December • November • October • September • August • July
June • May • April • March • February • January
*died of complications from COVID-19
Claude Abadie • Bob Adams • William Algar • Miguel Algarín • Tony Allen • Norm Amadio • Joe Amoruso • Edward Anderson • Rob Anderson • Arlen Asher • Michel Aumont • Christian Azzi • Dick Bank • Lucien Barbarin • Bootsie Barnes* • Aldo Bassi • Scott Bassinson • Duke Belaire • Toni Belenguer • Betty Bennett • Overton Berry • Harold Betters • Mimi Blacker • Aldir Blanc* • Jean Blaton • Larry Bluth • Claude Bolling • Aad Bos • Lee Boswell-May • Allan Botschinsky • Bert Braud • JT Braxton • Percy Brice • Dominique Brigaud • Hervé Brisse • Phil Broadhurst • Stan Bronstein • Michael Brooks • Sandro Brugnolini • Jerry Bruno • John Bucher • Harold Budd* • Heinz Bühler • Don Burrows • James Butler • Jerry Byrd • Bobby Cairns* • Cándido Camero • Donna Caroll • Big Al Carson • Geoff Castle • Terri Castillo Chapin • Stéphane Chapuis • Daniel Chauvet • Christopher Cherney • Jon Christensen • Lyn Christie • Winicjusz Chróst • Jeff Clayton • Jimmy Cobb • Terry Coen • Michael Cogswell • Mark Colby • Freddy Cole • Richie Cole • Jacques Coursil • Stanley Cowell • Landon "Sonny" Cox • Peter Crawford • Stanley Crouch • Victor Cuica • Frank Cullen* • John Cumming • Othella Dallas • Wolfgang Dauner • Larry Davis • Eddy Davis* • Alice Day • Michel Decourrière • Heidi Lore Deleuil • Pierre Demaria • Gloria Denard • Angelo Di Loreto • Manu Dibango* • Peđa Đikanović • Vicky Down • Wray Downes • Karlheinz Drechsel* • Herb Drury • Debbie Duncan • David Ray Dunscombe • Cleveland Eaton • Peter Ecklund • Jay Edwards • Steve Eliovson • Henry Estrada • Miche Fambro • Kali Z. Fasteau • Paul Faulise • Macy Favor • Simon H. Fell • Romolo Ferri • Ian Finkel* • Chris Fletcher • Jan Forney • Marc Fosset • Hugh Fraser • Robin Frost • Cor Fuhler • Mitsuru Furuya • Eddie Gale • Jerzy Galiński • Karl Theodor Geier • Tom Gekler • Billy Georgette • Siggi Gerhard • Alessandro Giachero • Joey Giambra* • Lelio Giannetto* • Reinhard Giebel • Ron Gill • Ivry Gitlis • Milton Glaser • Andy Gonzalez • Victor Graham • Kurt Grämiger • Frank Grasso • Herman Green • Donald E. Greene • Janet Grice* • Jack Gridley • Henry Grimes* • Steve Grossman • Bob Gullotti • Onaje Allan Gumbs • Eugen Hahn • Pete Hamill • Molly Hammer • Samuel Hargress, Jr.* • Rich Harney • Dot Harris • Fritz Hartschuh • Gerry Hayes • Jimmy Heath • Mieko Hirota • Cliff Hoff • Olle Holmqvist* • Zuza Homem De Mello • David Horowitz* • Al Howard* • Arthur Hoyle • Eric Hudson • Ronnie Hughes • Emil Iliev* • Peter Ingram • Pedro Iturralde • Gertrude Jankejová • Bob Jenkins • Lillette Jenkins-Wisner • Allan Johnson • Reggie Johnson • Ronald Johnson • Mustafa Kandõralõ • Jyrki Kangas • Mory Kanté • Nikolai Kapustin • Ryō Kawasaki • Patrick Kelly • Bill Kenney • Jak Kilby • Frank Kimbrough • Peter King • Eddie Noble King, Jr. • Ronnie Kole • Toshinori Kondo • Lee Konitz* • Peter Krag • Mike Krepper • Peter Krijnen • Damir Kukuruzović* • Jack Kuncl* • Jeanie Lambe • Keith Lamotte • Dick Laurie* • Alex Layne* • Danny Leake • Julian Lee • Carol Leigh • Alain Lesire • Harold Lieberman • Benny Likumahuwa • Louis Lince • Ivar Lindell • Gösta Linderholm • Vincent Lionti* • Bernard Lockhart* • Giuseppi Logan* • Mike Longo* • Pat Longo* • Christopher Loudon • Donald E. McCaslin • Dave Mackay • Angel "Cachete" Maldonado • Johnny Mandel • Basie Mankge • Ray Mantilla • Ellis Marsalis* • Michaek Martello • Lance Martin • Peter Marxen • Steffen Mathes • Ron Mathewson* • Gilbert Matthews • Gene Maurice • Lyle Mays • Jenne Meinema • Jymie Merritt • Bob Mielke • Laurie Morgan • Ennio Morricone • Diane Moser • Alberto Naranjo • Don Nedobeck • Russ Neff* • Bob Neloms • Sterling Nelson • Helmut Nieberle • Lennie Niehaus • Bob Northern • Larry Novak • Dulce Nunes* • Hugh O'Connor • Bob Ojeda • Itaru Oki • Roy Okutani* • Gerri Oliver • Lou Pallo • Fernando Suárez Paz • Gary Peacock • Marc Peillon • Jacques Pellen* • Krzysztof Penderecki • Marcelo Peralta* • Dulcilando Pereira • Charli Persip • Jim Petrie • Gert Pfankuch • Ronald Pikielek • Eva Pilarová • Bob Pilsbury • Bucky Pizzarelli* • Lloyd Poissenot • Joe Porcaro • Calder Prescott • Bob Protzman • Bill Pursell* • Nadi Qamar* • Synnöve Rehnfors • Dieter Reith • Guy Remonko • Joe Rico • Lysa Dawn Robinson* • Claudio Roditi • Freddy Rodriguez* • Carlos "Cuco" Rojas • Tony Romandini • Wallace Roney* • Dave Roper* • Dick Rosenzweig • Annie Ross • Holli Ross • Harold Rubin • Ron Rubin • Ossi Rune • Bassam Saba* • Hans Salomon • Steve Sample, Sr. • Bernard Samuel • Herman Sandy • Gianni Sanjust • Jürgen Schadeberg • Buddha Scheidegger • Les Scher • Peter Schimke • Paul Schürnbrand • Joe Segal • Park Seong-Yeon • Mojmir Sepe • Paul Shelden* • Simeon Shterev • Gilbert Sigrist • Pierre Sim • Hal Singer • Donald Slattery • Bill Smith • Viola Smith • Duane Solem* • Maynard Solomon • Scott Steed • Dante Stephensen • Lorraine Stern • Christian Steulet • Ed Stoute • Buddy Sullivan • Ira Sullivan • Jack Surbeck • Duane Tatro • Richard Teitelbaum • Ace Tesone • Bubbha Thomas • Carei Thomas • Danny Ray Thompson • Frederick Tillis • Keith Tippett • Les Tomkins • Joe Torres • Donn Trenner • Howard Crompton Tweddle* • Mccoy Tyner • "Blue" Gene Tyranny • Georgia Urban • Leo Ursini • Louis Van Dijk • Sanne Van Hek • Marc Van Nus • Tony Vos • Bobby Ward • Vince Weber • Susan Weinert • Ruth Weiss • Don Weller • Peter Wertheimer • Ian Whitcomb • Al White • Andrew White • Chip White • Gary Wiggins • Joan Wildman • Hal Willner* • Wim Winsemius • Ernest Wolfle • Otto Wolters • Helen Jones Woods* • Eugene Wright • Stan Wright • Jürgen Wuchner • Ed Xiques* • Tony Zamora • William Zickos • Dave Zoller • Barry Zweig
Frank Kimbrough (November 2nd, 1956 - December 30th, 2020) The pianist gained fame as a member of the Jazz Composers Collective (JCC) in the early ‘90s, had over a dozen leader releases since the late ‘80s on Mapleshade, Igmod, OmniTone, Soul Note, Palmetto, ScienSonic, Newvelle, Pirouet and, most recently, Sunnyside (the six-CD set Monk’s Dreams: The Complete Compositions Of Thelonious Sphere Monk), a 25-year tenure in the Maria Schneider Orchestra (appearing on seven albums, including 2020’s Data Lords on ArtistShare), work with the JCC’s Herbie Nichols Project and fellow JCCers such as Ted Nash, Ben Allison, Ron Horton and Michael Blake, a long partnership with Joe Locke, sideman credits with Igor Butman, Rich Perry, Kendra Shank, Maryanne De Prophetis, Katie Bull, Noah Preminger, Patrick Cornelius, John Menegon, Jay Anderson and others and a teaching position at Juilliard since 2008. Kimbrough died December 30th at 64.
Eugene Wright (May 29th, 1923 - December 30th, 2020) The bassist was the last survivor of the classic Dave Brubeck Quartet, playing with the pianist from 1958-67 and appearing on Jazz Impressions Of Eurasia, Time Out, Brubeck A La Mode, Countdown: Time In Outer Space, At Carnegie Hall, Jazz Impressions Of Japan, Time Changes, Bravo! Brubeck! and several other LPs, to go along with dozens of other credits in the bands of Leo Parker, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Arnett Cobb, Kenny Drew, Buddy DeFranco, Gerald Wiggins, Cal Tjader, Buddy Collette, Red Norvo, Paul Desmond and Monty Alexander, plus early leader work while still in Chicago with a band featuring a young Sun Ra as Musical Director and a 1962 date for Philips recorded in New Zealand, finishing up his career as head of the jazz department at the University of Cincinnati and leading the International Society of Bassists. Wright died December 30th at 97.
Claude Bolling (April 10th, 1930 - December 29th, 2020) The French pianist and recipient of his country’s Officer of the Legion of Honor and Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters backed Mezz Mezzrow, Lionel Hampton, Albert Nicholas and other Americans in early ‘50s Paris and made his own albums from the mid ‘40s onward for numerous labels (his most famous album, a 1975 collaboration with Jean-Pierre Rampal, Suite For Flute And Jazz Piano, came on Columbia Masterworks): MPF, EMI-Pathé, CAM, CBS, Disques Adès, CBS, Milan, Naxos and Frémeaux & Associés, many of which were soundtracks for the over 100 films for which he composed the scores. Bolling died December 29th at 90.
Gösta Linderholm (June 22nd, 1941 - December 29th, 2020) The Swedish vocalist/clarinetist was part of his country’s Dixieland and trad jazz scenes, both as part of the Jazz Doctors in the ‘50s-60s and the Sveriges Jazzband in the ‘70s and as leader, releasing albums on Metronome, Scranta and Blå Ton since the mid ‘70s. Linderholm died December 29th at 79.
Victor Cuica (April 19th, 1949 - December 26th, 2020) The Venezuelan saxophonist/flutist (and actor) worked with Chucho Sanoja and Óscar d’León, led his own groups from the late ‘70s onward, releasing albums on Columbia, Kandra, Obese-Pacanins and CrioJazz, and guested live with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Lionel Hampton. Cuica died December 26th at 71.
Eugen Hahn (November 25th, 1941 - December 22nd, 2020) The German electric bassist was in Klaus Lenz Modern Soul Big Band in the ‘70s and contributed photographs to releases by Klaus Ignatzek and Peter Kowald but made his biggest mark in jazz running the Jazzkeller Frankfurt for three decades.. Hahn died December 22nd at 79.
Debbie Duncan (August 7th, 1951 - December 18th, 2020) The vocalist/Minneapolis stalwart recorded with Jimmy McGriff, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble, Oleta Adams, The Girls, and Aaron Keith Stewart along with albums as a leader since the mid ‘90s on Igmod, Danti and FS Music. Duncan died December 18th at 69.
Jeff Clayton (February 16th, 1954 - December 17th, 2020) The reed and wind player was part of a notable jazz family (bassist brother John and pianist nephew Gerald) and worked with Patrice Rushen, Norman Connors, Creative Arts Ensemble, Henry Butler, Ray Brown, Gene Harris, Ruth Brown, John Pizzarelli, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Diana Krall and Kenny Burrell, plus myriad pop artists, and released albums with his brother on Concord, Capri, Lake Street, Qwest, Fable, Verve, MCG, Telarc, ArtistShare, Capitol and Blue Note. Clayton died December 17th at 66.
