*died of complications from COVID-19
Lennart Åberg • John Alaimo • Yul Anderson • Otto Andrae • Louis Andriessen • Luboš Andršt • Ron Anthony • Alain Antonietto • Manassés Aragão* • Carlton Ayles • Colin Bailey • Chris Barber • Erez Barnoy • Alexey Batashev* • Bunny Beck • Daniel Benoît* • Antonín Bílý* • Pavel Blatný • Juini Booth • Jan Borkowski • Colin Bowden • Jack Bradley • Sérgio Brandão • Per Age Brandt • Christian Brewer • Leslie Bricusse • Ronnell Bright • Thurston Briscoe • Christian Broecking • William A. Brower • Garnett Brown • Baron Browne • Yolande Bruce • Brian Buchanan • Olgierd Buczek • Freddy Bühler • Francesc Burrull • Barney Bush • Carmelo Bustos • Ben Bynum • Ralph Carmichael • Enzo Carpentieri • Claude Carrière • Eulis Cathey • Malcolm Cecil • Franco Cerri • Jeff Chambers • Emmett Chapman • Jacques Chesnel • Denny Christianson • Louis Cioci • Pauly Cohen* • Baba David Coleman • Harry Colomby • Tino Contreras • Sheila Cooper • Chick Corea • Conrad Cork • Bill Cottman • Eva Coutaz • Burrill L. Crohn • Cristián Cuturrufo* • Jean Darke* • David Darling • Richard Daugherty • Raoul De Souza • Everette De Van • Dino J.A. Deane • Hubert Degex • Jean Demannez • David Depalma • Buddy Deppenschmidt* • George Devens • Phil Dire • Al Doane • Dottie Dodgion • Luis Duarte • Neill Duncan • Françoise Dupas • Isla Eckinger • Bob Edmondson • Gary Edwards • Benjamin Elkins • Jimmy Ellis • Pee Wee Ellis • Pamela Espeland • Claude Etienne • Michael Evans • Tony Falco* • Chuck Fertal* • Bobby Few • Jack Fine • John Finkbeiner • Tom Finlay • John Firmin • Howard "Kingfish" Franklin* • Carol Fredette • Susan Frias* • David Frishberg • Curtis Fuller • Andy Fusco* • Roy Gaines • Frank Gant • Calvin Gantt • Burgess Gardner • Willie Garnett • Christian Gauffre • Nicky Gebhard • Hartmut Geerken • Leonard "Doc" Gibbs • Ebe Gilkes • Paolo Giordano* • Pat Giraud • Ingmar Glanzelius* • Loren Glickman • Klaus Göbel • Don Gold • Pedro Gonçalves • János Gonda • Billy Gorlt • Jerry Granelli • Milford Graves • Burton Greene • Tammy Greene • Malcolm Griffiths • François Grillot • Roland Grünberg • Guem • Jonas Gwangwa • Ruth Cameron Haden • Slide Hampton • Norbert Hanf • Bill Hanna • Nobuo Hara • Larry Harlow • Cortez Harmon, Jr. • Barry Harris* • Jon Hassell • Teppo Hauta-Aho • John Heard • Spike Heatley • Makoto Hirahara • Norman Hogue • Peter Hollinger • George Horn* • Abbi Hübner • Theodore R. Hudson • Antti Hytti • Peter Ind • Ralph Irizarry • Hirotaka Izumi • Carlton Jackson • Duffy Jackson • Paul Jackson • Frédéric Jacquemin • Sandra Jaffe • Hakim Jami • Nils Jansen • Robert Janz • Howard Johnson • Hill Jordan • Wally Kane • Wojciech Karolak • Alexander Katz • Andy Kaufman • Shin Kazuhara • Mary Kehl • Patricia Kennealy-Morrison • Hans Kennel • Sibongile Khumalo • Josky Kiambukuta • Jim Kilburn • Alain Kirili • Jim Knapp • Bob Koester • Friedrich Körner • Mirka Křivánková • Ulrich Kurth • Elektra Kurtis • Sajda Musawwir Ladner • Rick Laird • Walter Lang • René Langel • Elliot Lawrence • Rohn Lawrence • Janet Lawson • Michel Le Bris • Hervé Le Lann • James Leary III • David Lee, Jr. • Letieres Leite • Lesław Lic • Vivian Lord • Jeremy Lubbock • Jim McAuley • Clarence McDonald • Stan McDonald • George McGowan • Gay McIntyre • Keith McKendry • Marilyn McLeod • Lloyd McNeill • Steve Main • Junior Mance • Gus Mancuso • Bonny Manzi • Sam Marabella • Vladana Marković • Don Marquis • Aaron Martin, Jr.* • Pat Martino • Stephen Maskaleris • Jerzy Matuszkiewicz • Carlos Melero • Duarte Mendonça • Philippe Micol • Manfred Miller • Wambali Mkandawire* • Isaac Mkukupa* • Jemeel Moondoc • Barbara Moore • Joey Morant • Gino Moratti • Bobby Morris • Kathryn Moses • Claude Mouton* • Tony Mowod • George Mraz • Beben Mulyana* • Klaus Mümpfer • Shuichi Murakami • Benny Mustafa • Sammy Nestico • Keith Nichols* • Erik Nilsson • Frank O'Brien • Ruth Olay • Eduardo Orestes • Dennis Owsley* • Johnny Pacheco • Jean-René Palacio • Don Palmer • Raymond Pande* • Dimitri "Dee Pop" Papadopoulos • Claude "Didi" Pattirane • Mario Pavone • Victor Paz • Roger Pemberton • Richie Perez* • Denise Perrier • Bennie Pete* • Andre Petersen* • Ralph Peterson • Achim Pils • Tony Pitt • Vic Pitt • Mike Pointon • Arthur Pomposello* • Bob Porter • Barney Rachabane • Bill Ramsey • Idang Rasjidi • Augie Ray • Freddie Redd • Sam Reed • Kurt Reichenbach* • Al Reichenberger • Dean Reilly • Tapani Renkonen • Uli Rennert* • Mike Renzi • Elton Reyes* • Gerry Rice • Bob Ringwald • Joe Robinson • Randy Ross • Bill Royston • Martez Rucker • Bob Rudolph • Oscar López Ruiz • Kenny Rupp • John Russell • Frederic Rzewski • Ken Salvo* • Will Samuels • Bob Sands • Nisse Sandström • Phil Schaap • Christian Scheuber • Al Schmitt • Gary Schunk • Alex Scorier • Masahisa Segawa • Robbie Shakespeare • John Sheridan • Ayako Shirasaki • Norman Simmons • Sonny Simmons • Len Skeat • Bosse Skoglund • Sonia Slany • Ken Slone • Courtney Isaiah Smith* • Dr. Lonnie Smith • Stephen Sondheim • Mike Spengler • Dominic Spera • Sal Spicola* • Pierre Sprey • Al Stanwyck • Bernard Stepien • Michael Stillman • James Stinnett • W. Royal Stokes • Leif Strand • Maciej Strzelczyk • Sebastião Tapajós • Greg Tate • James Tatum • Bertrand Tavernier • Mabi Thobejane • Jo Thompson* • Svante Thuresson • Frank Tirro • Hidefumi Toki • Amedeo Tommasi • Frank Toms • Tsepo Tshola* • Deems Tsutakawa • Herbert Uhlir • Timo Vähäsilta • Ack Van Rooyen • Reinette Van Zijtveld-Lustig • Urs Vögeli • Stefan Von Dobrzynski • Sunao Wada • Yoshi Wada • Eliot Wadopian • Karl Heinz Wahren • Charlie Watts • George Wein • Anthony Weller • Josef "Sepp" Werkmeister • Mark Whitecage • Jim Widner • Patrick Williams • Tony Williams • Burt Wilson* • Gabor Winand • Anthony Wood • Tom Wouters • Frank Wright • Hugh Wyatt • Gail Wynters • Al Young • Erich Zawinul* • Julien François Zbinden • Dan Zeilinger
Rohn Lawrence (1961 - December 30th, 2021) The guitarist had credits under Najee, Norman Connors, Lonnie Liston Smith, Will Downing, Boney James, Nestor Torres, André Ward, Bob Baldwin, Art Sherrod, Jr., Marion Meadows and Rick Braun and mid ‘90s albums on Atlantic and Jazzateria. Lawrence died December 30th at 60.
Masahisa Segawa (June 18th, 1924 - December 29th, 2021) The Japanese critic produced releases by Toshiko Akiyoshi, Sadao Watanabe, Nobuo Hara, Toshiyuki Miyama and others and wrote liner notes for Columbia, Takt, Express, Denon, East Wind, Yupiteru, Electric Bird, Three Blind Mice, Sony, Eighty-Eight’s and many other labels. Segawa died December 29th at 97.
Neill Duncan (1957 - December 28th, 2021) The New Zealander saxophonist/reed player, based in Australia, was a member of the Braille Collective of musicians as part of the bands Primitive Art Group, Jungle Suite and Six Volts and whose house label released his sole album as a leader in 1999. Duncan died December 28th at 64.
Sandra Jaffe (March 10th, 1938 - December 27th, 2021) The jazz champion co-founded New Orleans Preservation Hall in 1961 with her husband, which has been a crucial venue for presenting traditional jazz and the site of recordings by Jim Robinson, Percy Humphrey, Chris Barber and the club’s own Preservation Hall Jazz Band, currently run by Jaffe’s son Ben. Jaffe died December 27th at 83.
Harry Colomby (August 20th, 1929 - December 25th, 2021) Though working in cinema later in his career, the then-high-school-aged jazz fan (younger brother to Signal Records founder Jules Colomby) became Thelonious Monk’s manager at the pianist’s request from 1955-69. Colomby died December 25th at 92.
Oscar López Ruiz (March 21st, 1938 - December 24th, 2021) The Argentine guitarist and composer (and brother to bassist Jorge López Ruiz) was in Astor Piazzolla’s group from 1961-86 and also worked with Sergio Mihanovich, Lalo Schifrin, Dino Saluzzi, Gato Barbieri and others and would go on to compose for numerous films. López Ruiz died December 24th at 83.
Hakim Jami (1941 - December 19th, 2021) The Detroit bassist and tuba player had three new millennium recordings for hometown label Reparation after work in the ‘70s-80s with Ted Daniel, Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Hilton Ruiz, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Sun Ra and Roland Alexander, as well as more recent credits with Salim Washington and Anthony Braxton. Jami died December 19th at ~80.
Don Palmer (April 9th, 1939 - December 17, 2021) The Canadian saxophonist had credits under Tito Puente and Lee Konitz in the ‘70s and then Paul Cram in the new millennium to go along with membership in Alive and Well and the Benghazi Saxophone Quartet in the ‘90s, plus a co-led release with Tim Cohoon, Joe Sealy and Skip Beckwith in 1976. Palmer died December 17th at 82.
Walter Lang (March 13th, 1961 - December 16th, 2021) The German pianist worked with Rick Hollander, Beate Kittsteiner, Harald Rüschenbaum, Johannes Herrlich, Jason Seizer, Adrian Mears, Jenny Evans, Thomas Faist, Lisa Wahlandt, Wolfgang Lackerschmidt, Duško Gojković, Don Menza and others, was a member of Full Moon Trio and Trio Elf and had albums under his own name for Double Moon, Chitei, Nagel Heyer, Stomp, Pirouet, Jawo, M&I, Atelier Sawano, Enja and ACT, including two co-led with Lee Konitz. Lang died December 16th at 60.
