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Elliot Lawrence

Elliot Lawrence is an American jazz pianist and bandleader. Son of the broadcaster Stan Lee Broza, Lawrence led his first dance band at age 20, but he played swing at the time its heyday was coming to a close. He recorded copiously as a bandleader for Columbia, Decca, King, Fantasy, Vik, and SESAC between 1946 and 1960. Lawrence is currently music director for the Tony awards show. Elliot Lawrence was born Elliot Lawrence Broza on February 14, 1925 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents, Stan Lee Broza and Esther Broza were radio and television pioneers. In 1927 they created and produced the Horn and Hardart Children’s Hour, which ran on WCAU radio from 1927–1958 and concurrently on television from 1948–1958


Interview: Elliot Lawrence

Interview: Elliot Lawrence

I've long loved Elliot Lawrence's music. His big band recordings of the late 1940s and 1950s had superb swing and sensitivity, especially on Gerry Mulligan arrangements. The band was tight, well rehearsed and always loaded with the best musicians in the business. After my last post on Elliot back in August, singer Marlene VerPlanck sent me ...


Elliot Lawrence on the Road

Elliot Lawrence on the Road

What was it like to be on the road in a big band in 1950? It's difficult to say, since we only have the recollections of musicians who were there, and who knows how accurate those memories are. In the case of Elliot Lawrence, two members of his band then—Bob Karch and Howie Mann—took color home ...


Tiny Kahn and Elliot Lawrence

Tiny Kahn and Elliot Lawrence

Composer-arranger Johnny Mandel told me a few years ago that Tiny Kahn was among his favorite arrangers. As Johnny put it, no one could craft a flag-waver like Kahn, with huge build, drive and swing. Johnny and Kahn go back to 1944, when both were in Henry Jerome's band. Both also arranged for Woody Herman and ...


Elliot Lawrence: Jazz Goes B'way

Elliot Lawrence: Jazz Goes B'way

If New York's jazz studio scene had a high point, it's probably 1956 and '57, just as the 12-inch LP became popular and just before stereo intruded with its odd sonics. During those two years, labels set high LP production quotas and producers were dispatched to line up numerous recording dates. With the pressure on, many ...


First Take Trio: Recollections

Read "Recollections" reviewed by Jack Bowers

When Michael Anthony left home in the late 1950s for the bright lights of Hollywood, one of the resident artists who took him under his wing was fellow guitarist Howard Roberts, already established as one of the film and television industry's top studio musicians as well as an esteemed jazz virtuoso whose work with the Chico ...


Fresh Sound Records and the Legacy of Recorded Jazz

Read "Fresh Sound Records and the Legacy of Recorded Jazz" reviewed by Bruce Klauber

If the importance and the contributions of jazz are measured by its recorded legacy, then Fresh Sound Records--and its founder, Jordi Pujol--must be duly recognized for rescuing a legacy that might otherwise be lost or nearly impossible to find, and for making it available to the public.Specifically, this legacy includes recorded works by saxophonist ...


Bob Brookmeyer: Jack of All Trades, Master of Valves

Read "Bob Brookmeyer: Jack of All Trades, Master of Valves" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Bob Brookmeyer, a Renaissance man among jazz musicians who died December 15, 2011, four days before his eighty-second birthday, will be remembered as many things: composer, arranger, musician, educator, outspoken arbiter who brooked no nonsense and wasn't shy about letting others know when he believed they were not giving the music he loved the best they ...


SuperSax Me

Read "SuperSax Me" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Back in the early 1970s bassist Buddy Clark and saxophonist Med Flory conceived a brilliant idea: to form a group (primarily a reed section with rhythm) that would use orchestrated arrangements of saxophonist Charlie Parker's transcendent bop solos as the basis for its music. As for a name, nothing less than SuperSax would suffice. The nine-piece ...


Farewell, Sir John

Read "Farewell, Sir John" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Some of us are old enough to remember when Sir John Dankworth was simply Johnny Dankworth, and quite simply one of the finest jazz musicians Great Britain has ever produced. Johnny became Sir John in 2006 when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, nine years after his wife, the marvelous singer Cleo Laine, was made a ...


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