Happy Birthday Franco Ambrosetti

December 10, 1941

 

A salute to a top-notch hard bop flugelhornist

Flugelhornist and trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti was born on December 10, 1941 in Lugano, Switzerland.

The son of saxophonist Flavio Ambrosetti, he studied classical piano during 1952-59 but was largely self-taught on the trumpet which he began playing when he was 17 in 1959.

Ambrosetti, who earned an economics degree from the University of Basel, has always had a “day job,” being an executive at his family’s business which supplies steel wheels to European auto manufacturers.

However he has never sounded like a part-time player, becoming a professional musician when he was 21 and playing superbly ever since.

Ambrosetti worked locally in Switzerland, was a member of his father’s group during 1963-70, recorded regularly with pianist George Gruntz starting in 1964, led his first record date in 1965, and first played in the United States in 1967.

Influenced by Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard, Ambrosetti developed into a superior hard bop trumpeter with his own sound and swinging style.

He was an original member of George Gruntz’s Concert Jazz Band and has worked in Europe with many top visiting American jazzmen including Phil Woods, Dexter Gordon, Cannonball Adderley, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, John Scofield, Kenny Barron, Greg Osby, and Randy Brecker.

Ambrosetti’s string of recordings for the Enja label from 1978 to the present rank with the finest work of his career.

Here is Franco Ambrosetti at the 1996 Bern Jazz Festival along with pianist Dado Moroni, bassist Ira Coleman, and drummer Billy Drummond, performing a beautiful version of “My Foolish Heart.”

To learn more about Franco Ambrosetti: Visit his website here.

-Scott Yanow

Subscribe to Jazz on the Tube