Volume XCIX, No. 10November, 1999
Irving Bloom – Accordion
Charles J. Burke – Piano
Warren Covington – Trombone/Arranger
Art Farmer – Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Dr. Alfred Goodman – Conductor
Chuck Gray – Trumpet
Alvero C. Gregson – Bass
George F. Koenig – Saxophone/Clarinet/Flute
Vito Lamberta – Trumpet
Jack Pincus – Drums
Lawrence Rizzolli – Tenor Banjo
Sal Salvador – Guitar
Joe G. Sheppard – Clarinet
Courtney Williams – Trumpet/Arranger
Warren Covington, 78, a trombone player, arranger, studio musician and band leader, and an 802 member since 1941, died on Aug. 24.
Mr. Covington performed with Isham Jones in 1939, and with the Mitchell Ayres and Horace Heidt bands in the early 1940s. After serving in World War II, he played with the Les Brown, Gene Krupa and Boyd Raeburn bands. He was a member of the CBS staff orchestra from 1949 to 1956, performing on the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout and Ed Sullivan shows on CBS.
Mr. Covington was a very busy freelance recording musician. He played in the Commandos, a studio band put together by arranger Tutti Cammeratta, with Ed Grady as leader. From 1958 until the early ’70s he was the leader of the Tommy Dorsey Band. He formed his own band in the ’70s, toured with it, and recorded many albums. His biggest hit recording was the “Tea for Two” cha-cha. A virtuoso trombonist and arranger, he composed several pieces for solo trombone.
Art Farmer, the unique, lyrical jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist, died in New York on Oct. 4 of heart failure at the age of 71. He had been a member of Local 802 since 1947. Born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, he served his jazz apprenticeship in Los Angeles with the bands of Horace Henderson and Johnny Otis, among others. He came to nationwide attention with the release of a recording he made with tenor saxophonist Wardell Gray titled “Farmer’s Market.”
In 1952 Lionel Hampton took Art on the road in a band that also contained trumpeters Clifford Brown and Quincy Jones, touring the United States and Europe. After leaving Hampton Art made his home in New York, where he played with many bands including those led by Teddy Charles, Gigi Gryce and Horace Silver. He recorded with composer George Russell and began working on George’s Lydian Concept of Tonal Organization, through which he was able to eliminate vestiges of Dizzy Gillespie’s musical dialect that had been present in his earlier work, developing a personal sound and a harmonic and melodic palette all his own.
Gerry Mulligan’s new quartet in 1958 featured Art Farmer as the other horn. Their album for Columbia Records and appearances here and in Europe established Art firmly in the first rank of world-class jazz trumpeters. Eighteen months later, after appearing in two movies with Mulligan, Art left to form the Jazztet with co-leader Benny Golson, a group in which his twin brother Addison played the bass. (Addison passed away in 1963.) When the Jazztet broke up in 1962, Art and guitarist Jim Hall formed a quartet.
Art began playing some things on the flugelhorn during these years, attracted to its warmer tone quality, and it gradually became his instrument of choice. In recent years he played a hybrid instrument designed for him by David Monette to combine the warmth of the flugelhorn with the brilliance of the trumpet, which he called the “flumpet.” In the mid-1960s Art spent some time playing in Scandinavia, and then took a job as soloist with the Austrian Radio Band in Vienna. He met and married Mechtilde Lawugger, a young Viennese banker, and made his home in Vienna until after her death in 1992, though his career in jazz kept him on the road part of the time. Their son, Georg, a bassist, now lives in New York and is also a member of Local 802. During the past few years, Art maintained a second residence in New York City.
Art’s later career consisted of performances with his own group and solo appearances in concerts and nightclubs in Europe, the United States, South America and Japan. He was honored by Vienna for his contribution to the city’s culture, and in 1994 Lincoln Center paid him tribute in a concert that reunited him with many of his earlier colleagues.
The Art Farmer discography is large. He recorded regularly throughout his career, both as sideman and leader. His recent work and many of his earlier recordings are available on compact disc. His latest recording, on the Arabesque label, is titled “Silk Road.”
Art is survived by his son, Georg Farmer, his manager and companion, Lynne Mueller, and his sister in Tucson, Mauvolene Thomas.
George F. Koenig
George F. Koenig, 87, who played saxophone, clarinet and flute in the big bands if Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Bob Crosby in the 1930s and ’40s, died on Aug. 20. He had been a member of Local 802 since 1937.
In 1936, he took part in the Goodman band’s historic performance at Carnegie Hall. He appeared in the 1937 movie, Hollywood Hotel, and is a featured player in some of the most popular jazz recordings of the 1930s and 40s. He later performed on Broadway and in many New York night clubs, and he toured widely. In more recent years, he had his own band and founded the Koenig School of Music in Hillsdale, N.J. After his retirement, he lived in Florida and California.
He is survived by his wife Helen, daughter Helen Szuluk, sons George and Robert, and seven grandchildren.
Sal Salvador, 73, a jazz guitarist, teacher, and author of more than 20 books on guitar playing, died on Sept. 22. He had been a member of Local 802 for 50 years.
Born Silvio Smiraglia, he adopted Sal Salvador as his stage name at the beginning of his career. In the late 1940s and 50s he worked in several orchestras and bands, and was a staff musician for Columbia Records, ABC and CBS television and radio.
A member of the Stan Kenton Big Band from 1952 to 1953, he led the Sal Salvador Combo from 1954 to 1960 and the Colors in Sound Orchestra from 1960 to 1965. He was an accompanist to Robert Goulet, Carol Lawrence, Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Paul Anka, Johnny Mathis, Leslie Uggams, Gerry Mulligan and Pat Boone. He made appearances in two movies: The Blackboard Jungle and Jazz on a Summer’s Day.
He performed live or recorded with Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Phil Woods, Billie Holiday, Sonny Stitt, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Milt Hinton, Billy Taylor, Joe Morello and Frankie Laine. In later years he formed the Sal Salvador Quartet and was leader of the group Crystal Image.
Mr. Salvador taught music courses at the University of Bridgeport and Western Connecticut University. He also taught privately in Manhattan for 50 years.
He is survived by his wife, Catherine Smiraglia, daughter Lorinda, sons Barry and Daniel, and two grandchildren.