A Sicilian named George Wallington
Jazz pianist Giacinto Figlia aka George Wallington was at the founding of be-bop. Then he disappeared. Now Anthony Scotto’s resurrects his life and music.
I’m a frequent listener to the loquacious and erudite jazz historian/raconteur Phil Schaap’s “Bird Flight,” a radio program on WKCR-FM/www.wkcr.org dedicated to the music of Charlie Parker. This month Schaap played a fascinating segment on the evolution of the Dizzy Gillespie composition “Night in Tunisia.” Running down the respective line ups for the different recordings, Schaap mentioned the name “George Wallington.” The pronounced Anglo-Saxon name jumped out at me because I recognized it as the moniker of Sicilian-born pianist Giacinto Figlia (1923-1993).