Stanley Cowell (May 5th, 1941 - December 17th, 2020) The pianist and professor at Mason Gross School of the Arts of Rutgers University began his recording career in 1966, appearing on albums by Marion Brown, Max Roach, Gary Bartz, Jack DeJohnette and, most significantly Charles Tolliver’s The Ringer (Polydor, 1969), the latter initiating a long partnership as players and co-founders of the Strata-East label, had his own releases for Polydor, Strata-East, Freedom, ECM, Trio, Galaxy, Concord, DIW, Vision Fugitive and SteepleChase, the latter for whom he would make over a dozen albums through the end of his life, and credits under Les McCann, Bobby Hutcherson, Oliver Nelson, The Heath Brothers, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Fortune, Clifford Jordan, John Gordon, Roy Haynes, Richard Davis, Barry Wallenstein and Arthur Blythe, Art Pepper, George Russell, Dick Griffin and Larry Coryell. Cowell died December 17th at 79.
Diane Moser (July 29th, 1957 - December 17th, 2020) The pianist/composer led a regular working big band since the late ‘90s and released recordings with groups of varying sizes for New Arts, Twin Rivers, CIMP, Planet Arts and Minus Zero, with collaborators including Mark Dresser, Hafez Modirzadeh, Ken Filiano and others. Moser died December 17th at 63.
Ed Xiques (October 9th, 1939 - December 4th, 2020) The saxophonist/flutist recorded with Steve Marcus, Melvin Sparks, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Bill Watrous, Frank Foster, McCoy Tyner, Rich Shemaria, Diane Moser, Joseph C. Phillips, Bill Warfield, Westchester Jazz Orchestra and others. Xiques died December 4th at 81 of complications from COVID-19.
Julian Lee (November 11th, 1923 - December 3rd, 2020) The New Zealander pianist worked both in Australia with Don Burrows, Johnny Nicol, Don Harper, Billy Fields and others and Los Angeles arranging for George Shearing, The Three Sounds, Harry Edison, Bud Shank, Chet Baker and more, also releasing a handful of albums as a leader or co-leader. Lee died December 3rd at 97.
Ron Mathewson (February 19th, 1944 - December 3rd, 2020) The Scottish bassist was active from the late ‘60s into the early Aughts, working both with Brits like Alex Welsh, Ray Russell, Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Scott, John Stevens, Stan Sulzmann, Charlie Watts and Mick Pyne and visiting Americans such as Bud Freeman, Wild Bill Davison, Earl Hines, Charles Tolliver, Philly Joe Jones, Phil Woods and Ray Nance, collaborating with Ray Warleigh, John Taylor, Gordon Beck and Daniel Humair, part of groups like the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Chitinous Ensemble, Nucleus, Gyroscope, Paz, Rollercoaster and, in 2020, had several of his archival tapes from the ‘60s-80s with Allan Holdsworth, Alan Cohen and others released on the Jazz In Britain label. Mathewson died December 3rd at 76 of complications from COVID-19.
Percy Brice (March 25th, 1923 - November 2020) The drummer worked with Billy Taylor, Benny Carter, Oscar Pettiford, Lucky Thompson, Sarah Vaughan, George Shearing, Barbara Lea, Kenny Burrell, Harry Belafonte, Carmen McRae, Ahmad Jamal, Bob Dorough, Mary Lou Williams, Dexter Gordon, Ray Rivera, Joe Battaglia and others. Brice died in November at 97.
Othella Dallas (September 26th, 1925 - November 28th, 2020) The dancer/singer’s (and half-sister to Frank Strozier) career as the former from the early ‘40s onward, both in the States and her adopted home of Basel, Switzerland, was interspersed with stints as the latter, performing with Sidney Bechet, Quincy Jones, Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington, the latter writing two tunes for her for the 1941 revue Jump for Joy then, decades later, releasing albums on Megaphone, Mons, Brambus and Yellow Tree Music. Dallas died November 28th at 95.
Allan Botschinsky (March 29th, 1940 - November 26th, 2020) The Danish trumpeter was a member of Denmark’s traditional jazz band Jazz Quintet ‘60 in the ‘60s and fusion supergroup Iron Office in the ‘70s and released several albums since the ‘60s on Danish Debut, RCA Victor, Storyville and M•A Music, the latter including an ‘80s duo with fellow Iron Officer Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, but was better known for his many credits under Ib Glindemann, Erik Moseholm, Bent Axen, Oscar Pettiford, Bjarne Rostvold, Sahib Shihab, Danish Radio Jazz Group, Bent Jaedig, Rune Gustafsson, Rolf Billberg, Dexter Gordon, Karin Krog, Peter Herbolzheimer, George Gruntz, Ernie Wilkins, Joe Haider, Barbara Dennerlein, European Jazz Ensemble and many others. Botschinsky died November 26th at 80.
Herman Green (1930 - November 26th, 2020) The saxophonist and Memphis stalwart worked in both the jazz and blues worlds, the former including Phineas, Jr. and Calvin Newborn in the ‘40s, Lionel Hampton’s Orchestra in the late ‘50s-early ‘60s, as a guest of the Memphis State University Jazz Band in the late ‘60s and participation in James Williams’ Memphis Convention in the ‘90s. Green died November 26th at 90.
Christian Azzi (December 1st, 1926 - November 21st, 2020). The French pianist released an album in 2003 in tribute to saxophonist/clarinetist Sidney Bechet, with whom he had worked some 50 years earlier during Bechet’s sojourn in Paris, appearing on albums for Vogue, Blue Note and Brunswick, to go along with recording credits under countryman Claude Luter’s Orchestra and Crescent City Jazz Band and expatriates such as Mezz Mezzrow and Don Byas during the same period and then, decades later with the High Society Jazz Band and Watergate Seven. Azzi died November 21st at 93.
Peter Ingram (November 14th, 1938 - November 21st, 2020) The British drummer spent his adult life in North Carolina as a scientific researcher but had a parallel career in jazz, operating the Frog & Nightgown and Café Déjà Vu clubs in Raleigh, co-founding the educational group Preservation Jazz Company and leading Group Sax, making a handful of albums, one featuring Sir Roland Hanna. Ingram died November 21st at 82.
Michael Brooks (November 15th, 1935 - November 20th, 2020) The British music historian, archivist and producer worked under John Hammond in the ‘70s, producing jazz reissues for CBS, and continued in that role as well as archivist for both CBS/Columbia and Sony Music since the mid ‘80s, winning six Grammy awards for his work, which included sets dedicated to Count Basie, Eddie Condon, Lester Young, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Benny Carter, Louis Armstrong, Red Norvo, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson, Jack Teagarden, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Gene Krupa, Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Erroll Garner, Charlie Christian, Earl Hines, Roy Eldridge and many other legendary figures. Brooks died November 20th at 85.
Kali Z. Fasteau (March 9th, 1947 - November 20th, 2020) The saxophonist, pianist, player of various world wind and reed instruments and percussionist first gained notice with The Sea Ensemble, a collaborative duet with husband/reedplayer Donald Rafael Garrett, which released its debut on ESP-Disk’, followed by a pair of later ‘70s albums for Red Records, and then worked as a leader, mostly for her own Flying Note label, the catalogue of which boasted over a dozen releases, and also a single album for CIMP, collaborating on those sessions with Noah Howard, Kidd Jordan, Bobby Few, William Parker, Warren Smith, Rashied Ali, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Cindy Blackman, Michael T.A. Thompson and others. Fasteau died November 20th at 73.
Eddie Noble King, Jr. (March 26th, 1937 - November 16th, 2020) The trombonist and New Orleans stalwart was a member of the Olympia Brass Band and Treme Brass Band, appearing on the HBO show Treme with the latter, and was a regular performer at Preservation Hall. King, Jr. died November 16th at 83.
Andrew White (September 6th, 1942 - November 11th, 2020) The saxophonist/bassoonist/oboist/French horn player never played with John Coltrane but was an acknowledged expert on the subject, publishing The Works of John Coltrane, Vols. 1 though 14: 701 transcriptions of John Coltrane’s Improvisations, to go along with dozens of albums of his own music since the ‘70s on his own Andrew’s Music imprint in a career that saw him leading The “J.F.K.” Quintet for two Riverside albums in the early ‘60s and having recording credits with Weather Report, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Hilton Felton, Beaver Harris and Julius Hemphill. White died November 11th at 78.
Dave Zoller (December 2nd, 1941 - November 9th, 2020) The pianist, composer and arranger had a handful of leader albums starting in the late ‘90s, the most recent being a self-released tribute to Thelonious Monk (plus some as-yet-unreleased sessions), performance and or/writing credits with Thom Mason, Pete Peterson, Genie Grant and Al Hirt and composing-arranging-teaching work for North Texas State University’s Lab Band during his many years as part of the program, mentoring three generations of alumni, and voluminous jingle work as an employee of TM Studios. Zoller died November 8th at 79.
Cándido Camero (April 22nd, 1921 - November 7th, 2020) The legendary Cuban percussionist was instrumental in the development of the conga and bongó as complex rhythmic and melodic instruments, both in the traditional music of his homeland and then, after moving to New York in 1946, as part of the nascent AfroCuban jazz movement alongside Dizzy Gillespie, Machito and others, going on to make dozens of albums from the mid ‘50s onward for ABC-Paramount, Roulette, Tico, Solid State, Blue Note, Polydor, Salsoul, Chesky and Latin Jazz USA, this to go along with hundreds of credits under and alongside Billy Taylor, Stan Kenton, Charlie Parker, Dinah Washington, Chico O’Farrill, Gillespie, Erroll Garner, Bennie Green, J.J. Johnson/Kai Winding, Ray Bryant, Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, George Shearing, Duke Ellington, Art Blakey, Ralph Sharon, Randy Weston, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Sonny Rollins, Tony Bennett, Wynton Kelly, Illinois Jacquet, Donald Byrd, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Tico All-Stars, Elvin Jones, Bobby Hutcherson, Buddy Rich, David Amram, Gerry Mulligan, John Shaw, Beaver Harris, Dexter Gordon, The Conga Kings, Toots Thielemans, Graciela, Bobby Sanabria and many many others. Camero died November 7th at 99.
Cliff Hoff (1927 - November 2nd, 2020) The saxophonist was a member of the orchestras of Glenn Miller, the Dorsey Brothers, Dick Meldonian, Ralph Flanagan and Gerry Mulligan/Bob Brookmeyer/Phil Sunkel in the ‘50s. Hoff died November 2nd at 93.
Pedro Iturralde (July 3rd, 1929 - November 1st, 2020) The Spanish saxophonist fused his country’s Flamenco tradition with jazz on albums since the ‘60s for Hispavox, SABA, CBS and other labels, one featuring a young Paco De Lucía, and also worked with Elia Fleta, Juan Carlos Calderon and a number of Spain’s folk, rock and funk acts. Iturralde died November 1st 91.
Marc Fosset (May 17th, 1949 - October 31st, 2020) The French guitarist was active since the late ‘70s, working with countrymen René Urtreger, Patrice Caratini, Michel de Villers, Stéphane Grappelli and others as well as expatriate Kenny Clarke. Fosset died October 31st at 71.
Nadi Qamar (July 6th, 1917 - October 21st, 2020) The noted pianist musicologist, composer, poet, educator and instrument builder (né Spaulding Givens) released two albums on Folkways, featuring his kalimba variant the Mama-Likembi, and recorded as a sideman with Andrew Hill, Nina Simone, Rufus Harley and Jo Grinage in the ‘60s-70s. Qamar died October 21st at 103 of complications from COVID-19.
Viola Smith (November 29th, 1912 - October 21st, 2020) The drummer was one of the pioneering female musicians during the brief period in the ‘40s when all-women big bands were popular, founding The Coquettes and playing in Phil Spitalny’s girl band (which appeared in a couple of Hollywood movies), later being a part of the Kit Kat Band, which was part of the ‘60s Broadway production of Cabaret. Smith died October 21st at 107.
Alessandro Giachero (January 19th, 1971 - October 20th, 2020) The Italian pianist had new millennium albums for Musicomania and Abeat and sideman credits with Silvia Bolognesi, Tiziana Ghiglioni, Marco Zanoli and William Parker and was a member of T.R.E. and Sonoria. Giachero died October 20th at 49.
Overton Berry (April 13th, 1936 - October 19th, 2020) The longtime Seattle-based pianist was Music Director for Peggy Lee and other performers for the 1962 World’s Fair and had albums for Jaro and C E, featuring such sidemen as Chuck Metcalf and Bill Kotick, as well as several self-released CDs in the new millennium. Berry died October 19th at 84.
