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Harry Lookofsky

Harry Lookofsky was an American jazz violinist. He was also the father of keyboardist-songwriter Michael Brown, who most notably was a founding member of The Left Banke and Stories.

Harry Lookofsky was born in Paducah, Kentucky in 1913 and studied classical violin in St. Louis where he joined the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in the mid 1930s. An early admirer of Joe Venuti, Lookofsky eventually became recognized as one of the earliest accomplished bebop jazz violinists. His technique became particularly recognized on his album Stringsville (1958, Atlantic). Lookofsky was one of many early jazz violinists who occasionally played tenor violin, an instrument he cited for its similar tonal qualities to the tenor saxophone. Another relatively unknown unique characteristic about Lookofsky's playing is that the bebop solos on Stringsville were completely written out and arranged as opposed to improvised as most jazz musicians do. An accomplished studio musician, Lookofsky also experimented heavily with multitrack recording in order to produce a unique sound with several overlaid violin tracks meant to imitate the sound of a horn section in a big band orchestra.

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