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. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    Good points above, but some facts got garbled. The person who said that thing about Kenton and Ellington was Andre Previn, not Gunther Schuller. Also, in the post I linked to from Darcy Jame Argue Argue shows in detail how, in the specific case of "Mood Indigo," no less a talented musician than Schuller (who certainly had an "ear"), both in his transcription of the opening of "Mood Indigo" and in his explanation of what Ellington was doing there, inaccurately described the specific decisions Ellington made.
  2. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    André Previn: Further re: Ellington's methods, in a specific famous instance (where Gunther Schuller FWIW got it wrong):
  3. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    Thanks. I got to know Chris and her girlfriend after that -- two lovely people --and eventually wrote the notes for a Connor album on Concord. Helen Keane was the producer, but I was asked to do the notes by the label's veteran publicist, Terri Hinte. Late in the game, Keane contacted me, saying the notes were no good and needed to be redone or replaced altogether because in them I hadn't mentioned every song, which would imply (she said) that the ones I didn't mention were inferior. I replied that I spoke of the songs on the album that to me exemplified Connor's approach, that anyone would understand that, and that it was Hinte at Concord, not Keane, who had asked me to write the notes (IIRC at Connor's suggestion), and that she (i.e. Keane) could go ---- herself. Heard no more from her; the notes appeared as written.
  4. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    FWIW, a review I wrote of a Connor performance: Cool, breathy, and almost barren of vibrato, Chris Connor's voice is a haunted house. Its tone color alone would be enough to freeze the soul, and the way each phrase seems to be exhaled more than sung only increases the impression that in her music Connor must contend with ghostly powers-either that, or she herself is a spirit summoned unwillingly from beyond It's easy to mistake Connor's otherworldly aura for a chic, dry-martini hipness, which is why she became a star in the 1950s, first with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and then on her own-"the Kim Novak of the jazz set," as one writer put it. But even though she appeared to be a second generation disciple of Anita O'Day and June Christy who took those singers' mannerisms to near-absurd extremes. Connor was a very different type of artist. O'Day and Christy were her models, but Connor inhabited their detached, emotionally oblique style of singing in a way its originators never dreamed of, transforming an attractive show business commodity into an attitude toward life-a desperate wrestling with herself and the world. That such battles could not be won on a nightclub stage actually contributed to the power of Connor's music. Barely contained within the boundaries of performance her losses were so deeply felt and nakedly expressed that communication seemed a paltry word for what took place. While the pain she gave voice to (and the numbness that followed in its wake) must have had an innersource, to be moved by Connor's music was to recognize that her distress was public as well as private-the advance-guard of an emotional void that might swallow us all. In that sense the Kim Novak comparison is perfect, for Connor; as film critic David Thomson said of Novak, has "the desperate attentiveness of someone out of her depth but refusing to give in." Connor now appears far more confident and optimistic than she used to be. But much of the essential Connor tension remains, the feeling that music is a dangerous medium that must be plunged into at the point of maximum threat. "The Thrill is Gone" is one of Connor's signature tunes, and last night at Rick's Cafe Americain she sang it much more swiftly than in the past-perhaps because, with her vocal technique in fine shape, she needed the challenge of speed to make the emotional content come alive. On "If I Should Lose You," extreme slowness played the same role, forcing Connor into those harrowingly awkward rhythmic corners that only she dares to explore. Impressive throughout, and altering one's image of Connor to some extent, was the sense of control she displayed on every piece. "Out of her depth" may have been an apt description on her in the past, but now the depths are entered into more out of choice than helplessness. Chris Connor's wounds apparently have healed, perhaps more than she or anyone else dared to expect. But the memory of pain still shudders through her music, creating a dialogue between self and soul, public performance and private meditation, that is as strange as it is beautiful.
  5. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    I love Chris but not at all on this; she and the band are on different planets. Amazing chart.
  6. Is this legit?

    Contrary to what I said above, I don't care about Miwa's music either. Guess I just felt compelled to throw her a bone because I'd hocked at her the way I did. Life can be like that.
  7. Is this legit?

    Don't want to get on a moral crusade here -- all I can say is that when I first heard that track, the presence of that "quote" startled me. As for Sonny himself, if his late wife Lucille were still around, Ms. Miwa probably would be toast. Further, could someone enlighten me with an example or two of what Miwa meant when she said, "This is a common tradition in jazz, there are countless examples of this on Blue Note albums." The first half of that sentence I kind of get -- originals based on other originals, not tunes based on standards -- but not to my recollection would-be original tunes that swallow up wholesale chunks of other original tunes and then go their own way, with the swallowed-up chunks sticking right out of the fabric. Also, I don't get the second half of that sentence at all. What examples from Blue Note albums? I ask that last in all ignorance/innocence; nothing comes to my mind. In any case, Miwa is not without talent IMO.
  8. Is this legit?

