John LaPorta had a beautiful tone on the alto saxophone. It was warm and bluesy, and could go anywhere on a solo and sound spot on. It was “in the pocket,” as they say. There was a lot of Charlie Parker in his sound, but with less urgency and impatience. Born in Philadelphia, he was something of a clarinet prodigy, playing with local bands at ages 10 and 13, and studied music at school with fellow clarinetist Buddy DeFranco…

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