Hal Gaylor To Receive The First Annual Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Hudson Valley Jazz Festival… Hal Gaylor, an accomplished bass player, and local resident will receive the first annual Lifetime Achievement Award presented by The Hudson Valley Jazz Festival. Hal has been living with hearing loss after a wonderful career in jazz. He evolved as an artist who’s work has been shown locally .
The ceremony will take place Sunday Aug. 19 at The Lycian Theatre in Sugar Loaf between jazz festival performances. The evening begins at 7 PM with The Andy Ezrin Group featuring drummer Adam Nussbaum. Andy , is keyboardist for Chris Botti.
After their set will be The Rick Savage Group featuring Don Braden and drumming legend Eliot Zigmund.
About Hal Gaylor
In 1957, Gaylor replaced bassist Red Mitchell in the Chico Hamilton Quintet. He toured and recorded with Hamilton until 1960. During his tenure with that group, he also recorded two albums for Decca Records with guitarists John Pisano and Billy Bean.
Then Hal returned to New York, where he played in the Clark Terry big band and quartet, the Billy May band, saxophonist Stan Getz, Pianist Bill Evans, and Kai Winding’s Trombone Panorama, among others. When Walter Norris moved to new York, he, Gaylor and guitarist Billy Bean formed a group called simply The Trio. Although they worked infrequently and recorded only one album, that album — on Riverside — has a cult status as a classic. All three musicians and their families lived together in a log house on Greenwood Lake, NY, about fifty miles north of New York City. Meanwhile, Hal was taking gigs on the road with Lena Horne, Mel Torme, Anita O’Day, and Dick Haymes.
In 1961, Hal joined Ralph Sharon and Billy Exiner in the rhythm section that played for Tony Bennett. This was to prove to be one of the most rewarding, and exciting, periods of his career, in part because of his respect for Bennett as an artist and musician, and in part because they worked with great bands, including those of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Woody Herman. The trio worked extensively with Bennett, including one album in which they were the singer’s only backing.
After six years on the road, with long periods away from his wife and family, Hal left to pursue work in the studios and clubs in the New York area. He added electric bass to his musical skills, and played in fusion groups with Jeremy Steig, Mike Mainieri, Donald McDonald ands Joe Beck. ?In 1971 he toured Europe with the Benny Goodman Septet. The group is heard on a live recording made in Copenhagen on the London label.
In 1972, Hal contracted a virus that had one devastating after-effect: it destroyed the hearing in his right ear. Unable to hear the full spectrum of sound, he decided that music was no longer a practical career. Always a practicing architect, He designed and built his home atop amountainat Greenwood Lake. his father-in-law, Frank Benz, owned a small resort hotel called the Linden House. After it burned down, Hal designed and built a new one that included a small theater. For several seasons it presented Broadway shows under the direction of James Sisco.
For the past several years Hal has begun to utilize his artistic talents in drafting and architecture to develop his drawing and painting abilities. His love of jazz and the musicians he has played with inspired him to create the portraits you see here.