A well-respected lead trumpeter able to hit high notes during his prime with a strong tone, Al Porcino was a valuable asset to many bands through the years. Starting in 1943, Porcino played with the big bands of Georgie Auld, Louis Prima, Jerry Wald, Tommy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, and Chubby Jackson. He is probably best-known for his association with Woody Herman (1946, 1949-1950, and 1954), but he also played with Stan Kenton on two occasions (1947-1948 and 1954-1955). In addition, in the '50s, Porcino worked with Pete Rugolo, Count Basie, Elliot Lawrence, and Charlie Barnet, among others. He moved to Los Angeles in 1957, working steadily in the studios, and was with the Terry Gibbs Dream Band during 1959-1962. Porcino kept busy during the '60s, often playing in orchestras behind singers. Most significantly he was with Buddy Rich (1968), the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra (1969-1970), and back with Herman (1972). He led his own big band in the mid-'70s (at one point they accompanied Mel Tormé). Porcino moved to Europe later in the '70s, living in Germany and continuing to head big bands for the next two decades. Porcino led an orchestra date for Jazz Mark in New York (1986) and his big band accompanied Al Cohn on one of the tenor's final recordings (1987). Although Porcino rarely soloed throughout the years, his sound and wide range added excitement to many big bands.
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