Album Spotlight: Leonard Hochman’s Manhattan Morning (1996) featuring Kenny Barron, Victor Lewis, Harvie S, and Joe Locke

In 1996, bass clarinet and saxophone player Leonard Hochman released Manhattan Morning, an album featuring Kenny Barron on piano, Victor Lewis on drums, Joe Locke on vibraphone, and Harvie S on bass. Named as one of the top five CDs of the year by Jazz Times magazine, the tracks include “Greystone,” the title track, “Tynan Time,” “I Apologize,” “Cheese Cake,” “Dalarna,” “A Beautiful Friendship,” “Let Me,” “Take Your Time,” and “Dream Sequence.”

Leonard Hochman with Kenny Barron, Victor Lewis, Harvie Swartz and Joe Locke - Manhattan Morning (1995) Madison Road Productions reissue (1996) Jazzheads (JH-9495)

Leonard Hochman – Manhattan Morning (1996) Jazzheads

The Jazzheads CD (and now digital download) was recorded over two days in March 1995 at the Acoustic Recording studio in Brooklyn, New York, produced by Harvie S., who also played bass on the album. Nelson Brill at Stereo Review stated, “Hochman’s later recording in 1996, Manhattan Morning, is a consistently brilliant piece of work, showcasing the full range of Hochman’s talent as a musician, arranger and band leader.”

Leonard Hochman from the Manhattan Morning (1995) CD booklet

Leonard Hochman from the Manhattan Morning (1995) CD booklet

“Greystone,” the opening composition by Leonard Hochman featuring Kenny Barron on piano, Victor Lewis on drums, Joe Locke on vibraphone, and Harvie S on bass, is on YouTube:

The Jazz Times’ Bill Bennett said it best: “Leonard Hochman, where have you been?” The author continued, “This CD, Hochman’s second as a leader, reveals him as a thoughtful, often inspired soloist, leading an extraordinary ensemble through a set of well-made tunes-the better to support well-made solos from the quintet at hand.”

Unfortunately, “Greystone” appears to be the only track currently available online from this stellar release. This site still hopes more album cuts find their way onto the Internet in the future.

More Music from Leonard Hochman in the 1990s

Mitch Seidman - Ants In A Trance (1995), with Harvie Swartz, Leonard Hochman and Ella Lou Weiller reissue (2002) Brownstone Records

Mitch Seidman – Ants In A Trance (1996) Brownstone Recordings

“Passage of Three,” a track composed by guitarist-band leader Mitch Seidman and dedicated to the Jimmy Giuffre Trio that features Leonard Hochman on bass clarinet is at the jazzhistorydatabase.com website. The second track on Mitch Seidman’s Ants In A Trance album on Brownstone Recordings, it was also recorded in 1995 and released in 1996. Besides Hochman and Seidman, Harvie S plays bass and Ella Lou Weiler viola. “Passage of Three” is HERE.

Mitch Seidman, Harvie Swartz and Alan Dawson with Charlie Kohlhase and Leonard Hochman - Fretware (1994) Brownstone Recordings (BRCD 946)

Mitch Seidman – Fretware (1994) Brownstone Recordings

Harvie S and Leonard Hochman appeared together on four albums between 1994 and 1996, all produced or co-produced by the bassist. In 1994, they played on Mitch Seidman’s Fretware album released on CD by Massachusetts label Brownstone Recordings. Hochman plays on five cuts, joining drummer Alan Dawson, fellow saxman Charlie Kohlhase, guitarist Seidman, and Harvie S on bass.

Leonard Hochman featuring Eula Lawrence, Harvie Swartz, Alan Dawson, Chris Taylor, Ella Lou Weiler and Mitch Seidman - Until Tomorrow (1995) reissue (2002) Brownstone Recordings (BRCD 951)

Leonard Hochman – Until Tomorrow (1995) reissue (2002) Brownstone Recordings

In 1995, Leonard Hochman released Until Tomorrow, a Brownstone Recordings’ album featuring Alan Dawson on drums, Eula Lawrence on vocals. Mitch Seidman on guitar, Harvie S on bass, and Chris Taylor on piano. Recorded at PBS in Westwood, Massachusetts in April 1994, the CD opens with “The Dragon,” a composition by Leonard Hochman.

