January 11, 2007

Bagpiper jazz CD set produced by Case Western Reserve University music professor

Goldmark also produces new Tom and Jerry cartoon music set

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Daniel Goldmark

Two new limited edition CD sets—Rufus Harley-Courage: The Atlantic Recordings and Tom and Jerry & Tex Avery Too!—have the imprint of Case Western Reserve University's Daniel Goldmark.

Rufus Harley

The release of Rhino Handmade's collection of Harley's music completes a quest that Goldmark, an assistant professor of music at Case, started several years ago when he was a research editor at Rhino Records and discovered Harley's 1960s recordings for Atlantic Records in the studio's archives.

"Harley did amazing things with the bagpipes," said Goldmark, who wondered why more people didn't know about the artist and produced the set to bring back Harley's out-of-print music.

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Harley was put on the music map in 1966 with Atlantic Records' release of two albums—Bagpipe Blues and Scotch & Soul, which were followed by A Tribute to Courage in 1967 and King/Queens in 1970.

Goldmark had several opportunities to talk to the artist about his music career before his death at age 70 on August 1—and while the new set was in production. At the time, Harley told Goldmark that he sensed that bagpipe music was poised to make a comeback.

Harley, who was born in 1936, was a civil servant from Philadelphia. He started his career playing the saxophone and other wind instruments.

Goldmark said the artist had a desire to create a sound that the saxophone could not produce.

Harley found that sound in 1963 as he watched the bagpipers of the Canadian Black Watch regiment accompany President John F. Kennedy's casket to Arlington Cemetery.

Instead of paying the rent, Harley bought his own bagpipes and began producing a new experimental sound at the time in the 1960s when jazz greats such as John Coltrane, Roland Kirk, Eric Dolphy and Pharoah Sanders also took unique turns with their music.

He cut a demo record and gave it to Joel Dorn, a local Philadelphia D.J., who had just begun working for Atlantic Records and who convinced the recording studio to produce Harley's albums.

Goldmark said he was amazed at what Harley did with the bagpipes, considering the instrument's limited range and that it can play in only one key.

"Many people thought his bagpipe music was a gimmick, but it wasn't," said Goldmark.

Tom and Jerry

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Goldmark, who became a guru of cartoon music with his 2005 book, Tunes for 'Toons, produced and penned the liner notes for the new release of Scott Bradley's music that accompanied the cartoon cat and mouse antics of Tom and Jerry.

Tom and Jerry & Tex Avery Too! was produced by Screen Archives Entertainment and concentrates on Bradley's last years as a cartoon musician for MGM. The CD set includes nine surviving scores in stereo and 16 additional monaural cartoons taken from master tapings.

Music from 25 of the old-time favorite cartoons—including such hits as Pecos Pest and Dixieland Droopy—give the CD audience a chance to hear and listen to the music, void of the layers of visuals and sound effects.

For the Tom and Jerry cartoons, music played a major role since it lacked dialogue and was based primarily on the chase and fight dramas.

"When you strip away the other things, you understand how much time Bradley spent writing this music and how many musical references and jokes he wrote into a cartoon score that goes by really at lightning speed," said Goldmark, who has written extensively about how music sets the tone and drives the actions in cartoons. "Bradley's music is so crystal clear and provocative that you can listen to it and know what exactly what is happening in the cartoon."

Generally the cartoon watcher's subconscious brain is registering the fleeting nuances. The pure music on this recording makes that obvious, Goldmark said.

For more information contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, January 11, 2007 10:35 AM | News Topics: Arts & Entertainment, Authors, College of Arts and Sciences, HeadlinesMain, Provost Initiatives

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