Larry Kart

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About Larry Kart

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  • Birthday 05/16/1942

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Highland Park, Il.

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  1. Oliver Nelson on Prestige

    If this is the Nelson quote on Africa and slavery that you have in mind, I don't think it quite says: "Thank God for slavery." I thought that in going to Africa we would find some black faces and we would be able to exchange things musically. But in the major portion of my tour there, in the capital cities, we didn’t find one person who could play any jazz. And then I started to think about it: was American slavery the catalyst that was needed in order to make this music? Why did it only happen her and nowhere else? It didn’t happen in the Virgin Islands. It didn’t happen with the Africans who went to South America. Why did jazz only happen here? Maybe slavery was the answer. He's saying that maybe the experience of American slavery (and/or slavery in the setting of America) was in some respects the answer to his question: "Why did jazz happen here?"
  2. Oliver Nelson on Prestige

    Got this coming: There'll be some overlap with what I already have, but who cares?
  3. Worthwhile piece about him from the Journal of Jazz Studies:
  4. Oliver Nelson on Prestige

    IIRC, A.B. Spellman gave "Afro-American Sketches" a great review in Kulchur magazine when it came out.
  5. Charlie Ventura's rather bizarre "Caravan"

    I've been told authoritatively that the other arrangements are all by George Williams, a fairly conventional writer (as Paul Secor said) who made an album or more for RCA in the mid-'50s.
  6. Charlie Ventura's rather bizarre "Caravan"

    Got the info from a scholar who runs a private jazz list. Several knowledgable people weighed in when the topic came up there some years ago. Don't know of any links. You probably know Russell's "Similau" from 1949 for Artie Shaw:
  7. Charlie Ventura's rather bizarre "Caravan"

    Just found out it's a George Russell chart.
  8. Found this on an old Ventura RCA LP "It's All Bop To Me": Who wrote this fairly crazy chart (it probably dates from 1949), and who is the wordless soprano vocalist? Johnny Mandel, Al Cohn, and Manny Albam are in the band, but doesn't sound like anything I've heard from the first two. Maybe Albam in a playful and/or eccentric mood? BTW, the tracks on album by Ventura's very popular regular group of the time -- Conte Candoli, Boots Mussulli, Benny Green, Roy Kral, Jackie Cain, Kenny O'Brien, and Ed Shaugnessy are quite good in Ventura's "Bop for the People" mode. The Chu Berry-inspired Ventura had great time, though one wishes the other soloists had more room (Green is in fine form), O'Brien was an attractively springy bass player, and Shaugnessy was his bubbly swinging self.
  9. Jim -- I actually had such an experience while listening to "Peace" (I think it was) from "The Shape of Jazz To Come" right after the album came out. Up to that point much that Ornette played sounded intriguing but also fairly weird to me, but as I listened to his solo on "Peace" in my bedroom while I was close to drifting off, I had a waking dream in which I was listening to some of the most beautiful and perfectly lucid music I'd ever heard. Then I came fully awake and realized that what I'd been hearing in my waking dream was Ornette's actual and still ongoing solo. That broke the "weird" barrier for me once and for all.
  10. Return Of The Film Corner Thread

    Saw "The Nice Guys" on Saturday, with Russell Crowe (his belly as big as a house) as a down on his luck professional enforcer and Ryan Gosling as a somewhat addled and also down on his luck PI in 1977 LA. Very funny at best, though perhaps without the follow through one hoped for; probably they were setting up a sequel. Best line almost had me on the floor. Won't say what the line is in order not to spoil it for others.
  11. Louis Bellson's "150 MPH"

    Picked up today this 1974 Bellson Big Band CD (orginally recorded for a probably Bellson-owned label, Percussion Power, later on picked up by Concord), and while one pretty much knows how one feels about Bellson’s big band albums, I was surprised by how good this one is. First, it’s fairly early in the band’s lifespan, so the section work is very together and key players are still present: Bobby Shew, Conte Candoli, Sweets, Frank Szabo, Blue Mitchell, Don Menza, Pete Christlieb, Frank Rosolino, Gene Cherico, Ross Tompkins or Nat Pierce, etc. Second, given who the players are, the solo work is consistently inspired: best Shew I’ve ever heard, very intense Sweets and Conte, maniacally virtuosic Rosolino, and a tenor battle between Menza and Christlieb on one track that is seemingly for real and inspires the best/most cohesive Christlieb playing I’ve ever heard, by far. Didn’t know he had it in him. The cherry on top is Bellson’s relatively brief concluding solo on the tenor battle track “Time Check” — admiring his playing as I do, I also tend to find it a bit too rounded off or curved at times, if you know what I mean, but this passage is just raggedy-ass explosive.
  12. I remember hearing Perowsky and Donny McCaslin in a classroom ensemble at Berklee when they were first-year students there and thought right off they were going to be really good -- heck, they already were. I told Gary Burton about them, he was then Berklee's dean of students, and the next time Burton came to Chicago, Donny was his tenorman. Ben made a nice record with his tenorman father, Frank.
  13. Oliver Nelson on Prestige

    Which date was that, "Trane Whistle"?
  14. Jeremy Steig RIP

    Just by chance, I've recently been in touch with Steig's onetime musical partner on Steig's "Flute Flight," Denny Zeitlin, whom I heard and knew when we were both high school students in the northern Chicago suburbs in the late 1950s. (Denny is four years older than I am.) Tossing names from the past back and forth with Denny and then looking them up myself on the Internet when I didn't have current direct knowledge of their fates or whereabouts, I discovered that a good many of them are now deceased.
  15. Speaking of Mel Torme -- as I/we were at one point above -- I just ran across "Spotlight on Mel Torme," a compilation of his early Capitol singles, and was struck by how when Mel was just on the other side of literal adolescence (ages 24-25) his arguably never to be left behind emotional adolescence pretty much comes across as a virtue, as it mates with his remarkable vocal resources and ear. Yes, at some points he sounds a bit too fond of himself, but that's how a lot of talented young people are; here it sounds and feels genuine.