Leonard Hochman from the Manhattan Morning (1995) CD booklet

Leonard Hochman from the Manhattan Morning (1996) CD booklet

Leonard Hochman’s “The Dragon” with Alan Dawson on drums, Eula Lawrence on vocals, Mitch Seidman on guitar, Harvie S on bass, Chris Taylor on piano, and Hochman on bass clarinet is online:

Active In New York Jazz Scene Before Moving To Boston In 1957

Born in Philadelphia, Leonard Hochman was active in the New York jazz scene in the 1950s, honing his craft in theaters and night clubs while working with distinguished players and singers including Charlie Barnet, Tony Bennett, Kenny Clarke, Nat “King” Cole, Al Haig, Herbie Mann, Carmen MacRae, Sam Most, Frank Sinatra, Kai Winding, and Phil Woods, among others. In 1957, Hochman moved to Boston.

Hap Snow's Whirlwinds - "(Let's Have) A Party Tonight" (1960) Trans Radio demo

Hap Snow’s Whirlwinds – “(Let’s Have) A Party Tonight” (1960) Trans Radio demo

In 1960, Leonard Hochman first played with Hap Snow’s Whirlwinds, appearing on “Let’s Have A Party” and “Len’s Hassle,” two unreleased demos cut at Ace Recording Studios in Boston. Band founder Snow recalls the details: “It was the second trip to Ace [after recording the Fleetwood Records’ single “Banshee,” with “Bottoms Up,” the previous year] and I asked the owner of the studio to recommend a sax player. He said there was a part-time session player at Ace I should hear. He was right.”

The Let's Have A Party Sessions [Single]

Hap Snow’s Whirlwinds – “Len’s Hassle” (1960) Audiodisc demo

“Len’s Hassle,” an original instrumental by Leonard Hochman (also known as “Len Arnold” and “Lennie Hochman” in this time period) features a blazing sax by Hochman, joined by Art Bearon on piano and Hap Snow on guitar:

After the Ace recordings, Hap Snow asked Leonard Hochman to join the band. He agreed and ended up doing gigs with them on and off from 1960 to 1962 or so. Snow remembers: “He was the best sax player I ever heard. And a really nice guy, very quiet and dignified.” He added,“the members of the fraternity houses would go crazy when he played the sax lying on the floor, on his back. It was a real spectacle!”

The Prodigal Son Recorded in Providence, Rhode Island

Several years after leaving Hap Snow’s Whirlwinds, Leonard Hochman stopped performing and founded a successful instrument rental and and sales business, the Arnold Music Company. However, around 1966, Hochman did find time to join trombonist Phil Wilson, bassist George Moyer, and drummer Tony Sarni on their Prodigal Son: A Christian Worship Service in the Jazz Idiom album released on  Freeform Records.

Phil Wilson Quartet - Prodigal Son (1968) Freeform Records

Phil Wilson Quartet – Prodigal Son (1968) Freeform Records

In fact, the Phil Wilson Quartet began rehearsing in Hochman’s basement in Sharon, Massachusetts. They also performed live around the Boston area at venues including Lennie’s on the Turnpike in Peabody. Wilson recalls Prodigal Son was recorded “in the late fall of 1967 but it took nearly a year to put everything together.” This included having to write out the free form pieces of music in order to fulfill the legal requirements at the time.

Phil Wilson Quartet - Prodigal Son (1968) Freeform Records back

Phil Wilson Quartet – Prodigal Son (1968) Freeform Records back

Recorded at the historic Center Congregational Church in Providence, Rhode Island, the album features a unique interplay between the pastor, Ben Owens, who reads passages, and the quartet, which either provides musical commentary or extended free-form interpretations of the scripture. Unfortunately, this out of print LP is near-impossible to find these days.

Phil Wilson on trombone, Tony Sarni on drums, George Moyer on bass, Lennie Hochman on saxophone (photo from back cover of Prodigal Son)

Phil Wilson on trombone, Tony Sarni on drums, George Moyer on bass, Lennie Hochman on saxophone (photo from back cover of Prodigal Son)

Leonard Hochman retired from performing after recording the album, although when Phil Wilson joined the New England Conservatory of Music as chairman of the jazz division in 1974, Hochman enrolled as a student in two or three classes between 1974 and 1976, playing in several concerts. Wilson recalls that Hochman: “brought love and tremendous enthusiasm to the project.” Other than composing music for a Broadway play in 1976, Hochman focused on family and work until the early 90s, when he began appearing on stage again, culminating with his greatest success in 1996, Manhattan Morning.