Andy Kaufman (October 5th, 1945 - December 14th, 2021) The music industry professional was the booker for both Blue Note (1989-95) and Birdland (1995-2005) clubs, managed Kevin Mahogany and produced Cachao and Grupo Folklorico Y Experimental Nuevayorquino albums for Salsoul. Kaufman died December 14th at 76.
John Heard (July 3rd, 1938 - December 10th, 2021) The bassist (and painter whose work was used for several albums cover in which he participated) was active since the ‘60s, working with George Duke, Cal Tjader, Azar Lawrence, Luis Gasca, Joe Henderson, Moacir Santos, Airto Moreira, Ahmad Jamal, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Count Basie, Lew Tabackin, Kenny Burrell, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Oscar Peterson, Shelly Manne, Nick Brignola, Bill Watrous, Ira Sullivan, Zoot Sims, Tete Montoliu, Clark Terry, Harold Land, Gene Harris, Lou Levy, Pharoah Sanders, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Claude Williamson, Joe Williams, George Cables, Calvin Keys, Bud Shank, Bobby Hutcherson, Louie Bellson, Gary Foster, Mike Campbell, Benny Carter, Frank Strazzeri and many others along with albums as a leader or co-leader for ITI and Straight Ahead. Heard died December 10th at 83.
Barry Harris (December 15th, 1929 - December 8th, 2021) The pianist, educator and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, during his eight decades of playing, made over two dozen albums for Argo, Riverside, Prestige, MPS, Xanadu, Uptown, Concord, Candid, Enja, Alfa Jazz, Reservoir and other labels, was a valued sideman with Cannonball Adderley, Joshua Breakstone, Charlie Byrd, Donald Byrd, Al Cohn, Sonny Criss, Art Farmer, Terry Gibbs, Benny Golson, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Coleman Hawkins, Louis Hayes, Jimmy Heath, Buck Hill, Illinois Jacquet, Eddie Jefferson, Carmell Jones, Thad Jones, Sam Jones, Clifford Jordan, Lee Konitz, Harold Land, Yusef Lateef, Warne Marsh, Earl May, Charles McPherson, Billy Mitchell, Hank Mobley, James Moody, Frank Morgan, Lee Morgan, Sal Nistico, Dave Pike, Sonny Red, Red Rodney, Jack Sheldon, Sonny Stitt, Don Wilkerson and others and, from the ‘80s onward, became known as an educator through his weekly workshop in which he mentored many generations of future players. Harris died December 8th, 2021 of complications from COVID-19 at 91.
Greg Tate (October 14th, 1957 - December 7th, 2021) The journalist and guitarist published cultural criticism essays on music and Black culture, wrote for the Village Voice and other publications, co-founded the Black Rock Coalition, led the Burnt Sugar band and wrote liner notes for albums by Charles Tolliver, Meshell Ndegeocello, David Gilmore, Josh Roseman, William Parker and others. Tate died December 7th at 64.
Pedro Gonçalves (1970 - December 4, 2021) The Portuguese bassist worked with Paulo Curado, Lisbon Improvisation Players and Mikado Lab, co-founded Dead Combo and had credits as a recording engineer for Creative Sources. Gonçalves died December 4th at 51.
Idang Rasjidi (April 26th, 1958 - December 4th, 2021) The Indonesian pianist worked with Ireng Maulana, Benny Mustapha and Benny Likumahuwa, co-led a group with Indra Lesmana and co-founded the Jakarta All Stars and Trigonia. Rasjidi died December 4th at 63.
Robbie Shakespeare (September 27th, 1953 - December 8th, 2021) The Jamaican bassist was best known as half of the reggae duo Sly & Robbie, who collaborated with Monty Alexander, Nils Petter Molvær, Meshell Ndegeocello, Manu Dibango, Kazumi Watanabe, Barry Adamson, Michael Colina, Bernie Worrell and others. Shakespeare died December 8th at 68.
Leif Strand (June 7th, 1942 - December 1st, 2021) The Swedish composer, conductor and saxophonist incorporated compatriot jazz musicians, such as Arne Domnérus, Bengt Hallberg, Rune Gustafsson, Georg Riedel, Egil Johansen, Putte Wickman, Lars Danielsson and others plus vocal choirs into his works, recorded for His Master’s Voice, Interdisc, Proprius, Europa Film, Air and Earmeal. Strand dued December 1st at 78.
Teppo Hauta-Aho (May 27th, 1941 - November 26th, 2021) The Finnish bassist worked both in his native country and the larger international improvisational scene since the ‘60s, accumulating credits under Juhani Vilkki, Heikki Sarmanto, Juhani Aaltonen, Edward Vesala and Esa Helasvuo, undertaking collaborations with Jarmo Sermilä, Philipp Wachsmann, Evan Parker, Barre Phillips, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, Marilyn Crispell and Ramón López and having membership in Finnczech Quartet, Trio Nueva Finlandia, Quintet Moderne, Kellari Trio and other groups. Hauta-aho died November 26th at 80.
Makoto Hirahara (May 2nd, 1952 - November 26th, 2021) The Japanese saxophonist worked with Shigenori Ohara, Akitoshi Igarashi, Tomohito Aoki, Yuji Ohno and Kazumi Watanabe and had a pair of late ‘90s-early ‘00s albums for Columbia. Hirahara died November 26th at 69.
Slide Hampton (April 21st, 1932 - November 18th, 2021) The trombonist and NEA Jazz Master was a triple threat as a bandleader, sideman/collaborator and composer/arranger, getting his first break with Maynard Ferguson in the ;ate '50s, for whom he would also do arranging, then, over the next five decades, working with Melba Liston, Randy Weston, Charles Mingus, Oscar Peterson, Barry Harris, Hank Mobley, Paul Kuhn, Klaus Weiss, Oliver Nelson, Eddie Jefferson, Dexter Gordon, Sam Jones, Louis Hayes, Philly Joe Jones, Reggie Workman, Mickey Tucker, Curtis Fuller, Mark Murphy, McCoy Tyner, James Newton, Bill Hardman, George Benson, Claudio Roditi, Robin Eubanks, Dizzy Gillespie, Monty Alexander, David Amram, David Hazeltine, James Moody, Killer Ray Appleton, Jim Hall, Bill Charlap, Roy Hargrove and many others, amassing an almost equal number of credits as a performer and composer/arranger, yet still finding time to record as a leader, with several dozen releases into the new millennium on Strand, Charlie Parker Records, Atlantic, Epic, Philips, Barclay, MPS, EMI Pathé, Gazell, Supraphon, Quicksilver, Metronome, Horo, West 54, Enja, Telarc, Criss Cross, Sound Hills, Alleycat and other labels and serve as a champion of his instrument, convening several multi-trombone ensembles. Hampton died November 18th at 89.
Ack Van Rooyen (January 1st, 1930 - November 18th, 2021) The Dutch trumpeter (and younger brother to fellow trumpeter Jerry) was active since the ‘50s, working with Rita Reys, Kenny Clarke, The Red and Brown Brothers, Friedrich Gulda, Hans Koller, Panorama Sound Orchestra, German All-Stars, Horst Jankowski, Knut Kiesewetter, Clarke-Boland Big Band, Charly Antolini, Peter Herbolzheimer, Klaus Weiss, Eugen Cicero, Eberhard Weber, Joe Haider, United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, Volker Kriegel, Gil Evans, Barbara Dennerlein, George Gruntz, Dutch Jazz Orchestra, Chuck Israels, Paul Kuhn, Martin Wind and others and releasing albums under his own name for Vibraton, RCA Victor, MPS, Calig, Mood and Jazzline Van Rooyen died November 18th at 91.
Dave Frishberg (March 23rd, 1933 - November 17th, 2021) The pianist had albums on CTI, Concord, Discovery, Audiophile, Omni Sound Jazz, Fantasy, Arbors, Gazell, Blue Note and other labels and sideman credits with Sal Salvador, Bud Freeman, Zoot Sims, Herb Alpert, Richie Kamuca, Jack Sheldon, Pee Wee Russell, Ken Peplowski, Bob Wilber and more but is best known as a composer whose songs have been performed by singers ranging from Blossom Dearie, Rosemary Clooney, Shirley Horn and Anita O’Day to Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, Stacey Kent and John Pizzarelli. Frishberg died November 17th at 88.
Stephen Sondheim (March 22nd, 1930 - November 26th, 2021) The Broadway composer had his music covered by dozens of jazz players since the mid ‘50s, particularly “Send In The Clowns” and selections from West Side Story, the latter with Sondheim’s lyrics to Leonard Bernstein’s music. Sondheim died November 16th at 91.
Tony Williams (February 1941 - November 14th, 2021) The British record producer founded Spotlite in 1970 by reissuing all of Charlie Parker’s Dial sessions, going on to release further albums from the Dial catalogue and new music by Americans like Cecil Payne, Duke Jordan, Al Haig and others concurrent with Brits Don Rendell, Fingers, Howard Riley, John Stevens, Mick Pyne, Mike Carr and Peter King. Williams died November 14th at 80.
Jim Knapp (July 28th, 1939 - November 13th, 2021) The trumpeter, bandleader, composer and arranger and Seattle stalwart was significant both as a player, with albums on ECM, ITM Pacific and Origin and work with John Cage, Anthony Braxton and Jay Clayton, and as an educator, establishing one of the country’s first accredited jazz degree programs at Cornish College of the Arts. Knapp died November 13th at 82.
Barney Rachabane (1946 - November 13th, 2021) The South African saxophonist had albums on Black Music, Soul Soul, Jive Afrika and Kaz and credits since the ‘60s with Chris McGregor, The Soul Giants, The Roots, Dollar Brand, Kippie Moketsi, Hugh Masekela, Darius Brubeck, Basil Mannenberg Coetzee, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Miriam Makeba and Paul Simon. Rachabane died November 13th at 75.
Per Age Brandt (April 26th, 1944 - November 11th, 2021) The Danish pianist and writer was on Hugh Steinmetz’ 1996 Debut album Nu! (and wrote two of its pieces), put out a pair of albums in the new millennium with saxophonist Karsten Vogel and provided lyrics for albums by Burnin Red Ivanhoe, Niels Lyngsø/Morten Søndergaard and Oliver Lake/John Tchicai/Kresten Osgood/Jonas Westergaard. Brandt died November 11th at 77.
Josef “Sepp” Werkmeister (March 29th, 1931 - November 11th, 2021) The German photographer’s images appeared on dozens of releases from SABA/MPS/BASF, Enja, EGO, Calig, hatART, Musidisc and Sonorama from the ‘60s onward. Werkmeister died November 11th at 90.
Spike Heatley (February 17th, 1933 - November 10th, 2021) The British bassist was active since the ‘50s, working with compatriots like Dill Jones, Vic Ash, Johnny Dankworth, Tony Coe, Bill Le Sage, Ronnie Ross, Harold McNair and others plus visiting Americans such as Bud Freeman, Ben Webster, Red Rodney and Chris Connor. Heatley died November 10th at 88.
Lloyd McNeill (April 12th, 1935 - November 5th, 2021) The flutist, educator, poet and painter (who designed the 2009 USPS Kwanzaa stamp) had a handful of releases on Spoken Arts and his own Asha, Baobab and New Milford imprints and credits on a pair of mid ‘70s Dom Um Romao albums. McNeill died November 5th at 86.
Emmett Chapman (Sep. 28th, 1936 - November 1st, 2021) The guitarist is best known for inventing his eponymous Stick, a vertically-oriented guitar, bass or hybrid of the two, played with hammer-on technique and used by jazzers like Chapman himself, Tony Levin, Alphonso Johnson, Glen Moore, Trey Gunn, Jorge Pescara and others. Chapman died November 1st at 85.
