Harry Lookofsky

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Harry Lookofsky (1 October 1913 – 8 June 1998) was an American jazz violinist. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_0

He was also the father of keyboardist-songwriter Michael Brown, who most notably was a founding member of The Left Banke and Stories. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_1

History Harry Lookofsky_section_0

Harry Lookofsky was born in Paducah, Kentucky in 1913 and studied classical violin in St. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_2 Louis where he joined the St. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_3 Louis Symphony Orchestra in the mid 1930s. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_4

An early admirer of Joe Venuti, Lookofsky eventually became recognized as one of the earliest accomplished bebop jazz violinists. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_5

His technique became particularly recognized on his album Stringsville (1959, Atlantic). Harry Lookofsky_sentence_6

Lookofsky was one of many early jazz violinists who occasionally played tenor violin, an instrument he cited for its similar tonal qualities to the tenor saxophone. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_7

Another relatively unknown unique characteristic about Lookofsky's playing is that the bebop solos on Stringsville were completely written out and arranged as opposed to improvised as most jazz musicians do. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_8

An accomplished studio musician, Lookofsky also experimented heavily with multitrack recording in order to produce a unique sound with several overlaid violin tracks meant to imitate the sound of a horn section in a big band orchestra. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_9

Following his departure from St. Louis in 1938, Lookofsky joined the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini for a time while continuing to play jazz on the side. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_10

He continued his career as a classical symphony violinist later as concertmaster at ABC following Toscanini's retirement in 1954. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_11

Stringsville was Lookofsky's one major feature release. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_12

Aside from his classical and studio recording work, he was more often a contributing artist and/or arranger on other's albums. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_13

Over the years, his many jazz collaborators included Quincy Jones, Jaco Pastorius, Sarah Vaughan, George Benson, and Freddie Hubbard. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_14

Lookofsky co-produced the pop hit, "Walk Away Renée", by The Left Banke, which was co-written by his son, Michael Brown, a founding member of the group. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_15

The arrangement was heavily influenced by classical music. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_16

Lookofsky also played strings on songs recorded by Stories, his son Michael's later band. Harry Lookofsky_sentence_17

Selected discography Harry Lookofsky_section_1

Harry Lookofsky_unordered_list_0

  • Stringsville (1958, Atlantic)Harry Lookofsky_item_0_0
  • Together!/Miracle in Strings (1994 reissue, Columbia). Together! is an album by Herb Ellis and Stuff SmithHarry Lookofsky_item_0_1

Selected albums appeared on Harry Lookofsky_section_2

Harry Lookofsky_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry Lookofsky.