Phil Urso

Genres: Jazz

Biography

2 October 1925, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, d. 7 April 2008, Denver, Colorado, USA. When Urso was aged 10 his family moved to Denver, Colorado, and it was there, three years later, that he began playing clarinet. At the suggestion of his teacher, he switched to tenor saxophone in the hope that this would lead more readily to work in one or another of the many big bands still in business at the time. After military service in the US Navy during World War II, he settled on the east coast, which is to where his family had returned. There, he played regularly at local clubs, in particular the Red Door, with visiting jazzmen such as Al Cohn, Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Lester Young and Zoot Sims (who entitled his theme tune for the club). With Evans, he briefly attended the Hartnett Music School and they also formed their own quartet.

In 1948 Urso became a member of Elliot Lawrence’s band where, soon afterwards, he was joined by Mulligan....

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