A topnotch studio musician and first trumpeter, Conrad Gozzo was also a skilled (but underutilized) jazz soloist. He originally studied with his father (a trumpet teacher) and in 1938 started his professional career by joining Isham Jones' Orchestra. Gozzo had stints with the big bands of Tommy Reynolds, Red Norvo, Johnny "Scat" Davis, Bob Chester and Claude Thornhill (1941-42). He worked with Benny Goodman for three months and then spent time in the military (getting to play with Artie Shaw's Navy band). After his discharge, Gozzo was with Woody Herman's First Herd (1945-46), Boyd Raeburn and Tex Beneke. In all of those bands, he rarely had solos but his warm sound and impressive range were considered major assets. In 1947 Gozzo (who was still just 25) settled in Los Angeles where he became a very busy studio musician, appearing on a countless number of recordings during the next 17 years. He also played for radio shows, television and films. His death from a heart attack at the age of 42 was a tragic end to a productive career. Conrad Gozzo only led one record album, a long out-of-print set for Victor in 1955 (Gozz The Great) that featured him with a big band, a sextet and with strings.
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