Pat Martino (August 25th, 1944 - November 1st, 2021) The guitarist (né Patrick Azzara) had a prolific career on either side of a career-threatening aneurysm, debuting on record at 18 under the leadership of saxophonist Willis “Gator” Jackson and going on to appear on many of Jackson’s albums over the next couple of years as well as on dates by Don Patterson, Trudy Pitts, Eric Kloss and Jack McDuff, all on Prestige, the label which would release his 1967 leader debut, El Hombre, and several other dates, most notably 1968’s Baiyina (The Clear Evidence), an outing that included a second guitarist in Bobby Rose and tragic young saxophonist Gregory Herbert, Indian percussion instruments and a subtitle of “A psychedelic excursion through the magical mysteries of the Koran”. The final records of his first period were made for Muse in the late ‘70s-1980, both under his own name and in a return to the groups of Jackson. After suffering an aneurysm in 1980, losing his memory and the ability to play guitar, Martino began the painstaking process of relearning his instrument, playing his first gig in years in 197 at New York City’s Fat Tuesday’s, the recording of which, The Return (Muse), marked his second act, which would continue over the next 30 years with more albums on Muse, Blue Note and HighNote, the latter also releasing archival sessions from the ‘60s-70s, before a retirement from performance in 2018 due to chronic illness. Martino died November 1st, 2021 at 77
Letieres Leite (December 8th, 1959 - October 27th, 2021) The Brazilian saxophonist/flutist led the Orkestra Rumpilezz since 2006, which mixed traditional folk music with modern jazz, releasing a couple of albums during its lifespan and giving a notable concert in July 2015 at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, playing pieces written and conducted by Steven Bernstein and Arturo O’Farrill. Leite died October 27th at 61.
Hartmut Geerken (January 15th, 1939 - October 21st, 2021) The German percussionist and writer co-founded Cairo Jazz Band and Cairo Free Jazz Ensemble during a period based in Egypt (while working for the Goethe Institute), during which time he brought the Sun Ra Arkestra there to perform; later, while stationed in Kabul, organized the Indo-Afghan-European Music Weeks and hosted Afghanistan’s first jazz radio program; and worked with John Tchicai, Don Moye, Art Ensemble of Chicago and others, releasing albums on Praxis, Leo, AECO, Qbico, Holidays and Sagittarius A-Star. Geerken died October 21st at 82.
Leslie Bricusse (January 29th, 1931 - October 19th, 2021) The British film and musical composer and lyricist had his tunes, particularly “Pure Imagination” from 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, covered by hundreds of jazz artists. Bricusse died October 19th at 90.
Ralph Carmichael (May 28th, 1927 - October 18th, 2021) The composer/arranger, best know for his Christian music later in his career, worked with Dukes of Dixieland, Nat King Cole, Stan Kenton, George Shearing, Nancy Wilson, Paul Horn, Peggy Lee, Lena Horne and others. Carmichael died October 19th at 93.
Franco Cerri (January 29th, 1926 - October 18th, 2021) The Italian guitarist/bassist was active since the ‘40s with numerous leader dates for Columbia, Ricordi, CGD, GTA, Malobbia, Dire, Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri, Casa Del Jazz, Musica Jazz, Abeat and other labels and credits with Chet Baker, Gianni Basso, Buddy Collette, Claude Williamson, European All Stars, Bruno Lauzi, Flavio Ambrosetti and others. Cerri died October 18th at 95.
Willie Garnett (August 25th, 1938 - October 15th, 2021) The British alto/tenor saxophonist had credits with Jimmy Skidmore, Alexis Korner, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman, numerous pop and rock recording dates and led a big band into the new millennium. Garnett died October 15th at 83.
René Langel (November 25th, 1924 - October 13th, 2021) The Swiss journalist, jazz writer and amateur saxophonist contributed to the notable French jazz journal Hot Revue, published the book Le jazz, orphelin de l’afrique and, most importantly, was a co-founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967. Langel died October 13th at 96.
Enzo Carpentieri (1959 - October 12th, 2021) The Italian drummer had albums on Artesuono and Zerozero Jazz and credits with European Music Orchestra, Ettore Martin, Stefano Benini, John Tchicai, Antonio Tosques, Kenny Wheeler and Greg Burk. Carpentieri died October 12th at 63.
Garnett Brown (January 31st, 1936 - October 9th, 2021) The trombonist was a prolific sideman in the ‘60s-90s with Chico Hamilton, George Russell, Hubert Laws, Duke Pearson, Roland Kirk, Art Blakey, Teddy Edwards, Jack Wilson, Booker Ervin, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, George Benson, Cal Tjader, Lionel Hampton, Frank Foster, Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Harris, Jimmy Smith, Marvin Stamm, Charles Lloyd, Arif Mardin, Gary McFarland, Albert Ayler, Herbie Hancock, Armando Peraza, David Frishberg, Burt Collins/Joe Shepley, Ray Bryant, Hermeto Pascoal, Carmen McRae, Johnny Hodges, Johnny “Hammond” Smith, Gene Ammons, Houston Person, Charles Tolliver, Modern Jazz Quartet, Quincy Jones, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, Charles Earland Randy Weston, Freddie Hubbard, Airto Moreira, Seldon Powell, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Ella Fitzgerald, Heiner Stadler, Ronnie Foster, Roy Ayers, Reuben Wilson, Charles McPherson, Don Sebesky, McCoy Tyner, Eumir Deodato, Eric Gale, Jack McDuff, Rusty Bryant, Les McCann, Joe Chambers, Lou Donaldon, Sonny Stitt, Urbie Green, Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobham, Yusef Lateef, The Manhattan Transfer, Ramsey Lewis, Alphonso Johnson, Horace Silver, Earl Klugh, Brass Fever, Oliver Nelson, Sonny Criss, Normon Connors, Ray Barretto, Grady Tate, Joe Farrell, Joe Sample, John Handy, Stanley Turrentine, The Crusaders, Lionel Hampton, Gil Evans, Ahmad Jamal, Leon Ndugu Chancler, Gerald Wilson, Warren Smith, Gene Harris, Woody Shaw, Diane Schuur, Phil Ranelin and others. Brown died October 9th at 85.
Dimitri “Dee Pop” Papadopoulos (March 14th, 1956 - October 9th, 2021) The noted punk drummer of the ‘80s went on to be active in the Downtown avant garde jazz scene both as a player with Radio I-Ching (a trio with Don Fiorino and Andy Haas), Freedomland (alongside Daniel Carter, Dave Sewelson, David Hofstra and William Parker)and various one-off performances, the first two releasing albums on Resonant Music and Rent Control Records, respectively, and as a NYC concert presenter at Internet Café, CB’s Lounge, 5C Cultural Café and Jimmy’s Down Under. Papadopoulos died October 9th at 65.
James Tatum (July 29, 1931 - October 6th, 2021) The Texas-born, Detroit-based pianist self-released a couple of albums in the ‘70s-80s, including his “Contemporary Jazz Mass”, but made his greatest impact as a teacher, lecturer and philanthropist, the latter via his James Tatum Foundation For The Arts, Inc., which has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships for young Detroit musicians. Tatum died October 6th at 90.
Kenny Rupp (??? - October 2021) The trombonist was a fixture of Maynard Ferguson’s ‘60s bands and also had credits in the big bands of Stan Kenton, Bengt-Arne Wallin, Harry Arnold, Duke Pearson and Toshiko Akiyoshi and later was a member of the DMP Big Band and Jim Cullum Jazz Band. Rupp died at an unknown age.
Lennart Åberg (February 26th, 1942 - September 30th, 2021) The Swedish saxophonist came up in the ‘60s, working with Jan Johansson, Georg Riedel and as a member of Sveriges Radiojazzgruppen, had credits in the ‘70s under Bengt-Arne Wallin, George Russell, Lars Gullin, Arne Domnérus and others, was a stalwart member of Rena Rama (which released albums in the ‘70s-80s on Caprice, JAPO, Organic Music and Dragon) and Okay Temiz’ Oriental Wind (which released albums in the ‘70s-80s on Sonet, JG, Sun and JA&RO) and had his own sessions for JAPO, Caprice, Mirrors, Phono Suecia and Amigo from the mid ‘70s well into the new millennium. Åberg died September 30th at 79.
Mike Renzi (April 28th, 1941 - September 29th, 2021) The pianist and Musical Director for Sesame Street from 2000-10, was also Musical Director for Mel Tormé and Peggy Lee and had credits with numerous singers since the ‘70s like Ann Burton, Meredith D’Ambrosio, Blossom Dearie, Lena Horne, Hilary Kole, Mark Murphy, Annie Ross, Carol Sloane and Grady Tate. Renzi died September 29th at 80.
Dr. Lonnie Smith (July 3rd, 1942 - September 28th, 2021) The organ player and NEA Jazz Master, after coming up with guitarist George Benson’s band in 1966 and then debuting as a leader and working with Lou Donaldson, had a seminal run of albums on Blue Note in the second half of the ‘60s, inspiring future organ players and myriad hip-hop artists who sampled his work, following that period with albums for Kudu, Groove Merchant, Black & Blue, Palmetto, Criss Cross, Pilgrimage and other labels before returning to Blue Note in 2016 while compiling numerous credits as a guest artist since the ‘70s with Jimmy Ponder, Jimmy McGriff, Ronnie Cuber, Eric Gale, Joe Beck, Richie Hart, Gerry Eastman, Donaldson once more, Javon Jackson, Bobby Broom, Ed Cherry, Karl Denson, Akira Tana, Kresten Osgood, Ray Brown, Jazz Orchestra of Concertgebouw and Norah Jones. Smith died September 28th at 79.
Maciej Strzelczyk (August 17th, 1959 - September 28th, 2021) The Polish violinist worked with countrymen Kazimierz Jonkisz, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Tomasz Stańko, Włodzimierz Nahorny and Jarek Śmietana, was a member of Set-Off and Jazz Trio + and made records under his own name for Polonia, Pomaton and Not Two. Strzelczyk died September 28th at 62.
John Finkbeiner (June 19th, 1974 - September 25th, 2021) The guitarist was a member of Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra in the early Aughts and worked with Vijay Anderson, Sheldon Brown and, most extensively, Lisa Mezzacappa. Finkbeiner died September 25th at 47.
Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis (April 21st, 1941 - September 24th, 2021) The tenor/soprano saxophonist was best known for his long associations with James Brown and Van Morrison but had jazz cred through albums on Savoy, Gramavision, Minor Music and Skip; work under Shirley Scott, Leon Thomas, Johnny Hammond, Jack McDuff, Sonny Sitt, David Liebman, Bill Laswell, Karl Denson, Jimmy Cobb and others; and his often-covered tune “The Chicken”. Ellis died September 24th at 80.
Colin Bailey (July 9th, 1934 - September 20th, 2021) The British drummer was active since the mid ‘50s, recording with Bryce Rohde, Vince Guaraldi, Clare Fischer, Joe Pass, Paul Horn, Benny Goodman, Victor Feldman, Julie London, Dave Mackay, Harvey Mandel, Blossom Dearie, Richie Cole, Carol Sloane and others. Bailey died September 20th at 87.
Dottie Dodgion (September 23rd, 1929 - September 17th, 2021) The drummer got her start in the ‘40s as a singer, then switched to the drumkit, worked with Marian McPartland, Wild Bill Davison, Zoot Sims, Ruby Braff, Eddie Gomez and others in New York, was Musical Director of Washington, DC club The Rogue and Jar, continued her career as a drummer both back in New York and later California, playing regularly until the pandemic and publishing her autobiography, The Lady Swings: Memoirs of a Jazz Drummer, in March 2021. Dodgion died September 17th at 91.
