"Toots" Thielemans died in his sleep in Brussels on Monday, August 22, 2016. He was 94. [more inside]
Charlie Haden, one of the most influential jazz musicians of our time, is going home Here is Charlie, singing the old ballad Wayfaring Stranger - a fitting song for this occasion. Previously (somewhat repetitive, for background [more inside]
Today was marked by the passing of the venerable Yusef Lateef. Perhaps best known for his Eastern Sounds, he notably played with the Cannonball Adderly sextet. A largish (89 song) youtube playlist.
The jazz guitarist Jim Hall died yesterday. The New York Times reports:
Jim Hall, a jazz guitarist who for more than 50 years was admired by critics, aficionados and especially his fellow musicians for his impeccable technique and the warmth and subtlety of his playing, died on Tuesday at his home in Greenwich Village. He was 83.[more inside]
Jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller is gone too soon at 57. His music lives on, including this streaming NPR recording of the Mulgrew Miller Trio live at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club.
The poet Jayne Cortez passed away this past December 28th in New York City (New York Times obituary). She started publishing her poems in the late 1960s and in the 70s began performing her poetry backed by music, first in collaboration with bassist Richard Davis, and then backed by her own band The Firespitters. Some of their tracks have found their way to YouTube: I See Chano Pozo, If the Drum Is a Woman, There It Is, Maintain Control & Economic Love Song I, Everybody Wants to Be Somebody, Takin' the Blues Back Home, Talk to Me (for Don Cherry), I've Been Searching, You Can Be and Endangered Species List Blues. Just two years ago she performed solo with her son by Ornette Coleman, drummer Denardo Coleman: Find Your Own Voice, I'm Gonna Shake and She Got He Got. In 1997 she was featured on University of California television network in the series Artists on the Cutting Edge where she read poems and discussed her work. Finally, here's a brief clip from the 1982 documentary Poetry in Motion, where she was interviewed.
I am devastated to read that jazz master and Kennedy Center honoree Dave Brubeck has died. His influence on jazz was wide and profound. His frequent collaborator and the composer of one of the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s best known tunes, “Take Five,” Paul Desmond, said of the sound of his alto sax, “"I think I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to sound like a dry martini." Brubeck was well-known for his use of differing time signatures, again referencing “Take Five” which was in 5/4 time and another example, “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” in 9/8 time. Desmond passed away in 2005, and Brubeck has left the earthly plain to join him in the Heavenly Jazz Band. RIP. (MLYT)
Pete Cosey dead at 68. Though he had a career as a session guitarist prior to and had some important appearances after, Cosey is most well known for his brief time playing with Miles Davis (1973 - 1975) during an era of Miles' that has at times confounded critics*. Cosey appeared on Get Up with It, Dark Magus, Agharta and Pangaea with Miles. [more inside]
The great pianist-arranger-composer Clare Fischer has died. Besides being a mean pianist who even Herbie Hancock called a huge influence, very few could claim the achievements of this man, who worked with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie, the Hi-Los and other jazzmen to Prince, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Paul McCartney, Prince, and so many more.
Paul Motian (wiki) (myspace) (allaboutjazz), one of the great jazz drummers of our time, is dead at 80. [more inside]
Harry Beckett RIP Jamaican born trumpeter and flugelhornist Harry Beckett was one of the most hard working and adaptable players in UK jazz, playing with everyone from Chris McGregor to Jack Bruce. He's heard to great effect on this too, which is probably where I first heard him. He wasn't averse to spot of free improvisation either. He'll be much missed.
Fred Anderson was a monster on the tenor sax. Fred Anderson was one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and his "home court," the Velvet Lounge, remains a place for Chicago creative musicians to find welcoming audience. Fred died June 24 in Chicago. A wake will take place from 5 to 6 PM this Tuesday (June 29) at Leak and Sons Funeral Chapel, 7838 S. Cottage Grove, followed immediately by Anderson’s Going Home service. [more inside]
I hear babies cry and I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than we'll know. And I think to myself: What a Wonderful World
You may not know who Israel "Brudda Iz" Kamakawiwoʻole was, but you're probably familiar with his medley of "Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World," which has been included on several movie soundtracks and used on television shows & commercials throughout the world.... [more inside]
Max Roach has passed at age 83. The famed drum innovator, composer and educator who came to prominence during the bebop era died last evening at age 83 at home in Manhattan. Known as the pioneer of a technically complex style that allowed for far greater improvisational texture, Max was one of the first drummers to step out from the role as mere timekeeper. His imprint on both the history of jazz and the history of music is indelible.
RIP Oscar Brown Jr. Truly one of the greats, a legendary singer, songwriter, playwright, poet and civil rights activist, the world of jazz has lost a major member of the family.
Is That All There Is? Goodbye Peggy Lee.