John Levy (1912-2012) - JazzWax

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January 23, 2012


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Fran Morris Rosman

Thank you Marc - a lovely tribute to a truly wonderful man. He will be deeply missed.


R.I.P. John Levy, the string bass man wo would never leave you in the lurch, never ever.

The proof for his reliability, and musicality are the many various bands, listed by Marc, where he was plucking his A-one bass.

He had such a percussive power that you wouldn't even need a drummer to get highly swinging results.

Doug Ramsey (Rifftides) has posted another excellent example for John Levy's driving bass playing in George Shearing's Quintet:

It's a Japanese subtitled "Move":

They both, Denzil Best and John Levy, they were a very tight unit.

Listened to Stuff Smith's "Humoresque" some minutes ago. You can't just sit still, and listen, you have to ... MOVE, or at least snap your fingers on 2 & 4 :)

Michael Levy

As John's only surviving son, I truly appreciate all the kind and heartfelt comments concerning his life in the Music business. Music and the business of music was his life. I believe as a musician turned manager he had an innate ability to relate to the artist he represented. I worked with my Dad for a number of years after leaving Associated Booking as an agent. I truly miss him and now having a son who is in the music business (Director of Artist Publisher relations for BMI) the legacy lives on.

Thank you again

Mike Levy

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of Calif. Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax was named the 2015 "Blog of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association.
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