He was born in New York, United States. Porcino began playing professionally in 1943, and played in many of the big bands of the 1940s and 1950s, including those of Georgie Auld, Louis Prima, Jerry Wald, Tommy Dorsey, Gene Krupa, and Chubby Jackson. He played with Woody Herman in 1946, 1949-1950, 1954, and 1972. He also did two stints with Stan Kenton, in 1947-48 and 1954-55. In the 1950s, he played with Pete Rugolo, Count Basie, Elliot Lawrence, and Charlie Barnet.
In 1957, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked as a studio musician. While there he played in the Terry Gibbs Dream band from 1959 to 1962. In the 1960s, he often played in orchestras backing vocalists, and also played with Buddy Rich in 1968, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis in 1969-70. In the 1970s, he formed his own big band, who recorded behind Mel Torme, in addition to their own work.
With Mose Allison
- Your Mind Is on Vacation (Atlantic, 1976)
With Louis Bellson
- Big Band Jazz from the Summit (Roulette, 1962)
With Benny Carter
- Aspects (United Artists, 1959)
With Gil Fuller
- Night Flight (Pacific Jazz, 1965)
With Dizzy Gillespie
With Stan Kenton
- Stan Kenton's Milestones (Capitol, 1943-47 )
- Stan Kenton Classics (Capitol, 1944-47 )
- Encores (Capitol, 1947)
- A Presentation of Progressive Jazz (Capitol, 1947)
- Popular Favorites by Stan Kenton (Capitol, 1953)
- The Kenton Era (Capitol, 1940–54, )
- Contemporary Concepts (Capitol, 1955)
- Two Much! (Capitol, 1960) with Ann Richards
With Junior Mance
With Johnny Mandel
- I Want to Live (United Artists, 1958)
With Shelly Manne
With Charlie Parker
- Big Band (Clef, 1954)
with Shorty Rogers
- Shorty Rogers Plays Richard Rodgers (RCA Victor, 1957)
- Portrait of Shorty (RCA Victor, 1957)
- Afro-Cuban Influence (RCA Victor, 1958)
- Chances Are It Swings (RCA Victor, 1958)
- The Wizard of Oz and Other Harold Arlen Songs (RCA Victor, 1959)
- Shorty Rogers Meets Tarzan (MGM, 1960)
- An Invisible Orchard (RCA Victor, 1961 )
- Jazz Waltz (Reprise, 1962)
With Pete Rugolo
- Rugolo Plays Kenton (EmArcy, 1958)
With Lalo Schifrin
- Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts (RCA Victor, 1965) with Paul Horn
- The Cincinnati Kid (soundtrack) (MGM, 1965)
- Music from Mission: Impossible (Dot, 1967)
With Mel Tormé
- Mel Tormé live at the Maisonette (Atlantic, 1975)
With Gerald Wilson
- You Better Believe It! (Pacific Jazz, 1961)
- Moment of Truth (Pacific Jazz, 1962)
- Portraits (Pacific Jazz, 1964)
- On Stage (Pacific Jazz, 1965)
- Feelin' Kinda Blues (Pacific Jazz, 1965)
- The Golden Sword (Pacific Jazz, 1966)
- Live and Swinging (Pacific Jazz, 1967)
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1979. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
- Tamarkin, Jeff (3 January 2014). "Trumpeter Al Porcino Dies at 88". JazzTimes. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- "Al Porcino Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
- Keepnews, Peter (9 January 2014). "Al Porcino, First Trumpeter with Leading Jazz Bands, Dies at 88". The New York Times.
- Hochkeppel, Oliver. "Jazz-Trompeter Al Porcino ist tot". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Al Porcino Web site - includes career highlights, discography, videos, photos, concerts. Site updated June 2011.