Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
A solid pianist long based in the Los Angeles area, Frank Strazzeri has been in demand for straight-ahead sessions for decades. Although he originally started playing tenor and clarinet when he was 12, Strazzeri soon switched to piano. After studying at the Eastman School, he became the house pianist at a jazz club in Rochester in 1952, where he was able to accompany top jazz artists (including Roy Eldridge and Billie Holiday). In 1954, Strazzeri moved to New Orleans, where he played Dixieland with Sharkey Bonano and Al Hirt. That, however, was just a temporary departure, for he was always a bop-based player. Strazzeri worked with Charlie Ventura (1957-1958) and Woody Herman (1959), before settling permanently in Los Angeles in 1960. He became a studio musician, appeared on many sessions and worked with the who's who of West Coast jazz. Strazzeri had opportunities to tour with Joe Williams and Maynard Ferguson, and was with Les Brown's big band from 1971-1974. Among his other musical associations have been Terry Gibbs, Herb Ellis, the Lighthouse All-Stars, Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Cal Tjader, Louie Bellson, and Chet Baker, among many others, in addition to working with his own trios. As a leader, Strazzeri has headed sessions for Revelation, Glendale, Sea Breeze, Catalyst, Discovery, and Fresh Sound.