Volume C, No. 2February, 2000
Nat Adderley, Sr. – Cornet/Trumpet
Martin Bernstein – Professor of Music
Paige Brook – Flute
A.R. De Vita – Saxophone
Mush Fields – Drums
Joseph Florentine – Trumpet
Hank Freeman – Saxophone/Clarinet/Flute
Samuel Gurkin – Violin
Lon Hanagan – Piano
Lilette Hindin – Copyist
Walt Levinsky – Composer/Arranger
Boris Malina – Trombone
Al Miller – Drums
Tommy Reo – Trombone
Vincent S. Rossitto, Sr. – Violin
Jack Winters – Saxophone
Andrew M. Wiswell – Trombone
Nat Adderley, Sr.
Nat Adderley, 68, a jazz cornetist and trumpeter and an 802 member for more than 40 years, died on Jan. 2. Inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in Kansas City in 1997, he performed on nearly a hundred albums.
Mr. Adderley took up the trumpet in 1946 and switched to cornet in 1950. He began his career playing with bands in Florida, where he was born. He served in the U.S. Army between 1951 and ’53, playing in army bands. In 1954 he joined Lionel Hampton’s group and in 1956 became part of the Adderley Brothers quintet started by his older brother, saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. The group disbanded in 1957, but the brothers soon reunited in the Cannonball Adderley Quintet. It remained active until Cannonball Adderley’s death in 1975.
Nat Adderley then started his own quintet, which frequently toured Europe and Japan. He made many recordings, with the Cannonball Adderley and his own quintet, and with artists such as Kenny Clarke, Wynton Kelly and Jimmy Heath. He composed such jazz standards as “Work Song,” “Sermonette” and “Jive Samba.” He and his brother collaborated on a musical about the folk hero John Henry that was performed as a concert at Carnegie Hall in 1976 and later as a full theatrical production at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and La Jolla Playhouse a decade later. In 1997 he joined the faculty of Florida Southern College as artist in residence.
He is survived by his wife Ann, son Nat Adderley, Jr., a keyboard player and 802 member, daughter Allison and five grandchildren.
Martin Bernstein, 95, emeritus professor of music at New York University and the recipient in 1968 of NYU’s Great Teacher Award, died on Dec. 19. He had been an 802 member since 1921. A conductor and teacher, he began his music career in the 1920s, playing the double bass with the New York Symphony and New York Philharmonic, under the direction of Arturo Toscanini, Willem Mengelberg and Wilhelm Furtwangler.
Mr. Bernstein began teaching music at NYU while still an undergraduate. He joined the faculty in 1925, on graduation, and “over the decades, he built the department into one of the foremost research facilities in the country,” said Edward Roesner, chairperson of NYU’s Department of Music. He played a major role in the 1930s in establishing musicology as an academic discipline.
Mr. Bernstein specialized in the music of J.S. Bach and Richard Wagner. He also introduced works of Henry Purcell and other Baroque composers to New York audiences. His textbooks, “An Introduction to Music” and “Score Reading,” went through several reprintings. He also taught at Harvard University and the City University of New York. He retired from university teaching in 1972.
Mr. Bernstein earned a Bronze Star during World War II for his work in military intelligence.
He is survived by his wife, Dr. Virginia Lubkin, and sons James, Roger and John.
Paige Brook, 79, a flutist who played with the New York Philharmonic for more than 35 years, died on Dec. 9. He had been an 802 member since 1947.
Born in New Jersey, Mr. Brook attended the Eastman School of Music, where he studied the flute and piccolo with Joseph Mariano. In 1940 he became first flute of the Buffalo Philharmonic. During World War II he served in the army, as a warrant officer and as leader of the 12th Armored Division Band, which moved with the Allied Divisions into Germany from the landings in Normandy.
He then moved to New York City, where he freelanced with the Little Orchestra, among others. In 1952 he joined the flute section of the New York Philharmonic, where he remained until he retired from the orchestra as Associate Principal Flute in 1988. He was a soloist with the Philharmonic from time to time, as well as a recitalist, chamber music player, three times president of the New York Flute Club, teacher, and flutist of the New York Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet. His recordings encompassed both classical and jazz repertory.
After his retirement Mr. Brook moved to Kerrville, Texas, where he continued to play recitals and was active in a wide range of organizations.
He is survived by his wife Alice, daughters Nancy and Gail, son Mitchell, sisters Muriel and Janice, five grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Joseph Florentine, 83, a trumpet player who had been an 802 member since 1937, died on Dec 18. Mr. Florentine, who had lived in Florida for the last 30 years, was also a member of AFM locals 16 (New Jersey) and 655 (Miami).
Born in New Jersey, he lived and worked there for a time before moving to New York City. He served in the U.S. Army for four years, until 1946, playing in an army band. After his discharge, he taught music and continued an active performing career. He played club dates and society affairs with major club date orchestras, including the Lester Lanin orchestra and worked with a number of big bands (beginning with the one led by Red Nichols). He played the Copacabana and other well-known night clubs.
From 1959 until 1969 he was the leader and conductor of the band performing at the Waldemere Hotel in Livingston Manor, N.Y., accompanying such stars as Red Buttons, Georgie Jessel, Totie Fields and Cab Calloway. He also did studio work, radio and television. In 1969 Mr. Florentine moved to Florida, where he continued to perform club dates until his retirement five years ago.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Gertrude, and daughter Judy.
