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. Roscoe Mitchell - Littlefield Concert Hall

    I'll go for the Littlefield.
  2. Return Of The Film Corner Thread

    LOVE that movie. Was fortunate enough to see it in the age of innocence, before I knew that movies were "art." It plucked my little heartstrings and still does every time.
  3. Roscoe Mitchell - Littlefield Concert Hall

    I was stunned and delighted by "Ride the Wind" but found "Discussions"(with Mills College personnel by and large) to be worthwhile but somewhat less successful; I assumed that was because most of the orchestrations on "Ride the Wind" were done by Roscoe while all the the orchestrations on "Discussions" were done by others. Who did the orchestrations for the Littlefield Concert Hall album?
  4. Now reading...

    I'm a big fan of Furst -- the early books up through "The Polish Officer" more than the ones set in France, as entertaining as those books are -- but no, I don't think that he captures the reality of the Vichy regime and the Occupation that well. For one thing IIRC his later books are mostly Paris-centric, and the social-political realities of Vichy France and the Occupation -- in terms of what the French did and did not do, how they adjusted to, accommodated to, etc. the Vichy regime and the Germans -- IIRC are just not his focus. From the jacket blurb for Gildea's book: "In France, the German occupation is called simply the 'dark years.' It is remembered as a time of hunger, fear, cold, and the absence of freedom, when the French population was cruelly and consistently oppressed by the enemy. There were only the 'good French' who resisted and the bad French' who collaborated. Marianne in Chains ... uncovers a very different story, one in which the truth is more complex and humane. "...Gildea reveal everyday life in the heart of France. He describes the pressing imperatives of work, food, transportation, and family obligations that led to unavoidable compromise and negotiation with the army of occupation. In the process, he sheds light on such subjects as forced labor, the role of the Catholic Church, the 'horizontal collaboration' between French women and German soldiers, and most surprising, the ambivalent attitude of ordinary people toward the Resistance, which was often dismissed as a bunch of bandits who were militarily irrelevant." Further, and strikingly IMO, Gildea delves into the intense post-war French myth-making about who did what during the time of Vichy and the occupation and why. "[After June 1944] the gospel of Resistance and Liberation was already overlaying the complexities of the Occupation, and it would be a long time before [one might say, if ever -- even to this day] all the truths were out."
  5. Now reading...

    An enlightening, highly detailed book is Robert Gildea's "Marianne in Chains: Daily Life in the Heart of France During the German Occupation" (Metropolitan Books, 2003).
  6. Now reading...

    "As far as I can see the Vichy govt. was a pure puppet of Germany and had zero credibility or independent decision making power." Tainted as it was by links to Nazi Germany, that government was in tune with deep strains in French society, ones that still vigorously exist.
  7. Branford slams Miles

    I like some Garrett -- IIRC "Songbook." Other more recent Garrett (don't recall the titles) I found kind of semi-simplistic, even pop-ish.
  8. Branford slams Miles

    I'm quite familiar with the music of both Wynton and Branford. Your characterization of Wynton's music is accurate as far as it goes -- I would say in a straightjacket rather than "straight ahead" -- but while Branford's music is freer/looser in style than Wynton's, by contrast with a whole lot of other jazz artists of recent times, Branford seems to me to be very concerned with coloring between the lines, even if he draws the lines in different places than Wynton does. His comments on Miles not following the musical "rules" as Branford understands them are an example of this, no? I'll add that Branford might be right about Miles's relation to the beat on the piece he cites in that DB interview, but in the context of Miles' relation to the music of that group and Miles' relation to the music in general -- give me a break.
  9. Branford slams Miles

    Any citation for the Marsalis/Carter/Drummond story?
  10. Caught this Baltimore-based band, Heart of the Ghost, last night at Constellation in Chicago. I knew Gilgore, in his mid 20s, from several years ago with Jamie Branch. Impressive then, he's grown by leaps and bounds, and this band is superb. Gilgore, while he's his own man, might be described as a cross between Jimmy Lyons and Ayler (he's that powerful); Stewart is a rock solid, very deep-toned bassist, and McColm is on everything. A set of three parts, about 30 minutes each, lots of variety of mood -- intensity almost beyond belief and a consistent air of joy and freshness. As John Litweiler once said, I haven't been so much fun since the pigs ate my little brother. BTW, I wouldn't, as the writer below does, call Gilgore "skronked-out." There's an underlying, even over-riding, purity to his sound even when things get fragmented and "talky." Jarrett Gilgore - alto saxophone Luke Stewart - bass Ian McColm - percussion “For the past two years, few improvisation units have been as omnipresent in the D.C. area as Heart of the Ghost. For good reason: The trio of alto saxophonist Jarrett Gilgore, bassist Luke Stewart, and percussionist Ian McColm is something of a trinity of the finest free jazz improvisers in the region. If you’ve seen Heart of the Ghost in concert, then you know—Gilgore, Stewart, and McColm’s performances feel like a kind of séance, with the trio locked into a musical conversation with one another. Though Gilgore’s skronked-out sax wailings anchor the tracks, no one part is greater than the sum of the whole. McColm’s inventive percussion techniques feel like a rhythm from another world, and Stewart—easily one of the most prolific and talented bassists in the region, if not the entire country—takes his instrument to new dimensions.” —Matt Cohen/Washington Citypaper “…But free music is about right now, wherever you are at, anyplace that the right players get together and play. If you have a chance to hear Washington, D.C. trio Heart of the Ghost, rest assured that you’ve found another portal into the creative vortex that spontaneously lifts hearts, minds and bands off the stand. Their freewheeling improvisations tap into the same defiant spirit decanted by Mingus and the Minutemen, which is to say that the freedom is in the playing, but it’s also a conscious reaction to the ways in which people are not free. You can hear protest in alto saxophonist Jarrett Gilgore’s brays and peppery interjections. You can hear mourning and defiant creation in bassist Luke Stewart’s continually shifting frameworks of woody-toned dark motion. And you can hear the moment-to-moment dance necessary to keep it moving or just keep standing in drummer Ian McColm’s shifting tonal surfaces and rhythmic cascades.” —Bill Meyer/Dusted
  11. Branford slams Miles

