Sanford Gold

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What the music industry means by a "gold record" is obviously not an obscure jazz piano platter briefly available on the indie Prestige label in the '50s. To the punster, whose motivation is stupidity…
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What the music industry means by a "gold record" is obviously not an obscure jazz piano platter briefly available on the indie Prestige label in the '50s. To the punster, whose motivation is stupidity rather than commercial success, such a description is perfect for the lone solo project released by Sanford Gold, a pianist who began performing in the '30s but nonetheless basically kept up with progressive developments in improvised music through the '50s.

Gold was found in New York City by the mid-'30s after mining the hometown music scene in Cleveland for several years, attaining status as a bandleader. His partners in the Big Apple were an interesting blend, including tenor saxophonist Babe Russin and the brilliant composer and inventor Raymond Scott. The pianist's skill at accompaniment seemed in favor with instrumentalists of the former ilk, and as the years went on Gold would back tenor players as formidable as Don Byas and Stan Getz.

The pianist parked his bench in Uncle Sam's Army during the Second World War; prior to that assignment he had been employed by the CBS network. He would dig back into that kind of work, this time at rival NBC, from the late '40s through the mid-'50s. Gold's Prestige outing was entitled Piano D'Or -- c'est droll, n'est pas? -- and sparkled with versions of standards such as "I'll Remember April" and "In a Sentimental Mood." In his later years he has concentrated on teaching, establishing a reputation that can certainly be said to be "good as Gold."