George Mraz (September 9th, 1944 - September 16th, 2021) The Czech-born, longtime U.S.-based bassist did not lead many albums in a career beginning in Eastern Europe in the mid ‘60s—this not counting many duo albums of which he was one-half with the likes of Walter Norris, Roland Hanna, Jimmy Rowles, Richie Beirach and Adam Makowicz—only a handful since the early ‘90s on Arta, Milestone and Multisonic, the result of being too busy with hundreds of credits with SHQ, Jan Hammer, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Mariano, Steve Kuhn, Horacee Arnold, Billy Harper, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Pepper Adams, Frank Foster, Zoot Sims, Jon Faddis, Grover Washington, Jr., Carol Sloane, Kenny Drew, Jack Wilkins, Kenny Burrell, Art Farmer, Lionel Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, John Scofield, Mike Nock, John Abercrombie, Hank Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, Scott Hamilton, Stephane Grappelli, Art Pepper, Attila Zoller, Harold Ashby, Mark Murphy, Elvin Jones, Larry Coryell, Clark Terry, Stan Getz, Warne Marsh, Dexter Gordon, Phil Woods, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Harris, Nick Brignola, Andy Laverne, Freddy Cole, Norma Winstone, Helen Merrill, Archie Shepp, Barry Harris, Joe Lovano, David Hazeltine, Billy Childs, Tete Montoliu, Arturo O’Farrill, Jim Hall, George Cables, Don Friedman, Ted Rosenthal, Roberta Gambarini, Kenny Barron, John DiMartino, Yelena Eckemoff and many others along with membership in New York Jazz Quartet, Quest and Keystone Trio and Keystone Quartet. Mraz died September 16th at 77.
Elektra Kurtis (Mar. 16th, 1961 - September 16th, 2021) The Polish-born violinist worked with Steve Coleman, Henry Threadgill, Craig Harris, Butch Morris, Jason Kao Hwang, Adam Rudolph and Joseph Daley, led her Ensemble Elektra for three new millennium albums on Milo and co-founded the New York Jazz Philharmonic. Kurtis died September 16th at 60.
Leonard “Doc” Gibbs (November 8th, 1948 - September 15th, 2021) The percussionist was best known for his work with Grover Washington, Jr. and Bob James but also had credits under Michael Pedicin, Jr., Earl Klugh, Hiram Bullock, John Blake, Mike Stern, Kirk Whalum, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Charles Fambrough, George Benson, Ronnie Burrage, Gerald Veasley, Eric Gale and Alphonso Johnson. Gibbs died September 15th at 72.
George Wein (October 3rd, 1925 - September 13th, 2021) The NEA Jazz Master, impresario and pianist started out playing as a sideman on dates by Sidney Bechet, Pee Wee Russell, Will Bill Davison, Ruby Braff and others in Boston during his college days, founded both the Storyville club and its sister record label, went on to establish the Newport, New Orleans, Playboy, Schlitz, Kool and JVC jazz festivals, among others, as well as presenting thousands of concerts through the decades through his Festival Productions, released albums under his own name sporadically for Atlantic, Impulse and Concord Jazz and, in 2003, published (with now-noted jazz critic Nate Chinen) his autobiography, Myself Among Others: A Life in Music (Da Capo Press). Wein died September 13th at 95.
Ruth Cameron Haden (June 4th, 1947 - September 11th, 2021) The wife of late bassist Charlie Haden was his manager and produced his albums (occasionally adding vocals) for Verve, Universal, Naim and EmArcy, plus led two sessions as a singer in the late ‘90s for EmArcy. Cameron Haden died September 11th at 74.
Nisse Sandström (March 13th, 1942 - September 8th, 2021) The Swedish saxophonist had albums on Odeon, Phontastic, Dragon and Moserobie and sideman credits under Red Mitchell, Sture Nordin, Phontastic Dixieland Band, Ruth Olay, Rolf Ericson, Bertil Lövgren, Monica Zetterlund and others. Sandström died September 8th at 79.
Phil Schaap (April 8th, 1951 - September 7th, 2021) The radio personality, historian, educator, producer, Charlie Parker authority and 2021 NEA Jazz Master got his start via his jazz historian father, went on to curate expansive jazz programming at Columbia University’s WKCR, starting from his student days up until his death, taught jazz history at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Juilliard, Columbia and Princeton and worked on archival albums for Savoy, Verve, EmArcy, Muse, Columbia and other labels in both production and documentary roles. Schaap died September 7th at 70.
Ralph Irizarry (July 18th, 1954 - September 5th, 2021) The timbalero worked with Ray Barretto, Rubén Blades, Carmen Lundy, Larry Harlow, Paquito D’Rivera, Steve Kahn, Samuel Torres, Steve Grossman and others and led his Timbalaye band on albums for Shanachie, BKS and Truth Revolution. Irizarry died September 5th at 67.
Ruth Olay (July 1st, 1924 - September 3rd, 2021) The singer had albums from the mid ‘50s-mid ‘60s on Top Rank International, EmArcy, Mercury, United Artists, ABC and Everest and then again in the mid ‘80s on Laurel. Olay died September 3rd at 97.
Baron Browne (March 5th, 1960 - September 2nd, 2021) The electric bassist had credits under Frank Quintero, Kevin Eubanks, Jean-Luc Ponty, Billy Cobham, Walter Beasley and others and was a longtime member of Steve Smith’s Vital Information. Browne died September 2nd at 61.
Jemeel Moondoc (August 5th, 1946 - August 29th, 2021) The saxophonist was a part of the NYC Loft scene in the ‘70s, leading his Muntu band and later Jus Grew Orchestra, working with William Parker, Saheb Sarbib, Butch Morris, Denis Charles, Khan Jamal, Steve Swell and others and releasing albums on Cadence Jazz, PolJazz, Soul Note, Praxis, Eremite, Ayler, Relative Pitch and RogueArt. Moondoc died August 29th at 75.
Francesc Burrull (October 18th, 1934 - August 28th, 2021) The Spanish pianist/vibraphonist/composer worked with Tete Montoliu and Catalònia Jazz Quartet and had his own albums for Vergara, Concentric, Belter and Pequeñas Cosas. Burrull died August 28th at 86.
George Horn (c.1934 - August 26th, 2021) The mastering engineer at Fantasy Studios had thousands of production credits including reissues in the Original Jazz Classics series by Miles Davis, Don Ellis, Gene Ammons, Harold Mabern, John Coltrane, Flora Purim, Herbie Hancock, Zoot Sims, Sonny Rollins, Art Pepper, Tommy Flanagan, Ray Brown/Jimmy Rowles and others and new Concord releases by Dave Brubeck, Dave McKenna, Cal Tjader, Kenny Burrell, George Shearing/Marian McPartland, Al Cohn, Stan Getz and many more. Horn died August 26th at 87 of complications from COVID-19.
John Sheridan (January 20th, 1946 - August 24th, 2021) The pianist worked with Allan Vaché, Jim Cullum, Turk Murphy, Dan Barrett, Evan Christopher, John Allred and Dick Hyman and had many albums on Arbors. Sheridan died August 24th at 75.
Charlie Watts (June 2nd, 1941 - August 24th, 2021) The British drummer financed his love of jazz (and collection of famed jazz drummers' equipment) via a day job with The Rolling Stones, most famously convening his Charlie Watts Orchestra in the ‘80s, packed with a few generations of U.K. jazz stars (players as disparate as Peter King, Jack Bruce, Stan Tracey, Alan Skidmore, Evan Parker, Bobby Wellins, Don Weller, Harry Beckett, Chris Pyne, Paul Rutherford and Jimmy Deuchar, with Bill Eyden and John Stevens as the other drummers) and releasing a 1986 concert, Live At Fulham Town Hall, on CBS and touring the U.S., following that with other jazz albums in the ‘90s and into the new millennium, including A Tribute To Charlie Parker With Strings, a duo project with fellow drummer Jim Keltner fêting legends of jazz drumming, two albums of boogie-woogie and a 2010 collaboration with the Danish Radio Big Band, plus having a book (Watts trained as a graphic artist) published in 1964, Ode To A High Flying Bird (a children’s introduction to Charlie Parker) and, in 1968, producing the eponymous debut of The People Band, an avant garde group with members like George Khan and Lyn Dobson. Watts died August 24th, 2021 at 80.
Larry Harlow (March 20th, 1939 - August 20th, 2021) The pianist worked in the Latin jazz world both as a performer with albums since the mid ‘60s on Fania, Coco, Tropical Budda, Inca, Songo, Manzana, Latin Cool and other imprints and credits under flutist brother Andy, Fania All Stars, Chico O’Farrill and others as well as via hundreds of producing credits for Coco, Cotique, Discophon, Fania, Inca, Salsa and Vaya. Harlow died August 20th at 82.
Peter Ind (July 20th, 1928 - August 20th, 2021) The British bassist had early credits with Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, Paul Bley, Jutta Hipp and Buddy Rich, plus a leader album on his Wave imprint, then, after returning to the U.K., ran both the label and a studio, releasing his and sessions by Konitz, Warne Marsh, Kenny Barron, Duke Jordan and others, and, from 1984-94, helming the Bass Clef club. Ind died August 20th at 93.
Thurston Briscoe (July 4th, 1947 - August 16th, 2021) The former drummer was a longtime radio host on KLCC in Eugene, OR, then producer of NPR performance series Jazz Alive! and, from 1990-2013, Program Director and then Vice President of Programming and Production for WBGO. Briscoe died August 16th at 74.
Michael Evans (October 11th, 1957 - August 13th, 2021) The drummer had credits under John Zorn, Eric Mingus, David Grubbs, Gordon Beeferman and Ken Vandermark, membership in the Fulminate Trio and collaborations with Jeff Arnal, LaDonna Smith, Yoni Kretzmer and Pascal Niggenkemper. Evans died August 13th at 63.
Ronnell Bright (July 3rd, 1930 - August 12th, 2021) The pianist came up in the mid ‘50s with Rolf Kühn, Frank Wess, Johnnie Pate and Sarah Vaughan and led three of his own dates for Regent, Vanguard and Polydor in that decade, going on to work with Coleman Hawkins, Anita O’Day, Shirley Scott, Buddy Tate and SuperSax. Bright died August 12th at 91.
Ulrich Kurth (September 28th, 1953 - August 12th, 2021) The German pianist transitioned from a performer in the ‘70s to a producer in the ‘90s for labels like hatART, JazzHausMusik, JMT, Enja, ACT, Leo and Tutu. Kurth died August 12th at 67.
Roy Gaines (August 12th, 1937 - August 11th, 2021) The guitarist, though primarily a blues player, did have credits with Jimmy Rushing, The Jazz Crusaders, Hugh Masekela, Les McCann and Milt Buckner in the late ‘50s-mid ‘70s. Gaines died August 11th at 84.
Pierre Sprey (November 22nd, 1937 - August 8th, 2021) The French-born, NYC-raised aeronautical engineer, after a career at The Pentagon, produced albums from the late ‘80s-mid ‘00s for his Mapleshade label by Clifford Jordan, Hamiet Bluiett, Harold Ashby, John Hicks, Larry Willis, Raphé Malik, Steve Davis, Ted Nash and others. Sprey died August 8th at 83.
David Lee, Jr. (January 4th, 1941 - August 4th, 2021) The drummer had one leader date in 1973 plus credits since the ‘70s under Dizzy Gillespie, Leon Thomas, Joe Zawinul, Albert Dailey, Roy Ayers, Harold Alexander, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Lonnie Liston Smith, Mike Longo, Charlie Rouse, Alan Braufman, Richard Wyands and Ellis Marsalis. Lee died August 4th at 80.
