Born in the first half of the last century, I have been playing saxophone for 50 years. I went to Notre Dame High School in Niles where I participated in the nationally known jazz band, the Melodons. Many great musicians and composers went through that program, including grammy winner, composer and pianist Jim McNeely; trombonist with the group Chicago, Jim Pankow; and composer Randy Snider…to name just a few.
Graduated from Quincy University in 1970 where I majored in saxophone and music education. Got married to Sue in 1970 and we are together still. We have two daughters:Carie Lynn (32) and Jennifer (35)
During the early 70’s I played with several Chicago area horn bands ( notably Blue Ice and Rattlesnake) doing mostly Chicago ,Blood Sweat and Tears, Ides of March, Buckinghams etc. material. In 73’ I hooked up with Rex Bundy, Tony Stram, and Larry Biernacki to form Gabriel Bondage, an all original progressive rock band. We released two albums: Angel Dust, and Another Trip to Earth on the Dharma label. This was the most rewarding musical experience I ever had. Gabriel Bondage lasted until 1981 and around that time I hooked up with Happy Feet a 5 piece wedding band. The music was a little corny at times, but I must say we made a whole lot of money while it lasted. DJ’s finally knocked us out of the water around 1985.
The keyboard-bass player from Happy Feet, Mark Vuollet, and I had become very good friends by 1985 and we put together a five piece classic rock band called Oasis in Space. My cousin Jim played lead guitar and we featured Mary Pat Buckler on vocals. Bob James played drums. I actually did more bass playing than saxophone with this band. Too much partying and not enough serious musicianship caused Mark to want out of this group. I went with him to form a two piece smooth jazz duet Smooth & Saxy.This was sometime aroud 1990. Smooth & Saxy was a lot of fun and gave me a chance to concentrate totally on saxophones. We did a lot of Mark Vuolet's tunes and many copy tunes of Kenny G, David Sanbourn, Dave Coz, Jr Walker and many other well known sax men. I played tenor, alto and a lot of soprano sax with this endeavor. Eventually we added a female singer, Kim, to the group. Mark and I still get together once in a while to record some of his music.
In 2002 a got an E mail from one of the old Melodons, Nick Talerico, asking if I would be interested in getting together for a Melodon reunion. Somehow or other he had acquired the Email addresses of all the old Melodon alums who had one. I replied that I was interested and damn if about 25alums didn’t show up. There was even a good balance in the number of saxes, trumpets and trombones. To make a long story short, we had such a good time we decided to keep it going and so it is to this day. We call ourselves the RJO [ Reunion Jazz Orchestra ]
I also participate in local blues jam session, notable with Little Johnny.
My latest venture has been performing with Gruv 6, out of Highland,Indianna. Check out Gruv 6 on My Space for musical samples,pictures, and performance dates.
Joliet Jam session - Wednesday nights
I'm hosting a jam session at ambrosia lounge wednesday nights.8-12amdrums,pa, & amps providedbring your voices, sticks , & guitars. Ambrosia Bar & Grill
Address: 2771 Black Rd, Joliet, IL 60435
Phone: (815) 730-8001 starting this wednesday ( jan.28th)hope to see you there know someone that would be interested in this ........please, pass it along !