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. Following his departure from St. Louis in 1938, Lookofsky joined the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini for a time while continuing to play jazz on the side. He continued his career as a classical symphony violinist later as concertmaster at ABC following Toscanini's retirement in 1954. Stringsville was Lookofsky's one major feature release. Aside from his classical and studio recording work, he was more often a contributing artist and/or arranger on other's albums.
Over the years, his many jazz collaborators included Quincy Jones, Jaco Pastorius, Sarah Vaughn, George Benson, and Freddie Hubbard. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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