Urso learned clarinet as a child and switched to tenor sax while in high school. He served in the Navy during World War II and then moved to New York City in 1947. There he played with Elliot Lawrence (1948–50), Woody Herman (1950-51), Terry Gibbs, Miles Davis (1952), Oscar Pettiford (1953), Jimmy Dorsey, and Bob Brookmeyer (1954). In 1955, he first began working with Chet Baker, and was a prominent contributor to Baker's Pacific Jazz releases in 1956. Urso and Baker would collaborate sporadically for some 30 years.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2013)
With Chet Baker
- Chet Baker & Crew (Pacific Jazz, 1956)
- Chet Baker Big Band (Pacific Jazz, 1956)
- Playboys aka Picture of Heath (Pacific Jazz, 1956)
- The Most Important Jazz Album of 1964/65 (Colpix, 1964)
- Baby Breeze (Limelight, 1965)
With Oscar Pettiford
- The New Oscar Pettiford Sextet (Debut, 1953)
- Jack, Gordon (2004) Fifties Jazz Talk: An Oral Retrospective, p. 205. Scarecrow Press At Google Books. Retrieved 2 July 2013.