A Tribute to Larry Nozero
“The Young Nozero plunged headlong into the creative ferment of the local jazz scene in 1964 as the tenor saxohonist with Charles Moore’s DC (for Detroit Contemporary) 5 housband at the off-beat Artists Workshop. Drafted into the Army next spring, Nozero spent the the following three years at Chicago’s Fort Sheriden.
…Larry’s recording credits include sessions with Diana Ross, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Spinners, Marvin Gaye (that’s Larry’s soprano sax on “What’s Goin’ On”), and countless others.”
–from John Sinclair’s original liner notes for Time, Strata records, 1975
THE POWER OF IDEAS
A Tribute to Larry Nozero
(1943 – 2005)
The mission of the Detroit Artists Workshop is to enrich the artistic life of Southeastern Michigan by encouraging creative innovation and appreciation of cultural heritage through public education. Throughout his career as a master musician and educator, Larry Nozero was at the forefront of many Detroit area musical projects, with consistent quality and innovation. His life demonstrates that people are community leaders by the power of their ideas. It is our belief that wider public exposure to the ideas in Nozero’s music will encourage many individuals, in present-day society, to bring forward their own innovations and creations.
Nozero’s musical career has a unique meaning for the Workshop. As a jazz saxophonist, he was present during its founding in 1964; the last two musical appearances of his life took place during the Workshop’s 40th anniversary in 2004. By destiny, these final concerts have become a special mandate, of Larry Nozero to us, to go forward and achieve our goals.
In 2005, the Detroit Artists Workshop celebrates the life of Larry Nozero by a series of concerts, symposiums and workshops in Southeastern Michigan, bringing to public attention the music he wrote, taught and advocated. Our initial offering is the Jobim Project, one of the last programs that Nozero produced and performed in. Larry writes:
“It has been said that Antonio Carlos Jobim was the George Gershwin of Brazil, and there is a solid ring of truth to that, for both contributed large bodies of songs to the jazz repertoire, both expanded their reach into the concert hall, and both tend to symbolize their countries in the eyes of the world…Even if they can’t name him right away as the composer, just about everybody knows some of the music of Jobim. His beautiful melodies have become part of the standard song repertoire throughout the rest of the world…I take great pleasure in presenting this project.”
In its current version, the Jobim Project will include as guest, Richard Margitza, nationally-known jazz artist and Larry Nozero student, who will perform Larry’s parts (alto and sopranino saxophones, clarinet, flute and piccolo). The remaining band members are: Shahida Narullah (vocals), Don Swindell (trumpet and flugelhorn), Tadd Weed (piano), Dale Griza (piano and keyboards), Sven Anderson (piano and keyboards), Dan Jordan (bass), Robert Tye (guitar), Kenneth “Spider Web” Rice (drums) and Mahindi Masai (percussion).
We look forward to this wonderful blend of Brazilian song and American jazz.
photo of Larry Nozero by Brita Brookes (taken at Detroit Institute of Arts, November 5, 2004)
Source: Press release by James Semark, 2005, Note: the Larry Nozero Tribute never took place following the wishes of his family but the outline of that event is included here to honor the memory and musical brilliance of Larry Nozero.
Time is a dream- like mix of mood, an album full of range, tempo, and feeling; from the impulsive and airy rendition of the jazz standard “All the Things you Are” to the brooding melancholia of “Tony,” Nozero’s Time is destined to become known among aficionados as a classic of 1970s jazz. Like time itself, each song is open to individual interpretation – something Nozero himself confessed to on the album’s original liner notes, saying “It got so deep that we decided to call the group and our album after that concept of TIME, because it seemed to mean something to just about everyone.”
Working with his cousin and collaborator Dennis Tini, Time is unlike many albums of the era in that it truly feels like a work fueled by freewheeling expressionism. The pieces are funky, soulful, strange and soothing all at once. Tini’s stand-out contribution to the album is “Tune for L.N.”, a funk-fueled piece of rhythm-centric jazz. A distinguishing feature of the album is the use of wordless vocalise. The scat work on part two of “Chronicle Of The Murdered House” adds a distinct counterpoint to Nozero’s reedwork, while the high pitch bebop of “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” closes out the album with a carefree and buoyant groove.Working with his cousin and collaborator Dennis Tini, Time is unlike many albums of the era in that it truly feels like a work fueled by freewheeling expressionism. The pieces are funky, soulful, strange and soothing all at once. Tini’s stand-out contribution to the album is “Tune for L.N.”, a funk-fueled piece of rhythm-centric jazz. A distinguishing feature of the album is the use of wordless vocalise. The scat work on part two of “Chronicle Of The Murdered House” adds a distinct counterpoint to Nozero’s reedwork, while the high pitch bebop of “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” closes out the album with a carefree and buoyant groove. –Source: 180 Proof