    BTW IIRC I did suggest to Jack Fuller that jury-shaping might not be the right way to solve this problem -- if problem it be. But Jack, a veteran of the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. (he had been chief assistant to Attorney General Edward Levi in the Ford administration) knew or thought he knew how to move those levers and get things done. I could go on about the history and anomalies of the music Pulitzers, but enough.
  12. Branford slams Miles

    Re: the Blood on the Fields Pulitzer -- that was more or less engineered, as these two articles make fairly clear. Howard Reich’s piece, in particular, lets a good deal of the cat out of the bag, but it is also disingenuous in some respects. He writes that the late Jack Fuller, then publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Reich’s boss, 'came onto the [Pulitzer] board with no agenda but knew the sorry history of jazz and the Pulitzers: “It’s hard not to be embarrassed by the Duke Ellington story [Fuller said], and nothing had been done to change the course of that history. Mistakes had been made.”’ In conversations I had with Fuller around this time — we were friendly, and he was my boss too — he made it quite clear that he was determined to have the music Pulitzer awarded to a jazz artist ASAP. “We didn’t know quite how to change that,” says Fuller [per Reich]. “But, ultimately, the way to change the kind of finalists you get is to think about the juries. So we began to think about the juries.” BTW, all this came in the wake of a big dust-up over the 1992 music Pulitzer. The music jury, like all Pulitzer so-called "expert” juries, presents the board with three nominees, ranked one to three. But that year’s music jury was so convinced that a work by composer Ralph Shapey was that year’s best work that Shapey’s work was their only nominee. The board (composed of newspaper publishing executives FWIW) rose up angry at this act of would-be usurpation by the composers who made up the music jury and instead awarded the 1992 Pulitzer to a work by composer Wayne Peterson. In any case, it was Fuller, with jury-shaping in the front of his mind, who then engineered the appointments of jazz-connected composers Gunther Schuller and then David Baker to the Pulitzer music jury. But that led not to a jazz winner but to Schuller himself winning a Pulitzer in 1994 for his “Of Reminiscences and Reflections” (Schuller was of course not on that jury) and to the estimable but not jazz-oriented African-American composer George Walker winning in 1996 for his “Lilacs.” As Reich says, "Frustration was rising.” Fuller then placed Reich (a fervent admirer of Marsalis’ music and a journalist, not a musician — IIRC only one other journalist, Irving Kolodin, had ever served on a Pulitzer music jury), along with John Lewis, a recipient of commissions from Jazz at Lincoln Center. Voila! — 1997’s winner was Blood on the Fields, even though (see Greg Sandow’s piece), it probably was not eligible. IIRC, Reich wrote a piece for the Chicago Tribune (somewhat different than the one linked to above) in which he proudly explained in some detail how he in effect had carried out his mission of bringing a Pulitzer to Blood on the Fields.
  13. Branford slams Miles

    Don't know where I ran across it, but I recall reading some time ago some remarks from Ron Carter about how all the innovations in the second quintet came from Wayne and the rhythm section, while Miles was pretty much scrambling to keep up. But then do we trust Ron Carter on any matter where his ego might be involved? Go to just about any used record store and see how many CDs by the Marsalis Bros. and other "young men" of the time now rest in the bins. Lots and lots. They got bought and got dumped.
  14. Branford slams Miles

    Wynton's long thematic (or, perhaps better, "thematic") solo on "Green Chimneys" is one of the weirdest things I've ever heard -- a more or less joyless, even punishing in its "I can and will just do this" act of single-minded "willed spontaneity" that to my knowledge has no parallel in the history of recorded jazz. One can see why one might think that this solo has some bearing on some of Monk's own music -- e.g. his thematic solo on "Little Rootie Tootie" or the almost motionless "Think of One" -- but after a while all I could think of was "I give up; take my cattle, my wife and kids, take the whole damn ranch, but just STOP this." Again, I would ask -- and I assume others hear this performance differently -- where is the pleasure and/or what is the expressive goal of this obsessive exercise, for the player or for the listener?