Toshinori Kondo (December 15th, 1948 - October 17th, 2020) The Japanese trumpeter was active in his country’s and the international avant garde jazz scenes, first recording in 1976 in the bands of pianist Yosuke Yamashita (he had first played with him while still a student in 1970) and Evolution Ensemble Unity, a collaboration with reedplayer Mototeru Takagi, then making the first of myriad international connections the following year with participation on drummer Milford Graves’ Meditation Among Us (Kitty), followed over the next decade—after a move to New York—with a United Nations’ worth of work with Andrea Centazzo, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Eugene Chadbourne, Peter Kuhn, John Russell, Roger Turner, William Parker, Paul Lovens, Tristan Honsinger, Steve Beresford, the ICP and Globe Unity Orchestras and many others, a period which also had three significant career happenings: his first work with German reedplayer Peter Brötzmann (Alarm, FMP, 1981), with whom Kondo would continue to work in the latter’s Chicago Tentet and cooperative Die Like a Dog and Hairy Bones quartets well into the new millennium, an appearance on keyboard player Herbie Hancock’s 1984 Columbia album Sound-System, co-produced by Kondo’s longtime collaborator bassist Bill Laswell and the founding of his IMA band, which made nearly a dozen albums through 2018 for Polydor, Epic/Sony, Alfa, JARO Medien and Kondo’s own TK Recordings, the next 30 years seeing more collaborative albums with Laswell, Honsinger, Kowald, Chadbourne, John Zorn, Daunik Lazro, Borbetomagus, Han Bennink, Fred Anderson, Jim O’Rourke, Zeena Parkins, Henry Kaiser and others. Kondo died October 17th at 71.
Harold Betters (March 21st, 1928 - October 11th, 2020) The trombonist wrote tunes recorded by Woody Herman, Gerald Wilson and Ambros Seelos and had leader dates in the ‘60s for Gateway (including one co-led with fellow trombonist Slide Hampton), Reprise and his own Bettersound and H.B. Better died October 11th at 92.
Joe Rico (July 9th, 1924 - October 10th, 2020) The legendary Buffalo-based radio DJ and concert promoter was named DownBeat’s Top Jazz Disc Jockey of the Year and Billboard’s Top Jazz Personality in the United States and was honored by having jazz musicians write tunes for him: Stan Kenton’s “Jump for Joe”, Count Basie’s “Port of Rico”, Don Elliott’s “Rico Jico Joe”, Mike Vax’ “Joe’s Inn” and Louie Bellson’s “Buffalo Joe”. Rico died October 10th at 96.
Ace Tesone (June 5th, 1930 - October 9th, 2020) The longtime tailor also made people look good onstage as a bassist in the ‘50s-early ‘60s, working with Charlie Ventura, Jimmy Wisner, Norma Mendoza, Mel Tormé and Clifford Brown. Tesone died October 9th at 90.
Maynard Solomon (January 5th, 1930 - September 28th, 2020) The producer and co-founder of Vanguard Records with his brother was known for his classical releases and books on composers but his label did release albums in the ‘60s-70s by Buck Clayton, Bunky Green, Clark Terry, Larry Coryell, Elvin Jones, James Moody and Oregon. Solomon died September 28th at 90.
Hans Salomon (September 10th, 1933 - September 24th, 2020) The Austrian saxophonist was part of the 1958 Newport International Youth Band and went on to work with Friedrich Gulda, Erich Kleinschuster, Art Farmer, ORF-Big Band, Aladár Pege and others. Salomon died September 24th at 87.
Ira Sullivan (May 1st, 1931 - September 21st, 2020) The multi-instrumentalist (trumpet, flugelhorn and alto, soprano, tenor saxophones) and stalwart in his adopted home of Chicago of the ‘50s-70s was active since the mid ‘50s well into the new millennium, working with Red Rodney, Art Blakey, J.R. Monterose, Roland Kirk, Eddie Harris, Philly Joe Jones, Red Garland, Frank Catalano, Silvano Monasterios, Brad Goode, Bob Albanese, Mike Reed and others while releasing his own dates for ABC-Paramount, Delmark, Vee Jay, Horizon, Galaxy, Stash, Muse, Go Jazz and Origin. Sullivan died September 21st at 89.
Stanley Crouch (December 14th, 1945 - September 16th, 2020) The controversial jazz critic, scholar, NEA Jazz Master and MacArthur Genius (known as “Stanley The Crouch”) came up as a drummer in the Loft Jazz scene of ‘70s New York, recording with David Murray and Leo Smith, wrote liner notes for albums by the likes of Murray, Bobby Bradford, Rashied Ali, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Max Roach and Wynton Marsalis as well as critical books on jazz history (including a tome on Charlie Parker) and race issues in the US. Crouch died September 16th at 74.
Harold Lieberman (1931 - September 16th, 2020) The trumpeter had a pair of ‘60s recordings featuring himself overdubbed in duets or octets and was also a member of the Music Minus One Orchestra, the titular ensemble of the label, which made play-along records. Lieberman died September 16th at 89.
Reggie Johnson (December 13th, 1940 - September 11th, 2020) The bassist, long based in Europe, was a key figure in The New Thing in ‘60s New York, recording with Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, Giuseppi Logan, Valdo Williams, Alan Shorter and Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, plus, later, more straightahead credits with Booker Ervin, Bobby Hutcherson, Harold Land, Kenny Burrell, Sonny Stitt, Walter Bishop, Jr., Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Johnny Coles, Frank Wess, Mingus Dynasty, Tom Harrell, Robin Kenyatta, Steve Grossman and others. Johnson died September 11th at 79.
Gary Peacock (May 12th, 1935 - September 4th, 2020) The bassist's resumé since the mid ‘50s reads like a history of jazz with his first recordings coming during his army time stationed in Germany then, back on the West Coast, begininng his jazz career in earnest with Bud Shank, Carmell Jones, the Candoli brothers, Don Ellis, Clare Fischer, Barney Kessel and Prince Lasha and while based in New York later in the ‘60s under Gil Evans, Bill Evans, Lowell Davidson, Albert Ayler, Tony Williams, Paul Bley and even a stint with Miles Davis, making his first albums as a leader for CBS/Sony in the early '70s while in Japan and recording Tales Of Another for ECM in 1977, the first document of what would become the noted trio of himself, pianist Keith Jarrett and drummer Jack DeJohnette, active through 2014, and continuing to work with a starry array of players and release further albums for ECM (his final release was 2016’s Tangents), Postcards and Pirouet. Peacock died September 4th at 85.
Bill Pursell (June 9th, 1926 - September 3rd, 2020) The pianist was better known for his later work in country music but had early jazz albums for Columbia and a 1960 sideman credit under Hank Garland (alongside a 17-year-old Gary Burton). Pursell died September 3rd at 94 from complications of COVID-19.
Mark Colby (March 18th, 1949 - August 31st, 2020) The saxophonist had releases on Tappan Zee, Best, River North, Corridor and Hallway to go along with sideman credits under Dr. John, Maynard Ferguson, Bob James, Mongo Santamaria, Ramsey Lewis, Chuck Mangione, Frank Mantooth, Rob Parton and others, plus numerous pop and rock credits. Colby died August 31st at 71.
Jürgen Schadeberg (March 18th, 1931 - August 29th, 2020) The German photographer was a chronicler, upon his emigration to South Africa after World War II, of the fight against the Apartheid state by such figures as Nelson Mandela and also documented the country’s Black cultural scene for decades, including such performers as Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Dollar Brand and Jonas Gwanga for DRUM! magazine. Schadeberg died August 29th at 89.
Ronnie Kole (February 10th, 1931 - August 27th, 2020) The pianist was a New Orleans stalwart (though hailing from Chicago), playing that city’s traditional jazz on albums made for Mark, Paula and Viko and ones he self-released, plus presidents and popes. Kole died August 27th at 89.
Larry Bluth (1941 - August 26th, 2020) The pianist, part of the Lennie Tristano lineage, having studied with Tristano’s student Sal Mosca, made three records for Zinnia in the ‘90s, all trio dates with bassist Don Messina and drummer Bill Chattin, with another trio release posthumously released in 2022. Bluth died August 26th at 79.
Itaru Oki (September 10th, 1941 - August 25th, 2020) The Japanese trumpeter was active in his country’s avant garde scene since the late ‘60s, releasing albums on Jazz Creators, Toshiba, Trio, Nadje, Offbeat, FMP, Paddle Wheel, Volcanic, What’sNew, Ohrai, PJL, Art/Com, his own Fudebushow Kikaku, Improvising Beings and NoBusiness alongside work in the bands of Noel McGhie, Noah Howard, Alan Silva, Michel Pilz, François Tusques, Abdelhaï Bennani, Tchangodei, Linda Sharrock and others. Oki died August 25th at 78.
Peter King (August 11th, 1940 - August 23rd, 2020) The British saxophonist came up in the Johnny Dankworth and Tubby Hayes Orchestras of the early ‘60s, had credits with Georgie Fame, Quincy Jones, Maynard Ferguson, Stan Tracey, Philly Joe Jones, Mike Carr, Hal Singer, John Stevens, Charlie Watts, Guy Barker, Joe Temperley, George Coleman, Don Weller, Annie Ross, Duško Gojković and others plus his own dates for Spotlite, KPM, Miles Music, Ronnie Scott's Jazz House, Blue Silver and Bull's Head. King died August 23rd at 80.
Charli Persip (July 26th, 1929 - August 23rd, 2020) The drummer was active since the mid ‘50s with a discography numbering in the hundreds as a sideman yet still finding time to lead bands, getting his first real jazz job with Dizzy Gillespie in 1954, both in the trumpeter’s orchestra and smaller bands, then the Modern Jazz Sextet, Hal McKusick, Quincy Jones, Lee Morgan, Jimmy Cleveland, Joe Newman, Sonny Stitt, Benny Golson, Kenny Dorham, Candido, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Melba Liston, Jerome Richardson, Randy Weston, Dinah Washington, Gene Quill, George Russell, Curtis Fuller, Ernie Wilkins, Bob Brookmeyer, Leo Wright, Johnny Griffin, David “Fathead” Newman, Al Cohn, Red Garland, Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, Oliver Nelson, Cecil Payne, Don Ellis, Cannonball Adderley, Dizzy Reece, Roland Kirk, Mal Waldron, Ron Carter, Art Farmer, Milt Jackson, Kenny Burrell, Sonny Rollins, Bill Barron, Erroll Garner, George Benson, Archie Shepp, Albert Dailey, Frank Foster, Mary Osborne, Craig Harris, Sherman Irby, Makanda Ken McIntyre and many others while making several of his own dates for Liberty, Bethlehem, Stash and Soul Note and leading his Supersound Big Band for decades. Persip died August 23rd at 91.
Steve Sample, Sr. (1930 - August 22nd, 2020) The educator is best known for his arrangement of “Yea Alabama”, the fight song for the football team of the University of Alabama (where he worked for over three decades, helping to found the university’s jazz studies department and leading the concert and marching bands), plus directing the Stan Kenton Summer Jazz Band Camps and his book An Approach to Mainstream Jazz and Pop Harmony. Sample died August 22nd at 90.
Hal Singer (October 8th, 1919 - August 18th, 2020) The saxophonist had records for Savoy and Prestige in the ‘50s and, after a permanent move to Paris, dates for Black And Blue, Polydor, Futura, Le Chant Du Monde, The Sun, Pastoral, JSP, Carrere and other labels (some collaborations with folks like Milton Buckner and Manu Dibango), plus guest spots with Buck Clayton, Champion Jack Dupree, Jef Gilson, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Al Grey, Kippie Moeketsi, Philly Joe Jones and others in addition to a collaboration with Russian fellow saxophonist Vladimir Chekasin on the soundtrack to the 1990 film Taxi Blues, in which he also appeared. Singer died August 18th at 100.
Steve Grossman (January 18th, 1951 - August 13th, 2020) The prominent member of the post-John Coltrane class of white saxophonists worked with Miles Davis (1969-70, appearing on Big Fun, Jack Johnson, Black Beauty and Live Evil), Elvin Jones (1971-76, partnering with fellow/peer saxophonist Dave Liebman and appearing on Merry-Go-Round, Mr. Jones, Live at The Lighthouse, The Prime Element, Mr. Thunder, New Agenda and The Main Force), Terumasa Hino, Chick Corea, Teruo Nakamura, Stone Alliance, Dizzy Reece, Masabumi Kikuchi, Ray Mantilla, René Urtreger, Gil Evans, Johnny Griffin, Cedar Walton and others to go along with leader dates since the mid ‘70s on PM, Horo, Owl, Musica, Atlantic, Red, Sound Design, DIW, Timeless, Dreyfus and Musidisc. Grossman died August 13th at 69.
Joe Segal (April 24th, 1926 - August 10th, 2020) The promoter, Chicago jazz champion and 2015 NEA Jazz Master presented jazz in the Windy City starting in the late ‘40s at a variety of locales, from universities to hotels to clubs, including his Jazz Showcase, site of recordings by Ira Sullivan, Lou Donaldson, Gene Ammons/Dexter Gordon, Kenny Burrell, Sonny Stitt and others, and additionally wrote liner notes for local labels like Argo and Delmark. Segal died August 10th at 94.
