This week, Ira spoke with Jimmy Mulidore.
Jimmy Mulidore will be appearing in Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center in “Jazz For The Ages” March 7-8, along with jazz saxophonist Eric Alexander and the New York City Jazz band.
Mulidore took up the saxophone at the age of ten, then added the classical clarinet, studying with Albert Calderone, one of the best teachers around. He spent his high school years frequenting the Cleveland jazz clubs and soaking up the influences of such greats as James Moody, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and Clifford Brown. When he was old enough, his summers were spent on tour with Billy May, Hal McIntyre and Ralph Marterie.
At Ohio State University, Mulidore was chosen solo clarinetist for their orchestra. Impatient with his progress at Ohio State, he took off for New York’s Julliard School of Music where he studied theory and composition with Hall Overton.
In the late fifties, Mulidore and bassist Scotty La Faro began a trip to Los Angeles that included a stop in Las Vegas. It proved to be a turning point in his life-he stayed on in Las Vegas while Scotty went on to L.A.
Mulidore’s career blossomed in his new home. He worked with the Red Norvo Quintet; Carl Fontana’s group; a band that included Sweets Edison, Leroy Vinegar and Jackie Wilson; and with Georgie Auld. He also lent his talents to some very special recordings: “Louie Bellson “Live At The Thunderbird,” Red Rodney’s “Super Bop,” albums by Sinatra, Streisand and Nat King Cole and, a flute solo on Elvis Presley’s “American Trilogy.”
Mulidore met Elvis Presley through Joe Guercio, then the Las Vegas Hilton’s musical director. When Guercio left the Hilton, Mulidore was chosen to succeed him as musical director for both the Hilton and Flamingo Hotels. Through those years, he conducted for such stars as Louis Armstrong, Ann Margaret, Gladys Knight and Olivia Newton-John.