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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Al Viola - A Musician's Musician

Al Viola passed away last Wednesday. He was a senior member of the skilled guild of studio musicians that powered so many records after World War II. Al could play pretty much anything on the guitar. He was Frank Sinatra's preferred guitarist. He also played on Marvin Gaye's records, and played lots of movie music, including the soundtracks for Blazing Saddles and The Godfather.

Here is a line from his New York Times' obit:

"His last performance was in late January at a jazz supper club in Sherman Oaks, California."

So he lived his 87 years, played his last gig, and died three weeks later. Not a bad exit for a man who dedicated his life to jazz guitar.

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