Larry Kart

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Everything posted by Larry Kart

  1. Stephen Sondheim RIP

    It doesn't matter at all to me, but if Sondheim's songs don't work well as jazz vehicles that may say something about SS's songs. My sense is that they don't work well as jazz vehicles because his songs tend to lack memorable melodic meaning, that they're basically just words strung over chord changes.
  2. Cannonball's Place In The Pantheon

    George Shearing recorded many albums for Capitol, but maybe you don't think of him as a jazz artist. Indeed, many of Shearing's albums were so-called mood music, but some were not.
  3. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    No, I have a compilation (I think it's of all or most of of them) and don't know where one lets off and the other or others begin. In any case Collete seems to me to be consistently tasty throughout. Jim Hall too.
  4. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    Been enjoying Colette with Chico Hamiton recently.
  5. V.S.O.P. Quintet-Historical importance

    "That seems to have really dying him." ????
  6. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    Don't know this one, but Gravish is a fine player.
  7. Joe Henderson

    Didn't many of those Left Bank JS recordings feature a very out of tune piano?
  8. Stephen Sondheim RIP

    I'm no scholar of Broadway but my subjective impression at the time was that a key style-setting point on the more or less a-melodic path was "A Chorus Line" in 1975.
  9. Favorite Cannonball Album

    "limp and Keepnewsy" --when did I say that? OK -- I found it. A favorite of mine is "Cannonball Takes Charge" -- Leroy Anderson's "Sereneta" was a perfect choice of material.
  10. Stephen Sondheim RIP

    About the supposedly uncolloquial cleverness of Hart's rhymes, I think Sondheim misses the point. Take, for example;e the lyric to Rodgers and Hart's "Manhattan," (1923) which ranks high in that category ("We'll have Manhattan/ The Bronx and Staten/ Island too" ... etc., etc.) In terms of rhythm, the oblique placement of the rhyme words weaves a veritable tap dance of explosive accents into and around the song, as though the lyric of the song were its own virtuoso multilevel shadow performance. This interaction of levels more or less is the song, and in this it is aimed, one might say, at mirroring the jangly syncopation of Manhattan itself.
  11. Stephen Sondheim RIP

    He said that Hart was a "lazy craftsmen." He offered examples. Don't recall what they were, but I do vaguely recall that I didn't find them convincing. Google Sondheim and Lorenz Hart and you can probably find what SS wrote or said on the subject.
  12. Stephen Sondheim RIP

    One possible reason for the relative scarcity of jazz interpretations of Sondheim songs is that they, at least IMO, lack memorable organic melodic meaning. Yes, "Send in the Clowns" is memorable but, again IMO, naggingly so, like an ear worm.
  13. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    KD really liked to sing, had been doing so for some time, and my sense is that Keepnews, probably and primarily out of friendship with one of the label's mainstays, went along with KD's wishes to make a vocal album without little or no expectation that KD would become a Baker-like phenomenon. I'll add that I find KD's singing of Jon Hendricks' lyrics to "I Remember Clifford" to be very moving. Also, interestingly, it's Cedar Walton's debut recording.
  14. Fine piece, Mark. Glad to have been of some help.
  15. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    "Aaron Copland the Populist" -- Tilson Thomas conduct Applachian Spring, Billy the Kid , and Rodeo. Anyone heard this? I ask mostly because I have a question about Applachian Spring. Annotator Micheal Steinberg points out that in the full ballet the "Simple Gifts" variations are "broken by an amazing episode. A revivalist appears, accompanied by four women followers, and warns the couple of what Copland called ' the strange and terrible of aspects of human fate.... For a time, the music for this moment existed only in the original scoring for thirteen players, but in 1954 Copland set it for full orchestra at the request of Eugene Ormandy. It is still not in print and exists only in manuscript score but is included in this performance. To most listeners it will reveal a new and remarkable Copland, dark and possessed...." Ok, but where on the Tilson Thomas disc does this music appear? Steinberg writes: "a series of variation on 'Simple Gifts' symbolizes the strength and serenity with which the bride and her farmer-husband face their future (that would be in episode No.3, "the Bride and Her Intended"). "In the popular concert suite, MS continues, that Copland prepared in 1945, those variations make an uninterrupted sequence, but in the full ballet score that are interrupted ("broken") by (so MS clearly states, e.g "the music for this moment") the [aforementioned] amazing episode." Now I have three recordings of AS, the new TT recording of the complete ballet with the "amazing" episode Steinberg mentions, and two recordings of the AS Suite -- the much (and IMO rightly) celebrated 1961 Bernstein recording with the NYPO and a quite good one from 1984 by Dorati and the Detroit Symphony. Listening to the TT I have little doubt where the "amazing" passage begins -- at about the 22-minute mark, and it lasts (with some startling bass-drum violence and some dark Stravinsky-like ebbs and flows of mood) a little less than nine minutes by my reckoning (the total time of the TT performance is 35.81, versus about 25 minutes for the Bernstein Suite). First, the "amazing" passage is a must listen if you like Copland and don't have a recording of the original 13-player version of AS; the only one I recall was on an RCA LP conducted by Copland, and don't ask me why I no longer have a copy; there may be other recordings of the original score). Second, if I'm right about where that "amazing" passage is on the TT recording, Steinberg's account doesn't track for me. He implies (I think all but says) that in AS the "Simple Gifts" variations emerge from "The Bride and Her Intended" episode and are then interrupted by appearance of the revivalist and his female followers, after which we have the "amazing" episode. Maybe I'm deaf, but I hear no trace of variations on "Simple Gifts" right after "the Bride and Her Intended" that are then interrupted by (see Steinberg above) the appearance of the revivalist and his female followers and their music. In any case,"The Revivalist and his Flock" episode, (No. 4 in AS) on the Dorati recording not only comes in at about at the 8.15 mark, which is 14 so minutes short of where I think the "amazing" passage begins, but also the mood of "The Revivalist" episode is rather jolly and hoedown-like, not at all dark and possessed, while the episode that begins at the 22-minute mark on the TT recording is both of those things. Finally, apart from the location and nature of the "amazing" episode, what of TT's interpretation of AS? I've read complaints that it's too languid and impressionistic, Copland by way of Debussy, and lacks the edge and vigor of Bernstein's recording. One reviewer said that TT clearly loves the score, but he loves it to death. OTOH, without loosening my grip on the Bernstein recording, I find the TT to be a better recording per se than the Bernstein, where things get a bit clotted at times; and once TT's interpretation gets rolling (I'd recommend playing his recording at an ample volume level) it does get rolling, at least for me. And there is that "amazing" episode, wherever the hell it is. BTW, none of this would be a problem if the TT recording gave any information about which episode of AS is which or what the timing of the episodes are (AS is all one track on the TT CD and there is no such information). The Bernstein gives the timing of each episode (they're on separate tracks) but no names; the Dorati has them on separate tracks and gives timings and names.
  16. Post a pic

