The great jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader Horace Silver
has died at age 85
. [more inside]
has passed away
. A giant of Cuban music, he was a "big man whose music revealed a huge heart
." He famously worked with Nat King Cole, and also handed down his musical chops to son Chucho
, who would become one of the founding members of the band Irakere
. There are some videos inside the fold to allow us to celebrate Bebo and his music. [more inside]
"One day, in the early 1960's, Mongo Santamaria called up Herbie Hancock and asked him to sit in as a pianist with Mongo's band
, which was then performing at Club Cubano InterAmericano on Prospect Avenue, a popular Latin music spot. Herbie was reluctant to do it because he never played Latin before, but accepted the offer and was doing pretty well by the end of the first set. Then during intermission, Donald Byrd, who was there, asked Herbie to play his original composition "Watermelon Man
" for Mongo. When Herbie started doing this, Mongo's band, especially his huge percussion section, started joining in, and before you knew it the whole club was dancing. Mongo was so excited by what happened that he asked if he could record the song. He did, and it became his greatest hit
." [more inside]
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
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.
Jazz prodigy Austin Peralta has died.
Announcement and links to his music at Brainfeeder
. Peralta contributed to Flying Lotus' recent album Until the Quiet comes; on Twitter this morning Flying Lotus wrote "it kills me to type that we lost a member of our family, Austin Peralta. I don't really have the right words right now." From Fact
: "In his tragically short life, the California native had proved himself to be a fearsome and precocious talent. At 15 years old, Peralta was already touring the world with his own trio, and performing alongside legends like Chick Corea and Omar Hakim. Whilst still at high school, Peralta headed up ensembles featuring luminaries like Ron Carter and Buster Williams. He also released two LPs (2006′s Maiden Voyage and Mantra) in Japan before the age of 16." His entry on Wikipedia
. Tribute from Frank Ocean
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
), one of the great jazz drummers of our time, is dead at 80. [more inside]
Jazz piano great Sir George Shearing has died
at 91. [more inside]
Not just a singer,
but a songwriter
. Not just an actress
, but an activist
. Abbey Lincoln
helped to push the expectations that the jazz loving public had of jazz vocalists beyond the stereotype of sexy chanteuse delivering someone else's lyrics. From sexy and sultry (as in this clip from "The Girl Can't Help It"
) to quirky and passionate
to elegant and expressive
, Ms. Lincoln was a true original in every sense of the word. [more inside]
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]
founder of the Jazz Studies program at the Oberlin Conservatory, has passed away. [more inside]
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]
passed away last night. [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.
Hilton Ruiz is dead.
The wonderful pianist Hilton Ruiz
, who "had been in a coma since May 19, when he was found outside a French Quarter bar with severe head injuries," has died in a New Orleans hospital. He'd played with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Rahsaan Roland Kirk to Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Archie Shepp, and Clark Terry. Sad news, especially coming hard on the heels of the loss of Billy Preston
Things ain't what they used to be
. Blues, jazz, Cajun and country music great Clarence Gatemouth
at 81. Brown safely evacuated his home in Slidell, but was said to be broken hearted by the devastation wreaked by Katrina on his beloved Louisiana. Alligator bio
Basil Kirchin, 1927-2005
Who he? Kirchin began, aged 14, as a drummer in his father Ivor's jazz band. By the mid-1950s, he and his father were co-leading the most acclaimed jazz band in Britain. They backed Ruby Murray
(whose name lives on as cockney rhyming slang for curry), and the great Sarah Vaughan wouldn't tour the UK without them
; neither would Billy Eckstine. After disbanding the Kirchin band at the height of their fame, Basil set off around the world, a trip which ended disastrously, when Kirchin's tapes of his band's best moments (obsessively recorded, thanks to the fact that the Kirchin band was one of the first to travel with their own PA system) were accidentally dropped into Sydney Harbour. [more inside]
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.
) passed away last night. [ mi ]