Duane Tatro (May 18th, 1927 - August 9th, 2020) The composer was known for extensive television work in the ‘60s-80s but got his start with the 1954-55 Contemporary album Duane Tatro’s Jazz For Moderns, his music played by Stu Williamson, Joe Eager, Vincent DeRosa Lennie Niehaus, Bill Holman, Jimmy Giuffre, Bob Gordon, Ralph Pena and Shelly Manne, plus writing tunes recorded by Niehaus, Joe Maini, Red Norvo and Art Pepper. Tatro died August 9th at 93.
Chip White (December 21st, 1946 - August 5th, 2020) The drummer released his series of Dedications albums on his Dark Colors label between 2008-14 after working as a sideman since the ‘70s for James Moody, Enrico Rava, Igor Yahilevich, John Shaw, Claudio Roditi, Klaus Ignatzek, Houston Person, Claudio Roditi and Teddy Edwards, plus an earlier leader date Harlem Sunset (Postcards, 1994). White died August 5th at 75.
Larry Novak (May 18th, 1933 - August 2nd, 2020) The pianist (and father of drummer Gary) recorded with Joe Morello, Charlie Shavers, Louie Bellson, Terry Gibbs/Buddy DeFranco/Herb Ellis, Von Freeman/Frank Catalano and others to go along with a 2014 leader date for Delmark. Novak died August 2nd at 87.
Dave Mackay (March 24th, 1932 - July 30th, 2020) The pianist had releases on Impulse!, Studio 7 and Discovery between the late ‘60s-early ‘90s and sideman credits under Chet Baker, Kai Winding, Don Ellis, Emil Richards and Bill Henderson. Mackay died July 30th at 88.
Bob Neloms (March 2nd, 1942 - July 28th, 2020) The pianist had a self-released album in 1963 and another on India Navigation in 1982 plus work in the ‘70s-80s with Teruo Nakamura, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Mario Escalera, Dannie Richmond, Larry Nocella, James Newton and Allen Lowe. Neloms died July 28th at 78.
Helen Jones Woods (November 14th, 1923 - July 25th, 2020) The trombonist was an original member of the groundbreaking International Sweethearts of Rhythm, founded and led by her adopted father Dr. Laurence C. Jones, an integrated female band, which worked around the country in the ‘40s, often coming up against the racism endemic to the period (she can be heard on an eponymous compilation of recordings from 1945-46 released by Rosetta in 1984), but who quit music shortly after the group disbanded. Woods died July 25th at 96 of complications from COVID-19.
Mieko Hirota (February 5th, 1947 - July 21st, 2020) The Japanese popular vocalist had some jazz-based releases on Columbia, CBS-Sony, Crystal Bird and Top Music International, most notably a 1977 live recording from New York City backed by the Billy Taylor Trio. Hirota died July 21st at 73.
Annie Ross (July 25th, 1930 - July 21st, 2020) The vocalist (née Annabelle Short Lynch) was a child star in ‘40s Hollywood (continuing to act in film and TV from the mid ‘50s-mid ‘90s), returning to Europe (she was born in the UK) at 20 where she took up singing professionally, recording with Tony Crombie and Jack Diéval, then coming back to the US at the end of the ‘50s, making albums with Gerry Mulligan, Zoot Sims and Buddy Bregman, and in 1957 joining up with Dave Lambert and Jon Hendricks to form Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, active until 1962 (other singers took Ross’ spot until 1964) and releasing albums on ABC-Paramount, Roulette (a collaboration with Count Basie) and Columbia along with releasing on her own albums for Transatlantic, Ember, SABA, Fontana, Savoy, Prestige, Decca, DRG, Consolidated Artists Productions and other labels into the new millennium. Ross died July 21st at 89.
Cor Fuhler (July 3rd, 1964 - July 19th, 2020) The Dutch multi-instrumentalist improviser and sound artist collaborated with Palinckx, Maarten van Regteren Altena, Han Bennink, Wilbert De Joode, Michael Moore, Corkestra, Axel Dörner, Joost Buis, Otomo Yoshihide, Jaap Blonk, Simon Nabatov, Keith Rowe, Tony Buck, Jim O’Rourke, Misha Mengelberg, Mats Gustafsson, Splinter Orchestra, Tobias Delius and others and released over a dozen albums on Potlatch, Erstwhile and his own Conundrom imprint. Fuhler died July 19th at 56.
Donald E. McCaslin (December 13th, 1926 - July 16th, 2020) The pianist and vibraphonist founded Warmth, a ‘70s band that was a stalwart of the Santa Cruz jazz scene (and whose most famous alumnus is Russell Ferrante), and much later The Incredible Jazz Geezers and was a mentor to many local musicians, especially his accomplished saxophonist son Donny. McCaslin died July 16th at 93.
Eddie Gale (August 15th, 1941 - July 10th, 2020) The trumpeter had mid ‘60s credits under Sun Ra, Larry Young and Cecil Taylor but was better known for a pair of late '60s albums on Blue Note, rejoining the Sun Ra Arkestra in the late '70s and becoming active again as a leader in the '80s and beyond with albums on his own Roof Top, Mapleshade, Life Force, Edgetone, Black Beauty, Rivery Traxx and Sagittarius A-Star, plus new millennium guest spots with Forward Energy, Mushroom, Peter Kowald and hip-hop group The Coup. Gale died July 10th at 78.
Ennio Morricone (November 10th, 1928 - July 6th, 2020) The legendary Italian film composer’s music has been covered by Al Di Meola, Allen Toussaint, Astrud Gilberto, Bill Frisell, Bill Laswell, Charlie Haden, Chris Minh Doky, Enrico Pieranunzi (pianist on a number of his film scores), Eugene Chadbourne, George Mraz, Herbie Mann, Joe Locke, John Zorn, Johnny Hartman, Kyle Eastwood, Lalo Schifrin, Max Johnson, Noël Akchoté, Roberta Gambarini, The 3 Sounds, Willem Breuker Kollektief and others and he got his start as a jazz trumpeter and later was a founding member of the ‘60s-80s free improvising collective Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. Morricone died July 6th at 91.
Joe Porcaro (April 29th, 1930 - July 6th, 2020) The drummer was head of a musical family (keyboard player Steve, late bassist Mike and late drummer Jeff, all members of Toto, on whose hit “Africa” the elder Porcaro played marimba and percussion) and had numerous credits starting in the late ‘50s with Tommy Dorsey, Bobby Hackett, Mike Mainieri, Emil Richards, Don Ellis, Dave Mackay, Boots Randolph, Lalo Schifrin, Gerry Mulligan, Louie Bellson, John Klemmer, Gap Mangione, Stan Getz, Milt Jackson, Pete Christlieb, Larry Carlton and others to go along with myriad pop and rock jobs. Porcaro died July 6th at 90.
Cleveland Eaton (August 31st, 1939 - July 5th, 2020) The bassist’s own handful of albums veered more toward soul-jazz and jazz-funk, an outgrowth of his tenure in pianist Ramsey Lewis’ groups from 1964-74, and he also recorded under Bunky Green, Sonny Cox, John Klemmer, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Tee Carson, Count Basie and many more. Eaton died July 5th at 80.
Paul Faulise (April 25th, 1932 - July 5th, 2020) The trombonist was active from the ‘60s into the new millennium with hundreds of credits in big band recordings by Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderley, Oliver Nelson, Charles Mingus, Tony Bennett, Milt Jackson, Urbie Green, Quincy Jones, J.J. Johnson, Maynard Ferguson, Paul Desmond, Jimmy McGriff, Johnny Griffin, Don Sebesky, Tony Mottola, Mike Gibbs, Hank Crawford, Eddie Gale, Joe Farrell, Gato Barbieri, Stanley Turrentine, Bob James, John Pizzarelli and many others. Faulise died July 5th at 88.
Johnny Mandel (November 23rd, 1925 - June 29th, 2020) The composer had early credits as a trombonist with Buddy Rich, Charlie Ventura and Count Basie but is far better known for his tunes, performed by Basie, Chet Baker, Woody Herman, Quincy Jones, Rolf Ericson, Bill Perkins and others, the “Great Jazz Score” from the film I Want To Live! (with such players as Shelly Manne, Mel Lewis, Bill Holman, Frank Rosolino and more) and various pieces for movies that would become jazz standards, such as “Emily”, “Close Enough for Love” and “The Shadow of Your Smile”. Mandel died June 29th at 94.
Simon H. Fell (January 13th, 1959 - June 28th, 2020) The British bassist made dozens of improvised music albums for his own Bruce’s Fingers imprint since the mid ‘80s as well as dates released by Leo Lab, Discus, Red Toucan, Victo, Bo’Weavil and Confront to go along with credits with Alan Wilkinson, Paul Hession, Martin Archer, London Improvisers Orchestra, Company, Alex Ward, Milo Fine, Peter Brötzmann, Joe Morris, Phil Minton as well as the collaborative groups IST, Badland, VHF and Amere3. Fell died June 28th at 61.
Freddy Cole (October 15th, 1931 - June 27th, 2020) The pianist and vocalist (and member of a musical family with brothers Nat, Ike and Eddie and niece Natalie and nephew Lionel all professional musicians) began leading dates in the mid ‘60s for a variety of labels, then gained a higher profile with runs of albums for Fantasy (1994-99), Telarc (2000-2003) and, most prolifically, HighNote starting in 2005, the latter resulting in nearly a dozen albums. Cole died June 27th at 88.
Milton Glaser (June 26th, 1929 - June 26th, 2020) The graphic designer’s amorous feelings for The Big Apple were clear with his iconic I ❤ NY logo and founding of New York magazine but his early work had him creating album and poster art, which in the jazz world included ‘50s-60s designs for Tony Scott, Dave Brubeck, Charlie Byrd and Barry Miles. Glaser died June 26th at 91.
Jacques Coursil (March 31st, 1938 - June 25th, 2020) The French-Martiniquan trumpeter was active in The New Thing in mid ‘60s New York with credits under Sunny Murray and Frank Wright (plus an unissued ESP-Disk’ session) and back in his hometown of Paris at the end of the decade with Burton Greene and two leader releases for BYG-Actuel, then left a music career for decades to concentrate on teaching linguistic theory, returning in the new millennium with albums on Tzadik, Universal Music France, Sunnyside, RogueArt and, posthumously, SAVVY. Coursil died June 25th at 82.
Gilbert Matthews (September 28th, 1943 - June 25th, 2020) The South African drummer made his recording debut in 1969 with Chris Schilder, had mid to late ‘70s credits with Dollar Brand, Pat Matshikiza, Kippie Moketsi, Basil Coetzee and membership in Spirits Rejoice (not to be confused with fellow South African drummer Louis Moholo’s period project of the same name) then, after moving to Sweden in the late ‘70s, work under Christer Boustedt, Johnny Dyani, Anders Gahnold, Chris McGregor, John Tchicai and Roland Keijser, six albums with the cooperative Brus Trio and one 1994 date as a leader. Matthews died June 25th at 76.
Jerry Bruno (January 10th, 1920 - June 22nd, 2020) The bassist was active since the ‘50s, recording and performing with Dick Garcia, Al Caiola, Bucky and John Pizzarelli, Red Norvo, Dave Bennett, John Cutrone and others. Bruno died June 22nd at 100.
Hugh Fraser (October 26th, 1958 - June 17th, 2020) The Canadian trombonist had albums on CBC, Jazz Focus and Boathouse, membership in the Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation and credits under Kenny Wheeler, Graham Collier and Hard Rubber Orchestra. Fraser died June 17th at 62.
Pierre Sim (March 29th, 1929 - June 15th, 2020) The French bassist recorded with Django Reinhardt, Don Byas, The Golden Gate Quartet, Jef Gilson, Buck Clayton, Bill Coleman, Dany Doriz, Robert Viger and others. Sim died June 15th at 91.
Keith Tippett (August 25th, 1947 - June 14th, 2020) The British pianist, a key figure bridging the various jazz and art-rock scenes of late ‘60s-early ‘70s Britain whose albums ranged from solo outings to massive ensembles, began his career with work under Harold McNair and progressive rock group King Crimson then his debut You Are Here... I Am There (Polydor, 1970), followed a year later with Centipede, a 50+ ensemble of erstwhile members of Soft Machine, The Blue Notes, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Nucleus, Brotherhood of Breath and the Mike Westbrook Orchestra with a double LP, Septober Energy (RCA Neon), continuing over the decades with dozens of albums on Vertigo, RCA Victor, Vinyl, Ogun, FMP, Editions EG, Victo, FMR, Discus and other imprints, longterm partnerships with countrymen pianists Stan Tracey and Howard Riley, his vocalist/wife Julie Tippetts and Mujician, originally the name used for three ‘80s solo albums for FMP but in 1990 applied to a quartet with saxophonist Paul Dunmall, bassist Paul Rogers and drummer Tony Levin, which made six albums for Cuneiform between 1990-2005, as well as dozens of credits as a sideman with Dunmall, Elton Dean, Marc Charig, Dudu Pukwana, Harry Miller, Louis Moholo, Dennis Gonzalez, Harry Beckett and many others, participation as a player and arranger for the early ‘90s Blue Notes tribute project Dedication Orchestra and credits as a composer for various ensembles. Tippett died June 14th at 72.