    You guys can start up this thread again, but NO political content allowed!
  17. Zoot Sims on ABC-Paramount

    Sorry if my previous semi-misguided post confused things, The account above of how this recording was made is correct. That is, Zoot improvised solos on Handy's pieces. Handy then harmonized those in-the-can solos for four voices, and Zoot at the next session overdubbed Handy's harmonizations of his solo lines. Thus, the results one might say were a 50-50 proposition. Quite a feat in any case on the part of both Handy and Zoot. BTW, speaking of Zoot on alto, listen to his lovely lyrical alto solo on "Saro Jane" from John Benson Brooks' "Folk Jazz I.S.A."
  18. Zoot Sims on ABC-Paramount

    I enjoyed them back in the day, the four altos album more than the other. I think, though I can't be sure, because the liner notes on my reissued version don't say much, but you may have somewhat misdescribed how the records were made. Yes, the compositions are Handy's, and his lines have a distinctive flavor, but IIRC Zoot through multitrackiing improvises on those lines four times over almost throughout on each track. Thus the total combined results are almost all Zoot's multi-layer improvisations, which do hang together to the point where one might think he were playing arrangements rather than just adding one Zoot solo on top of another and another and another. If I'm right about this, it was quite a feat, Also, Zoot's fluency on alto was something else.
  19. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    Hearing him in person was something else. What a sound!
  20. Gene Quill

    On that Quill album I mentioned, the pianist on the first five tracks (from a 1955 concert) is none other than Argonne Thornton (aka Sadik Hakim). He is in quite good boppish form. In fact it's a fine tight band altogether -- Quill, Dick Sherman trumpet (intense, thoughtful), Buddy Jones bass, and drummer Sol Gubin (rather Max like).
  21. Gene Quill

    Been listening to a collection of his early work: "The Tiger, Portrait of a Great Alto Player" (Fresh Sound). Hard for me to believe that I ever thought of Quill as just another hot alto player of the time. Hot he was but much more than that -- very inventive rhythmically and just a fine player of the instrument. His intonation, for one had a special "ping" to it.
  22. Hank Mobley Quintet 1957

    Listening to this album for the first time in a good while walking on the local rec center's oval track, I was struck by in what fine form Art Farmer was on this date -- thoughtful and lucid as one might expect but also quite bold at times; his chops were in near "raise the rafters" shape that day. Great too to hear lots of horn-like Horace Silver solo work; and his e.s.p. comping behind Hank and Art goes without saying.
  23. COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

    Someday I'l watch the whole thing again, I tell myself. Hipped to it by a friend part way through, Jeanne and I could hardly believe what what we were seeing -- maybe the best TV show ever. The episode where Buffy comes home from school and finds her mother dead on the couch! And the luscious as her name Charisma Carpenter!
  24. COVID-19 III: No Politics For Thee

    Sarah Michelle Gellar rules. I have the complete Buffy on DVDs,
  25. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    I'd make a big exception for his Das Lied with Waldemar Kmentt, Janet Baker and the Bavarian Radio Symphony.