We Are the Levitts

We Are the Levitts

by Levitts


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One look at the front family photo of mom/pop and kids the Levitts could easily suggest, at face value, bubblegum, flower power music à la the Partridge Family or the Brady Bunch, circa the late '60s/early '70s. Don't judge this book by its wholesome cover, as this group of parents, brothers, and sisters play much more sophisticated and grown-up music than the teeny boppers of their generation. Jazz drummer Al Levitt and his wife/vocalist Stella Levitt were well known for their exploits with such jazz notables as Georgie Auld, Lionel Hampton, Stan Getz and many others, especially when Al lived in Paris in the '50s. Their talented children included 13-year-old guitarist Sean Levitt, 15-year-old drummer George Levitt, and 16-year-old vocalist Michelle Levitt, with four other siblings ranging in age from six to fourteen. Add a young pianist named Chick Corea, veteran bassist Teddy Kotick, saxophonist/flutist Pete Yellin, newly discovered baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber, and other friends of the Levitts. The combination of these players and singers produces music influenced by sunshine pop and Brazilian music, with some healthy bop tossed in for kicks. Stella Levitt is an outstanding singer reminiscent of Chris Connor, as she interprets ballad standards "Then Was Then" or "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," and she sings a new lyric over the familiar quick waltz mode of "My Favorite Things" on "Notes So High" with the famous sidemen. Cuber leads with the fleet Corea on the hard swinger "We're All Through" based on the changes of "Milestones." Clearly a fan of Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto, The Levitts do a great version of "O Amor en Paz" with Corea digging in while featuring Yellin's fine flute playing with the all stars, as well as the bossa nova tune "Springtime," sung in Portuguese by Stella Levitt. Bossa meets pop during "Candy" with a Beatles style reference to "peppermint skies," while "Fun City" brings the hippie music approach home, sung by Michelle Levitt in a mood parallel to "Watermelon Man." The children's chorus chimes in on the opener "The Saints of My City Are Children," while 11-year-old Teresa Levitt plays piano and sings on the totally cute, 35-second shortie "Once I Had a Little Duck." By stark contrast, the serious track "Departed Hymn" is a bluesy, recited tale by George Levitt, of two men who were killed in their prime of life. This is a delightful album, reflective of the time, progressive and diverse in many ways, and worth a revisit here, or as some sort of a reunion later in this life of this interesting musical family.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/11/2008
Label: Esp Disk Ltd.
UPC: 0825481010955
catalogNumber: 1095
Rank: 191963

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Levitts   Primary Artist
Ronnie Cuber   Baritone Saxophone
Eddie Shu   Harmonica
Pete Yellin   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Teddy Kotick   Bass,Electric Bass
Armando Anthony Corea   Piano,Cymbals,Bells,cowbell
Levitt   Drums
Don Heller   Vocals
Bob Leeman   Organ,Piano
Michele Levitt   Vocals
Miron Levitt   Vocals
Sean Levitt   Guitar,Bells
Stella Levitt   Vocals
Teresa Levitt   Piano,Vocals
Rennie Luber   Baritone Saxophone
Lou Orensteen   Flute
Larry Provost   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Evaline Steinbock   Cello
Lou Ornsteen   Flute
Larry Provost   Guitar,Bells
Sean Levitt   Guitar,Vocals,Bells
Robin Levitt   Spoken Word
Minou Levitt   Vocals
George Levitt   Drums,Tambourine,Spoken Word
Stella Levitt   Vocals

Technical Credits

Teddy Kotick   Composer
Onno Scholtze   Sound Effects,Engineer
Bob Leeman   Arranger
Stella Levitt   Composer
Sandra H. Stollman   Cover Photo
Larry Provost   Composer
Frank Lauria   Composer
Stella Levitt   Composer

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