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About Leonard Hochman

Considering how fine Leonard Hochman plays on his 1994 Brownstone CD Until Tomorrow (sounding a bit like Zoot Sims on tenor and displaying a warm tone on bass clarinet), it is surprising that this was his first album as a leader, and that he had largely stopped playing back in 1963! Born in Philadelphia, Hochman lived for a period in New York City and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. He started playing tenor when he was 11. He freelanced from the time he was 15 until he turned 24, playing in a wide variety of settings including two years in the Catskills. Among the musicians who he performed with were Kai Winding, Al Haig, Phil Woods, Kenny Clarke, Brew Moore, Charlie Barnet and Herbie Mann. In 1957 Hochman moved to Boston and spent six years as a studio musician. He recorded with Phil Wilson in the early 1960's but was still little-known when he stopped playing in 1963. Hochman worked at a band instrument rental company, eventually bought the business and became a successful businessman. After selling the company, he began to play again in the early 1990's and his improvising talents and tone had actually improved through the years. He was a major discovery when he recorded Until Tomorrow although he was already 61. Among his friends on his long-overdue debut are guitarist Mitch Seidman, Harvie Swartz and the late Alan Dawson. He made a follow-up set, Manhattan Morning in 1995 with a quintet that included Swartz and Kenny Barron. ~ Scott Yanow