Hank Freeman, 81, world-renowned alto sax, clarinet and flute player, and an 802 member for more than 60 years, died on Jan. 10 after a long illness. He had played with the biggest swing bands in the world, including Glenn Miller in the European theater during WWII. He recorded with the original Artie Shaw Band, Benny Goodman, Harry James and Bunny Berrigan. He also played for Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holliday.
After the war he settled in New York and freelanced in a great variety of venues, including radio, Broadway and early TV. His show credits include Cabaret, Damn Yankees, West Side Story and Cats. Among the better-known recordings he played were Tony Bemett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” Artie Shaw’s “Begin the Beguine” and all of Dinah Washington’s recordings.
In 1990 he retired and moved to Boca Raton, Florida. More recently, the French government invited him to be their guest at 50th anniversary commemorations of the Normandy invasion.
He is survived by his wife Shirley, daughter Lisa, son Marc and grandchildren Jason, Lindsey and Kyle.
Lilette Hindin, 84, a music copyist who joined Local 802 in 1944, died on Jan. 2. Ms. Hindin was the music copyist for conductor Leopold Stokowski, composer William Bolcom, arrangers Sol Kaplan and Buster Davis. She was the copyist on many Broadway shows.
An accomplished pianist, Ms. Hindin began studying the instrument as a child and planned to attend the Eastman School of Music. But after her father died, when she was 16, she had to go to work. She learned music copying in a Works Progress administration project in Philadelphia.
A staunch member of Local 802, she helped to organize the copyists’ section and was a charter member of the Members’ Party, serving as its recording secretary for a time. She played a strong role during the strike against the New York City Opera. She continued to support the union even after she retired, due to illness.
She is survived by her brother Eugene, niece Stephanie, nephew Gregory, and many, many friends, in New York City and around the country. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Musicians’ Emergency Fund, c/o Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036.
Walt Levinsky, 70, a composer, arranger and woodwind player who had been a Local 802 member since 1946, died on Dec. 14.
For more than half a century, he played with some of the world’s greatest musicians, led his own swing band, composed television and movie scores and was a respected arranger and conductor. He was the first president of the Recording Musicians Association to expand that organization to include all of North America. Mr. Levinsky, who had battled recurring tumors since 1995, gave his last public performance in August, appearing as a guest soloist with Peter Appleyard at a jazz festival in Toronto.
During the late 1940s and early ’50s he played saxophone with big band leaders Tommy Dorsey, Les Elgart, Ralph Flanigan and Benny Goodman. From 1945 to 1995, he played clarinet, saxophone and flute on more than 5,000 recording sessions with artists including Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney, Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Barbra Streisand, Joe Williams and Blood Sweat and Tears, as well as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Skitch Henderson’s New York Pops Orchestra.
He arranged and orchestrated music for Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Richard Harris and Doc Severinson, and worked as both a player and arranger on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson during the 1960s.
Later in his career, he composed theme songs to numerous CBS television shows including CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, CBS News Nightwatch and CBS coverage of NFL football and NCAA basketball. He also musical directed the Daytime Emmy Awards for 12 years.
In recent years he had enjoyed great success as a jazz artist, leading his 17 piece “Great American Swing Band” in concert at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and, several years ago, a tour of Japan. He was also a technical wizard, running the control booth for composer/arranger Dick Hyman during his work for several Woody Allen films, including Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose, Purple Rose of Cairo, Radio Days, Crimes and Misdemeanors and Everyone Says I Love You.
He is survived by his wife Natalie, daughters Judy and Sue, son Ken, a local 802 musician who worked with his father in concert and on recordings, and four grandchildren.
Al Miller, 73, a drummer, teacher and writer and an 802 member for more than 50 years, died on Feb. 4.
His talent was recognized early; he won the title of “New York State Individual Snare Drum Champion” at age 14. Mr. Miller entered the armed forces during World War II, playing and teaching with the Official Air Force Band stationed at Bolling Field in Washington, D.C. After leaving the services he continued to teach and play. Among other gigs, he toured South America with Xavier Cugat, Cab Calloway and Enric Madriguera, and recorded with Mr. Madriguera.
Among his own teachers was Henry Adler. Mr. Miller established the Al Miller Drum School and taught generations of drummers on Long Island. He published six books on the subject. He also led the Al Miller Big Band, continuing to perform until the end of his life.
He is survived by sons Matthew (who is also a drummer, and an 802 member) and Christopher, daughters Deborah and Laurie, two grandchildren, brother Charles, sister Viola, and brother-in-law Joe Cavallero, a longtime member of Local 802.
Tommy Reo, 87, a trombone player and a 60-year member of Local 802, died on Dec. 6.
Born in Pennsylvania, Mr. Reo began his long career as first trombone with the Sonny Dunham group in 1937. He then played with bands led by Frank Dailey, Buddy Rogers and Charles Barnett, and in 1943 joined the Benny Goodman orchestra. Mr. Reo was first trombone of the Perry Como-Chesterfield Radio show from 1944-45, and a member of the staff at WINS Radio from 1946 until 1954. Over the course of his career, he accompanied such performers as Judy Garland, Milton Berle, Wayne Newton and Bob Hope. He performed with the Ziegfield Follies and, in the mid-1960s, on Mitch Miller’s Sing Along.