2016 UPDATE

Four tracks from the Phil Wilson Quartet’s Prodigal Son, including “Prologue,” “A Song of Sorrow,” “A Song of Giving,” and “Epilogue” are now on SoundCloud:

More From The Players On Manhattan Morning

Joe Locke, Victor Lewis, Harvie Swartz, Leonard Hochman, and Kenny Barron from the Manhattan Morning (1995) CD booklet

Joe Locke, Victor Lewis, Harvie S, Leonard Hochman, and Kenny Barron from the Manhattan Morning (1996) CD booklet

Kenny Barron

Pianist Kenny Barron, currently on tour in the United States, has enjoyed a prolific performing and recording career that includes working with a long list of jazz luminaries from the early 1960s through 2014. The extensive recording output includes making five albums with the drummer from Manhattan Morning, Victor Lewis.

“A Night At The Gate” performance clip recorded at the Village Gate in New York City in 1976 features Kenny Barron on keyboards, Vic Juris on guitar, Eric Koss on sax, Terry Silverlight on drums, and Harvie S on bass:

In 1986, Kenny Barron’s What If? album featuring Cecil McBee, Victor Lewis, Wallace Roney, and John Stubblefield, was released. “Phantoms” is available online:

Barron also played with drummer Alan Dawson (who appeared on two albums with Leonard Hochman: Until Tomorrow and Fretware).

The Kenny Barron Trio performing “Autumn Leaves” live around 2012, with Bob Cranshaw on bass and Alan Dawson on drums, is here:

Victor Lewis

Drummer Victor Lewis has made dozens of albums as a sideman and as a leader including Urban Earth (1985) and Smart Moves (1986) with Manhattan Morning‘s bassist-producer Harvie S. and a series of five albums with drummer Kenny Barron: What If? (1986), Live at Fat Tuesdays (1988), Other Places (1993), Sambao (1992), and Quickstep (2001).

A live clip of Victor Lewis at the Berklee Percussion Festival 17 June 2014 featuring Laszlo Gardony on piano, Arnetta Johnson on trumpet, Ron Mahdi on bass, Marco Pignataro on saxophone, and band leader Lewis on drums is on YouTube:

Joe Locke

Vibraphonist Joe Locke has performed and recorded with a diverse mix of musicians, from The Beastie Boys and Ron Carter, to Dianne Reeves and Grover Washington, Jr.

In 2007, Locke joined the Geoffrey Keezer Group, with Terreon Gully on drums, Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar, Mike Pope on bass, Keezer on piano, and Locke on vibes, at Große Konzertscheue, part of the Jazz Baltica festival in Salzau, Germany.

A full set featuring “Van Gogh By Numbers,” “Honu,” “Fractured,” “Native Son,” “The King,” and “Miramar” is here:

In 2013, the Joe Locke Trio, featuring Jonathan Blake on drums, Lorin Cohen on bass, and Locke on vibes, performed “Just In Time,” a live clip which has been uploaded to the Internet:

Harvie S

Double-bassist and producer Harvie S has been making music since the early 1970s, including several projects with pianist-keyboard player Kenny Barron.

In 1986, Harvie S and Kenny Barron joined drummer Ben Riley on vocalist Shelia Jordan’s Body and Soul album.

Shelia Jordan’s “Baltimore Oriole” is here:

In 2004, Harvie S released Texas Rumba, his third Afro-Cuban album. Players include Scott Robert Avidon on saxophone, Daniel Kelly on piano, Gregory Rivkin on trumpet, Renato Thoms on congos, and Adam Weber on drums:

A video for “Blindside,” which is also available as a digital download, is on YouTube:

A live performance of Harvie S and Kenny Barron in concert recently uploaded to the Internet is here:

Hochman Recordings Sought

This website is actively seeking out unreleased concert recordings of Leonard Hochman to add to the five albums he is known to have worked on: Prodigal Son, Fretware, Until Tomorrow, Ants In A Trance, and Manhattan Morning. At this time it appears the only music online are the videos for “The Dragon” and “Greystone,” as well as audio files for “Passage of Three” and “The Dragon” at the Brownstone Recordings section of the jazzhistorydatabase.com website. Other than that, a pair of unreleased demos by Art Bearon, Leonard Hochman, and Hap Snow cut at Ace Recording Studios in Boston in 1960 are the only other Hochman recordings currently available.

Mitch Seidman, Harvie Swartz & Alan Dawson with Charlie Kohlhase & Leonard Hochman - Fretware (1994) Brownstone Recordings (BRCD 946) inside crop of Leonard Hochman

Leonard Hochman (photo crop from Fretware (1994) CD booklet)

The newly remastered audio files of Hap Snow’s Whirlwinds’ “(Let’s Have) A Party Tonight,” and “Len’s Hassle,” the first written by and featuring Snow on lead vocals and the latter an instrumental composed by Len Arnold (better known as Lennie Hochman or Leonard Hochman), with Art Bearon on piano and Hochman on saxophone, is on SoundCloud:

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