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High Wall - Real Life Film Noir

Larry Vuckovich

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Album Review

San Francisco-based pianist Larry Vuckovich has in recent times paid tribute to his Balkan heritage (he was born in Yugoslavia although he has lived in California since 1951) and the swing revival movement. High Wall, which is subtitled Real Life Film Noir, mostly focuses on bebop even though the repertoire is much more diverse. Mostly featuring his trio/quartet, with percussionist Hector Lugo on seven of the dozen selections, and Vince Delgado making guest appearances on two, the focus is primarily on the pianist. On a program that includes his "Afro 6/8 Minor Blues," the premiere recording of film composer's Bronislaw Kaper's "High Wall," Joe Sample's "Put It Where You Want It," and a tribute to Lester Young ("Lester's Minor Blues"), Vuckovich brings back the spirit and style of bebop. Some of the music is a bit dark, in keeping with the film noir image, but it also has a determinably joyful spirit that makes the performances difficult to resist. Whether it is Dizzy Gillespie's "Ow," Barry Harris' obscure "Lolita," or Vuckovich's solo piano rendition of "A Handful of Stars," High Wall is of strong interest from start to finish. Highly recommended.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Larry Vuckovich was born in Kotor, Yugoslavia, on December 8, 1936. He came to San Francisco in 1951 at the height of the then flourishing bop jazz scene. Classically trained but an ardent jazz fan thanks to Armed Forces Radio, he began hanging out at clubs like the Blackhawk and the Jazz Workshop, where he heard such greats as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bill Evans. At the Blackhawk he met Cal Tjader and Vince Guaraldi. He studied jazz piano as Guaraldi's only piano student....
Full Bio
High Wall - Real Life Film Noir, Larry Vuckovich
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, World
  • Released: Jun 17, 2008

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