Cecil M. Greaves – Piano
Bonnie Hartman – Cello
Pearcy Heath – Bass
Simon Karasick – Trombone
Samuel Krachmalnick – Piano/Conductor
Raymond Kunicki – Violin
Edmund Kurtz – Cello
Larry Laurenzano – Trumpet
Arnie Lawrence – Saxophone
David Raksin – Conductor
Jack Segal – Composer
Joseph M Stone – Piano
James W. Tyler, Jr. – Arranger
Charles E. Walton – Drums
Philip West – Oboe
Percy Heath, the Modern Jazz Quartet bassist, died on April 28. He had been an 802 member since 1950.
Mr. Heath grew up in Philadelphia. He played the violin as a child, taking up bass in his 20’s after serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
In 1947, Mr. Heath and his brother Jimmy, a saxophonist, moved to New York, to play in trumpeter Howard McGhee’s band. Three years later, both joined Dizzy Gillespie’s sextet. In 1952, Percy Heath became a member of the newly formed Modern Jazz Quartet, with pianist John Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, and drummer Kenny Clarke.
In 1955, Clarke was replaced with Connie Kay; otherwise, the group remained intact for more than 30 years. Performing Lewis’s elegant compositions and clad in tuxedos, the group helped to establish modern jazz as concert music.
The MJQ broke up in 1974 when Jackson tired of touring, and Mr. Heath began performing with the Heath Brothers, with Jimmy on saxophone and their brother Albert — known as “Tootie” — on drums. In 1981, MJQ reformed, performing regularly if less frequently. After the death of Connie Kay in 1994, Albert Heath joined the group; it stopped performing entirely in 1997 when Percy Heath announced that he would retire.
In the years since, Percy Heath performed occasionally with the Heath Brothers, but spent much of his time fishing. In 2004, he released “A Love Song,” his first and only recording as a leader.
In addition to his brothers Jimmy and Albert, Mr. Heath is survived by his wife June and sons Percy III, Jason and Stuart.
This obituary from Playbill Arts.
Simon Karasick, 94, a trombonist and an 802 member since 1935, died last Nov. 8.
Mr. Karasick earned a B.A. from Eastman where he was among the first students of famed trombone teacher Emory Remington.
Later, he performed with the New York Philharmonic, the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini, the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, the Ballet Russe and numerous Broadway shows.
He was asked to head the brass department at the Mannes School of Music by its founder, David Mannes. Working at Mannes College from the late 1930’s through the mid-1970’s Mr. Karasick established a reputation as one of the foremost experts on brass playing and brass repertoire. Later, he taught and conducted at SUNY (Stonybrook) and Queens College.
As a conductor, Mr. Karasick performed the first recording of a groundbreaking piece for brass ensemble, Herbert Haufrecht’s “Symphony for Brass and Timpani.” Haufrecht dedicated the piece to him.
He was honored in 1993 at the New York Brass Conference for his “outstanding contribution to the Arts and Music.” As part of the award ceremony, a group of his former students performed Haufrecht’s symphony under the direction of David Chamberlain.
Mr. Karasick is survived by his daughter Bette Ann Leventhal, son Stanley and five grandchildren.
Samuel Krachmalnick, 79, a pianist and conductor and an 802 member since 1949, died on April 1.
A St. Louis native, he earned a 1957 Tony Award nomination as musical director of Leonard Bernstein’s Broadway musical production of the French classic “Candide.”
He also worked on “Reuben, Reuben,” “Happy Town” and Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Saint of Bleecker Street.”
Through the years, Mr. Krachmalnick had stints as musical director of the American Ballet Theatre, the Boston Arts Festival, the Harkness Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera National Company. He was on the New York City Opera’s conducting staff.
In 1976, Mr. Krachmalnick joined UCLA’s music faculty, focusing on developing performers while directing concerts, operas and other musical productions of the UCLA Symphony and Opera Workshop. He retired in 1991.
Asked in 1978 about his switch from professional conducting to academia, Krachmalnick said he enjoyed teaching.
“It’s a joy to watch the students grow,” Krachmalnick told the Los Angeles Times. “They’re like plants you tend and water and worry over. So some of them don’t bloom; so some of them do. The percentages are pretty much the same as in the outside world.”
Krachmalnick attended Eastman and Juilliard. In 1954, he won the inaugural Koussevitzky Memorial Prize in conducting at Tanglewood, where he studied with Bernstein.
He is survived by his wife Gloria Lane and two children.
This obituary from the Associated Press.
Arnie Lawrence, 66, a saxophonist and music educator who helped found the New School jazz program, died on April 22.
Mr. Lawrence grew up in the Brownsville area of Brooklyn and was playing professionally in the Catskills at age 12. In the early 1960’s he worked in Los Angeles for two years, including a stint with Chico Hamilton’s band; he can be heard on one of Mr. Hamilton’s better-known albums, ‘‘The Dealer.’’
By 1963 he had returned to New York, working with Clark Terry, among others, and in 1967 joined the house band of Johnny Carson’s ‘‘Tonight’’ show as lead alto player. He stayed with the show until it moved to Los Angeles, in 1972. Later in the 1970’s he worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Liza Minnelli, and Blood, Sweat and Tears, and led two groups, Treasure Island and Children of All Ages.
But it was perhaps Mr. Lawrence’s career as an educator that made the biggest impact on the jazz world. He started in the mid-1970’s, with artist-in-residence jobs in Kentucky and Kansas. In 1986, he helped found the jazz and contemporary music program at the New School in Manhattan, and became a full-time faculty member. The program became known for an unorthodox, less academic approach, breaking down the walls of the institution to take the students out into the jazz scene in the city. He was a mentor to a generation of New York jazz musicians, including Brad Mehldau, Roy Hargrove and Larry Goldings.
In 1997 Mr. Lawrence moved to Israel, founding the International Center for Creative Music, Jerusalem. With some public support and his own savings, he attempted to bridge the Jewish and Arab worlds through jazz education, though he insisted that he was simply bringing musicians together and did not care what their backgrounds were.
The school was housed in a building offered by the Jerusalem municipality’s department of culture, but it was not accredited; it had no tuition, diplomas or age requirements, and the emphasis was less on music-theory instruction than on the cooperative experience.
Mr. Lawrence also promoted two charities working for peace and for the safety of children in conflict areas, God Bless the Child and Blues for Peace.
For a time, he ran a small club in Jerusalem called Arnie’s Jazz Underground, and before rising tensions made it impossible, he played with Jewish and Palestinian musicians at the Flamingo club in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Mr. Lawrence is survived by his wife Liza, sons Erik, Scott and Danny, daughters Marya and Jana, brother Howard and seven grandchildren.
The obituary from the New York Times.