Nuncio "Toots" Mondello

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An important lead altoist during the swing era, Toots Mondello was a talented (if underused) soloist. Mondello played alto with Mal Hallett (1927-33), Irving Aaronson's Commanders, Joe Haymes and Buddy…
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An important lead altoist during the swing era, Toots Mondello was a talented (if underused) soloist. Mondello played alto with Mal Hallett (1927-33), Irving Aaronson's Commanders, Joe Haymes and Buddy Rogers. He was with the original Benny Goodman Orchestra from 1934-35 and was originally one of the clarinetist's key soloists. He followed that up with stints in the orchestras of Joe Haymes, Ray Noble, Phil Harris and with Goodman again (1939-40). Considered a valuable studio musician from virtually the start of his career, Mondello appeared on swing era records with Chick Bullock, Bunny Berigan, Miff Mole, Claude Thornhill, Larry Clinton, Teddy Wilson, Louis Armstrong (1938-39), Lionel Hampton, the Metronome All-Stars and many others. After serving in the military he went back in the studios and was active into the early 1970s, playing with Goodman in 1967. Mondello led two big band sessions from 1937-38 (resulting in eight titles), four nonet sides in 1939 and four songs later that year with a trio.