Jimmy Abato


Vincent “Jimmy” Abato (1919-2008) was one of the greatest woodwind virtuosos of the twentieth century. A brilliant clarinetist/bass clarinetist and saxophonist, his work and recordings have influenced generations of woodwind artists. A member of the clarinet faculty and the first teacher of saxophone at the Juilliard School, his list of students included such players as Phil Woods, Eddie Daniels, and Victor Morosco. Jimmy had a diverse career playing with Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey’s bands as well as with the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestras. He premiered Paul Creston’s Saxophone Concerto and his recording of Ibert’s Concertino da Camera and the Glazounov Concerto for Alto Saxophone remain as landmark recordings. None other than the great Al Gallodoro told me that Jimmy had the best and fastest single tongue in the business. I can attest to that with the added caveat that it was also the most resonant sounding articulation I ever experienced while sitting next to him on gigs. A former student of his, Adam Michlin, has created this website in tribute to Jimmy. It features 13 recordings of Jimmy playing saxophone and clarinet. Enjoy!


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