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New Stan Levey Biography

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Sounds fascinating! I'd heard about the boxing and photography - as well as the drumming, of course. ^_^

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Flashbulbs,  wow, what a concept nowadays. Visceral, totally analog. Heat, light, smoke even, all in the service of stealing you soul. Tremble in awe, mortals, tremble in awe.

This might be something I want to read. Stan Levey always swung as a drummrr, and I've yet to meet a real photographer who wasn't aware of the power they yielded.

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Got this in my birthday order from Amazon and finished it rather quickly.  Definitely recommended, the author had access to audio tapes Levey made about his life and that brings Stan's voice to the fore. The author may not be a musician or musically inclined but I certainly didn't notice any errors to the level of those Grant Green's daughter-in-law spouted. 

I'm still kicking myself for never getting around to ordering "The Original Original" DVD which now seems very rare and not even up on youtube. But I'm glad to at least read Stan's recollections and thoughts if not being able to hear them.

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Must buy this one. Sat in one time at a forum where he reminsced about West Coast Jazz. He was erudite and impressive.

Edited by sidewinder

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Admire Levey's drumming and the way he pulled himself up by his bootstraps early on (his father was a bad dude) and then as an adult dealing with addiction, but this was a pleasant but rather thin in substance and at times repetitious book, I thought.

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Book or no book, yeah, Stan Levey, no bullshit with Stan Levey.

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17 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Must buy this one. Sat in one time at a forum where he reminsced about West Coast Jazz. He was erudite and impressive.

Would have liked to be at that!

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3 hours ago, BillF said:

Would have liked to be at that!

If I remember correctly Russ Freeman and Gene Norman also took part. Other forums had Buddy Collette, Laurie Pepper, Bud Shank and a number of others. Priceless !

The two who really stood out for me were Stan Levey and Russ Freeman.

17 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Admire Levey's drumming and the way he pulled himself up by his bootstraps early on (his father was a bad dude) and then as an adult dealing with addiction, but this was a pleasant but rather thin in substance and at times repetitious book, I thought.

Interesting..

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19 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Admire Levey's drumming and the way he pulled himself up by his bootstraps early on (his father was a bad dude) and then as an adult dealing with addiction, but this was a pleasant but rather thin in substance and at times repetitious book, I thought.

I have to say I didn't notice repetition; it is a quick read but I think it depends on the substance you are looking for.  The book I've switched to is "Quintet of The Year" in which the author uses the Massey Hall concert as the fulcrum of a five-way biography of the participants - a chapter devoted to their pre-Massey Hall lives, the concert itself, and chapters devoted to their remaining lives after the concert.

A fine concept for a book it also spends a long time dissecting each recording session of every participant. There's definite repetition when you consider how often one session featured at least two and sometimes more of the principals.  This kind of substance is definitely lacking from the Levey book.

Interesting too is the fact that Levey rates barely above a footnote in this discussion of bebop's origins.  Roach is the only drummer of consequence, Levey is just a replacement when Roach is unavailable. 

Bottom line, to me is that these are different books with different purposes; the Levey is worthwhile and not just because I got a "Like New" copy for less than $10 including shipping. 

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Don't have the Levey book anymore -- I bought and read it and then recycled it -- so I can't cite repetitions. It was worth the price, and Levey lived quite a life, but I wanted more. In particular, Stan not only was a terrific drummer but also a fairly unique one. I was just listening to and enjoying Lou Levy's "Jazz in Four Colors" (RCA) on  a Frsh Sound LP,  with Stan, Leroy Vinnegar, Larry Bunker on vibes, and Lou in great form  (wish it were on CD and remastered), and Stan's playing was so darn distinctive, albeit quite subtle, that I wanted to hear him or some truly knowlegable other party comment  in some detail on his approach. Perhaps that DVD that Dan mentioned would be the answer.

Just ordered the Levy DVD from here:

http://www.jazzwestdvd.com/new_releases_2008/stan_levey_original.html

It wasn't available from Amazon; l hope this site comes through.
 

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I love the way he swung the Kenton band when/as possible. Nice full ride cymbal, bombs dropped very clearly, snare/bass accents never unrelated, just a damn good, swinging drummer who kept things in motion at all times.

 

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The place where I thought I'd found the Levey DVD emailed to say that it's no longer available. :(

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1498817564_stan-levey-grand-stan_2013.jp

20140526165300.jpg

Two personal faves ....

 

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14 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

The place where I thought I'd found the Levey DVD emailed to say that it's no longer available. :(

There's a new copy on eBay for $200 with a Make Offer option. I offered $40, he presumed I was willing to meet in the middle and countered at $160. I told him he can take my $50 final offer or wait for a sucker to pay his price. One is supposedly born every minute but this reminded me of the asshats on Amazon trying to get 4 figures for OOP CDs.

(He rejected my offer. C'est la vie.)

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