Colin Bowden (February 29th, 1932 - August 1st, 2021) The British drummer was a member of Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen in the mid ‘50s-early ‘60s and also had later credits with Colyer, The Crane River Jazz Band, Alexis Korner, Ian Wheeler, Phil Mason, Sonny Morris, Mike Cox and Kenny Davern. Bowden died August 1st at 89.
Don Marquis (1933- July 29th, 2021) The jazz scholar, based in New Orleans since the ‘60s, published In Search of Buddy Bolden: First Man of Jazz in 1978 (and consulted on the 2019 film Bolden) and was integral in founding of the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Marquis died July 29th at 88.
Joey Morant (1938 - July 29th, 2021) The trumpeter/vocalist worked with Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, George Benson, Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Roy Ayers, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Benny Golson, Gene Ammons, Earl Bostic and others and released albums on Amy-Mala-Bell, Double L, SSS International and, in 2018, Blujazz. Morant died July 29th at 82.
Vic Pitt (September 26th, 1941 - July 27th, 2021) The British bassist/tuba player, whose brother Tony was a guitarist and banjo player, was part of the U.K.’s trad-jazz scene with two of The Three Bs in Kenny Ball (1960-76) and Chris Barber (1979 into the new millennium) and also worked with Wally Fawkes, John Crocker, Ian Wheeler, Pat Halcox and others. Pitt died July 27th at 79.
Dino J.A. Deane (February 16th, 1950 - July 23rd, 2021) The trombonist/keyboard player had collaborative albums on Dossier, Ear-Rational, FMP, Victo and Zerx with Bill Horvitz, Butch Morris, Lê Quan Ninh, Myra Melford and others to go along with credits under Morris, Jon Hassell, John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz and Stephanie Richards. Deane died July 23rd at 71.
Clarence McDonald (February 24th, 1945 - July 21st, 2021) The pianist/keyboard player/producer recorded with Blue Mitchell, Sonny Criss, The Manhattan Transfer, Nancy Wilson, Freddie Hubbard and Stanley Turrentine among his many pop credits. McDonald died July 21st at 75.
Jerry Granelli (December 30th, 1940 - July 20th, 2021) The Canada-based drummer, despite being best known for his work in 1965 on Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas (for which he was initially not even credited), had a long career: with Guaraldi prior to Charlie Brown then Jon Hendricks, Denny Zeitlin, Mose Allison, Ralph Towner, Jay Clayton, Jane Ira Bloom, Lee Konitz, Robben Ford, Charlie Mariano and more to go along with albums since the ‘70s on Excalibur, JMT, ITM Pacific, Loveslave, Songlines, Veal, Addo and, most recently, Sunnyside. Granelli died July 20th at 80.
Frank Gant (May 26th, 1931 - July 19th, 2021) The drummer was active since the ‘50s with Donald Byrd, Yusef Lateef, Barry Harris, Sonny Stitt, Red Garland, J.J. Johson, Ahmad Jamal, Al Haig, Monty Alexander, Ernestine Anderson, Adam Makowicz, Ronnie Mathews, Chris Anderson and others. Gant died July 19th at 90.
Juini Booth (February 12th, 1948 - July 11th, 2021) The bassist was active since the late ‘60s, working with Marzette Watts, Sonny Simmons, Shelly Manne, Gary Bartz, Larry Young, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Masabumi Kikuchi, Joe Bonner, Hamiet Bluiett, Elvin Jones, Chico Freeman, Junior Cook, Ernie Krivda, Steve Grossman, Beaver Harris, Sun Ra, Charles Gayle, Franklin Kiermyer, Ilhan Ersahin and others. Booth died July 11th at 73.
Sam Reed (October 18th, 1935 - July 7th, 2021) The stalwart Philly saxophonist worked with The Metronomes, The Ambassadors, Grady Tate and Sunship and was a longtime member of Odean Pope’s Saxophone Choir, appearing on albums the band made for Soul Note in the ‘80s-90s. Reed died July 7th at 85.
Rick Laird (February 5th, 1941 - July 4th, 2021) The Irish bassist was best known for anchoring the first iteration of the legendary fusion group Mahavishnu Orchestra but had an impressive jazz resumé on either side of that tenure, first in his adopted home of London (after a couple of years in Australia, where he worked with another future-fusioneer-in-America, The Fourth Way founder pianist Mike Nock) as part of the 1964-66 house band for Ronnie Scott’s club, backing visiting Americans like Prince Lasha, Al Cohn/Zoot Sims, Annie Ross, Sonny Stitt, Wes Montgomery, Victor Feldman, Roland Kirk, Don Byas, Yusef Lateef, Ben Webster, Sonny Rollins and more, then, after receiving a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music getting his first major gig as part of Buddy Rich’s big band, followed by an invitation from a connection from Ronnie Scott’s, British guitarist John McLaughlin, already in New York and established through work with Miles Davis, to join a new band inspired by Davis’ jazz-rock explorations, Mahavishnu Orchestra, which released three albums in its lifespan—studio dates Inner Mounting Flame and Birds of Fire and live set Between Nothingness and Eternity (another studio date, The Lost Trident Sessions, was released in 1999)—and played over 300 gigs between 1971 and its disbandment after a final concert on December 30th, 1973, following that with work with Clive Stevens, Horacee Arnold, Eddie Jefferson, Richie Cole, Vic Juris, Eddie Daniels, Stan Getz and others and his sole album as a leader, 1976’s Soft Focus for Muse, but by the early ‘80s hanging up his bass and devoting himself fully to photography, a side gig he had begun in the ‘70s, his portraiture gracing albums by McLaughlin, Cobham, Nock, Sun Ra, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Attila Zoller, Michael Brecker, Cindy Blackman, Larry Coryell, Lee Konitz, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Barron and many others. Laird died July 4th, 2021 at 80.
Antti Hytti (October 12th, 1952 - July 3rd, 2021) The Finnish bassist/vocalist was a founding member of Piirpauke and worked with Tomasz Stańko, Edward Vesala, Juhani Aaltonen, Jone Takamäki, Iro Haarla and others. Hytti died July 3rd at 68.
Elliot Lawrence (February 14th, 1925 - July 2nd, 2021) The pianist, though better known for his later career as a composer/arranger for film and TV, got his start leading dance bands in the ‘50s playing period jazz tunes for albums on Fantasy, Vik, Jazztone and Vogue and recording with the reunited Four Brothers and Manny Albam. Lawrence died July 2nd at 96.
Benny Mustafa (September 22nd, 1939 - July 2nd, 2021) The Indonesian drummer worked with Bubi Chen, Jack Lesmana, Ireng Maulana and others but his most notable credit was on Tony Scott and The Indonesian All Stars’ 1967 SABA LP Djanger Bali. Mustafa died July 2nd at 81.
Bill Ramsey (April 17th, 1931 - July 2nd, 2021) The singer, though born in Ohio, based his career in Germany after serving there with the U.S. Air Force, recording for Polydor, Columbia, Electrola, Cornet and Intercord, both as a featured performer and in collaboration with Paul Kuhn, Inge Brandenburg, Toots Thielemans, Dieter Reith and others. Ramsey died July 2nd at 90.
Bob Sands (1966 - June 29th, 2021) The Madrid-based saxophonist worked with Carlos Barretto, Bernardo Sassetti, Miguel Blanco, Monkfish and Paquito D’Rivera and released two albums on Fresh Sound-New Talent and SteepleChase. Sands died June 29th at 55.
Burton Greene (June 14th, 1937 - June 28th, 2021) The pianist on the forefront of avant garde jazz on two continents, first in New York as part of the burgeoning New Thing, co-founding the Free Form Improvisation Ensemble with Alan Silva, one of New York’s earliest free jazz groups, and making his first record, a quartet date for ESP-Disk’, followed by a live album for same and then an unlikely major label release for Columbia in 1968, then as one of the many musicians leaving for Europe, first to Paris, then eventually Holland, going on to record with Gong, Peter van der Locht/Boy Raaymakers, Lol Coxhill, Archie Shepp and Jacques Coursil and steadily release his own albums for BYG-Actuel, Futura, Button-Nose, Circle, Horo, All Life, Kharma, Fore, Nimbus West, Cadence Jazz, CIMP, Drimala, Tzadik, Porter, NoBusiness, Long Song, Improvising Beings and Astral Spirits well into the new millennium, additionally reconnecting with his Jewish musical heritage by exploring the nexus of Klezmer and the avant garde with his projects Klez-Thetics, Klez-Edge and Klezmokum. Greene died June 28th at 84.
Jon Hassell (March 22nd, 1937 - June 26th, 2021) The trumpeter and composer worked in his self-created Fourth World aesthetic on albums since the late ‘70s with players like Nana Vasconcelos, William Winant, Miroslav Vitous, Adam Rudolph, Eivind Aarset, Jacky Terrasson and Kenny Garrett. Hassell died June 26th at 84.
Frederic Rzewski (April 13th, 1938 - June 26th, 2021) The pianist and composer, a founding member of Musica Elettronica Viva, the groundbreaking ensemble with albums on Polydor, BYG, Mainstream, Horo, IRML, Matchless and Victo, had his own releases on Opus One, Finnadar, Vanguard, Nonesuch, New Albion, hatART, Music & Arts, Otoroku and other labels, plus collaborations with Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Instant Composers Pool, Garrett List, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Laboratorio Della Quercia and Irène Aebi. Rzewski died June 26th at 83.
Hidefumi Toki (February 1st, 1950 - June 26th, 2021) The Japanese saxophonist had early work with Toshiyuki Miyama’s New Herd and Terumasa Hino, going on to make records for Three Blind Mice, Frasco, RCA (a duo with percussionist Warren Smith), Baystate, Discomate (his AfroCuban band Pacific Jam), Columbia, Meldac (all with his funk-jazz band ChickenShack), Fun House, Ragmania, Vivid Sound and Sound of Delight to complement credits with Kazumi Watanabe, Naoya Matsuoka, Joe Chambers, Toots Thielemans, Hiromi Nakamura, Horii Katsumi, Motohiko Hino, Masahiko Satoh and many more. Toki died June 26th at 71.
Wojciech Karolak (May 28th, 1939 - June 23rd, 2021) The Polish pianist/keyboard player got his start in the early ‘60s with Andrzej Kurylewicz, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski and Wanda Warska and led his own bands from 1962 on with over a dozen albums on Polskie Nagrania, PolJazz, Helicon, GOWI, Polskie Radio and JSR, plus numerous sideman credits with Don Ellis, Michał Urbaniak, Jarek Śmietana, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Tomasz Szukalski and others. Karolak died June 23rd at 82.
Nobuo Hara (November 19th, 1926 - June 21st, 2021) The tenor saxophonist was one of the first jazz bandleaders in his native Japan (Sharps & Flats, whose notable members were Koji Suzuki, Shuzo Morikawa, Takao Naoi, Teruyuki Fukushima, Toshihiko Ogawa and Yoshio Nakamura), releasing dozens of albums on King, CBS, Takt, Columbia, Victor, Liberty, Toshiba, Three Blind Mice and other labels, including meetings with Hōzan Yamamoto, Sadao Watanabe and Oliver Nelson. Hara died June 21st at 94.
Christian Scheuber (November 11th, 1960 - June 20th, 2021) The German drummer had a 2011 CD for Double Moon, collaborative dates with Andrei Kondakov and Richie Beirach and membership in the City West Quartet, Extreme Trio and 3 Im Roten Kreis. Scheuber died June 20th at 60.
