RIP: Monty Stark of Stark Reality

From Stones Throw:

News comes today that Monty Stark of Stark Reality passed away in the early evening of Thanksgiving, November 26, 2009. Friend Dennis Sexton wrote, “Monty courageously battled Cancer on his own terms, seeking not to endure the pain of the usual therapy, but went his own way at Hospice of the Valley in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he lived out his last several weeks.”

Monty's group Stark Reality - with John Abercrombie, Phil Morrison, and Vinnie Johnson - released the 1970 album The Stark Reality Discovers Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop, a brilliant jazz/funk/psychedelic-rock fusion reinvention of 50's children music by songwriter Hoagy Carmichael.

Much could be said about the power of this rare record to inspire a diverse range of musicians, collectors, hip-hop producers and casual listeners over the years - but it might be summed up by Hoagy Carmichael's own reaction, from the album's original liner notes:

“This is children’s music!?…I say, ‘Stark mad,’” Carmichael wrote. “Monty’s voice?...somewhere between the filings on the edge of a pie pan, and the singing of a guru during one of his most exalted moments.”

- Monty Stark official website

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