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  #1  
Old Jul 12, 2010, 10:48 AM
Nou Dadoun Nou Dadoun is offline
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Harvey Pekar RIP

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/20...s-dies/?src=mv

Very sad, I was a fan of the American Splendor comics (Off the Streets of Cleveland!) long before his Letterman notoriety and his old reviews in Downbeat and other publications are pretty legendary. Although I never met him, I felt as though I knew him since he embodied and combined the traits of so many jazz nerds, neurotics (yes, record collectors) and curmudgeons that I've known over the years.
His "Our Cancer Year" graphic novel was an unflinching and eye-opening look at his experiences in dealing with the disease; a true original - RIP ... N
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Old Jul 12, 2010, 01:44 PM
Brian Nation Brian Nation is offline
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And Tuli Kupferberg. It's a bad day for hipsters.
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Old Jul 12, 2010, 04:13 PM
Gavin Walker Gavin Walker is offline
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RIP Harvey. Now you'll get another chance to evaluate Charles Mingus' singing voice....good luck!
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Old Jul 12, 2010, 04:27 PM
Nou Dadoun Nou Dadoun is offline
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The New Yorker's View

From today's online piece for The New Yorker:

July 12, 2010
In Memoriam Harvey Pekar: The Musical Line
Posted by Richard Brody

Reporting the sad news that the cartoonist, or graphic novelist, Harvey Pekar has died, Macy Halford, here at The Book Bench, calls attention to a lesser-known aspect of his work, the online "Pekar Project." I'd like to mention another — his jazz criticism. Pekar was a record collector, and wrote trenchantly about the music. The Austin Chronicle offers a large sampling of Pekar's writings about music; here's a choice nugget, about a recording that's also among my favorites (he discusses it in a review of "The Complete Prestige Recordings" of Thelonious Monk; they're also available, as two separate disks, under Miles Davis's name: "Bags' Groove" and "Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants"):

"The third CD contains one of the great recorded jam sessions, with Monk, Miles Davis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, bassist Percy Heath, and drummer Kenny Clarke…. Davis is in marvelous form; check out his majestic work on "The Man I Love," which is reminiscent of one of his early influences, Freddy Webster. Jackson is his usual unruffled self; not even Monk's comping can shake his composure. Monk's solos are brilliant; check out his efforts on both takes of "Bag's Groove"—they're startling even by his nearly insurmountable standards."

I heartily concur. Pekar's taste was admirably catholic — he wrote about free jazz (including the astonishing "Holy Ghost" box chronicling the work of Albert Ayler), about Latin jazz, about the primordial soprano-sax soloist Sidney Bechet. The tone of his writing is modestly comprehensive, calmly impassioned; the music has lost a connoisseur, an advocate, a lover.

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blog...#ixzz0tVrTFQZV
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Old Jul 13, 2010, 09:54 PM
Gavin Walker Gavin Walker is offline
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More on Harvey.

A great read if one can find it is Harvey Pekar's album notes on a Prestige 3 disc boxed set called "Stitt's Bits: Sonny Stitt: The Bebop Recordings, 1949-52". The set issues all of Stitt's recordings for that label that ranged from brillant to workmanlike. The set was issued in 2005. Pekar's notes touch on many aspects of Stitt's life and how he was undeservedly castigated by many critics as being a copier of Parker and a "lazy" player who just played standards, I Got Rhythm variants and blues on his recordings. Harvey's notes explain Stitt's brilliant musicianship on all three horns heard on these sides as Stitt is heard on alto, tenor and baritone saxophone. Pekar makes a very strong case that Stitt was an original player who may have grown up in the same era as Parker and subject to the same influences but emerged as his own man and deserves respect as one of the 20th Century's most illustrious musicians. Pekar's writing here is as colourful and perceptive as the man himself..
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