Johnny Carisi is destined to be chiefly remembered for composing "Israel," a complex blues that was recorded by Miles Davis' Birth Of The Cool nonet. Otherwise his career was primarily spent in obscurity. Carisi, who was mostly self-taught on trumpet, played early on with little-known groups although he had a stint in 1943 with Glenn Miller's Army Air Force Band. Starting in the mid-40's, Carisi's writing was sophisticated and advanced enough for him to contribute arrangements to the books of Ray McKinley, Charlie Barnet and Claude Thornhill. Never a major soloist, Carisi played trumpet with Claude Thornhill's Orchestra a bit during 1949-50. Although he worked fairly steadily as a writer, Johnny Carisi recorded only a few albums under his own name. He had an opportunity to remake "Israel" in 1956 for a Bluebird set not released until the ...
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