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T Lavitz


David Loving

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No, sadly it wasn't a hoax. I was asked the thread be hidden at least until last night due to a family circumstance.

 

Jerry's thread was a nice memorial and should unhidden if possible.

 

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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T passed away in his sleep a few days ago. The cause of death was unknown.

 

T's mother was out of the country on a trip and T's brother made a decision not to ruin their mother's vacation and decided to tell her when she returned on Sunday. The family didn't want the news to spread anymore than possible before they could tell their mother.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Very sad news. I knew what this thread would say when it just had his name as the title, because that is always the way it is on the net. I love his playing and this is terrible. Caught the Dregs and SMB five years ago in Tempe, drove out there especially for the show as I had gigs and couldn't make the local ones.
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A couple of my favorites from the Dixie Dregs days.

 

[video:youtube]Z00EnPmQ6Gs

 

[video:youtube]5cK38NERcWI

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I was just mourning a friend and never realized that the family had not even completely dealt with the news. I felt horrible finding out that I was intruding on their privacy...

 

I met T at the U of M when I was playing piano in the 3rd level big band and he was in the sax section. He asked me what our piano teacher was like, and we bonded over our fledgling status on the lower rungs of the jazz department. I left after that year and later heard how T had blossomed into one of the stars of the school, and then later joined the Dregs, who had started as a "for credit" school ensemble...

 

T grew into one of the star players of the fusion/jazz-rock/whatever movement, blending his absorption of Jan Hammer synth soloing with a funky and country-fied vocabulary that drew from Chuck Leavell, McCoy Tyner, and many others.

 

While he never achieved that enduring star status, he influenced and inspired countless players, and he will surely be missed. I hope Keyboard Magazine considers doing a tribute to him.

 

RIP T.

 

Jerry Kovarsky

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I was at UM quite a few years later (late '80s), and T was one of the legends of the school by then, up there with Metheney and Hornsby. It was a comfort to think that even guys like him were once where I was, getting chewed out by the same teacher. (Jerry, did you study under Vince? There's a certain bond among those of us who got our balls busted by him.)
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I was just mourning a friend and never realized that the family had not even completely dealt with the news. I felt horrible finding out that I was intruding on their privacy...

 

I met T at the U of M when I was playing piano in the 3rd level big band and he was in the sax section. He asked me what our piano teacher was like, and we bonded over our fledgling status on the lower rungs of the jazz department. I left after that year and later heard how T had blossomed into one of the stars of the school, and then later joined the Dregs, who had started as a "for credit" school ensemble...

 

T grew into one of the star players of the fusion/jazz-rock/whatever movement, blending his absorption of Jan Hammer synth soloing with a funky and country-fied vocabulary that drew from Chuck Leavell, McCoy Tyner, and many others.

 

While he never achieved that enduring star status, he influenced and inspired countless players, and he will surely be missed. I hope Keyboard Magazine considers doing a tribute to him.

 

RIP T.

 

Jerry Kovarsky

 

Jerry, can you re-post all of the YT vids you had up before? It's time to celebrate the man's music.

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I've been a fan for years, since reading about him so much in Keyboard. Later I became a huge Steve Morse fan and that's how I started actually listening to T. I have several cuts from The Dregs' Bring Em Back Alive I listen to in the gym, and his playing on that stuff just blows me away every time. The bass piano on Assembly Line, and the piano solo on that song, the cool staccato synth notes on Road Expense, and fill in chords, the riffing and soloing of Cruise Control, I had it on last night while lifting weights Brilliant! . His work on Mountain Waltz from the Introduction is my favorite, and the only T licks I tried to learn.

 

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(Jerry, did you study under Vince? There's a certain bond among those of us who got our balls busted by him.)

 

Sure did, for my first year... I was actually 16, turning 17 at the time (got in a year early) and while I learned from him, it was an intense experience. Second year I switched to Ronny Miller, and he opened me up in a much more nurturing way...

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My T story:

Once rented him an A100 chop and 122 in the early '90's for a brief Dregs reunion tour. He came over my house and played the rig - was definitely showing off a little bit - in a good way.

Played the Dregs arrangement of Kashmir that they were doing on that tour.

Very affable, kind of absent minded guy - and obviously extremely talented - very sorry to hear of his passing.

 

Moog The One, VV 64 EP, Wurlies 200A 140 7300, Forte 7, Mojo 61, OB-6, Prophet 6, Polaris, Hammond A100, Farfisa VIP, ,Young Chang 6', Voyager, E7 Clav, Midiboard, Linnstrument, Seaboard
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This comes as very shocking and sad news. I had been talking to T in the past few weeks about doing some lessons and how-to's in the pages of Keyboard, and he was stoked to do it. Like many of us here, I grew up trying to cop his solos from Dregs albums, and sponged up his columns in Keyboard religiously.

 

RIP, T. The Keyboard community will always miss you.

 

 

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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I listened to the Dregs back in the late 80s. Not too long ago, I posted a T. Lavitz thread. Now, he's gone. He was a bad mofo. D*mn. RIP Mr. Lavitz. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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