Episode 4, Hall Overton, Web Extras

Saturday, November 07, 2009

This web extra for episode 4, Hall Overton, features photographs from W. Eugene Smith and an interview excerpt from Loft regular Carman Moore.

The admiration and love for Hall Overton spills out of those who remember him: a portrait emerges of a brilliant, open-minded musician with a modest, self-effacing manner and an ever-present dangling cigarette. Overton taught countless students in the Loft, where he lived for a time, ignoring musical boundaries to teach both classical and jazz (the classical musicians appreciated his spontaneity; the jazz players admired his training and skill).  He also hosted symposia, arranged the impossible-to-arrange, preached the gospel of jazz on television and played pretty good jazz piano.

Photos: © 1957 - 1965, 2009 The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith
Audio: Jazz Loft audio clips courtesy Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Carman Moore

But I kept hearing music that I thought was somebody else’s and we couldn’t lay our fingers on who it was and it actually turned out that my brain had been composing. So he said: ‘you need to go study, or get a good doctor.’ So I decided to try the study thing first. And he said: ‘I’ve got just the guy for you. A guy called Hall Overton.


Dick Katz, Teddy Charles, Carman Moore, Hall Overton, Nancy Overton, Steve Reich and Alvin Singleton


Sara Fishko

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Comments [1]

Daniel Harris from Brooklyn, NY

I had the good fortune to study with Hall Overton at the Bennington Composers' Conference in 1967 for two weeks and met with him several times afterward in New York City. For two weeks at Bennington he helped me find a compositional voice that was neither the then concert music vogue of serial music, nor straight ahead jazz. His ability to easily slip between the straight academic classical world of Julliard and the Jazz loft has served me as an excellent model for leading the musical life I have enjoyed.

He was truly the model for those of us who embrace multiple musical traditions. A humble giant of a man who was an inspiration to many of us.

Thank you for the excellent program.

Daniel Harris

Nov. 22 2009 05:32 PM

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