Gabor Winand (June 28th, 1964 - June 15th, 2021) The Hungarian saxophonist/singer had several albums in the new millennium on BMC Records, membership in ESP Group and Quartet and credits with Gyárfás István, Jazz Consort, Hárs Viktor and Elsa Valle. Winand died June 15th at 57.
Raoul De Souza (August 23rd, 1934 - June 13th, 2021) The Brazilian trombonist had albums since the ‘60s on RCA Victor, Milestone, Capitol, RGE, Mix House, Tratore, Biscoito Fino, PAO, Selo SESC, Gramofone and other labels and sideman credits under Luiz Henrique, Sérgio Mendes, Flora Purim, Sonny Rollins, Azar Lawrence, Airto Moreira, Milton Nascimento, George Duke, Hermeto Pascoal, Toninho Horta, Egberto Gismonti, João Donato and Eumir Deodato. De Souza died June 13th at 86.
Alex Scorier (June 6th, 1931 - June 12th, 2021) The Belgian saxophonist/flutist had ‘70s albums on Polydor, Epic and Phillips to go with credits since the ‘50s under Johnny Kay, Fred Bunge, Johnny Dover, Hazy Osterwald and others plus membership in Placebo, Belgian Big Band and BRT Big Band. Scorier died June 12th at 90.
François Grillot (March 23rd, 1955 - June 5th, 2021) The bassist started out playing fusion in his native France but, after relocating to New York in 1980, moved into avant garde jazz, recording with Earth People, Matt Lavelle, Steve Swell, Chris Kelsey, Ras Moshe, Dom Minasi, Michael Marcus, Giuseppi Logan, Jason Kao Hwang and others alongside his own and/or collaborative albums on 56Kitchen, Clockwork Mercury Press and Glitch. Grillot died June 5th at 66.
Mabi Thobejane (1947 - June 3rd, 2021) The South African percussionist and traditional music champion was a member of Phillip Tabane’s Malombo as well as Sahkile and Juno Reactor and worked with Duke Makasi, Sipho Gumede, Robert Doc Mthalane and others. Thobejane died June 3rd at 74.
Peter Hollinger (November 11th, 1954 - May 31st, 2021) The German drummer had his own and collaborative albums since the early ‘80s on FMP, View, Creative Works, Victo, Kip, Unit, ATM, Vexed and Think Progressive—two with countryman drummer Mani Neumeier—and credits under Jon Rose, Mia Zabelka, Heiner Goebbels and Alfred Harth. Hollinger died May 31st at 67.
Bob Edmondson (March 5th, 1935 - May 29th, 2021) The trombonist was a longtime member of the Harry James Orchestra and Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass to go along with credits under Terry Gibbs, Eric Dolphy, Gerald Wilson, Shelly Manne, Benny Goodman, Les McCann, Clare Fischer, Dizzy Gillespie and Shorty Rogers. Edmondson died May 29th at 86.
Alain Kirili (August 29th, 1946 - May 19th, 2021) The French sculptor’s NYC loft hosted many jazz concerts and his work was both on the covers of albums by Steve Lacy, Borah Bergman/Roscoe Mitchell and Jérôme Bourdellon/Thomas Buckner and the environment for recordings by Billy Bang, William Parker, Joseph Jarman, Daniel Carter, Roy Campbell, Sabir Mateen and Leena Conquest. Kirili died May 19th at 74.
Jeff Chambers (April 2nd, 1955 - May 18th, 2021) The bassist was active since the ‘70s in the bands of Buddy Montgomery, Bobby Hutcherson, Charlie Rouse, Mary Stallings, Jeanie Bryson, Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris, Mel Martin, Eddie Marshall, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ahmad Jamal and Calvin Keys and as a member of the cooperative band Bebop & Beyond with albums on Concord and Bluemoon. Chambers died May 18th at 66.
Mario Pavone (November 11th, 1940 - May 15th, 2021) The bassist was an active leader in the new millennium, releasing nearly a dozen albums for Playscape and Clean Feed, this after a smattering of dates in the ‘70s-90s for his own Alacra, New World, Music & Arts and Knitting Factory Works, complementing sideman work since the late ‘60s with Paul Bley, Alan Silva, Bobby Naughton, Thomas Chapin, Bill Dixon, Creative Improvisers Orchestra, Anthony Braxton, Peter McEachern and Patty Waters. Pavone died May 15th at 80.
Hans Kennel (April 30th, 1939 - May 14th, 2021) The Swiss trumpeter was in Modern Jazz Group Freiburg, Jazz Rock Experience, Magog and a couple of Steve Lacy bands and had many of his own albums since the mid ‘60s on Plainisphare, hatART, TCB, Leo, Creative Works and Sonorama. Kennel died May 14th at 82.
Norman Simmons (October 6th, 1929 - May 13th, 2021) The pianist had albums on Argo, Spotlite, Milljac Pub Co., Savant and Sound Hills since the mid ‘50s and credits under Red Rodney, Johnny Griffin, Dakota Staton, Carmen McRae, Red Holloway, Betty Carter, Roy Eldridge, Harold Ousley, Anita O’Day, Helen Humes, Joe Williams, Junko Mine, Harold Ashby, Al Grey, Philip Harper, Frank Wess, Scott Hamilton, Jay Leonhart, Carol Sloane and others. Simmons died May 13th at 91.
Bob Koester (October 30th, 1932 - May 12th, 2021) The Chicago jazz stalwart was on both sides of the mercantile equation as owner of what would become the Jazz Record Mart from 1958 into the new millennium and founder of Delmark Records, which was instrumental in documenting early efforts of members of the AACM such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell and Maurice McIntyre; Windy City totems Kahil El’Zabar, Fred Anderson, George and Von Freeman, Ira Sullivan and Malachi Thompson; and a whole new generation of Chicagoans in Josh Abrams, Jason Ajemian, Josh Berman, Frank Catalano, Keefe Jackson, Rob Mazurek, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Frank Rosaly, Jason Stein and Corey Wilkes. Koester died May 12th at 88.
Curtis Fuller (December 15th, 1932 - May 8th, 2021) The trombonist was the last surviving member of John Coltrane’s 1957 Blue Train album, led numerous albums for Prestige, Blue Note, United Artists, Savoy, Regent, Roulette, Epic, Warwick, Impulse, Status, CBS/Sony, Mainstream, Timeless, Bee Hive, Sonet and Capri since the late ‘50s, was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers from 1961-64, contributing tunes like "Alamode", “Arabia”, “Three Blind Mice”, “Time Off”, “Bu’s Delight”, “Little Hughie”, “The Egyptian” and “The High Priest” to the book and returning throughout the decades for allstar reunions, and had hundreds of sideman credits with Pepper Adams, Clifford Jordan, Paul Quinichette, Lee Morgan, John Jenkins, Sonny Clark, Blue Mitchell, Wilbur Harden, Abbey Lincoln, Lou Donaldson, Jimmy Smith, Machito, Gil Evans, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Philly Joe Jones, Dave Bailey, Bob Brookmeyer, Jimmy Heath, Jackie McLean, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Art Farmer, Phil Woods, Buddy DeFranco, Hank Mobley, Houston Person, Wayne Shorter, Charles Tolliver, Albert Heath, Count Basie, Walter Bishop, Jr., Stanley Turrentine, Dexter Gordon, Woody Shaw, Cecil Payne, the Paris Reunion Band and others. Fuller died May 8th at 88.
Stan McDonald (August 28th, 1935 - May 6th, 2021) The saxophonist/clarinetist was an original member of the Black Eagle Jazz Band from the early ‘70s-early ‘80s, appearing on albums made for G.H.B., Fat Cat’s Jazz and the group’s own imprint, and later founded the Blue Horizon Jazz Band. McDonald died May 6th at 85.
W. Royal Stokes (June 27th, 1930 - May 1st, 2021) The jazz critic was editor of Jazz Notes and JazzTimes, contributing writer to The Washington Post and author of books The Jazz Scene, Swing Era New York, Living the Jazz Life and Growing Up With Jazz as well as liner notes for albums on Soul Note, Concord, Black Saint, Blue Bird, MusicMasters and Alfa Music. Stokes died May 1st at 90.
Sunao Wada (January 13th, 1934 - April 29th, 2021) The Japanese guitarist worked with Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, Ushio Sakai and others and released several albums as a leader in the ‘70s on Three Blind Mice. Wada died April 29th at 87.
Eulis Cathey (June 13th, 1953 - April 27th, 2021) The radio personality and producer worked on albums for Verve, Novus, Atlantic and N-Coded from the ‘90s through the new millennium and had programs on WBGO and SiriusXM. Cathey died April 27th at 67.
Al Schmitt (April 17th, 1930 - April 26th, 2021) The Grammy-winning engineer and producer worked on albums by Chris Connor, Shorty Rogers, Lena Horne, Marty Paich, Paul Horn, Hugo Montenegro, Neal Hefti, Peter Nero, George Benson, João Gilberto, Claus Ogerman, Sam Rivers, Sonny Rollins, Casiopea, Yellowjackets, Larry Carlton, Bill Watrous, Miles Davis, Diane Schuur, Mark Whitfield, Bob James, Sal Marquez, Joe Sample, Chick Corea, Diana Krall, Arturo Sandoval, Eric Reed, Danilo Pérez, Carmen Lundy, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Herbie Hancock, Jane Monheit, Kat Edmonson, Chris Botti, Taylor Eigsti, Lisa Hilton, Norah Jones, Paul Kuhn and many others. Schmitt died April 26th at 91.
Klaus Mümpfer (April 20th, 1942 - April 17th, 2021) The German’s photos appeared on albums by Vocal Summit, John Tchicai, Gregor Huebner, Peter Erskine and Iro Haarla on Moers Music, Taso Music Production, ACT and TUM. Mümpfer died April 17th at 78.
Amedeo Tommasi (December 1st, 1935 - April 14th, 2021) The Italian pianist had well over a dozen albums since the late ‘60s on Cetra, Canopo, Cenacolo, Cardium, Costanza and Cinedelic after early credits with Chet Baker, René Thomas, Bobby Jaspar, Conte Candoli and Jacques Pelzer. Tommasi died April 14th at 85.
William A. Brower (May 9th, 1948 - April 12th, 2021) The author, journalist, producer and jazz activist wrote liner notes for various albums, contributed reviews to DownBeat and JazzTimes, co-founded the Capital City Jazz Festival, stage-managed the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, presented concerts for decades for the Congressional Black Caucus and undertook oral histories for Howard University and The Smithsonian Institute. Brower died April 12th at 72.
Bob Porter (June 20th, 1940 - April 10th, 2021) The producer and liner notes writer worked on hundreds of albums— both new and reissues in both capacities—since the mid ‘60s for Prestige, Cadet, Muse, Savoy, Palo Alto, Epic, Milestone, Verve, Columbia, Atlantic, Bee Hive, Blue Note, Bluebird, BGP, Rhino and 32Jazz and was a fixture on WBGO since its inception with such programs as "Portraits in Blue", "Saturday Morning Function" and "Swing Party". Porter died April 10th at 80.
Bosse Skoglund (April 10th, 1936 - April 10th, 2021) The Swedish drummer had an impossibly rare 1963 album on Bird Notes with Bengt Nordström and Don Cherry to go along with credits under Lars Gullin, Staffan Abeleen, Arnold Johansson, Åke Persson, Gunnar Lindqvist, Bernt Rosengren, Bengt Berger, Johnny Dyani and Christer Bothén. Skoglund died April 10th at 85.
