Born: July 26 Primary Instrument: Trombone
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Gary Tole began playing the trombone at the age of twelve. By the age of sixteen, he was working with the all the shows that came into the Pittsburgh area. After attending Duquesne University School of Music, Gary was offered the first trombone position with the world renowned Glenn Miller Orchestra. After a four year world tour with the Miller organization, he toured with Harry James, Tex Beneke, Les Brown and Jimmy Dorsey.
In 1978, Gary relocated and made his permanent residence in Southern California. On stage as well as recording, Gary's smooth but dynamic style has placed him in constant demand with such stars as; Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Bernadette Peters, Kenny Rogers, Rita Moreno, Melissa Manchester, James Ingram, and Phil Collins. He has been seen and heard on television backing more greats such as; Diana Ross, Sammy Davis, Bob Hope, Pia Zadora, Sheena Easton, Peabo Bryson, The Pointer Sisters, and many more. Gary has also spent numerous hours in the recording studios doing record sessions, TV film, jingles, and major motion picture sound tracks. In addition to trombone, Gary also plays bass trombone and euphonium....
Trombonist Gary Tole leads a swinging big band, but its repertoire doesn't merely consist of the decades-old charts that offer nothing new. Although the music shows the influence of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman, the charts of the familiar songs from each of these band's books are updated for the 21st century, while never forgetting to swing. Drawing from a host of West Coast musicians, including fellow trombonist/arranger Scott Whitfield, pianist Bob Remstein, and multi-reed player Don Shelton, among others, Tole has assembled a band that brings life to each of these imaginative charts and incorporates lively solos. Highlights include a subtle, percolating take of C-Jam Blues, a cooking miniature of Flyin' Home, and Whitfield's Basie-like original One Kettle for Count. But there's more than just typical swing songs. Surprises include an arrangement of the Average White Band's normally annoying Pick Up the Pieces (a 1970s hit that started with an interesting riff, then failed to develop it into anything worth hearing) that begins as Sing! Sing! Sing! and incorporates a bit of Bob Haggart's Big Noise from Winnetka before finally revealing itself in the very last chorus. American Bandstand Boogie transforms the famous Saturday afternoon television theme back to the early '40s in swinging fashion. Finally, Kim Richmond reworks Happy Together (a huge hit for the pop group the Turtles in the late '60s) into a swinging feature for vocalist Cassie Miller, adding plenty of background riffs in the reed and brass sections. Highly recommended. --Ken Dryden, All Music Guide
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Call to make an appointment. 714-814-8886