Gary McFarland

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Gary McFarland (born October 23, 1933 in Los Angeles , † November 3, 1971 in New York City ) was an American composer , arranger and vibraphonist of modern jazz .

Live and act

Although he grew up in a musical family, Gary McFarland is self-taught on the vibraphone. In the 1960s he worked as a composer, arranger, etc. a. for the Bob Brookmeyer / Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band and in 1961 for Anita O'Day , for whom he produced the album All the Sad Young Men . During this time he recorded numerous albums for the record label Verve and Impulse! Records in which he attempted to record orchestral jazz with new arrangements. On his first album under his own name in 1963 he worked a. a. with Bill Evans , Phil Woods and Jim Halltogether; McFarland “was considered a highly talented newcomer on the New York jazz scene at the time. His specialty was interesting sound constructions that sounded fresh, new and fresh. "

He also played in the USA Orchestra and worked with Johnny Hodges , John Lewis and Stan Getz . In addition to his own recordings and his work as an arranger, he composed the soundtrack for the film Die Schwarze 13 . At the end of the 1960s, he no longer worked in the field of jazz and third stream , but more in the easy listening genre and in instrumental pop music, produced TV spots and recordings on his own label Skye Records , which he and his partners Gábor Szabó and Cal Tjader ran until his bankruptcy in 1970. He then worked as a writer and arranger in the film business.


On the afternoon of November 2, 1971, McFarland and journalist David Burnett visited 55 Bar in New York City. There both of them consumed drinks which apparently contained a lethal dose of methadone . McFarland suffered a heart attack immediately after consuming the drink and was pronounced dead a little later in New York's St. Vincent Hospital. Burnett also died within a few hours of the ingestion. It is still unclear whether McFarland and his companions were deliberately poisoned by third parties or whether they themselves accidentally overdosed the opioid . In the 2006 documentary This is Gary McFarland by Kristian St. Clair , a brother Gary McFarland argues that the American writer Mason Hoffenberg , who was present at the 55 Bar at the same time, put the poisoned drinks on McFarland and Burnett - as the 55 Bar was at the time However , if the time was firmly in the hands of the Mafia , it would have prevented a detailed investigation into the circumstances of the death.

Discography (selection)

  • The Gary McFarland Orchestra (1963, Verve Records ) with Bill Evans, Phil Woods, Jim Hall
  • Point Of Departure (1963, Impulse!)
  • Soft Samba (1964, Verve Records)
  • Tijuana Jazz (1965, Impulse! Records )
  • The In Sound (1965, Verve Records)
  • Profiles (1966, Impulse! Records)
  • Simpatico (1966, Impulse! Records) with Gábor Szabó
  • The October Suite (with Steve Kuhn ) (1967, Impulse! Records)
  • Does The Sun Really Shine On The Moon? (1968, Skye Records )
  • Scorpio And Other Signs (1968, Verve Records)
  • America The Beautiful: An Account Of Its Disappearance (1968, Skye Records)
  • Today (1969, Skye Records)
  • Butterscotch Rum (with Peter Smith) (1971, Buddah Records )
  • Requiem for Gary McFarland (1972, Cobblestone Records )
  • Eye Of The Devil (recorded 1966, released 2008, Phantom Sound & Vision)


Web links

References and comments

  1. ^ Gary McFarland - Biography. allmusic
  2. cit. after Petrik, p. 128
  3. also known under the title Eye Of The Devil
  4. Marci Reaven, Steven J. Zeitlin Hidden New York: A Guide to Places That Matter . P. 190 f.
  5. Portrait McFarland (AllAboutJazz) ( Memento of the original from October 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /