I've just returned from famous Munich Jazz club Unterfahrt, where 88-year-old trumpet legend Al Porcino celebrated his final farewell from the stage.
He started off his career in 1942 in New York with the Luis Prima orchestra and went on to become "the lead trumpet of the leaders", playing with the likes of Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and many others. In his seventies, he retired to Munich and founded the Al Porcino Big Band which became starting point and career generator for generations of European Jazz and Swing musicians.
The club was filled to capacity, and then another fifty people were squeezed in - many of them first-rate musicians. A spate of players took turns to celebrate Al Porcino's playing and teaching abilities - Klaus Eibl (kb), Paolo Cardoso (b), Peter Tuscher, Klaus Reichstaller (tp), Jürgen Neudert (tb), Sonja Wegner and Jenny Evans (voc), culminating in several tribute performances by Dusko Gojkovic who in several orchestras succeeded Al Porcino as lead trumpet player.
Al was clearly very moved by this tribute, and it was a really unforgettable evening.