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. Stars of Birdland on Tour

    First time I heard a big band live was Basie on this very tour. "All that air moving around you" is a fine way to put it. IIRC, the first tune they played at that concert was the semi-flagwaver "Stereophonic," and after the trumpets cut in I pretty much had to pick myself up from the floor. Think I was sitting just a few rows from the stage, too. And that sax section!
  2. The Choreography of Jackie & Roy

    Glad to hear that story. I remember when the Fairmont tried to book entertainment, but I was no longer writing about jazz for the Tribune in the nineties and thus missed that gig. That was a swinging band. Quite a solo from Benny Green.
  3. Helen Forrest soundies

    I'm a fan of all three singers, and/but they're quite different from each other. For me, on these tracks Forrest brings her own fine, urgent, and as Jim says floating time feel to the proceedings. Is it finger-popping swing? Not here, but it shouldn't be, given the material and the moods. Is it it powerfully, meaningfully rhythmic? For me, yes. A different backing? It would have to be just right, and not every overtly swinging small group or big band of that time would have been. This way, the accompanying forces' rhythmic feel, such as it is, leaves Forrest's own rhythmic feel, not mention her considerable sexiness, to be felt quite clearly.
  4. The Choreography of Jackie & Roy

    Don't know.
  5. Nice experience with the Jamal Mosaic set

    Oops, I misspelled "Vernel."
  6. The Choreography of Jackie & Roy

    I had some pleasant encounters with both of them through the years (I was a great admirer of their work, of Jackie especially), but after Roy passed I found out from a longtime close friend and sometime musical associate of Jackie's that Roy was a control freak in the top class who abused Jackie emotionally on a consistent basis. One of the big problems that Jackie had after Roy passed is that she pretty much didn't know how to do anything in terms of practical living -- finances in particular. Roy had swept all that over to his side of the table and kept Jackie in the dark. Fortunately, she had a male friend of her age who had been fond of her for years, and he tried his best to help her out/help her along. Lord knows she could sing like an angel almost until the end. BTW, she couldn't read music; everything she sang she learned by ear.
  7. Was listening to it in the basement yesterday, and when I came upstairs my wife -- who is a talented classical pianist and very good interpreter/spontaneous re-harmonizer of show tunes, though far from steeped in jazz -- said, "Who IS that drummer?" Pretty hip of her to pick up on Vernell Fournier, and from the basement yet.
  8. Which Mosaic Are You Enjoying Right Now?

    Indeed. I assume the altoist is Ernie Watts, but who is the trombonist?
  9. Helen Forrest soundies

    OK -- now some tracks from the Forrest album (her subtle reshaping of "Embraceable You" is really special):
  10. Just ordered James' "Ten Modern Jazzmen." RE: cause and time of James' demise, my only source says he doesn't know for sure but thinks it was in middle age and from an illness.
  11. Helen Forrest soundies

    Yes -- string orchestra led by Carmen Dragon; leader on the big band tracks not identified, may also be Dragon. Brief trumpet solos by, annotator Scott Yanow speculates, Manny Klein or Andy Secrest. Dragon's name may make the blood run cold, but so far the tracks with strings aren't particularly soupy or swirly; nothing can mess with Forrest anyway; she's in charge.
  12. James didn't quite "co-author" this book; assembled/edited by Max Harrison, it's a compilation of uniformly worthwhile and at best superb essayistic record reviews (many of them, I think, originally written for Jazz Monthly) by the writers listed on the cover. An altogether terrific book. Also known as "Modern Jazz: The Essential Records." My first copy literally fell apart after the cover fell off; fortunately I found another copy.
  13. Don't know precisely what happened to James (i.e. why) except that, per his younger Jazz Monthly colleague of the time Terry Martin, James died in early middle age. I'll try to find out more, but I recall that it was matter of illness, not of any sort of dissipation. I know that James was active as late as 1968 because in that year he wrote a somewhat negative review of Lester Bowie's "Numbers 1&2" for Jazz Monthly. Haven't seen that whole review, but George Lewis' exceprts from it "A Power Stronger Than Itself" make clear how puzzling that music could be to a listener whom one might think would be well-equipped to respond to it.
  14. Helen Forrest soundies

    The price on Amazon is prohibitive, $71, but if you have any fondness for (arguably) the best band singer of the '30s and '40s and ever see this two-CD set of Forrest transcriptions from 1949-50 at a reasonable price ( (I got it a re-sale shop today for 27 cents!) don't hesitate. Forrest is in superb form, the program is all standards (54 tracks, most of them about 2 minutes, but that's fine; they're all Forrest, hardly any instrumental work), and sound quality on Forrest is quite good. If you don't know her, one way to describe Forrest is that if Judy Garland were a jazz singer, she might have sounded something like this. There's a throb in both their voices, a more or less erotic throb in Forrest's, while what makes Forrest a jazz singer, a least by my lights, is that she subtly reshapes melodies like an improvising instrumentalist -- Benny Carter perhaps.