Jimmy Mosher and Paul Fontaine became friends at Lynn Classical High School. In fact, Paul took music lessons from Jimmy’s father at his music store, Mosher Music. As teenagers they formed a band and played at local dances and school events. They attended the Berklee School of Music together and both played with Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd where Jimmy doubled on baritone and alto.
Jimmy went on the road for eight years with the Buddy Rich Big Band where he played lead alto. When Jimmy came off the road the two friends continued their tradition of playing together in a big band that they organized. By the time I met them they were both on the faculty at Berklee.
The February concert was titled the Paul Fontaine-Jimmy Mosher Quintet; Joining Jimmy and Paul were John Lockwood on bass, Bob Dogan, piano and Bob Kaufman, drums. Little did I know at the time that in a few years Jimmy Mosher would be gone.
In this excerpt from a memorial for Jimmy Mosher Paul reminisces about his friend.
Where are they now?
Jimmy died in 1987; he was only 49. Here is a article about Jimmy which includes an interview with his wife.
Paul Fontaine is still actively playing but has retired from Berklee.