On June 1, 2000, Ernesto Antonio “Tito” Puente died aged 77. Being Mambo musician (timbales, vibraphone, drums, sax, piano, bass, bongos, congas) and Latin jazz composer, Puente is credited as “The Musical Pope”, “The King of the timbales” and “The King of Latin music”. In his 50-year career he has performed with many famous musicians, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Cella Cruze and Eddie Palmieri and has recorded as a leader more than forty albums. Puente is author of big number of Latin standards, including the world famous “Oye Como Va”.
On May 30, 2003, Michael Peter Hayes aka Mickie Most died aged 64. During the late 50’s he was member of The Most Brothers and Mickie Most and the Playboys, but he is best known as music producer of big number of hits for The Animals, Hermans Hermits, The Nashville Teens, Donovan, Lulu, Arrows, Racey, Jeff Beck and Kim Wilde. In the 70’s Most formed his own record label “RAK” having hits with Hot Chocolate, Suzi Quatro and Mud.
On May 30, 1993, Herman Poole Blount aka Sun Ra died aged 79. Being jazz composer, bandleader, musician (piano and synthesizer), poet and philosopher, he is best known for his “Cosmic philosophy”, pioneer of “Afrofuturism” and as a leader of “The Arkestra”, an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up.
On May 29, 1997, Jeffrey Scott “Jeff” Buckley died aged 30. Son of Tim Buckley, he was singer-songwriter and musician ( guitar, organ,harmonium, Appalachian dulcimer and bass guitar). In 1994 “Columbia” released his only studio album, the highly acclaimed “Grace”. Magazine “Rolling Stone” considered Jeff Buckley as one of the greatest singers of all time.
On May 27, 2011, Gilbert “Gil” Scott-Heron died aged 62. Being soul and jazz poet, musician and author, he is best known for his work as a spoken word performer in the 70’s and 80’s. His best albums “Pieces of a man” and “Winter in America” from the early 70’s and his best-known composition “The Revolution will not be televised” has influenced generations of contemporary musicians, especially hip hop and neo soul artists.
On May 21, 2015, Louis Johnson died aged 60. Being bass player he is founding member of funk band the “Brothers Johnson” and one of the most demanded bass players. He has performed on Quncy Jones albums “Body heat” and “Mellow madness”, Michael Jackson’s “Off the wall”, “Thriller” and “Dangerous” and hit songs “Billie Jean” and “Don’t stop ’til you get enough”. Johnson also performed on George Benson’s album “Give me the night”.
On May 18, 2004, Elvin Ray Jones died aged 77. Being a jazz drummer of the post-bop era he performed with Charles Mingus, Teddy Charles, Bud Powell and Miles Davis, but he is best known as a member of the John Coltrane quartet (from 1960 to 1966) along with Jimmy Garrison on bass and McCoy Tyner on piano, in the celebrated recording phase including the album “A love supreme”.