Isla Eckinger (May 6th, 1939 - April 8th, 2021) The Swiss bassist was most notable for making, as part of Mal Waldron’s trio, the first album on ECM Records in 1969 but got his start a decade earlier as a trombonist with Bruno Spoerri then, on bass, worked with visiting Americans like Buck Clayton, Benny Bailey, Hank Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Horace Parlan, Jon Hendricks, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Clark Terry and Waldron, fellow Europeans Dusko Goykovich, Joe Haider, Oscar Klein, Leszek Żądło, Fritz Pauer, Albert Mangelsdorff, Zbigniew Seifert, Gianni Basso, Cees Slinger and Stéphane Grappelli, international players like Makaya Ntshoko and bands like Four For Jazz, Tremble Kids and Hot Mallets and who released a handful of albums since the ‘90s on TCB and Enja. Eckinger died April 7th at 81.
Sonny Simmons (August 4th, 1933 - April 6th, 2021) The alto/tenor saxophonist, oboe and English horn player was among the original proponents of The New Thing, first recording with future longterm partner Prince Lasha on the latter’s The Cry! (Contemporary, 1962) then, after the two moved to New York, working with Don Cherry, Eric Dolphy and Elvin Jones/Jimmy Garrison and two leader dates on ESP-Disk’, the first of several albums through the beginning of the ‘70s on Arhoolie and Contemporary, followed by fallow times later in the decade through the '80s, including a long period being homeless in San Francisco, until a career resurgence in the early ‘90s via albums for Qwest and CIMP and the co-founding of The Cosmosomatics with Michael Marcus, which had several albums in the new millennium for Boxholder, Bleu Regard, Not Two, Soul Note and Saptak Jazz concurrent with Simmons' own albums for Parallactic, Marge, Arhoolie once more, Jazzaway, Hello World!, Ayler, Improvising Beings and Svart. Simmons died April 6th at 87.
Andy Fusco (January 31st, 1948 - April 5th, 2021) The saxophonist came up with Buddy Rich, worked with Bill Warfield, The New York Jazz Repertory Ensemble, Walt Weiskopf, John Goldsby, John Pizzarelli, Don Sebesky, John Marshall, Steve Smith, Jessica Molaskey and others and had albums on Double-Time, Criss Cross and SteepleChase. Fusco died April 5th of complications from COVID-19 at 73.
Erik Nilsson (1935 - April 4th, 2021) The Swedish reedplayer worked with Georg Riedel, Bengt-Arne Wallin, Jan Johansson, Alice Babs, Lennart Åberg, Nils Lindberg, Arne Domnérus, George Russell, Eje Thelin, Mike Westbrook, Terje Rypdal and others, plus had a decades-long membership in the Swedish Radio Jazz Group. Nilsson died April 4th at 85.
Victor Paz (August 30th, 1932 - April 3rd, 2021) The Panamanian trumpeter was active since the mid ‘60s with Celia Cruz, Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Palmieri, Grant Green, Houston Person, Cal Tjader, Charles Earland, Deodato, Fania All Stars, Gato Barbieri, Bill Evans, Bob James, Mongo Santamaria, Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Joe Farrell, Harold Vick, Jimmy Owens, Stanley Turrentine and others. Paz died April 3rd at 88.
Sérgio Brandão (March 16th, 1956 - April 2nd, 2021) The Brazilian electric bassist worked with Kip Hanrahan, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, Paquito D’Rivera, Nana Vasconcelos, Carlos Franzetti, Tania Marie, Hiram Bullock, Herbie Mann, Toninho Horta, Cyro Baptista, Dave Pietro, Andrei Kondakov, Roger Davidson and Romero Lubambo. Brandão died April 2nd at 65.
Malcolm Cecil (January 9th, 1937 - March 28th, 2021) The inventor known for his early innovations with synthesizers and later work with an array of rock and pop stars as a collaborator, producer and recording engineer got his start as a bassist in his native England, working with Tonys Crombie and Kinsley, Dick Morrissey, Vic Ash and others. Cecil died March 28th at 84.
Frank Tirro (September 20th, 1935 - March 28th, 2021) The music historian and former Dean of the Yale School of Music helped the study of jazz become part of academia, publishing such books as Jazz: A History, Living with Jazz and The Birth of the Cool: Miles Davis and His Associates. Tirro died March 28th at 85.
Akira Wada (August 26th, 1956 - March 28th, 2021) The Japanese guitarist and co-founder of Prism, which has had dozens of albums since the ‘70s, had his own albums for Warner Bros., TDK and Eastern Gale and sideman credits under Toshiyuki Honda, Yasuko Agawa, Jun Fukamachi and others. Wada died March 28th at 64.
James Leary III (June 4th, 1946 - March 22nd, 2021) The bassist put out a handful of records in the ‘80s-90s on Blue Collar and Vital (and then LifeForceJazz in 2012) and recorded with Bobby Hutcherson, Hadley Caliman, John Klemmer, George Duke, Earl Hines, Eddie Davis, David Schnitter, Eddie Marshall, John Handy, Harold Land, Count Basie Orchestra and Gene Harris All Star Big Band. Leary died March 22nd at 75.
Jack Bradley (January 3rd, 1934 - March 21st, 2021) The collection of memorabilia from this personal photographer and unofficial archivist to Louis Armstrong became the foundation of the Louis Armstrong House Museum, housed in the trumpeter’s former home in Corona, Queens. Bradley died March 21st at 87.
Buddy Deppenschmidt (February 16th, 1936 - March 20th, 2021) The drummer helped usher in the Samba craze of the ‘60s via the 1962 Verve album Jazz Samba by Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd, the latter in whose trio he was during the period. Deppenschmidt died March 20th at 85 of complications from COVID-19.
Freddie Redd (May 29th, 1928 - March 17th, 2021) The pianist was best known for his composing for and acting in Jack Gelber’s 1959 play about drug-using jazz musicians The Connection, the music for which was released on Blue Note in 1960, one of many albums he made as a leader for Prestige, Metronome, Riverside, Nixa, Futura, Baybridge, Interplay, Uptown, Triloka, Milestone, Boplicity, SteepleChase and, most recently, Bleebop to go along with early sideman dates under Art Farmer, Joe Roland, Gene Ammons, Rolf Ericson, Benny Bailey and Tommy Potter. Redd died March 17th at 92.
Paul Jackson (March 28th, 1947 - March 18, 2021) The electric bassist was best known for membership in Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, appearing on the band’s eponymous debut and Thrust, plus later Hancock albums like Flood and Man-Child, and continuing with the band post-Hancock, plus work with Eddie Henderson, Azar Lawrence, Stanley Turrentine, Charles Earland, Stomu Yamashta, Bennie Maupin, Bill Summers, Sonny Rollins and others to go along with a handful of albums as a leader, a couple with fellow Headhunter Mike Clark. Jackson died March 18th at 73.
Shuichi Murakami (January 1st, 1951 - March 9th, 2021) The Japanese drummer had albums since the mid ‘70s on Toshiba, Polydor, Victor, JVC and Universal Music and sideman work for Yosuke Yamashita, Hiromasa Suzuki, Kazumi Watanabe, Masayoshi Takanaka, Kiyoshi Sugimoto, Yoshio Suzuki, Tsunehide Matsuki, Jun Fukamachi and the Prism band. Murakami died March 9th at 70.
Dean Reilly (June 30th, 1926 - March 9th, 2021) The West Coast-based bassist had credits with Earl Hines, Vince Guaraldi, Mel Lewis, Brew Moore, George Barnes, Cal Tjader, Eddie Duran, Helen Humes and others. Reilly died March 9th at 94.
Len Skeat (February 9th, 1937 - March 9th, 2021) The British bassist (and brother to saxophonist Bill) worked with The Hot Club of London, Denny Wright, Don Harper, Eddie Thompson, Bill Watrous, Brian Lemon, Danny Moss, Charly Antolini, Spike Robinson, Harry Allen, George Masso and others. Skeat died March 9th at 84.
Mark Whitecage (Jun. 4th, 1937 - March 8th, 2021) The reedplayer (and husband to predeceased fellow reedplayer Rozanne Levine) came out of the improvised music scene of his native Connecticut in the late ‘60s, first working with Bobby Naughton then going on to credits with Gunter Hampel, Perry Robinson, Jeanne Lee, David Eyges, Mario Pavone, Saheb Sarbib, Joe Fonda, Michael Jefry Stevens, Steve Swell, Dominic Duval, Joseph Scianni, Marshall Allen, Anthony Braxton, Jay Rosen, Dom Minasi, Jacques Coursil and others, had membership in The Composers Collective, INTERface and The Nu Band and his own or co-led albums since the ‘90s on Acoustics, CIMP, Red Toucan, GM and Clean Feed. Whitecage died March 8th at 83.
Duffy Jackson (July 3rd, 1953 - March 3rd, 2021) The drummer’s 1995 Milestone album Swing! Swing! Swing! summarized a career that found him working with Monty Alexander, Cleveland Eaton, Ira Sullivan, Sonny Stitt, Illinois Jacquet, Jon Hendricks, Harry Allen and, most notably, the Count Basie Orchestra. Jackson died March 3rd at 67.
Chris Barber (April 17th, 1930 - March 2nd, 2021) The British trombonist and OBE recipient was crucial in reviving interest in trad-jazz in England in the ‘50s first with Ken Colyer and then with bands he led well into the new millennium, making dozens of records for Decca, Storyville, Columbia, Tempo, Pye Nixa, Metronome, Amiga, Marmalade, Polydor, Timeless, Bellaphon, G.H.B. and many other labels and was also important to British and international music history through work with figures who would go on to spawn bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Cream. Barber died March 2nd at 90.
Ralph Peterson (May 20th, 1962 - March 1st, 2021) The drummer, who was asked to play alongside Art Blakey in his Jazz Messengers Big Band in 1983 and continued until the drummer’s death in 1990, later returning the favor decades later with The Messenger Legacy band (featuring numerous Blakey alumni), was part of the Young Lions retro-jazz movement of the ‘80s, had early work with Out Of The Blue, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, David Murray and Craig Harris, later credits with Betty Carter, William Fielder, Walter Davis, Jr., Jon Faddis, James Spaulding, Roy Hargrove, Michele Rosewoman, Don Byron, Charles Lloyd, Craig Handy, Anthony Cox, Uri Caine, Bobby Zankel, Stanley Cowell, Mark Shim, Orrin Evans, Duane Eubanks, Carmen Lundy, Frank Lowe, George Colligan, Jeremy Pelt, Wayne Escoffery, Sean Jones and Melissa Aldana to go along with numerous albums as a leader since the ‘80s for Blue Note, Evidence, Sirocco, Criss Cross and, in the new millennium, his own Onyx Productions. Peterson died March 1st at 58.
Claude Carrière (March 14th, 1939 - February 20th, 2021) The French producer, journalist, radio show host and noted Duke Ellington expert was involved in archival releases by Ellington, Charlie Christian, Oscar Peterson, Hank Jones and others for Média 7, Dreyfus Jazz, Nocturne and Cristal and wrote liner notes since the ‘70s for compilations released by RCA Victor, Black and Blue, Pathé, Savoy, Vogue, BMG France, Saga and others. Carrière died February 20th at 82.
Johnny Pacheco (March 25th, 1935 - February 15th, 2021) The Dominican saxophonist/flutist had dozens of albums since the mid ‘60s both as a leader and in collaboration with Pete Rodriguez, Celia Cruz, Jose Fajardo and others, mostly on Fania Records, which he co-founded in 1963 with Jerry Masucci, for which he also produced hundreds of records by the likes of Larry Harlow, Bobby Valentin, Joe Bataan, Willie Colon, Ismael Miranda, Fania All-Stars and many more. Pacheco died February 15th at 85.
