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Posts Tagged ‘Miles Davis’

RIP, Cornell Dupree (May 8, 2011) Jazz and R&B Guitar Great

Posted by on May 8, 2011

Cornell Dupree
December 19, 1942 – May 8, 2011

Cornell Dupree was a respected jazz and R&B guitarist who, over the course of his career, played on records by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Joe Cocker, and Brook Benton.  In his early years, Dupree could be found playing in the legendary Atlantic Records house band, with whom he played on such iconic records as Benton’s “Rainy Night In Georgia,” and Franklin’s “Respect” on which he provided the instantly recognizable opening guitar riff.  He was also a founding member of the much respected jazz funk combo, Stuff.  Dupree also released several of his own albums throughout the years, his most popular being 1994’s Bop ‘n’ Blues.  Cornell Dupree had been suffering from emphysema and had been waiting for a lung transplant when he passed away on May 8, 2011.  He was 68.

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RIP, Owsley Stanley (March 13, 2011) LSD Icon; Longtime Soundman for Grateful Dead

Posted by on March 14, 2011

Augustus Owsley Stanley
January 19, 1935 – March 13, 2011

Owsley “Bear” Stanley was a sound engineer and former notorious LSD cook who was reportedly the first to manufacture large quantities of the drug.  His high-quality LSD, often given away for free, became plentiful in the San Francisco area during the mid ’60s so is credited for being an essential piece of the hippie movement.  As a respected sound engineer, Stanley was employed by (and also helped finance) the Grateful Dead.  He met members of the group during Ken Kesey’s famed acid tests of 1966 and became their first sound man.  He also co-designed their iconic “Steal Your Face” skull logo with Bob Thomas.   It was Stanley who developed the advanced high fidelity live sound system used by the Grateful Dead.  He also helped launch Meyer Sound, the respected concert sound system manufacturer.  During his years with the Grateful Dead, Stanley started the practice of taping the band’s rehearsals and live shows – this lead to the phenomenon of audience-generated tapes that spread well beyond the Dead.  He also made countless live recordings during the ’60s and ’70s of such acts as Jefferson Airplane, Miles Davis, Janis Joplin, Santana, and Johnny Cash to name just a few.   Owsley and his exploits have been documented in (or at least inspired) such songs as “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, “Kid Charlemagne” by Steely Dan, and numerous others.  On March 13, 2011, Owsley Stanley was killed when the car he was driving swerved off a road near his home in Queensland, Australia.  The car reportedly went down an embankment and crashed into some trees killing Owsley and injuring his wife.  He was 76.

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RIP, Billy Taylor (December 28, 2010) Respected Jazz Pianist

Posted by on December 28, 2010

Billy Taylor
July 24, 1921 – December 28, 2010

Billy Taylor was a highly respected jazz pianist, composer, and educator whose career spanned the better part of seven decades.  A disciple of Art Tatum, Taylor began playing professionally in 1944, first as part of Ben Webster’s group, and eventually as the house pianist of the Birdland club.  During those early years, he collaborated with the likes of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie.   As one of jazz’s greatest ambassadors, Taylor devoted much of his time to ensure that the music be shared with new generations of fans through his teachings as well as on television and radio.  Many Americans may remember him from his 250+ interviews he conducted for CBS News Sunday Morning.  He has been awarded a Grammy, an Emmy, a Peabody, an NEA Jazz Masters Award and the National Medal of Arts, to name just a few.  Billy Taylor was 89 when he died of heart failure on December 28, 2010.

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RIP, James Moody (December 9, 2010) Jazz Icon

Posted by on December 9, 2010

James Moody
March 26, 1925 – December 9, 2010

James Moody was an influential jazz saxophonist and flautist who is perhaps best remembered for his 1949 hit recording, “Moody’s Mood For Love.”  Moody learned to play the sax at an early age, and after his discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1946, he landed himself a two-year gig playing with Dizzy Gillespie.  Over the course of a career that spanned over an astonishing 60 years, Moody performed with the likes of Quincy JonesMiles Davis, Max Roach, and Kenny Barron to name a few.  He recorded upwards of  50 albums for such respected labels as Blue Note, Vanguard, Prestige, and Mercury.  In later years, he devoted much of his time and money to music education.  In 2010, he received a Grammy nomination for his Moody 4B album.  On December 9, 2010, James Moody died following nearly a year long struggle with pancreatic cancer.  He was 85.

