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Larry McKenna: Keeping the Legacy Alive

Victor L. Schermer By

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AAJ: So how would you sum it all up, Larry?

LM: Well, I remember a story Sammy Nestico once told me. Billy Byers hired him to do some arranging with a team he needed for a production. Byers knocked off ten pages of arranging for every one that Barry could do. At first, Sammy felt devastated—here's a guy ten times as good as him. But then he realized each person is unique. If you do your personal best, you're a success. That's what I think aspiring musicians should keep in mind. Like, I might never be a Coltrane, but whatever I do I try to do it well. And I've gotten to where I have a distinct style and people appreciate my music. I couldn't ask for more than that.


Selected Discography Frank Tiberi, 4 Brothers 7 (Jazzed, 2007)
Craig Raymond and the Next Generation Big Jazz Band, Straight Ahead (Star Satellite, 2006)
John Swana and the Philadelphians, Philly Gumbo, Vol. 2 (Criss Cross, 2005)
Robert Henderson, RH Positive (Philly Breakdown, 2002)
Larry McKenna, It Might as Well Be Spring (Dreambox Media, 2001)
City Rhythm Orchestra, Goin' to Town (Limehouse, 2000)
Larry McKenna, My Shining Hour: Larry McKenna Plays Harold Arlen (EPE, 1996)
Woody Herman and His Thundering Herd, Crown Royal (Laserlight, 1992)
Buddy DeFranco, Born to Swing (Hindsight, 1988)

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