Saturday, September 26, 2020

Joe Randazzo

NYC trombonist Joe Randazzo died.

A lot of musicians never knew that, in the 90s, Joe tried to switch careers and become a chef. When he landed a gig cooking in the cafeteria of a specialty college on the Upper West Side, I heard about it and ran right over. The food was absolutely slamming. Just the sort of under-radar deliciousness I loved to discover.

I wrote it up in NY Press, but my time there was strange. Some places I raved about (Mississippi BBQ Shack, Kabab Cafe, Arepa Lady, DiFara Pizza, etc) became sensations, while others, equally good, garnered no movement at all. I was never able to figure out the formula.

Despite the disappointing lack of interest, Joe was excited to have his name in print, and tried to parlay it into better gigs, but industry types wanted to hire sharp, culinary school type chefs, not soulful street-smart jazzbos who could make veal sing.

Joe returned to trombone, we lost touch, and now he's gone.

RIP, Joe. Bone appetit.

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