Arthur Hoyle (September 9th, 1929 - June 4th, 2020) The trumpeter had credits in the ‘50s-60s big bands of Lionel Hampton and Oliver Nelson, sideman work during the same period with Sonny Cox and Bunky Green, membership in the mid ‘50s iteration of the Sun Ra Arkestra and a 2010 guest appearance with Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things. Hoyle died June 4th at 90.
Ivar Lindell (May 19th, 1940 - June 3rd, 2020) The Swedish bassist had credits under Gunnar Lindqvist’s G.L. Unit, Jan Wallgren’s Orkester, Börje Fredriksson, Gunnar Fors, Lasse Werner, Christer Boustedt and Sune Spångberg and a 2004 collaboration with Bobo Stenson and Sven-Åke Johansson. Lindell died June 3rd at 80.
Tony Romandini (July 27th, 1928 - June 3rd, 2020) The Québecois guitarist had albums on EMC and RCA Victor in the ‘60s and sideman credits with Maynard Ferguson, Herman Apple, Benny Barbara and Emile Normand. Romandini died June 3rd at 91.
Bob Northern (May 21st, 1934 - May 31st, 2020) The French horn player and flutist contributed to dozens of albums in the late ‘50s-60s by Art Farmer, Gil Evans, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Byers, John Coltrane, John Lewis, Julius Watkins, Milt Jackson, Michel Legrand, Oliver Nelson, Quincy Jones, Donald Byrd, The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, McCoy Tyner, Charlie Haden, Sun Ra and others as well as his own few albums for Strata-East and Divine as Brother Ah, the moniker he used to host his weekly jazz radio program in Washington, DC. Northern died May 31st at 86.
Don Weller (December 19th, 1940 - May 30th, 2020) The British saxophonist recorded with Stan Tracey in the ‘70s- 90s, Harry Beckett, Michael Garrick, Marvin Hannibal Peterson, Gil Evans, Charlie Watts, Mick Pyne in the ‘70s-80s and Tina May in the ‘90s, all this to go along with his own handful of albums since the late ‘70s on Affinity, Emanem, 33 Records and Trio. Weller died May 30th at 79.
Lennie Niehaus (June 1st, 1929 - May 28th, 2020) The St. Louisan alto saxophonist was a West Coast jazz fixture from the ‘50s onward, both through his albums for Contemporary and EmArcy and work with Stan Kenton’s various ‘50s groups as well as Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All-Stars and Shorty Rogers but known most to the general public for his helping composing for Clint Eastwood-directed movies like Unforgiven, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby. Niehaus died May 28th at 90.
Carei Thomas (1938 - May 28th, 2020) The composer, pianist and sometimes-vocalist’s Feel Free Ensemble released a 2002 album on Roaratorio and he had a record under his name for Innova in 2005, all featuring his original music. Thomas died May 28th at 81.
Jimmy Cobb (January 20th, 1929 - May 24th, 2020) The drummer, usually described in reductionist terms as the last surviving member of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue band, was active for years before and decades after, starting out in his hometown of Washington, DC with Buck Hill, Charlie Rouse and Leo Parker then, after moving to New York, joining Earl Bostic’s band and with him and his singer Dinah Washington getting his first recording credits, followed by work with Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Cannonball Adderley, the latter the connection to Davis and appearances on such albums as Porgy and Bess, Sketches of Spain and, of course, Kind of Blue when in the trumpeter’s bands from 1958-62, while during and after having credits with Wayne Shorter, Nat Adderley, Art Pepper, Bobby Timmons, John Coltrane, Julian Priester, Mark Murphy, Dorothy Ashby, Paul Gonsalves, Sonny Red, Bill Hardman, Wes Montgomery, Benny Golson, Shirley Scott, Hubert Laws, Bunky Green, Walter Bishop, Von Freeman, Sarah Vaughan, Mongo Santamaria, Joe Henderson, Kenny Drew, Ricky Ford, Billy Mitchell, Red Garland, Nick Brignola, Richie Cole, David “Fathead” Newman, The Great Jazz Trio, Kenny Barron, John Hicks, Mark Morganelli, Frank Morgan, Bud Shank, Bertha Hope, Rahn Burton, Antonio Hart, Peter Bernstein, Roy Hargrove, Ernie Watts, Eddie Gomez, Cedar Walton, Geri Allen and many others, debuting as a leader in 1981 for Contempo Vibrato and releasing several more albums on Milestone, Chesky, Marsalis Music and Smoke Sessions well into the new millennium. Cobb died May 24th at 91.
Mory Kanté (March 29th, 1950 - May 22nd, 2020) The Guinean kora player and vocalist had albums since the ‘80s on Barclay, Syllart and other labels plus recording credits with Manu Dibango, Azikmen, Sofi Hellborg and others. Kanté died May 22nd at 70.
John Cumming (September 30th, 1948 - May 17th, 2020) The British jazz impresario and OBE recipient founded the Bracknell Jazz Festival and Camden Jazz Week, managed John Surman and Andy Sheppard, was an original member of the European Jazz Network and, most notably, began and ran the London Jazz Festival from 1993-2017. Cumming died May 17th at 71.
Donn Trenner (March 10th, 1927 - May 16th, 2020) The Connecticut pianist established himself on the West Coast in the ‘50s with Stan Getz, Dave Pell, Helen Carr, Les Brown, Ben Webster, Mel Tormé, Nancy Wilson and others and released two late-career duo records with vocalist B.J. Ward. Trenner died May 16th at 93.
Herman Sandy (November 15th, 1921 - May 13th, 2020) The Belgian trumpeter had his own entry in the "Innovation En Jazz" series in 1955 and recorded with Jacques Pelzer, David Bee, St. Tropez Jazz Octett, Fats Sadi, Belgian Big Band, Victoria Jazz Band and others. Sandy died May 13th at 98.
Bob Pilsbury (1927 - May 12th, 2020) The pianist was a member of the Black Eagle Jazz Band, active since the ‘70s with albums on G.H.B., Stomp Off, Philips and other labels, plus his own ‘80s date for Dirty Shame. Pilsbury died May 12th at 93.
Aldo Bassi (January 29th, 1962 - May 10th, 2020) The Italian trumpeter was active since the late ‘80s, working with Riccardo Fassi, Mauro Zazzarini, Mario Raja, Barrio Jazz Gang, Antonella Vitale, Federica Zammarchi, Nina Pedersen and Carla Marcotulli. Bassi died May 10th at 58.
Henry Estrada (July 25th, 1936 - May 10th, 2020) The saxophonist was one-third of the titular Estrada Brothers, which had albums on Chazz, Rumba Jazz, Milestone and Cougar in the ‘90s and recorded with Gary Lefebvre in the ‘80s. Estrada died May 10th at 83.
Holli Ross (November 16th, 1956 - May 9th, 2020) The vocalist was a founding member of the String of Pearls trio and The Royal Bopsters quartet, wrote lyrics sung on albums by Mark Murphy, Claudio Roditi, Giacomo Gates and others and directed the jazz vocal ensemble at Montclair State University. Ross died May 9th at 63.
Landon "Sonny" Cox (1938 - May 5th, 2020) The alto saxophonist was active in the mid ‘60s as part of The Three Souls with two LPs on Argo and his own date for a renamed Cadet, then left music to pursue a career as a high school basketball coach in Chicago, where his teams won three state championships. Cox died May 5th at 82.
Aldir Blanc (September 2nd, 1946 - May 4th, 2020) The Brazilian composer had his songs recorded by Claudette Soares, Ronald Mesquita, Tamba Trio, João Bosco, Elis Regina, Quarteto Em Cy, La Gran Orquesta De Paul Mauriat, Milton Banana, Lee Ritenour, Zimbo Trio, Irakere, Karrin Allyson and Stefano Bollani. Blanc died May 4th at 73 of complications from COVID-19.
Richie Cole (February 29th, 1948 - May 2nd, 2020) The saxophonist got his start with Buddy Rich in the late ‘60s, worked with Eddie Jefferson, Don Patterson, Red Rodney, Vic Juris, Mark Murphy and others in the ‘70s, was a regular accompanist for The Manhattan Transfer in the ‘80s, was on Veronica Swift’s 2004 debut when the singer was only 10 and made records regularly as a leader from the ‘70s onward for Progressive, Muse, Seven Seas, GNP Crescendo, Palo Alto, Concord, Fantasy, Milestone, Candid, Venus, Jazz Excursion and other labels. Cole died May 2nd at 72.
Jürgen Wuchner (1948 - May 1st, 2020) The German bassist was active since the early ‘70s, working with Michael Sell, Hans Koller, Bob Degen, Heinz Sauer, Herbert Joos, Vienna Art Orchestra, Gunther Klatt and Uwe Oberg, leading his own dates for pläne, View, Blue Flame jazz, Sporeprint and his own JWJ imprint and was integral to the founding of the Jazz Institute in his hometown of Darmstadt. Wuchner died May 1st at 72.
Tony Allen (August 12th, 1940 - April 30th, 2020) The Nigerian-born, France-based drummer pioneered the AfroBeat rhythm as the engine of Fela Kuti’s bands in the ‘70s, appearing on dozens of albums made for His Master’s Voice, African Songs, Signpost, Regal Zonophone, EMI, Jofabro, Afro Beat, Soundworkshop, Coconut, Afrodisia, Kalakuta, Polydor and other labels, as well as his own voluminous catalogue as a leader from the mid ‘70s onward on Soundworkshop, Coconut, Polydor, Grandstar, Mercury, Cobalt, Comet, Honest Jon’s, Strut, Jazz Village and World Circuit, among which were a 2010 co-led session with Hugh Masekela and 2017 tribute to Art Blakey, all this to go with guest credits with Manu Dibango, Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Ernest Ranglin, New Cool Collective, Sofi Hellborg, Angélique Kidjo and others. Allen died April 30th at 79.
Les Tomkins (October 31st, 1930 - April 26th, 2020) The British jazz journalist was a fixture on BBC Radio 2, wrote for Melody Maker and Jazz News, edited Crescendo International, wrote liner notes for numerous albums and, in the winter of his life, took up amateur jazz singing. Tomkins died April 26th at 89.
Phil Broadhurst (June 26th, 1949 - April 24th, 2020) The New Zealander pianist recorded for Kiwi Kiwi and Ode (usually with his Sustenance quartet) and Rattle Jazz, plus worked with George Chisholm and Auckland Jazz Ensemble. Broadhurst died April 24th at 70.
Bootsie Barnes (November 27th, 1937 - April 22nd, 2020) The Philadelphia stalwart saxophonist was a member of Odean Pope’s Saxophone Choir for many years, recorded under Don Patterson, John Swana and Uri Caine and had his own handful of albums since the late ‘90s, the most recent a 2018 co-led date with Larry McKenna, The More I See You (Cellar Live). Barnes died April 22nd at 82 of complications from COVID-19.
Jacques Pellen (April 9th, 1957 - April 21st, 2020) The French guitarist started out in folk music, particularly Celtic, then branched out into jazz in the ‘90s with Didier Squiban’s various projects, Bruno Nevez, Peter Gritz, Jean-Marie Machado and others as well as his own albums for Caravan, Gwerz Pladenn, Silex (the latter a collaboration with Paolo Fresu and Erik Marchand) and Naïve. Pellen died April 21st at 63 of complications from COVID-19.
Michael Cogswell (September 30th, 1953 - April 20th, 2020) The historian/archivist was crucial in making trumpeter Louis Armstrong’s house an historical, educational and tourist destination as the founding Executive Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum as well as authoring Louis Armstrong: The Offstage Story of Satchmo, published in conjunction with the museum’s 2003 opening. Cogswell died April 20th at 66.
Ian Whitcomb (July 10th, 1941 - April 19th, 2020) The British multiinstrumentalist had a charting pop hit, “You Turn Me On!”, in his early twenties but then moved away from then-modern music to concentrate on ragtime and music hall styles, recording through the last millennium for Tower, United Artists, Argo, Warner Bros., First American, Sierre Briar, Stomp Off, Audiophile, Premier and Rhino. Whitcomb died April 19th at 78.
Lee Boswell-May (September 24th, 1945 - April 18th, 2020) The jazz advocate (and widow of bassist Earl May) was curator of Jazz in the Loft at South Orange Performing Arts Center as well as stage manager of its Giants of Jazz series. Boswell-May died April 18th at 74.
