THE GLOBE AND MAIL
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 1988
Jazz pianist crafts melodies with the greatest
By Mark Miller
to The Globe and Mail
Larry Vuckovich, the latest solo pianist into Toronto"s Cafe des Copains,
likes fine melodies. He chooses them carefully - tunes
from the standard repertoire such as Invitation and It Might
As Well Be Spring were part of one recent, and pleasant, mid-evening
set there - and he keeps them close at hand as he makes
his way through his solos. Melodic excellence does not bear
trifling, and Vuckovich maintains this sense of purity in
his improvisational line and form. It gives his music a quality
to be admired as if it were on display.
is a well-traveled musician, born in the late thirties in Yugoslavia
and based, successively, in San Francisco, Munich, Frisco again
and now rural New Jersey. For all of that - because of
it, possibly - he has a remarkably settled approach to
is weight, shading, momentum, spontaneity and all the other
variables of jazz in his playing, but all are deliberately balanced
in a way that gives a certain formality to this most informal
Vuckovich touch is gentle, but firm. Nothing gets away from
him; each shortish solo is well constructed, judiciously edited
and neatly dovetailed. Even the smallest of notes and fastest
of phrases are given clear shape. His walking-bass lines move
stealthily on tiptoes, nimble yet unobtrusive, and the lift
they give his improvisations is felt as much as heard.
continues through Saturday night. He will be followed by another
pianist making his cafe" debut.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Thursday, June 14, 1990
By MARK MILLER
to The Globe and Mail
TWO and a half weeks have passed since the Bermuda Onion re-established
an upscale jazz market in Toronto with, in turn, the Phil Woods
Quintet, Elvin Jones"
Jazz Machine and this week (through Saturday), the tenor saxophonist
Benny Golson. Two or three points about the venture are already
clear. First of all, the joint jumps. Only the bottom line will
tell it it"s a success, but judging by the size and enthusiasm
of the crowds so far, it"s definitely a hit.
The small house for the Yugoslavian pianist Larry Vuckovich
and the Toronto bassist Dave Young over at the Cafe des
Copains later Tuesday night might further signal the Bermuda
Onion"s new competitive edge. Not necessarily so, advises
cafe management: this is the off-season. Things are always quiet
at this time of year.
is more interesting than a lot of the cafe"s high season
players, a musician who sits apart from the rest by virtue -
and a virtue it is - of his taste for both the exotic and the
former is evident in his repertoire: his own Mostar Bridge,
for example, with its Balkan melodic line, or Juan Tizol's
Caravan, or the Latin American pieces that were all part of
Tuesday's late set. Vuckovich invariably put these tunes,
and the other pop and jazz pieces that rounded off the night,
in the most flattering of possible lights, giving each as much
a setting as an interpretation. He's precise, he's
a gentle heart, and he's clearly captivated by beauty.
There are certainly worse ways of going through life.
of Congress Jazz Film Series - Washington D.C.
September 9 - October 3, 1997
DATE jazz series has a permanent home, and that home
has just about the most prestigious address imaginable in
the United States! The entire jazz on video collection now
resides in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C..
Mary Pickford Theater At The Library Of Congress, Third Floor
James Madison Building, Washington. D.C.
All Programs Are Free Although Seating Is Limited. No Reservations
Will Be Taken. Admission Is First-Come, First Served. Programs
Start At 7 P.M. Door Open At 6:30 P.M.
Friday, October 3: "JAZZ SET WEST"
with JAMES NEWTON (1994);
"CLUB DATE" With Ray Anderson (1991); And LARRY VUCKOVICH
James Newton studied with Buddy Collette in Los Angeles in the
1970s and has since worked to expand the vocabulary and technique
for the flute in modern jazz. He has performed and recorded
with Anthony Davis, Frank Wess, David Murray, Red Callender,
Arthur Blythe and the Asian Anderson has been described by the
New York Times as "an excellent performer who carries the
more rought-and-tumble sounds of Dixieland Brass into experimental
territory." His quartet includes the seldom seen Japanese
pianist Fumio Itabashi. San Francisco pianist
Larry Vuckovich blends the Balkan folk music of his native
Yugoslavia with blues, bop and jazz. He co-leads a quintet with
enigmatic trumpeter Tom Harrell that features Latin-Jazz percussionist
PROGRAM WILL BE INTORDUCED BY SUZAN JENKINS. MS. JENKIINS IS
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AMERICA'S JAZZ HERITAGE PROGRAM
AT THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.