John LaPorta(5)

March 24.2017


Finally,I will introduce Barry Ulanov’s evaluation about John LaPorta.

I read again ”A History of Jazz in America” by Barry Ulanov.

I guess there is no critic who analyzed John LaPorta in detail as much as Barry Ulanov.

Fortunately Hisamitsu Noguchi(野口久光) translated ”A History of Jazz in America” into Japanese.

I will quote an interesting passage about John LaPorta from ”A History of Jazz in America”.(from page 330 to page 331)

Photo above of Stan Kenton(right) with Barry Ulanov from UNT Digital Library

Barry UlanovによるJohn LaPortaの評価を紹介します。今回、「ジャズの栄光の巨人たち」を久しぶりに読みました。彼ほどJohn LaPortaを詳しく分析した批評家はいないと思います。故野口久光氏が日本語に翻訳されています。(翻訳文は407ページから408ページまでを引用しました。)

He can each almost anything in the clarinet tradition, from counterpoint to atonalist formulations.He’s a far cry from the balling jazzman whose musical happiness lies in his ability to capture tonally last night’s alcoholic and other excesses.


To John jazz is an art and a science; it must be studied; it can be significant only if it is the end result f an intensive preparation. That preparation entails hours of work, of unrelenting attention to the interior detail of the creative process, and the very conscious avoidance of the cliches and banalities of most hot Improvisation.


Meeting John LaPorta, one wonders where in his reticent person he holds the brilliant array of new ideas he has displayed in his few gigging appearances, his several broadcasts, and his two record sides with the 1951 Metronome All-Star Band.


Photo above of John Laporta


His myopic eyes behind heavy glasses, his mousy voice, his retiring disposition seem to betoken a student of one of the dead languages, perhaps, or a librarian in an institution devoted to research on extinct Australian birds.


But challenge one of his musical ideas, carry the argument beyond words and put a clarinet in his mouth, and watch the mouse become man, an inspired man with a compelling message. If one probes enough, one may also stimulate words, and then the most alert musical mind in
jazz may begin the constructive but relentless analysis of his own music and anybody and everybody else’s.


Here is The Metronome All-Stars(1951) play “Early Spring”.

Here is The Metronome All-Stars 1951 play “Local 802 Blues”.

Here is Kenny Clarke and John LaPorta play “Play, Fiddle, Play”.


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