Hank Levy

Hank Levy was a saxophone player and briefly played baritone saxophone for Stan Kenton, but he was most known for his composing and arranging, specifically in odd time signatures. His interest in odd meters pre-dated Dave Brubeck's Time Out album https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Levy The 2014 jazz film Whiplash takes its title from Levy's composition which originally appeared on the 1973 album Soaring by Don Ellis and portions of which are played throughout the course of the film.

He became interested in odd meters through their use by such composers as Paul Hindemith, Maurice Ravel, and Igor Stravinsky

He was also a particularly good composer of counterpoint, which can be heard in such compositions as "Passacaglia and Fugue" (recorded by Don Ellis on Live At Monterey) and Quintessence (performed, but not recorded by, Stan Kenton).

He was especially fond of the music of the stage as it came through bebop: Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern

Selected works with odd time signatures (see list)

While Levy was director in 1975, the Towson State Jazz Ensemble recorded 2 + 2 = 5, an album of six of his compositions for Music Minus One.

selected anthology of songs

he has a legacy band, but they haven't recorded anything?

  • I resorted to buying the Army band Levy album, recorded 1997.
  • (original recordings by other big bands sound even more dated)
  • the Towson band recorded a number of albums with him, but none are available to buy digitally. But many are uploaded to youtube.

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