Giuseppi Logan (May 22nd, 1935 - April 17th, 2020) The saxophonist was a part of The New Thing in mid ‘60s NYC, releasing two albums on ESP-Disk (quartet dates with Don Pullen, Eddie Gomez or Reggie Johnson and Milford Graves) and recording with Roswell Rudd and Patty Waters, then disappearing from music for decades, homeless and suffering from drug addiction, before suddenly rejoining the jazz scene in 2009 and releasing a handful of albums for Tompkins Square, Mad King Edmund and Improvising Beings before falling out of music once more in 2012. Logan died April 17th at 84 of complications from COVID-19.
Bob Mielke (July 12th, 1926 - April 17th, 2020) The Dixieland-style trombonist led his own band, The Bearcats, in the ‘50s, and in the late ‘40s-mid ‘60s worked with Bob Wilber, Sidney Bechet, Bob Scobey, Gene Mayl, George Lewis, Barbara Dane and Lu Watters. Mielke died April 17th at 94.
Ron Gill (1935 - April 16th, 2020) The Boston-based singer toured with Duke Ellington in the ‘70s, made an 1998 LP, Ron Gill Sings the Songs of Billy Strayhorn, fêting Ellington’s songwriting partner, and was beloved in Beantown for his 20-year WGBH radio show The Jazz Gallery. Gill died April 16th at 85.
Henry Grimes (November 3rd, 1935 - April 15th, 2020) The bassist reversed the typical tragic jazz story, recording with a Who’s Who from 1957-66, including Shafi Hadi, Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Rollins, Tony Scott, Rolf Kühn, Billy Taylor, Mose Allison, Carmen Leggio, Steve Lacy, Perry Robinson, Roy Haynes, Gil Evans, Jerome Richardson, Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner, Walt Dickerson, Albert Ayler, Sunny Murray, Archie Shepp, Charles Tyler, Don Cherry, Cecil Taylor, Frank Wright, Burton Greene, Karl Berger, Pharoah Sanders, Marzette Watts and Bill Barron, as well as a single album as a leader, The Call (ESP-Disk, 1965), then disappearing for decades and presumed deceased only to be rediscovered in dramatic fashion working as a janitor in Los Angeles and rejoining the jazz world at the 2003 Vision Festival and beginning a nearly-two decade second act as a leader and collaborator with Marc Ribot, Dennis Gonzalez, William Parker, David Murray, Luis Perdomo, Fred Anderson, Oluyemi Thomas, Evan Parker, Rashied Ali, Dave Douglas, Roswell Rudd, Paul Dunmall and others. Grimes died April 15th at 84 of complications from COVID-19.
Lee Konitz (October 13th, 1927 - April 15th, 2020) The saxophonist, 2009 NEA Jazz Master, 1992 Jazzpar Prize Winner, 2013 German Jazz Prize winner for Lifetime Achievement and top recipient of numerous jazz polls was among the most significant, prolific and enduring musicians in jazz history, starting from his first dates in 1947 with Claude Thornhill; work with Lennie Tristano from 1948-55; appearance on Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool sessions in 1948; debut as a leader for New Jazz in 1949; participation in several iterations of the Metronome All Stars in the ‘50s; membership in the 1952-54 Stan Kenton band; long partnership with Warne Marsh; well over 150 albums made for Prestige, Vogue, Storyville, Atlantic, Verve, MPS, Milestone, Campi, Music Minus One, Philips, SteepleChase, Groove Merchant, Horo, Wave, Fantasy, Choice, IAI, Epic, Dragon, India Navigation, G.F.M., Label Bleu, MusicMasters, Enja, Jazz House, Philology, Musicdisc, West Wind, Soul Note, Paddle Wheel, Insights, Sunnyside, hatART, Odin, Venus, Edition, ECM, Blue Note, Columbia, Summit, P.S.F., Challenge, BMG-France, Palmetto, DIW, Chesky, Artesuono, Milestone, OmniTone, Pirouet, OutNote, Half Note, Whirlwind, Double Moon, Impulse, QFTF and other labels; collaborative dates with Jimmy Giuffre, Albert Mangelsdorff, Attila Zoller, Phil Woods, Martial Solal, Gary Bartz, Jackie McLean, Charlie Mariano, Red Mitchell, Hal Galper, Paul Bley, Karl Berger, Michel Petrucciani, Chet Baker, Enrico Pieranunzi, Bill Evans, Harold Danko, Gil Evans, Peggy Stern, Frank Wunsch, Stefano Battaglia, Franco D’Andrea, Don Friedman, Franz Koglmann, Rudi Mahall, Jerry Granelli, Marian McPartland, Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Bill Frisell, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden, Paul Bley, Enrico Rava, Rich Perry, Renato Sellani, Steve Swallow, Paul Motian, Ted Brown, Matt Wilson, Alan Broadbent, Stefano Bollani, Ohad Talmor, Gary Versace, Grace Kelly, Dan Tepfer, Alexandra Grimal, Dave Liebman, Richie Beirach, Ethan Iverson and many more; and sideman credits from the ‘50s onward with Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Lars Gullin, Ralph Burns, Dave Pike, Gil Evans, Andrew Hill, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, Shelly Manne, Teo Macero, Berger, Chick Corea, Solal, George Gruntz, Motian, Max Roach, Zoller, Fred Hersch, Matt Wilson, Rolf Kühn, Jakob Bro and many many others. Konitz died April 15th at 92 of complications from COVID-19.
Ron Rubin (July 8th, 1933 - April 14th, 2020) The British pianist/bassist was active since the mid ‘60s with recording credits under Sandy Brown, Bill Coleman, Mike Taylor, Tony Coe, “Snub” Mosley and George Melly and regular live performance with his countrymen and visiting Americans. Rubin died April 14th at 86.
Ryō Kawasaki (Febraury 25th, 1947 - April 13th, 2020) The Japanese fusion guitarist had albums on Union, Elec, RCA, East Wind, Chiaroscuro, Timeless, Openskye, Philips, MPS, Continental, Ryka, VideoArts Music, DIW, Satellites, Studio Songs and Vivid Sound alongside sideman work under Takeshi Inomata, Jiro Inagaki, Gil Evans, Cedar Walton, Elvin Jones, Clint Houston, Masahiko Satoh, Shigeharu Mukai, Ted Curson, Gato Barbieri, Teo Macero, John Clark and others. Kawasaki died April 13th at 73.
Joe Torres (November 29th, 1943 - April 13th, 2020) The Puerto Rican-American pianist (nicknamed Professor) had credits under Bobby Valentin, The Latin Dimension, Rubén Blades, Hector Lavoe, Celia Cruz, Milton Cardona and, most notably, Willie Colón from the mid ‘60s into the ‘90s on Fania, Columbia and Vaya. Torres died April 13th at 76.
Louis Van Dijk (November 27th, 1941 - April 12th, 2020) The Dutch pianist/ keyboard player had dozens of releases since the early ‘60s on Philips (an EP made when he was 19 and had won the Loosdrecht Jazz Concours in 1961), Artone, CBS, Polydor, Keytone, Blue Mouse, Organon, RCA, Columbia, Quintessence, Challenge and other labels, either as a leader or in collaboration with countrymen like Chris Hinze, Rita Reys, Thijs Van Leer and Pim Jacobs, as well as a periodic partnership with Belgian Toots Thielemans. Van Dijk died April 12th at 78.
Jymie Merritt (May 3rd, 1926 - April 11th, 2020) The bassist (possibly first to use the electric bass in jazz) started his career auspiciously with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1958, staying with the classic iterations of the band through 1962 and also recording with Sonny Clark, Bobby Jaspar, fellow Messengers Wayne Shorter, Curtis Fuller and Benny Golson, Chet Baker, Max Roach, Jimmy Witherspoon, Jimmy Smith, Wild Bill Davis and Lee Morgan and leading his Forerunners in his native Philadelphia from the early ‘60s into the modern day. Merritt died April 11th at 93.
Andy Gonzalez (January 1st, 1951 - April 9th, 2020) The bassist and brother to late trumpeter Jerry was a co-founding member of the latter’s Fort Apache Band, active since the early ‘80s with almost a dozen albums on Enja, Sunnyside, Milestone and Random Chance, and had hundreds of credits since the late ‘60s with Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Thornton, Charlie Palmieri, Cachao, Willie Colón, Kip Hanrahan, Steve Turre, Hilton Ruiz, Pete Rodriguez, Kenny Kirkland, Papo Vazquez, Charlie Sepulveda, David Sanchez, Don Byron, Conrad Herwig, Tom Harrell, Jimmy Bosch, Arturo O’Farrill, Chico O’Farrill, Luis Perdomo and many others. Gonzalez died April 9th at 69.
Richard Teitelbaum (May 19th, 1939 - April 9th, 2020) The keyboard player and composer began his career as part of the ex-pat American improvising collective Musica Elettronica Viva (alongside longtime members Alvin Curran and Frederic Rzewski), which released albums on Polydor, BYG, Mainstream, Horo, IRML, Matchless and Victo, and had partnerships with Anthony Braxton (in groups ranging from duets to participation in Braxton’s large ensembles), George Lewis (late ‘70s-early ‘80s albums on Black Saint and Lovely Music) and Andrew Cyrille (a 1997 duet on Silkheart and a 2014 Cyrille ECM date) and collaborations with/credits under Leroy Jenkins, Carlos Zingaro, Joëlle Léandre, Steve Lacy, Sven-Åke Johansson, Marilyn Crispell, Tanya Kalmanovitch and others to go with his own albums for Denon, Lumina, hatART, Moers Music, Tzadik, New World and other labels. Teitelbaum died April 9th at 80.
Peter Ecklund (September 27th, 1945 - April 8th, 2020) The trumpeter had albums on Stomp Off, Arbors and Jazzology to go along with sideman credits under Marty Grosz, Terry Waldo, Cynthia Sayer, Eddy Davis, Vince Giordano, The Hot Club Of Cowtown and pop and rock groups. Ecklund died April 8th at 74.
Joan Wildman (January 1st, 1938 - April 8th, 2020) The pianist/keyboard player, composer and respected educator at University of Wisconsin-Madison helped build the school’s jazz program, founded the non-profit arts presenting group Madison Music Collective, wrote articles on music theory and history, released a handful of albums (including the 2015 duo effort Conversations with Joe Fonda) and collaborated with fellow UW-Madison professor Roscoe Mitchell, playing on his Four Compositions (Lovely Music, 1987) and Numbers (RogueArt, 2002-10). Wildman died April 8th at 82.
Eddy Davis (September 26th, 1940 - April 7th, 2020) The banjo player’s most visible work was in Woody Allen’s various trad ensembles, documented on Wild Man Blues (RCA, 1998), but he was active since the mid ‘60s in the trad scene, leading dates for Blackbird, Electric Lemon, Pa Da, his own New York Jazz, Revelation, Jazzology and MusicMasters and with credits under Terry Waldo, The New York Banjo Ensemble, Cynthia Sayer, Peter Ecklund, Benkó Dixieland Band, Uri Caine, George Gruntz and others. Davis died April 7th at 79 of complications from COVID-19.
Sanne Van Hek (November 4th, 1978 - April 7th, 2020) The Dutch trumpeter had a 2004 album as a leader, membership in the Magic Malik Orchestra, The Black Napkins, Network of Stoppages and SpermChurch and credits under Kleefstra|Bakker|Kleefstra and Guus Janssen. Van Hek died April 7th at 41.
Hal Willner (April 6th, 1956 - April 7th, 2020) The producer had hundreds of credits since the late ‘70s across a wide array of genres including jazz with albums by Beaver Harris, Gary Windo, David Sanborn, Spanish Fly, Gary Lucas, Bill Frisell, The Jazz Passengers, Jun Miyake and others and was also famed for his work on the soundtrack to the 1996 Robert Altman film Kansas City and the tributes he organized to Nino Rota (Hannibal, 1981), Thelonious Monk (A&M, 1984), Kurt Weill (A&M, 1985), Carl Stalling (Warner Bros., 1990), Charles Mingus (Columbia, 1992), Raymond Scott (Basta, 1998) and Howard Arlen (Sony Classical, 2003). Willner died April 7th at 64 of complications from COVID-19.
Onaje Allan Gumbs (September 3rd, 1949 - April 6th, 2020) The pianist was active as a leader since the late ‘70s with dates for Zebra, SteepleChase, Half Note and 18th & Vine to go with over 100 sideman credits since the early ‘70s with Norman Connors, Carlos Garnett, Charles Sullivan, Cecil McBee, Birthright, Larry Ridley, Lenny White, Roy Ayers, Woody Shaw, Buster Williams, Betty Carter, Nat Adderley, Teruo Nakamura, Bennie Maupin, Art Webb, John Stubblefield, Clint Houston, Shunzo Ohno, Steve Grossman, Al Foster, T.S. Monk, Earl Klugh, Sathima Bea Benjamin, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Stanley Jordan, John Blake, Jay Hoggard, Sadao Watanabe, Billy Cobham, Kevin Eubanks, James Moody, Michael Carvin, Terumasa Hino, Carmen Lundy, Avery Sharpe, Bill Ware, Joseph Daley and others. Gumbs died April 6th at 70.
