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Video Review: Larry Logan
Celebrating His 50th Anniversary in Show Business

Larry Logan, harmonica
Robert Hunt, piano
Tony Cutrera, Bass
Tonio Cutrera, Drums


Part 1: Night and Day -- Cole Porter
The Entertainer -- Scott Joplin
Always -- Irving Berlin
Paris Medley -- Vernon Duke, Oscar Hammerstein, Jerome Kern, Louis Guy

Part 2: Sophisticated Lady -- Duke Ellington
Medley -- George Gershwin
I've Got You Under My Skin -- Cole Porter
My Fair Lady Medley -- Fredrick Loewe

Part 3: Medley -- Andrew Lloyd Webber (piano solo)

Part 4: Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1 -- Enesco
Clair de Lune -- Debussy
It Ain't Necessarily So -- George Gershwin
Summer Time -- Gershwin
Rhapsody in Blue -- Gershwin
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes -- Jerome Kern
Danny Boy -- Traditional

total time: 1 hour 44 minutes
released: 2000
review date: September 2000

label: Self produced
Order from: Larry Logan
2300 RR 2828
Bandera, TX 78003
Phone: 830-589-2693

Review by Henry Doktorski:

Larry Logan is one of a handful of harmonica players who have elevated the instrument to the concert stage; in fact, according to the liner notes, he was the third person in the world to appear as a harmonica soloist with a major symphony orchestra. This occurred in the early 1950s when he played Enesco's Roumanian Rhapsody with the Saint Louis Symphony. Since then, Logan has performed with orchestras in Washington DC, Birmingham, Manila, Singapore, Tokyo, Shreveport, San Juan, Nashville, Kingsport, New Orleans and San Antonio. He has also worked with a stunning array of legendary names in show business, including Bob Hope, Rudy Vallee, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante, Gizele MacKenzie, Lisa Kirk, Cab Calloway, Mickey Rooney and others.

This video features Logan's 50th Anniversary In Show Biz concert, which took place in his home town of Lafayette, Louisiana, at the Heymann Performing Arts Center on June 30, 1999. In parts one and two he is accompanied by piano, bass and drums, and in part four he is accompanied only by piano. Logan intersperses his performances with characteristically understated humorous stories and jokes, some based on his Irish background. I was especially impressed with the pianistic skills of Robert Hunt, friend of Logan's and conductor of the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra (Texas).

On the other hand, I was less than impressed with some technical aspects, especially the microphone placement. Although Logan's custom-made sterling silver three-octave chromatic Hohner harmonica was clear, the drummer was inaudible. It was somewhat frustrating watching the drummer hit his cymbals without being able to hear any sound! Sometimes the piano was too loud, even causing distortion at times.

The camera work was satisfactory, although unimaginative. There were at least two cameras involved to create more interest, but the resolution lacked the sharpness of an industrial quality video recorder. Occasionally the image would bounce, as if the camera was accidentally bumped. In addition, Logan could have used a proofreader to check the notes for spelling errors, such as Oscar Hammerstien, three-octive harmonica, etc.

Yet despite these minor technical faults, I enjoyed the video. It provides a glimpse into the life of a professional harmonica player, a fine musician who has tried his entire life to elevate the status of the mouth organ from a folk or popular instrument to the higher echelons of a classical instrument. The historical aspect of the film is also important; this is how Larry Logan made a living for fifty years -- entertaining audiences by playing harmonica and telling stories in night clubs and revues; supper clubs and cabarets. It provides an insightful view of a way of life that seems to have all but disappeared. Truthfully, only a handful of harmonica players can do what Larry Logan can do and I congratulate him for that.

All in all, I consider this a documentary video which I think will be appreciated by harmonica lovers everywhere.

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