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Jay Azzolina established himself as a reputable jazz guitarist after joining well-known fusion supergroup Spyro Gyro in 1989, around the same time he released his debut solo album, Never Too Late. Previous to this, Azzolina worked as a sideman, playing alongside such artists as Jeff Beal. His sidework was impressive, and he was beginning to make a name for himself within the jazz industry, but, more than anything, his affiliation with Spyro Gyro established him as a jazz guitar extraordinaire. He joined the band for Point of View (1989), a popular album that connected with a large national audience of jazz enthusiasts, and stayed with the band for one more album, Fast Forward (1990). In the meantime, he had released his debut solo album, Never Too Late (1988), which he had originally recorded in winter 1987/1988 before joining Spyro Gyro. Produced by Ted Macero and released by Island's Antilles sublabel, the album showcased Azzolina's multiple talents as not only a guitarist but also also a composer. He didn't release another solo album until Past Tense in 2000. During the interim he remained close to his family in upstate New York, where he taught at several area colleges. Following the releae of Past Tense, which featured contributions from saxophonist Chris Potter and bassist John Patitucci, he returned in 2002 with Live at One Station Plaza, an all-original set featuring organist Gary Versace and drummer Adam Nussbaum.