RIP George Avakian

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Muskrat
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RIP George Avakian

Postby Muskrat » 23 Nov 2017, 01:06

PLEASE! STOP!

Pioneering record producer

He made his most lasting mark as a jazz producer with Columbia Records in the 1950s. He brought Brubeck and Davis to the label, helping to transform them from artists with a loyal but limited audience to international celebrities. He signed Johnny Mathis, then an unknown jazz singer, and oversaw his emergence as a chart-topping pop star. He persuaded Louis Armstrong to record the German theater song “Mack the Knife,” an unlikely vehicle that became one of his biggest hits. And he supervised the recording of Duke Ellington’s performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, which revitalized Ellington’s career.


I interviewed him once, for a Frankie Laine project I was involved in (Avakian produced some of the material). It was a real thrill; the equivalent of interviewing, say, John Hammond or Art Satherley.

A crusty fellow, he could be
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Charlie O.
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Re: RIP George Avakian

Postby Charlie O. » 23 Nov 2017, 02:20

R.I.P. to a true legend.


Might I suggest that Hammond's name may have been added because, perhaps, people knew who Hammond was and no-one knew who Avakian was and therefore Hammond's name might have given the notes some cred with some people? Just a thought.
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Muskrat
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Re: RIP George Avakian

Postby Muskrat » 23 Nov 2017, 03:14

Charlie O. wrote:R.I.P. to a true legend.


Might I suggest that Hammond's name may have been added because, perhaps, people knew who Hammond was and no-one knew who Avakian was and therefore Hammond's name might have given the notes some cred with some people? Just a thought.


They'd known each other since they were schoolboys. Assuming (as I do) that Avakian is correct, he's entitled to be pissed off, but I think there's something personal involved as well.

Incidentally, I checked my interview transcript: evidently Avakian assigned Irving Townsend to produce the Laine/Clayton album, though Avakian and Laine were friends, It would have been one of Townsend's first sessions; he'd been in Columbia's editorial department, writing ads and liner notes.
Things that a fella can't forget...

German Dave wrote:It's a bit like BCB, then. Some seriously good shit and some frivolous stuff that you can take or leave.

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Fonz
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Re: RIP George Avakian

Postby Fonz » 23 Nov 2017, 07:26

RIP
Heyyyy!

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