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Died On This Date (August 28, 2007) Hilly Kristal / Owned CBGB’s

Posted by on August 28, 2010

Hilly Kristal
September 23, 1931 – August 28, 2007

Hilly with Little Steven

Hilly Kristal with Little Steven

Opened in 1973, Hilly Kristal’s CBGB became the epicenter of the punk and new wave movement thanks to his early bookings of such acts as Blondie, Talking Heads, New York Dolls, Patti Smith, Television and the Ramones.  After moving to New York City after serving in the Marines, Kristal became manager of the storied Village Vanguard jazz club where he booked such acts as Miles Davis.  In 1968, he co-founded the Central Park’s Schaefer Music Festival which, over the next decade, hosted the likes of the Who, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, the Doors and Aerosmith.  In 1973, he opened CBGB – OMFUG, which stood for  “Country, BlueGrass, Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers.”  He closed the club during a much publicized rent dispute in 2006.  Hilly Kristal died of lung cancer at the age of 75.

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RIP, Herman Leonard (August 14, 2010) Jazz Photographer

Posted by on August 14, 2010

Herman Leonard
1923 – August 14, 2010

Herman Leonard was an American photographer who is revered for the countless iconic photos he took of jazz musicians throughout his career.  After graduating from college, Leonard landed an apprenticeship where he was lucky enough to shoot pictures of Albert Einstein and Harry Truman.  By the early ’50s, he was running his own Greenwich Village studio and freelancing for national magazines.  By then he had turned his focus on the local jazz scene.  His most famous photographs include those of Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Billie Holiday.  In 2005, Leonard and his family were living in New Orleans when they lost their house, his studio and thousands of prints to Hurricane Katrina.  Fortunately, most of his negatives were being housed elsewhere.  His collection is now part of the Smithsonian Museum.  Herman Leonard was 87 when he passed away on August 14, 2010.

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Died On This Date (August 8, 1975) Cannonball Adderley / Giant Of Jazz

Posted by on August 8, 2010

Julian “Cannonball” Adderley
September 15, 1928 – August 8, 1975

Somewhat of a child prodigy, Cannonball Adderley was already turning heads with his sax playing while still a teenager in Tallahassee, Florida.  He along with his brother, Nat Adderley was even competent enough to sit in with Ray Charles as far back as the early ’40s.  After relocating to New York City in the mid ’50s, Adderley was well on his way to becoming one of jazz’s most revered alto saxophonists.  Throughout his career he performed or recorded with such legends as Oscar Pettiford, Miles Davis, Yusuf Lateef and Bill Evans.  Adderley also had a brief career as an actor, first performing with his band in Clint Eastwood’s Play Misty For Me, and later acting opposite David Carradine in an episode of Kung Fu.   On August 8, 1975, Cannonball Adderley died of a stroke at the age of 46.

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Died On This Date (August 5, 1992) Jeff Porcaro / Toto

Posted by on August 5, 2010

Jeff Porcaro
April 1, 1954 – August 5, 1992

Born into a musical family, Jeff Porcaro began playing the drums at an early age. His father was well known session drummer, Joe Porcaro, and his brothers, Steve and Mike Porcaro are active studio musicians as well. Drum lessons began for Jeff at age seven, leading to a career as one of the most respected drummers of his time. At seventeen, Porcaro landed his first job, playing in Sonny & Cher’s touring band. By his twenties, he was playing with the likes of Steely Dan and Boz Scaggs. In 1977, Porcaro, Steve Lukather, and David Paich co-founded Grammy-winning rock band, Toto. Having sold some 30 million albums to date, they are considered to be one of the most successful mainstream rock bands of all time. Even with all that success, Porcaro had time to play on recordings by a who’s who of popular music, including Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, Paul McCartney, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton and Paul Anka. On August 5, 1992, Porcaro suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 38. Some speculated that his death was caused by an alergic reaction to insecticide. The offiicial autopsy concluded that he died of a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

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Died On This Date (July 22, 2008) Joe Beck / Respected Jazz Guitarist

Posted by on July 22, 2010

Joe Beck
July 29, 1945 – July 22, 2008

Joe Beck was a much respected jazz guitarist who was equally at home whether performing mainstream jazz, soul jazz, post bop or fusion.  Beck released numerous albums dating back to 1970.  Over the years, he’s played wth the likes of Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Stan Getz, James Brown, Herbie Hancock and many more.  Beck died of lung cancer at the age of 62.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at  Number1Albums

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Died On This Date (July 17, 1967) John Coltrane

Posted by on July 17, 2010

John Coltrane
September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967

traneAlthough his professional career was cut short after just twelve years, John Coltrane’s output was lengendary.  Coltrane is considered one of the greatest saxophonists of all time and helped popularize the free jazz idiom.  Besides recording over fifty sides, he supported countless others, including Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis.  Most of Coltrane’s albums are must-haves for any jazz collection.  That list includes Giant Steps, Blue Train, My Favorite Things, and of course, A Love Supreme.  Coltrane suffered from heroin addiction but it was live cancer that he succumbed to at the age of 40.

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