David Horowitz (July 29th, 1942 - April 6th, 2020) The keyboard player’s early work was supporting folk musicians but he had ‘70s jazz credits under Joe Henderson, Tony Williams Lifetime, Randy Weston, Alan Silva, Gil Evans Orchestra and Enrico Rava. Horowitz died April 6th at 77 of complications from COVID-19.
John Bucher (1930 - April 5th, 2020) The cornet player led the Original Delta Five in the ‘50s, was part of the Red Onion Jazz Band in the ‘60s and then, decades later after a career on Wall Street, headed the NYC-based Speakeasy Jazz Babies. Bucher died April 5th at 89.
Ronnie Hughes (June 27th, 1925 - April 1st, 2020) The British trumpeter was active from the ‘50s onward, working across a wide range of English big bands with Ted Heath, Mike Westbrook, Ray Davies, The New Big Band, The London Brass Conference, Tony Evans and others. Hughes died April 1st at 94.
Ellis Marsalis (November 24th, 1934 - April 1st, 2020) The pianist and patriarch of one of jazz’ first families (he and sons Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason were collectively named NEA Jazz Masters in 2011) was a champion of the music from his hometown of New Orleans via decades of mentorship and his own albums since the early ‘60s on AFO, Elm, Columbia, Spindletop, Somethin’ Else, CBS and Verve and peppered his career with the occasional sideman date/guest spots with the likes of Nat Adderley (1962), Snooks Eaglin (1977), American Jazz Quintet (1987) Courtney Pine (1989), Harry Connick, Jr. (1992), Kermit Ruffins (1996) and, of course, his children. Marsalis died April 1st at 85 of complications from COVID-19.
Bucky Pizzarelli (January 9th, 1926 - April 1st, 2020) The guitarist, who pioneered the use of the seven-stringed version in jazz (and father to fellow guitarist John and bassist Martin), amassed hundreds of credits since the ‘50s with Pee Wee Hunt, Rex Stewart, Bobby Donaldson, Al Caiola, Mat Mathews, Don Costa, Bobby Hackett, Sir Charles Thompson, Tony Mottola, Lionel Hampton, Carol Sloane, Gene Ammons, Etta Jones, Willis Jackson, Doc Severinson, Kai Winding, Wes Montgomery, Stanley Turrentine, Toots Thielemans, Gene Bertoncini, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Oscar Peterson, Benny Goodman, Joe Venuti, Carmen McRae, Stéphane Grappelli, Warren Vaché, Zoot Sims, Bob Wilber, John Bunch, son John, Red Norvo, Cynthia Sayer, Peter Appleyard, Paul Desmond, Ken Peplowski, Ruby Braff, Scott Robinson, Scott Hamilton, Flip Phillips, Dick Hyman, Howard Alden, Frank Vignola and dozens of others to go along with his own numerous sessions since the ‘60s for Savoy, A&R, Choice, Monmouth Evergreen, Flying Dutchman, Stash, Groove James, Chesky, Concord, Arbors and many other labels. Pizzarelli died April 1st at 94 of complications from COVID-19.
Dieter Reith (February 25th, 1938 - April 1st, 2020) The German keyboard player had mid ‘60s associations with Svend Asmussen and Charly Antolini, his own albums across a range of genres for SABA, Center, Mondial, MPS, BASF, Intercord and Mons, library records made for Intersound and Sonoton and sideman dates with Maynard Ferguson, Knut Kiesewetter, Peter Herbolzheimer, Horst Jankowski and others. Reith died April 1st at 82.
Harold Rubin (May 13th, 1932 - April 1st, 2020) The South African-born artist and clarinetist flouted Apartheid-era race restrictions by playing alongside Black musicians in the ‘50s concurrent with artwork decrying the brutality of the government (the latter causing him to be arrested and charged with blasphemy), then emigrated to Israel, where he continued his political artwork and returned to jazz, co-founding the Zaviot quartet, being part of The Tel-Aviv Connection, releasing his own albums on Jazzis, OutNow and Hopscotch and mentoring younger generations of Israeli avant garde jazz players. Rubin died April 1st at 87.
Janet Grice (October 2nd, 1955-March 31st, 2020) The bassoonist worked in both classical and jazz, particularly Latin, with six leader or co-led albums, plus credits with Mingus Orchestra, Karl Berger, Butch Morris, Leroy Jenkins, Julius Hemphill and others. Grice died March 31st at 65 of complications from COVID-19.
Wallace Roney (May 25th, 1960 - March 31st, 2020) The trumpeter (brother to saxophonist Antoine, ex-husband to late pianist Geri Allen, father to fellow trumpeter Wallace, Jr. and uncle to drummer Kojo) and Miles Davis protégé began his career in the mid ‘70s in the Afrikan Liberation Art Ensemble, continued in the ‘80s and beyond on sessions led by Chico Freeman, Andy Jaffe, Tony Williams, Errol Parker, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Cindy Blackman, James Spaulding, Kenny Garrett, Joey DeFrancesco, Art Blakey, Super Blue, Kenny Drew, Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, Cody Moffett, Miles Davis, Randy Weston, Vincent Herring, Herbie Hancock, Donald Harrison, Bob Belden, Antoine Roney, Bill Evans, Rodney Whitaker, Chick Corea, Makoto Ozone, David Sanborn, Ricky Ford, Terri Lyne Carrington, Will Calhoun, Wayne Shorter, Steve Turre and others to go along with over two dozen albums made for Muse, Landmark, Warner Bros., Stretch and HighNote. Roney died March 31st at 59 of complications from COVID-19.
Krzysztof Penderecki (November 23rd, 1933 - March 29th, 2020) The Polish composer had great renown, particularly in the U.S. for his music used in such films as The Exorcist and The Shining, and jazz cred via musicians ranging from Don Cherry, Maciej Fortuna, Mats Gustafsson and others playing his works. Penderecki died March 29th at 86.
Lyn Christie (August 3rd, 1928 - March 28th, 2020) The Australian bassist moved to the States to practice medicine but continued a parallel jazz career, recording with Mike Mainieri, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Clark Terry, Don Friedman and Mike Longo. Christie died March 28th at 91.
Bubbha Thomas (1937 - March 28th, 2020) The drummer began as a session musician, then released several albums in the ‘70s with his Lightmen (which included at times Ronnie Laws, Doug Harris and Hugh Ragin, among others) on Judnell and his own Lightnin’ imprint, which also released his 1985 boogie album. Thomas died March 28th at 82.
Olle Holmqvist (November 14th, 1936 - March 26th, 2020) The Swedish trombonist was active since the ‘60s with Quincy Jones, Bengt-Arne Wallin, Nils Lindberg, Sveriges Radios Jazzgrupp, Arne Domnérus, Monica Zetterlund and Lars Gullin plus a leader release in 2000 fêting ABBA, big-band style. Holmqvist died March 26th at 83 of complications from COVID-19.
Bob Ojeda (September 1st, 1941 - March 26th, 2020) The trumpeter/valve trombonist and arranger worked with Stan Kenton, Joe Morello, Les Hooper, Hank Jones, The Manhattan Transfer, Count Basie Orchestra, Lena Horne and others. Ojeda died March 26th at 78.
Simeon Shterev (October 24th, 1973 - March 26th, 2020) The Bulgarian flutist worked in both jazz and classical spheres, released albums on his country’s state label Balkanton and later PolySound, was a member of the famed Jazz Focus 65 band alongside pianist Milcho Leviev and drummer Peter Slavov (father of bassist Peter Slavov) and recorded with Leviev, Václav Zahradník, Bosko Petrovic, Debrecen Jazz Group, Dinamit Brass Band and Pliva Jazz Laboratory among others. Shterev died March 26th at 76.
Freddy Rodriguez (February 9th, 1931 - March 25th, 2020) The saxophonist was a member of trumpeter Tommy Peltier’s The Jazz Corps in the late ‘60s, known for a 1966 Pacific Jazz LP featuring Roland Kirk (and two volumes of ‘60s live recordings released by Cadence Jazz in 1999 and 2001), and for decades a fixture of Denver’s jazz scene. Rodriguez died March 25th at 89 of complications from COVID-19.
Manu Dibango (Dec. 12th, 1933 - March 24th, 2020) The Cameroonian saxophonist, long based in France, had dozens of albums since the late ‘60s on Philips, Buda Musique, Blue Moon and other labels and guest spots with Fania All-Stars, Kora Jazz Band, Gino Sitson and European pop acts. Dibango died March 24th at 86 of complications from COVID-19.
Mike Longo (March 19th, 1937 - March 22nd, 2020) The pianist and curator of the Jazz Tuesdays series at NYC Baha’i Center recorded for Clamike in the ‘60s, Mainstream, Groove Merchant and Pablo in the ‘70s and then his own Consolidated Artists Productions (which also released albums by Andrea Brachfeld, Andy McKee, Fabian Zone, Jay D’Amico, Mark Sherman and others) from the ‘80s well into the new millennium, worked with Dizzy Reece, Astrud Gilberto, James Moody, Lee Konitz and others and had a long association with Dizzy Gillespie, playing in his groups and appearing on his records, a favor the trumpeter returned (playing congas and singing) on Longo’s 1976 Pablo album Talk With The Spirits. Longo died March 22nd at 83 of complications from COVID-19.
Karl Theodor Geier (January 31st, 1932 - March 21st, 2020) The German bassist recorded with The Modern Jazz Group Freiburg, Barney Wilen, George Gruntz, Metronome Quartet, Chet Baker and René Thomas, Gil Cuppini, John Lewis and Albert Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund and others. Geier died March 21st at 88.
Ray Mantilla (June 22nd, 1934-March 21st, 2020) The legendary percussionist had hundreds of credits across a wide spectrum of jazz from the ‘60s onward, including dates with Herbie Mann, Max Roach, Ray Barretto, Art Blakey, Gato Barbieri, Jeremy Steig, Michał Urbaniak, Jack McDuff, Joe Farrell, Joe Beck, Cedar Walton, The Pentagon, Larry Coryell, Joe Chambers, Freddie Hubbard, Volker Kriegel, Ernie Krivda, M’Boom, Richie Cole, Takehiro Honda, Kazumi Watanabe, David Amram, Mickey Tucker, Charles Mingus, Mickey Bass, Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Myers, James Spaulding, Bobby Watson, Kenny Burrell, Billy Taylor, Lou Donaldson, John Hicks, Joe Farnsworth and many many others to go along with his own dates for Inner City, Red, Jazz Today, HighNote and Savant. Mantilla died March 21st at 85.
Wray Downes (January 14th, 1931 - March 19th, 2020) The Canadian pianist had albums on Sackville and Justin Time after a 1952 credit with Bill Coleman and then ‘70s-90s recordings with Peter Magadini, Buddy Tate, Peter Appleyard, Archie Alleyne, Charles Biddle and others. Downes died March 19th at 89.
Steve Eliovson (1954 - March 15th, 2020) The South African acoustic guitarist made a single recording, the 1981 ECM album Dawn Dance, in duo with percussionist Collin Walcott (of Oregon fame) but after an accident postponed his second ECM session, disappeared from music entirely. Eliovson died March 15th at 65.
Barry Zweig (February 7th, 1942 - March 15th, 2020) The guitarist had a single leader session, Desert Vision (Jazz Chronicles, 1978), but after time spent in the army and performing as part of the NORAD “Commanders” Orchestra, recording credits with Buddy Rich, Willie Bobo, Dave Pell, Bill Holman, Herb Alpert, Bill Elliott, Frank Capp and, in the world of children’s music, John Lithgow’s Singin’ In The Bathtub (Sony Wonder, 1999) and Alvin and The Chipmunks’ A Chipmunk Christmas (RCA, 1981). Zweig died March 15th at 78.
Danny Ray Thompson (October 1st, 1947 - March 12th, 2020) The reed and wind player was a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra from the late ‘60s to the present day (fired in the late ‘80s and returning several years after Ra’s death), appearing on over 100 albums, including such seminal dates It’s After The End Of The World - Live At The Donaueschingen And Berlin Festivals (MPS, 1970), Space Is The Place (Blue Thumb, 1973), In Egypt (Praxis, 1983), Reflections In Blue (Black Saint, 1987) and Blue Delight (A&M, 1989) and managing the band for a period, as well as a couple of non-Ra credits with Phil Alvin and Scott Robinson, plus a co-led record with fellow Arkestra member Marshall Allen, trombonist Roswell Rudd, keyboard player Jamie Saft, bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Balázs Pándi for RareNoise, Ceremonial Healing, released in 2019. Thompson died March 12th at 73.
