When I was 17 I was able to study with Joe Allard at Manhattan School of Music. I was very excited at the prospect of this as my first private teacher on Staten Island, Caesar Di Mauro, (a local legend in his own right, as both a classical and jazz player), had always told me that Joe had taught him and that he was one of the most important saxophone teachers in the country. When I met and worked with Joe I was amazed at his energy! He was about 80, but he had the energy and fitness of someone in their early 40s! And he had such a huge sound! I had a great couple years with him. But I felt like there were certain aspects of his teaching that I didn't get, or didn't quite fully assimilate.
Around the same time that I was taking lessons with Joe, I was also taking some lessons with Phil Woods and a couple years later I asked him about trying to go a little further with some of Joe's concepts, and suggested Vic Morosco. I had a great year taking lessons with Vic! He helped me tremendously! He was able to simplify some of Joe's concepts for me and just streamline the idea of the air creating the sound and getting the embouchure out of the way through exercises like the Octave Drop, top teeth/lip off, just having the teeth rest on the top of the mouthpiece. Like Joe, Vic was just a pleasure to be around. Both of them had great stories. And hearing them play was always inspiring! I teach things they taught me to my students every day and I'm very thankful for their help and guidance.Jon Gordon