During a magical career that began at the pinnacle of the big band era, Secondo "Conti" Candoli served as the lead trumpeter in the Woody Hermann and Stan Kenton big bands, two of the greatest outfits in jazz history. Often joined by his older brother, Pete, Candoli's mirror-shattering range combined with a be-bop dexterity that allowed composers and arrangers to take musical risks that changed the sound of big band jazz.
Other stars took note of his prowess, as Candoli worked with vocalists Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan and Sammy Davis Jr., as well as Benny Goodman and the Tonight Show Band. Yet the greatest nod to his ability may have been when Dizzy Gillespie, often acknowledged as the greatest be-bop trumpeter, employed Candoli to play trumpet in his band.
After traveling extensively with Woody Herman's Thundering Herd and the Stan Kenton Band early in his career, Candoli settled in Los Angeles, becoming part of the cool bop scene and recording with genre stalwarts like Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars, Stan Getz, Shelly Mane and Gerry Mulligan. Along with his brother, Conti became a top session man in LA, recording movie and TV soundtracks, including shows like "Mission Impossible" and "Mannix."
When "The Tonight Show" traveled west in 1972, the Candoli Brothers joined it Johnny Carson's legendary band, a gig he held until Carson retired in 1992. As he told jazz writer Zan Stewart: "Usually, you never think you'd do a gig for 20 years, but because of this job I was able to raise a family and stay in one place."
-- David Witter
- The Candoli Brothers (Digitally Remastered) | Read Review