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Larry Kart

Two Oscar Peterson gems

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An odd topic perhaps coming from a longtime less than enthusiastic about OP listener, but cruising through all the OP CDs I've somehow managed to acquire over the years, but leaving aside obvious top drawer OP like the Stratford and the Concertgebouw albums, I found these two to be  exceptional: "Tenderly" (Just a Memory) and "Live And At His /Best" (Point). The former is a Vancouver concert recording from August 8, 1958 with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown. At once intense and relaxed, it finds the trio's three-way interplay at a peak. The latter, from a July 29, 1964 concert in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia with Brown and Ed Thigpen is joyfully Tatum-esque, yet  that somehow seems to release more individuality on OP's part than one has come to expect.

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Yeah OP always manages to surprise me as well. Sometimes in a bad way but also sometimes in a good way :)

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On 6/13/2020 at 6:49 AM, Pim said:

Yeah OP always manages to surprise me as well. Sometimes in a bad way but also sometimes in a good way :)

Yes, the OP, Larry Kart, often surprises me as well, but generally in a good way.  Let's hear it for the OP!

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This is the same 2 CD set Larry referred to recorded live in Ljubljana on July 29, 1964.

There are errors in the listing of tune titles on my copy on the Jazz Life label.

A Child Is Born  is actually Nightingale, Riff Blues is actually Blues Of The Praries, Bag's Groove is actual Reunion Blues 

The cover photo shows Sam Jones and Bobby Durham. The actual players were Ray brown and Ed Thigpen.

The music is very good!

81KSO8GVLoL._AC_UY218_.jpg

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Charlie Barnet’s “Lonely Street” from 1954. Billy May, Bill Holman, and Andy Gibson arrangements, (good grief!) trumpet section on most tracks is Pete Candoli, Buddy Childers, Conrad Gozzo, Maynard, and Carelton McBeth, trombones are Milt Bernhart, Si Zentner, Tommy Pederson, and Herbie Harper, saxes include Willie Smith and George Auld.  Other tracks include a good-sized string section, arrangements by Russell Garcia. Off the top of my head, this is the best big band string section I’ve ever heard — sumptuous, passionate, and precise. Charlie, who probably could afford it, must have hired the New York Philharmonic.
 
 

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Larry recanting ... the end of days is nigh ...:huh:

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12 hours ago, Quasimado said:

Larry recanting ... the end of days is nigh ...:huh:

I wouldn't call it recanting. I'm just sharing my recent experiences with two OP recordings of different vintages -- and sharing my somewhat bemused pleasure when I hear quality, freshness, and vitality from OP, though that pleasure in no way leads me to take back my negative views of other OP performances. Such performances (for example as an accompanist) can even be separated by very short spans of time and with the rest of the members of the ensemble remaining identical -- e.g. his excellent support for J.J. Johnson and Stan Getz on the tracks of recorded in mono at the Shrine Auditorium on 10/7/1957 and his much less effective support of the same soloists,  plus Herb, Ellis, Ray Brown and Connie Kay, on the tracks recorded in stereo at the Civic Opera House in Chicago on 9/29/57. The mono tracks were released on LP at the time, the stereo tracks were issued (coupled with some of the mono tracks) on CD only in 1986.  I'm assuming here, BTW, that in the notes for the CD issue  of "Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson at the Opera House" Phil Schaap has got his facts right about which tracks were recorded at the Civic Opera House and which were recored at the Shrine Auditorium and when.  in any case I think its safe to say that the stereo and mono tracks were recorded about a week apart; and I have no doubt about concluding that OP's role as an accompanist on the stereo tracks was notably inferior to his playing on the mono tracks -- this being clearly reflected IMO in the inferior performances of Getz and Johnson on the stereo tracks versus their electrifying work on the mono tracks. I have an idea about why this happened -- the stereo spread on the stereo tracks is quite wide (as in opposite sides of the stage from the horns), to the point where it seems likely that OP and the rest of the rhythm section probably had trouble hearing Getz and J.J. and vice versa; with a resulting lack of musical-emotional connection, while the horns and the rhythm section on the mono tracks sound like they're fairly close together, with a likely resulting benefit in musical-emotional connection. 

Again, the problem/question for me is why are their such variations in my response to various OP performances. In the case above, I'll bet it was primarily a matter of the sonic environment -- to me that's pretty much a test-tube example.
 

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46 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

I wouldn't call it recanting. I'm just sharing my recent experiences with two OP recordings of different vintages -- and sharing my somewhat bemused pleasure when I hear quality, freshness, and vitality from OP, though that pleasure in no way leads me to take back my negative views of other OP performances. Such performances (for example as an accompanist) can even be separated by very short spans of time and with the rest of the members of the ensemble remaining identical -- e.g. his excellent support for J.J. Johnson and Stan Getz on the tracks of recorded in mono at the Shrine Auditorium on 10/7/1957 and his much less effective support of the same soloists,  plus Herb, Ellis, Ray Brown and Connie Kay, on the tracks recorded in stereo at the Civic Opera House in Chicago on 9/29/57. The mono tracks were released on LP at the time, the stereo tracks were issued (coupled with some of the mono tracks) on CD only in 1986.  I'm assuming here, BTW, that in the notes for the CD issue  of "Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson at the Opera House" Phil Schaap has got his facts right about which tracks were recorded at the Civic Opera House and which were recored at the Shrine Auditorium and when.  in any case I think it's safe to say that the stereo and mono tracks were recorded about a week apart; and I have no doubt about concluding that OP's role as an accompanist on the stereo tracks was notably inferior to his playing on the mono tracks -- this being clearly reflected IMO in the inferior performances of Getz and Johnson on the stereo tracks versus their electrifying work on the mono tracks. I have an idea about why this happened -- the stereo spread on the stereo tracks is quite wide (as in the opposite side of the stage from the horns), to the point where it seems likely that OP and the rest of the rhythm section probably had trouble hearing Getz and J.J. and vice versa; with a resulting lack of musical-emotional connection, while the horns and the rhythm section on the mono tracks sound like they're fairly close together, with a likely resulting benefit in musical-emotional connection. 

Again, the problem/question for me is why are there such variations in my response to various OP performances. In the case above, I'll bet it was primarily a matter of the sonic environment -- to me this is pretty much a test-tube example.
 

I also recall the airless mechanical comping with which OP pretty much destroys an otherwise promising Harry Edison-Ben Webster Clef album from 1957, "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You" (not to be confused with a later Columbia album of the same title and with the same frontline). I recall this vividly because the Clef "Gee Baby" was preceded by the sublime 1956 Edison-Webster album "Sweets," with a lovely, gliding rhythm section (Jimmy Rowles, Barney Kessel Joe Mondragon, and Alvin Stoller). And while I don't think OP's again rather airless mechanical comping destroys Ben Webster's much vaunted "Soulville," it sure doesn't help much. Can it be a matter of what OP had for breakfast or lunch on a given day?

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Larry, I love that phrase "airless mechanical comping."  That describes so much of OP's work: airless (not leaving room between the phrases for the notes and ideas to connect with the listener) and mechanical (just keep banging out the notes until your time is done).  I think the differences between his good performances and the others can be attributed to inspiration.  Some artists can be in touch with it fairly consistently, others only occasionally; some days the well is dry, but you still have to work.

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