    Yes, some -- but I see that Miwa in an interview says that it was "Pent-Up House." Response from Miwa: "The theme of "Lickety Split" follows the rhythmic pattern of Sonny Rollins' "Pent-up House". Sonny's tune is in a major key and Lickety Split is in a minor key although it follows the rhythmic motif of Pent Up House. The form is also extended, Pent Up House is a 16 measure form and Lickety Split is 24 measures not to mention there is a recurring interlude. It's simply not accurate to credit Sonny Rollins as a co-composer. There's a very similar example from McCoy Tyners' composition "Inception" on one of his first albums. I've got nothing but love for Sonny and want to give him every bit of credit I can which is why I mentioned it in Downbeat but like I said, it wouldn't be accurate to give him co-composition credit in this case. This is a common tradition in jazz, there are countless examples of this on Blue Note albums.
  9. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    The other day I heard on the radio "All the Things You Are" from Gibbs' recent album "92 Years Young." An elegant swinging solo from the man.
  10. Is this legit?

    Yes, some -- but I see there's this in a 9/17 Down Beat piece about Miwa: "Miwa’s original compositions are equally capacious. The theme of “Lickety Split” follows the rhythmic pattern of Sonny Rollins’ “Pent-Up House,” but the piece soon veers into wide-open harmonic and rhythmic vistas that suggest McCoy Tyner. "Capacious" is good. And throughout the album she sure sounds a lot like early Tyner.
  11. Is this legit?

    On pianist Yoko Miwa's recent album "Pathways," she plays an original of hers, "Lickety Split." However, as you can hear below, it incorporates wholesale Rollins' "Pent-Up House," without any acknowledgment or co-composer credit given. Is this legit? To be clear, this is not a quote in the course of improvising; it's built into the composition.
  12. Donny McCaslin

    Hey, I "discovered" Donny when he was a freshman at Berklee in 1986. Was there to do a story on Berklee and the NEC, walked by Phil Wilson's classroom and heard Donny and drummer Ben Perowsky playing their asses off. We all talked at length over lunch and later that day, when interviewing then Berklee dean Gary Burton I told him about Donny, who at the time Gary knew not of (big place, lots of students, Donny was just a freshman). Two years later, Gary's group came to town with Donny on tenor. Since then I've heard Donny live a few times and bought a good many of his records. Agree about how the band plays as a unit, but even with the quote marks I don't think that "Donny pretty much plays the 'same' solo every time out." For one thing, within each solo there's too much interesting activity afoot for them be the same. P.S. Donny's dad was a Southern California jazz vibist. From an early age, Donny was taken to gigs in lieu of a being babysat (I think there was a divorce involved there) and plunked down on the stand. Information clearly was absorbed.
  13. Who was Mike Durso?

    Looking for more on Durso, I came across this "moderne" 1928 piece by trumpeter Donald Lindley, "Sliding Around." Jazz it's not, though it's certainly aware of jazz -- those oblique references to "Royal Garden Blues." That's Lindley , b. 1899, in the cap.
  14. Who was Mike Durso?

    Listening to the radio today, I heard this 1927 track "The New Twister" by The Wolverines (Bix's old band under the leadership of pianist Dick Voynow, with Jimmy McPartland taking Bix's place). The music has IMO a proto-Chicagoans feels (the first McKenzie-Condon sides were shortly to be made). Drummer Vic Moore has nice a "Chicago shuffle" feel going, 17-year-old reedman Maurice Bercov, says Dick Sudhalter in "Lost Chords," had "heard Johnny Dodds and the rest on the South Side but worshipped Frank Teschmacher, emulating his tone, attack, off-center figures ... he wound up recording two months before his idol [did"]. But who the heck was trombonist Mike Durso, who takes the IMO remarkably fluid solo here? By contrast, here is the same tune played by Miff Mole and the Molers (with Red Nichols, et al.) from the same year. Mole's trombone work here is not without its charms, but in terms of swing and continuity, it's day and night, no? The guitarist on the Wolverines track is Dick McPartland, Jimmy's brother. Bercov's contemporary, pianist Tut Soper, described him as an "extremely galling, sarcastic and difficult man."