21 October 1947, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Of all the legions of John Coltrane -inspired saxophonists to have emerged in the 80s in the USA, Jerry Bergonzi has been one of the most distinctive, and yet has had to wait the longest for his personal break. He played clarinet and alto saxophone from the age of eight, and took up the tenor at 12, being taught by instructors from the nearby Berklee College Of Music while still at high school. Bergonzi graduated from Lowell State University in 1972 and went to New York that year, soon beginning what was to be a 10-year association with Dave Brubeck, first in the Two Generations band, then as the featured horn in Brubecks quartet. Bergonzi returned to Boston in 1987, and began a series of recording projects under his own name for his own label, and also for Italys Red Records. He ran his own bands, the quartet Con Brio and the Trio Gonz, and when Mike Breckers young pianist Joey Calderazzo got his recording debut for Blue Note Records, he called on Brecker, Branford Marsalis and Bergonzi to be the horns. Bergonzis spirited performance convinced Blue Note to record his major-label debut.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.