Wally Cirillo

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Pianist and composer Wally Cirillo was quite active as a performer and recording artist during the '50s and '60s. He participated in a concert given by the Jazz Composers' Workshop with Teo Macero and…
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Pianist and composer Wally Cirillo was quite active as a performer and recording artist during the '50s and '60s. He participated in a concert given by the Jazz Composers' Workshop with Teo Macero and Charles Mingus during the mid-'50s. Cirillo worked with several musicians after moving to Southern Florida in the early '60s, among them Ira Sullivan, Flip Phillips, and Phil Napoleon. He composed several orchestral and electronic works, and taught university courses in jazz piano and improvisation. His most important recording was as head of a quartet that included Macero and Mingus in 1955. The date, reputed to contain the first jazz composition based on a 12-tone row, has often been issued under Mingus' name, but was also included in the collection entitled Explorations by Teo Macero and Wally Cirillo, released by the Fresh Sound label in 2006. In addition, Cirillo recorded some duet albums in the '70s with Joe Diorio.