Marcelo Peralta (March 5th, 1961 - March 10th, 2020) The Argentine saxophonist was a leader or co-leader of Los Saxópatas, Grupo De Improvisacion Tercer Mundo, ¡ZAS! Trío and DixFunxional Brass Band, albums on Melopea Discos and has the tragic distinction of being the first known jazz musician death from COVID-19. Peralta died March 10th at 59.
McCoy Tyner (December 11th, 1938 - March 6th, 2020) The pianist, one-quarter of one of the most famed groups in jazz, the 1960-65 John Coltrane Quartet, waxed his first session at only 21, Curtis Fuller’s Imagination (Savoy, 1959), toured and recorded in early 1960 with Art Farmer/Benny Golson’s Jazztet then had his first work with Coltrane in the summer of 1960, going on to such seminal recordings as My Favorite Things, Coltrane’s Sound, Africa/Brass, “Live” At The Village Vanguard, Crescent, A Love Supreme, Kulu Se Mama and Ascension yet still finding time during that period to record under Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, J.J. Johnson, Grant Green, Stanley Turrentine and Milt Jackson, debuting as a leader for Impulse in 1962 with several dates, then an acclaimed series of albums, first for Blue Note (1967-70, again in 1988-93) then Milestone (1972-80), Columbia (1981-82), Timeless (1987), Impulse once more (1995- 97), Telarc (2002-03) and Half Note (2006-07) as well as work with Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Bobby Hutcherson, Flora Purim, The Manhattan Transfer, Frank Morgan, George Benson and Michael Brecker. Tyner died March 6th at 81.
Susan Weinert (June 24th, 1965 - March 2nd, 2020) The German fusion guitarist had several albums to her credit since the ‘90s on Select, Intuition, Skip and her own Tough Tone label, most with her bassist husband Martin Weinert. Weinert died March 2nd at 54.
Bill Smith (September 22nd, 1926 - February 29th, 2020) The clarinetist and composer embodied the title of his 1974 CRI album Two Sides Of Bill Smith as William Overton, noted classical composer from the late ‘50s onward with albums on Stereo, Fantasy, RCA Victor, Cambridge, Contemporary, CRI, Crystal, New World and Ravenna and Bill, jazz clarinetist with credits under Dave Brubeck (1948, 1950, 1959-61, 1982-87, 1991-93), Red Norvo, Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne and American Jazz Ensemble in the ‘50s-60s and, decades later, Anthony Braxton, Christian Asplund and Tom Collier. Smith died February 29th at 93.
Ed Stoute (July 13th, 1935 - February 23rd, 2020) The pianist had only a few recording credits (Ken McIntyre and Illinois Jacquet in the ‘60s, rejoining the latter in the late ‘90s; Larry Ridley in the ‘90s), membership in the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, decades of performing in his native New York concurrent with his job at Con Edison and one 2011 album as a leader. Stoute died February 23rd at 84.
Jon Christensen (March 20th, 1943 - February 18th, 2020) The Norwegian drummer helped bring his country’s jazz musicians to international attention via hundreds of recording credits (a huge portion for ECM, earning a reputation as the label’s house drummer), starting with Karin Krog and Einar Iversen in the early to mid ‘60s the, In 1967, on saxophonist Jan Garbarek’s debut album (Til Vigdis, Norsk Jazzforbund), appearing alongside bassist Arild Andersen, and then with Garbarek on guitarist Terje Rypdal’s debut Bleak House (Polydor, 1968), finishing out the ‘60s working with countrymen like Egil Kapstad and Erik Vold, Swede Rune Gustafsson and American pianist Steve Kuhn as well as working with American composer George Russell, appearing (along with Garbarek) on 1967-68’s Othello Ballet Suite/Electronic Organ Sonata No. 1 (Sonet), leading to a crucial endorsement, George Russell Presents The Esoteric Circle (Flying Dutchman, 1969), Christensen as one-quarter of the titular band alongside Garbarek, Rypdal and Andersen, as well as participation in Russell’s Electronic Sonata For Souls Loved By Nature (Flying Dutchman, 1969), the members of The Esoteric Circle soon recording for Manfred Eicher’s then-fledgling ECM label (its seventh release was Garbarek’s Afric Pepperbird, with all four in tow), Christensen continuing to record for the imprint well into the new millennium, working with such label stalwarts as John Abercrombie, Ketil Bjørnstad, Jakob Bro, Iro Haarla, Keith Jarrett, Charles Lloyd, Enrico Rava, Dino Saluzzi, Tomasz Stankó, Bobo Stenson, Ralph Towner, Miroslav Vitous, Eberhard Weber, Bugge Wesseltoft others as well as credits on other labels with Carsten Dahl, Lars Danielsson, Stu Goldberg, Yelena Eckemoff, Håkon Kornstad, Adam Makowicz and many more. Christensen died February 18th at 76.
Lyle Mays (November 27th, 1953 - February 10th, 2020) The keyboard player got his early arranging experience in the famed North Texas State University Jazz Lab Band, put to good use a couple of years later in 1977 upon joining Pat Metheny, staying in the guitarist’s bands well into the new millennium and contributing material and charts to dozens of albums, to go along with credits under Woody Herman, Joni Mitchell, Steve Swallow, Eberhard Weber, Bob Moses, Paul McCandless and others and a handful of albums as a leader for Geffen and Warner Bros. Mays died February 10th at 66.
Laurie Morgan (September 4th, 1926 - February 5th, 2020) The British drummer was part of his country’s nascent bebop scene, most notably as part of the short-lived New Departures Quartet (one 1964 Transatlantic album) alongside more well-known members Bobby Wellins, Stan Tracey and Jeff Clyne, plus even earlier work with John Dankworth, and among the first Brits to work with the recently arrived Blue Notes from South Africa in the late ‘60s. Morgan died February 5th at 93.
William Zickos (February 10th, 1929 - January 31st, 2020) The drummer’s early career included touring with Stan Kenton, Tommy Dorsey and other big bands, then time spent as a drum teacher and music store owner and, most significantly, creating the first acrylic drumkits, staple of arena rock drummers in the ‘70s. Zickos died January 31st at 90.
Lucien Barbarin (July 17, 1956 - January 30th, 2020) The trombonist, named for his famed drummer grandfather, carried on the New Orleans jazz tradition in the bands of Leroy Jones, the Marsalis family, Dr. Michael White and Kermit Ruffins as well as appearing on several albums by another Crescent City son, Harry Connick, Jr. Barbarin died January 30th at 63.
Bob Gullotti (November 28th, 1949-January 25th, 2020) The drummer was a founding member of The Fringe (with four albums on the band’s Ap-Gu-Ga imprint from 1978-86 and discs on Northeastern, Soul Note and Stunt into the new millennium, plus a decades-long Monday night residency at The Lily Pad and Willow Jazz Club in Boston), had early participation in Tom van der Geld’s Children At Play, credits with fellow Fringe member George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Hal Crook, Michael Ray, Rick Stepton, Guido Manusardi, Trey Anastasio and others, a 2007 album for Soul Note and a career as a respected educator in his hometown of Boston. Gullotti died January 25th at 70.
Norm Amadio (April 14th, 1928 - January 21st, 2020) The Canadian pianist’s main gig was as an orchestral leader at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation but he did have a small discography of sessions with Moe Koffman, Phyllis Marshall, Peter Appleyard and Dave Woods and an obscure trio date under his own name for Canadian Talent Library in the early ‘60s. Amadio died January 21st at 91.
Jimmy Heath (October 25th, 1926 - January 19th, 2020) The NEA Jazz Master saxophonist, middle brother of one of the most famed families in jazz, had numerous records for Riverside, Cobblestone, Muse, Xanadu, Strata- East, Landmark, Soul Note, Verve and SteepleChase, plus many in a cooperative band with his brothers bassist Percy and drummer Albert “Tootie”, his discography from the late ‘40s onward an encyclopedia of jazz with credits under Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, J.J. Johnson, Kenny Dorham, Sam Jones, Nat Adderley, Blue Mitchell, Milt Jackson, Donald Byrd, Herbie Mann, Cal Tjader, Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Johnny Hartman, Red Garland, Sonny Stitt, Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, Benny Carter, Riverside Reunion Band, Clark Terry, Mark Elf, TS Monk, Pat Metheny, Gerald Wilson, Antonio Hart, Nancy Wilson and many others and many of his compositions, such as “CTA”, “Gemini” and “Gingerbread Boy”, recorded by other artists, plus being a noted educator both at Queens College from 1987-98 and as a co-founder of Jazzmobile. Heath died January 19th at 93.
Claudio Roditi (May 28th, 1946 - January 18th, 2020) The Brazilian trumpeter’s debut was supposed to be released by CTI but came out instead on Creed Taylor’s short-lived Greene Street imprint in 1984, followed by over two dozen albums on Uptown, Fantasy, Milestone, Candid, Groovin’ High, Reservoir, Nagel Heyer and Resonance, membership in Paquito D’Rivera’s bands in the ‘80s-90s and close to 200 sessions from the mid ‘70s onward with Dom Um Romao, David Schnitter, Mark Murphy, Chris Connor, Michael Carvin, Klaus Ignatzek, Gary Bartz, Slide Hampton, Horace Silver, Greg Abate, Dave Valentin, Jim Hall, Chuck Israels, McCoy Tyner, Steve Turre, DIVA Jazz Orchestra and many others. Roditi died January 18th at 73.
Geoff Castle (June 8th, 1949 - January 15th, 2020) The British keyboard player was part of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in 1971, a member of Graham Collier’s ‘70s bands (appearing on five LPs), took over Karl Jenkins’ seat in Ian Carr’s Nucleus in the mid ‘70s (six albums in that decade), was a founding member of the jazz-rock band Paz (close to a dozen albums between 1977-97) and also recorded with Neil Ardley to go along with a couple of albums as a leader. Castle died January 15th at 70.
Wolfgang Dauner (December 30th, 1935 - January 10th, 2020) The German pianist and keyboard player, recipient of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the now-defunct Echo Prize (awarded by the German Record Academy) and the Jazzpreis Baden-Württemberg, was at the vanguard of his country’s avant garde and fusion scenes since the early ‘60s, recording his debut (after a shared 1962 SABA date with the Hans Koller-Oktett) for CBS in 1964, Dream Talk, a trio session with countryman bassist Eberhard Weber and American ex-pat drummer Fred Braceful, soon expanding his vision outside of traditional formats, convening the piano/bass/drums/cello/ reeds/violin/tabla septet found on Free Action (SABA, 1967, with Jean-Luc Ponty) and jazz group and choir collaborations such as 1968’s “Psalmus Spei”, 1969’s “Beobachtungen Für Stimmen Und Instrumente” and 1970’s “Dauner-eschingen”, making experimental albums for MPS, Calig, ECM, CTR-Produktion and other labels through the ‘70s as well as amassing session credits with Joki Freund, The German All-Stars, Robin Kenyatta, Rolf Kühn, Masahiko Satoh, Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Sigi Busch, Klaus Weiss, Hans Koller, Albert Mangelsdorff, Volker Kriegel, Ack Van Rooyen, Zbigniew Seifert and many more, founding Mood Records in the late ‘70s with Mangelsdorff and Kriegel, aiming to foster Germany’s jazz-rock scene (one he had helped establish several years earlier with such albums as 1969’s Rischka’s Soul and 1970’s Et Cetera), the label releasing many albums by Dauner and his peers as well as being the home label for The United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, which featured an international cast of musicians including Dauner, Weber, Mangelsdorff, Kriegel and non-Germans such as Kenny Wheeler, Barbara Thompson, Jon Hiseman and Ian Carr, his recording activities continuing unabated well into the new millennium, whether as a leader, in The United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, collaborative or sideman roles or in partnership with his drummer son Florian. Dauner died January 10th at 84.
Angel “Cachete” Maldonado (October 16th, 1951 - January 10th, 2020) The Puerto Rican percussionist’s Batacumbele band released the aptly titled Afro Caribbean Jazz in 1987, a decade after he had credits with Andy Harlow, Gato Barbieri, Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barretto and other Latin jazz legends. Maldonado died January 10th at 68.
Gianni Sanjust (June 23rd, 1934 - January 9th, 2020) The Italian clarinetist had a handful of albums in the jazz-pop vein from the early ‘60s into the new millennium as well as recording credits with the Roman New Orleans Jazz Band, Romano Mussolini, Alfredo Ferrario and others to go along with work as a producer for Ricordi Records in the ‘60s-70s. Sanjust died January 9th at 85.
Jak Kilby (April 29th, 1949 - January 3rd, 2020) The British photographer helped document the early days of his country's avant garde jazz scene, his images appearing on albums by Amalgam, Bob Downes, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, John Surman, S.O.S., Derek Bailey, Paul Rutherford, John Stevens, Harry Miller, Frank Perry, Howard Riley, Dudu Pukwana, Mike Osborne, Keith Tippett, Trevor Watts, Gary Windo and others from the late ‘60s into the mid ‘80s. Kilby died January 3rd at 70.