Milford Graves (August 20th, 1941 - February 12th, 2021) The drummer, whose earliest recorded appearances in the mid ‘60s—with Montego Joe and Giuseppi Logan—reflected his roots as a Latin percussionist and future as a free-improv drummer, was part of the seminal New York Art Quartet, recorded notable duets with Sonny Morgan, Don Pullen, Andrew Cyrille and David Murray, had an important 1977 collaboration with members of Japan’s avant garde scene (Meditations Among Us), sideman credits with Miriam Makeba, Paul Bley, Lowell Davidson, Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, Albert Ayler, Sonny Sharrock and others and his own albums for IPS, Tzadik and TUM. Graves died February 12th at 79.
Denny Christianson (September 12th, 1942 - February 10th, 2021) The Canada-based trumpeter, bandleader and arranger had several albums since the ‘80s on Justin Time, mostly with his big band, and sideman work with Gabor Szabo, Roland Bautista, Jean Robitaille, Michel Donato and others. Christianson died February 10th at 78.
Chick Corea (June 12th, 1941 - February 9th, 2021) The keyboard player, NEA Jazz Master, 25-time Grammy Award winner, multiple DownBeat Jazz Artist of the Year, member of the Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers Hall of Fame and BBC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was among the most significant jazz players of the last half-century with early work under Mongo Santamaria, Blue Mitchell, Dave Pike, Hubert Laws, Montego Joe, Herbie Mann, Cal Tjader, Stan Getz, Pete La Roca and Donald Byrd, participation in the 1968-72 electric bands of Miles Davis and following that with his own fusion band Return to Forever (active from 1972-78 and reuniting briefly in the new millennium), dozens of albums for Vortex, Blue Note, ECM, Stretch, GRP and Concord and numerous compositions in the jazz canon recorded by myriad artists. Corea died February 9th at 79.
Pauly Cohen (October 3rd, 1922 - February 8th, 2021) The trumpeter was active from the early ‘40s-late ‘80s with Claude Thornhill, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Benny Carter, Count Basie, Roy Eldridge, Clark Terry, Oliver Nelson, Machito, Quincy Jones and others. Cohen died February 8th at 98 of complications from COVID-19.
Uli Rennert (September 25th, 1960 - February 5th, 2021) The Austrian pianist had releases since the ‘80s on Bellaphon, Extraplatte, SOS-Music, PAN TAU-X, Natango and other labels, sideman work with Wolfgang Schalk, Uli Soyka and Lakis Tzimkas and longtime membership in the Jazz Big Band Graz. Rennert died February 5th at 60 of complications from COVID-19.
Christian Broecking (June 5th, 1957 - February 2nd, 2021) The German musicologist and critic wrote liner notes for releases on Intakt, hatART and Jazzwerkstatt, founded Jazz Radio Berlin and the culture-related publishing house Broecking Verlag, was a jazz juror for the annual German Record Critics’ Prize and a noted lecturer. Broecking died February 2nd at 63.
Jeremy Lubbock (June 4th, 1931 - January 29th, 2021) The British pianist’s albums were primarily classical but he did record with Herb Alpert, Al Jarreau and Michael Bublé and had songs recorded by The Manhattan Transfer, Lee Ritenour, Ramsey Lewis/Nancy Wilson, Ernie Watts, Diane Schuur, Pat Metheny, Helen Merrill, Milt Jackson, Nina Simone, Janis Siegel/Fred Hersch, Quincy Jones and others. Lubbock died January 29th at 89.
Carol Fredette (April 15th, 1945 - January 24th, 2021) The vocalist got her start with Sal Salvador and Neal Hefti, worked with Mike Abene, Steve Kuhn and Dave Frishberg and had albums on Devil Moon, Electric Bird, Owl, Brownstone and Soundbrush. Fredette died January 24th at 75.
Jonas Gwangwa (October 19th, 1937 - January 23rd, 2021) The South African trombonist was one his country’s first generation of jazz musicians, working with Todd Matshikiza, The Jazz Epistles, John Mehegan, Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela and, after fleeing Apartheid, Marc Levin, Robin Kenyatta and Johnny Dyani and releasing albums since the late ‘60s on Jamal, MCA, Epic, African Echoes, HEITA! and Sony. Gwangwa died January 23rd at 83.
Janet Lawson (November 13th, 1940 - January 22nd, 2021) The 1982 Grammy-nominated vocalist had a handful of albums on Inner City, Omnisound and Cambria plus sidewoman work with Eddie Jefferson and David Lahm and a long career as an educator at New York University and the New School. Lawson died January 22nd at 80.
Pavel Blatný (September 14th, 1931 - January 20th, 2021) The Czech Third Stream composer had his works performed by SHQ and orchestras (often led by Gustav Brom) with soloists Karel Krautgartner, Jaromír Honzák and Jaromír Hnilička. Blatný died January 20th at 89.
Keith Nichols (February 13th, 1945 - January 20th, 2021) The British pianist and ragtime specialist had albums on One-Up, Stomp Off, G.H.B. and other labels and work with the New Paul Whiteman Orchestra, Cotton Club Orchestra, Harry Gold, Red Roseland, “Pam” Pameijer and Benny Waters. Nichols died January 20th at 75 of complications from COVID-19.
Malcolm Griffiths (September 29th, 1941 - January 19th, 2021) The British trombonist was a crucial figure in his country’s early avant garde scenes, getting his start—as many did—in Mike Westbrook’s big bands, then going on to work with John Surman, Alan Skidmore, Peter Brötzmann, Chris McGregor, Michael Gibbs, Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Rutherford, Hugh Hopper, Graham Collier, Stan Tracey, John Warren, Ray Russell, Harry Miller, Tony Coe, Gil Evans, Louis Moholo, Paul Dunmall, Keith Tippett and more. Griffiths died January 19th at 79.
Gino Moratti (January 15th, 1937 - January 18th, 2021) The longtime private investigator and amateur musician channeled his passion as the latter towards his role as Artistic Director of Jazz at Kitano from 2006-20, making it one of New York’s finest jazz rooms and a home for such pianists as Don Friedman and Frank Kimbrough. Moratti died January 18th at 84.
John Russell (Dec. 19th, 1954 - January 18th, 2021) The British guitarist was part of his country’s second generation of free improvisers, recording since the mid ‘70s for Incus, Caw, Acta, Emanem, FMP, Nur/Nicht/Nur, Another Timbre, psi, dEN, Extraplatte, Bocian, Va Fongool, Weekertoft, FMR and other labels in collaboration with Toshinori Kondo, Maggie Nicols, Steve Beresford, John Butcher, Paul Lovens, Radu Malfatti, Roger Turner, Evan Parker, Maarten Altena, Sabu Toyozumi, Michel Doneda, Mats Gustafsson, Raymond Strid, Eddie Prévost, Thurston Moore and others. Russell died January 18th at 66.
Junior Mance (October 10th, 1928 - January 17th, 2021) The pianist’s credits stretch all the way back to the mid ‘40s, comprising a Who’s Who of jazz in Leo Parker, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Lester Young, Dinah Washington, Joe Gordon, Cannonball and Nat Adderley, Wilbur Ware, Art Blakey, James Moody, Johnny Griffin, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Green, Clark Terry, Eddie Jefferson, Etta Jones, Ben Webster, Howard McGhee, Jimmy Scott, Dexter Gordon and more, later credits being with Ken Peplowski, Frank Vignola, Al Grey, Takashi Ohi, Tony Falanga, José James and Richard Davis, all this plus dozens of leader dates since the mid ‘50s on Verve, Jazzland, Karusell, Riverside, Capitol, Atlantic, Milestone, East Wind, Sackville, Nilva, Bee Hive, All Art, Lob, Chiaroscuro, Enja, Trio, M&I Jazz and, in the new millennium, his own Jun Glo. Mance died January 17th at 92.
Sammy Nestico (February 6th, 1924 - January 17th, 2021) The legendary composer/arranger released over a dozen albums since the ‘80s, many in the new millennium in collaboration with Germany’s SWR Big Band, in a career going back to the mid ‘50s and work for Charlie Barnet, Glenn Miller and, most notably, Count Basie, many of his charts performed and recorded by big bands from all over the world, ranging from high school and college to military, plus movie music credits for Million Dollar Infield, The Color Purple and Little Children. Nestico died January 17th at 96.
Howard Johnson (August 7th, 1941 - January 11th, 2021) The brass and reed player was on hundreds of records since the mid ‘60s by Bill Dixon, Charles Mingus, Hank Crawford, Gerald Wilson, Archie Shepp, Hank Mobley, Big Black, Freddie Hubbard, Gary Burton, McCoy Tyner, Leon Thomas, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Jimmy Owens, Charlie Haden, Charles Tolliver, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Gil Evans, Michel Portal, Bob Northern, George Russell, Warren Smith, Roswell Rudd, Pharoah Sanders, Andrew Hill, Carla Bley, David Sanborn, Beaver Harris, Gato Barbieri, Bob Moses, George Benson, Jaco Pastorius, Buddy Rich, Frank Strozier, Dexter Gordon, Clifford Jordan, The Heath Brothers, Bob James, Chet Baker, Quincy Jones, George Gruntz, Jon Faddis, Ralph MacDonald, Terumasa Hino, Edward Vesala, Manu Dibango, Muhal Richard Abrams, Franco Ambrosetti, Arthur Prysock, Abdullah Ibrahim, Ray Anderson, John Scofield, TS Monk, John Clark, Mike Gibbs, Janis Siegel, Tom Harrell, Marty Ehrlich, Catherine Russell, Salim Washington, Joseph Daley and many others, had myriad pop and rock gigs with everyone from Melvin Van Peebles and Angela Bofill and Lou Rawls to Taj Mahal and Levon Helm and John Lennon, was part of the Saturday Night Live band and released albums on Verve, mostly with his multi-tuba ensemble Gravity. Johnson died January 11th at 79.
David Darling (March 4th, 1941 - January 8th, 2021) The cellist got his start in the Paul Winter Consort then entered the world of ECM via Ralph Towner, going on to debut as a leader for the label in 1980 and release another eight discs for it, either as a leader or in partnership with the likes of Terje Rypdal and Ketil Bjørnstad, plus more dates under John Clark, Sidsel Endresen and Pierre Favre, all this to go with sideman credits with Spyro Gyra, Michael Bocian, JD Parran and various New Age artists. Darling died January 8th at 79.
Bobby Few (October 21st, 1935 - January 6th, 2021) The pianist was part of one of the most important avant garde groups of the ‘70s alongside Frank Wright and Alan Silva (releasing a handful of records on the French Center Of The World label) after earlier credits under Booker Ervin, Marzette Watts, Noah Howard, Alan Silva, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler and Hans Dulfer, staying in Europe and waxing his own dates for Sun, Free Lance, Vogue, Black Lion, Disques Adès, Miss You Jazz, Bleu Regard, CIMP and Boxholder alongside collaborations with Sunny Murray, Steve Lacy, Talib Kibwe, Eve Packer, Avram Fefer, Kali Z. Fasteau, Jacques Coursil and others. Few died January 6th at 85.
Burt Wilson (January 24th, 1933 - January 6th, 2021) The trombonist founded the Sacramento-based Silver Dollar Jazz Band, was a participant in numerous Sacramento Dixieland Jazz Jubilees, authored A History of Sacramento Jazz, 1948-1966 and produced the documentary The Roots of Sacramento Jazz. Wilson died January 6th at 87 of complications from COVID-19.