophone playing as well as the hypnotic sound of his chromatic harmonica.” I think it’s the first saxophone and chromatic harmonica album. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s the first one that has ever been done. “

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Tom Scott

Tom ScottMulti-instrumentalist, saxophonist and composer Tom Scott is an icon in the music industry. Just mentioning the name Tom Scott conjures up many musical recollections unique to each individual’s experience. For nearly 40 years he has collaborated with a veritable “who’s who” of the entertainment industry.

Perhaps you are familiar with the sound of his Lyricon or one of his twenty-six solo recordings. Maybe it is his one of his many film scores such as Conquest of the Planet of the Apes or even television music he has composed and performed. Tom has composed and conducted for countless television shows such as Family Ties, Starsky & Hutch as well as The Academy, Emmy and People’s Choice Awards.

Although his music has permeated television and film over the past few decades, it’s more likely that saxophonists recognize his work as a sideman. As a guest recording artist, Tom Scott has appeared on more than 500 recordings. His most familiar solos are likely on the hits Carole King’s Jazzman, Paul McCartney’s Listen To What The Man Said, Rod Stewarts Do You Think I’m Sexy and Whitney Houston’s Saving All My Love For You.

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Michael Paulo

Michael PauloSeveral years ago – actually almost 20 years ago – Michael Paulo appeared in Atlantic City with pop and contemporary jazz superstar Al Jarreau. While attending the concert at Trump Plaza on the Boardwalk, I had the opportunity to become acquainted with Michael Paulo’s stellar saxophone playing and endless energy on stage. Following his performance with Al Jarreau, Michael sat in with my group during a late night jazz gig at the Sands Casino, also on the Boardwalk. It was at that time that I REALLY had the opportunity to hear him stretch out! He played only a couple tunes with the band, but I still remember listening in amazement. After playing my obligatory 3 or 4 choruses on Thelonius Monk’s Straight, No Chaser, Michael ensued on his musical journey into the blues. In laymen’s terms I had “it” handed to me. Mr. Paulo was nothing other than a true gentleman with a boatload of talent and chops. My respect for the player I saw already burning down the house with Al Jarreau went up threefold.

Michael Paulo has been playing pop, soul and contemporary jazz since the late 70s. This was the time of Grover Washington, David Sanborn and Michael Brecker who were all early influences on him while growing up in Hawaii. The prodding of one of his early teachers almost had Michael attending The University of North Texas, however it was not to be. At age 19 Michael instead chose to tour and record with the popular band Kalapano from Hawaii. The Hawaiian Pop/Rock band had a following in the U.S. however enjoyed even greater success in Japan. His choice to tour instead of continuing formal study cleared a virtual path for him to travel for decades to come.

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Lon Price

Lon Price has the distinction of being the creator of one of the most memorable saxophone solos of the 1980s. The L.A. based saxophonist recorded the infamous solo on Al Jarreau’s We’re In This Love Together more than 20 years ago. His signature alto saxophone sound can be heard on the Breaking Away album of 1982 as well as Jarreau’s prior recording, This Time, released in 1981. Following his stint with Jarreau, Lon’s saxophone playing was in high demand and he was well on his way to becoming one of “the cats” in L.A.

“I had a good track record for playing solos that were highly regarded in the industry. I was nominated for a Grammy MVP award that year. Breaking Away went to #4 on the Hot 100 Billboard Charts and Al Jarreau won the Grammy that year for Best Jazz Vocal,” he told this interviewer.

In addition to his solo work with Al Jarreau, Lon has worked with a long list of entertainers including Barbara Streisand, James Cotton, REO Speedwagon, Ziggly Marley, Patti LaBelle, Aaron Neville and even The King – Elvis.

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Steve Cole

Steve Cole possesses a commanding presence in contemporary jazz today. Few artists have had the quick recognition and sustained successes this relatively young man has had. Smooth Jazz, a term Steve is only partly comfortable with, has been the forum for his most recent efforts. In addition to having three albums under his own name, he has collaborated with contemporary jazz and pop artists Jeff Lorber, Larry Carlton, Brian Culbertson, Waymon Tisdale, Rick Braun, Peter White, and even pop star Boz Scaggs.

The native of Chicago found his niche in contemporary jazz, receiving many accolades early on. Steve Cole’s first solo album, Stay a While, produced a pair of #1 NAC hits, When I Think Of You and Say It Again. A third song from the debut album, Where The Night Begins, rose to the top five as well. This was capped off at the 2000 Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards where Steve was the recipient of the Prism Award for Best New Artist.

Winning an award for Best New Artist happened once before, although in a much different arena. At the age of 18, Steve was a winner in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s concerto competition. That honor led to a performance with the Chicago Symphony in his freshman year at Northwestern University.

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Warren Hill

Warren HillAlto and soprano saxophonist Warren Hill has firmly taken his place among popular, contemporary instrumentalists. He boasts an impressive list of accolades in the smooth jazz format, having had several notable hits on the NAC charts. He has seven CDs under his own name and has contributed to projects by Madonna, Chaka Kahn and the rock band Restless Heart. Any fan of smooth jazz is certainly familiar with his music and passionate saxophone sound.

Warren Hill’s playing is inspiring, energetic and perhaps most notably – sensual. He is a former guitar player with a passion for playing ballads. “I love playing funky stuff and rocking out, but man – I don’t play a ballad soft and pretty, I play it intensely.” His ability to cry through the horn is reminiscent of David Sanborn and his image pairs well with his steamy ballads. It is obvious when listening to him live or on CD that he is playing from the heart.

Despite Warren Hill’s commercial success, one cannot deny that he has a great command of the saxophone. His technique appears flawless, intonation impeccable and altissimo crisp and precise. The tall and lean saxophonist hails from Toronto. However, he has spent recent years in the U.S. He first moved to Boston and then Los Angeles. He relocated to Nashville for four years after the ’94 earthquake in L.A. and now lives with his wife and daughter in Boulder, Colorado.

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