virtuoso Al Porcino died December 31 in his Munich home at the age of 88. According to his wife Erna Tom, the cause of death was a fall.
Porcino had the ability to hit the highest notes available on his trumpet, which earned him the spot of first trumpet in the biggest Big Bands for decades including, , , , and Buddy Rich. In a Big Band, the first trumpet player fills much the same role as the first violin player in an orchestra.
He was also his own band leader and played with crooner Mel Torme,, , , , , Peggy Lee, and Ray Charles. Porcino moved to Munich in 1977 where he continued to play until shortly before his death
He was born Angelo Paul Porcino on May 14, 1925 in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Weehawken, New Jersey. Porcino, the youngest of three children, started out by playing drums with a pair of sticks he had made and using a pad; later he switched to the trumpet - one that costs $12.
He began his professional career while still in his teens playing for Leon Prima. While drafted into the Army in World War II, he did not serve due to colour blindness; although, Porcino served in another way...entertaining the troops with his horn playing. Since beginning his professional career in 1942, Al Porcino has appeared on over 300 records.
Al Porcino is survived by his wife, daughters Gia and Debra, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.