|Glenn M. Taylor, guitar, keyboards, vocals *|
Christopher Bolger, guitar, bass, vocals *
Ben Asher, bass, vocals *
Joe Alexander, guitar, vocals
Bob Cianci, drums, vocals
Ray Longchamp, guitar, mandolin, vocals
Peter Scance, bass, guitar, vocals
Chris Roselle, guitar, harmonica, vocals
|Al Egizi, guitar, vocals|
Russ Crapella, guitar, vocals
Dave Hirschberg, drums, vocals
Joe Coghlan, drums, guitar, vocals
Michael Muro, guitars, vocals
Jeff Guenther, guitar, bass, vocals
Cliff Doenges, guitar, mandolin, percussion
|Keith Theall, bass, vocals|
Gary Evans, keyboards, harmonica, guitar, vocals
Jerry DeLisio, saxophone(s), flute, vocals
Brian Wiley, bass, vocals
Don Guinta, drums, vocals
Paul 'Swami' Simeone, keyboards, accordion, vocals
Scott Calvert, saxophone(s), woodwinds, vocals
Adam Egizi, bass, ukulele, vocals
Andrei Koribanics, drums, vocals
Mike Garner, bass, vocals
Rhonda Grindell, drums, vocals
* Indicates original Kootz / OMJ band-member; (see history)
It was the summer of '68, and Al Egizi's 'dear-grand-ma-ma' had just won the "choice" prize at one of the big "Wheel-of-Fortune" stands at the south-end of the Seaside Heights Boardwalk at the Jersey Shore. She looked at him and said "Go ahead... pick out whatever you want". Al's eyes grew large... There it was, up high and just to the left of that big wheel with the two-spinning-arrows that have to land 'just right' to give the winner the elusive 'carte-blanche'... In a moment of 'biblical-epiphany', the young lad 'beheld'; A red, single-pickup solid-body electric guitar with a name on the headstock that no one had ever heard of... and there, at the ripe-old-age of eleven, Al's life was about to change... forever.
By that November, there were weekly in-home guitar lessons with a very nice, older Italian gent... Al-E was "off and running"! It was the beginning of learning chords, reading, and tackling tunes like "Little Brown Jug" and "Aura Lee". Two-and-a-half years, and another 'very nice older Italian gent' later, it was time for "Rock n' Roll"! Next-up for 'young Al' was; Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Cream, Hendrix, Zep, and The Who!
What followed, now seems so-typical of growing up 'musically' as the late-sixties melded into the early-seventies; bands followed by bands and even MORE bands, playing school dances, church-socials and back-yard parties... Al reminisces, "I had three cousins that lived in Atlantic Highlands and they were all very good musicians (keyboards, drums, and guitar). There was one in particular who was the guitarist for a band called "Sid's Farm", which often played locally with another group, "Steel Mill", which featured some unknown-guy named Bruce Springsteen on guitar, along with Miami Steve on bass, Danny Federici on keyboards, and Vini Lopez on drums. What was beginning to happen 'then and there' would change everything for all of us... and for New Jersey".
All of a sudden it was 'totally-cool' to be a musician... and that's just what an 'anxious-Al' did. It was now 1976... 'Bruce' hit the 'big-time', the NJ and NY drinking-age was lowered to '18'... and as a result, the Jersey club-scene EXPLODED! Al-E auditioned for the band that would become his mainstay; "Thorin Oak". The group was ultimately reincarnated as "Taxi" and would record and release an album on the Decca label in Europe. It was around this time that Al would also meet his lovely wife, Debbie (as she was the keyboard player's sister).
The original members of Taxi remain 'close and in-contact' to this day. Al tells us that his daughter, along with the son and daughter of two other original Taxi-members have attended the same University in Connecticut. From 1977 to 1982, Taxi played full-time on the "circuit" and logged well over 1000 gigs! It was then that Al decided to get more serious about studying the guitar, and sought out the 'six-stringed-wisdom' of local-legend, the late, great Al Faraldi, with whom he studied for a full seven-years."
Fast-forward to the present; Al joined The Kootz in December of 2007. These days, when not onstage with 'the boys', he keeps-busy musically with other projects ranging from acoustic-duos and corporate work, to being a member of the acclaimed-Steely Dan tribute-band, 'The Royal Scam'. He also keeps a busy schedule of wedding-performances, working with several of the top club-date agencies.
Al is a life-long resident of Bergen County, happily-married and the proud-parent of a "wonderful daughter and son", the latter (Adam) being a bass-guitarist and vocalist who can often be found performing with his Dad in The Kootz, as well!
On playing, in Al's own words; "I try and live by the '4-T's' (time, tone, taste & technique). On gigging, Al-E shares the sentiment of 'Chief-Koot' Glenny-T, that-being; "We want to keep doing this 'til the wheels fall off'!"...
And finally, what does 'Al-E' listen-to?...
A to Z really. Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eddie Van Halen, Roy Buchanan and The Allman Brothers for the classic-rock stuff... Then, it's Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Lee Ritenour, Pat Metheny and Johnny-A, for 'cool jazz'... Below the 'Mason-Dixon Line', it would be Will Ray & The Hellecasters, Danny Gatton, Brent Mason, Scotty Anderson and James Burton for new-country... and of course... just about ANYTHING from The Beatles, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen and EVERYONE-else who ever wrote a commercially-successful song.
In "Kongregation-Kootz", we call that a BIG "A-MEN"!!!