John LaPorta

At one point in time, John LaPorta looked like he was going to be one of the leading clarinetists in modern jazz. His cool tone and very advanced style (influenced by Lennie Tristano) seemed to be making him the Lee Konitz of the clarinet.

He had played with the big bands of Bob Chester (1942-1944) and Woody Herman (1944-1946), but more importantly, he recorded with Lennie Tristano in 1947. LaPorta studied with Tristano and six years later was part of the Jazz Composers' Workshop with Charles Mingus and Teo Macero, seeking to bring elements of classical music into jazz. The clarinetist recorded with Mingus in 1954 before the bassist changed directions and LaPorta led sessions for Debut, Fantasy, and Everest during 1954-1958. However, John LaPorta chose to pursue a career as a teacher (at the Manhattan School of Music and Berklee) and performed infrequently after his exodus to...

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John LaPorta Albums

4 records