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About Remo Palmier

It always seemed strange that Remo Palmieri, who gained some attention in the early days of bop, never became a bigger name, particularly since he was active for such a long period of time. Palmieri originally hoped to be an artist and he played guitar with local groups in order to pay for his studies. However, by 1942, he was a full-time musician, playing with Nat Jaffe's Trio. From that point on, Palmieri had a succession of big-name jobs, including with Coleman Hawkins (1943), Red Norvo (1944), Barney Bigard, Billie Holiday, Phil Moore, and Dizzy Gillespie (1945), recording with Bird and Diz. Awarded a "new star" award from Esquire in 1945, Palmieri was one of the first guitarists to extend the ideas of Charlie Christian, but he chose to live the life of a studio musician. He joined the staff of CBS, worked for 27 years with the Arthur Godfrey Show, performed frequently in anonymous settings and therefore became known as merely a footnote in jazz history, having appeared on the original recorded version of "Groovin' High." Palmieri reappeared on an infrequent basis in later years, recording with Herb Ellis in 1978 and making a Concord album of his own (his only date as a leader) that year. Remo Palmieri (also sometimes known as Palmier) also had opportunities to play with Benny Goodman and Dick Hyman in the '70s and appeared with Swing Reunion (resulting in a recording) in 1985. But one is left wondering how significant a career he might have had had he stuck to jazz. ~ Scott Yanow

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