On June 1, 2000, Ernesto Antonio “Tito” Puente died aged 77. He was musician (timbales, vibraphone, drums, sax, piano, bass, bongos, congas) and 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 31, 2004, Robert Wolfe Quine died aged 61. He was musician (guitar), worked with Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Lou Reed, Brian Eno, John Zorn,Ikue Mori, Marc Ribot, Marianne Faithfull, Lloyd Cole, Tom Waits, Matthew Sweet, They Might Be Giants, Odds and Jody Harris. As leader, Quine released three albums.
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. He was musician (piano and synthesizer), composer, bandleader, poet and philosopher, 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. He was musician (piano, keyboards, guitar), singer, poet and songwriter, 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 25, 2006, Desmond Dekker died aged 64. He was singer and songwriter, best known by his song “Israelites” from 1968 (with his backing group “The Aces), which is regarded as one of the earliest reggae hits worldwide.
On May 21, 2015, Louis Johnson died aged 60. He was musician (bass), founding member of funk band the “Brothers Johnson” and one of the most demanded bass players. Johnson 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 20, 2013, Raymond Daniel Manzarek Jr. aka Ray Manzarek, died aged 74. He was musician (keyboards, piano, bass) singer, producer, film director, and author, best known as a founding member and keyboardist of The Doors.
On May 18, 2004, Elvin Ray Jones died aged 77. He was musician (drums), 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”. Jones recorded with numerous artists including Art Farmer, J.J. Johnson, Aaron Bell, Tommy Flanagan, Paul Chambers, Pepper Adams, Kenny Burrell, Sonny Rollins, Thad Jones, Idris Sulieman, Mal Waldron, Steve Lacy, Bernie Green, Hank Jones, Jimmy Forest, Randy Weston, Curtis Fuller, Gil Evans, Harry Lookofsky, Julian Priester, Barry Harris, Clifford Jordan, Sonny Red, Yusef Lateef, Lee Konitz, Freddie Hubbard, Pony Poindexter, Duke Ellington, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Woods, Andrew Hill, Stan Getz, Bill Evans, Bob Brookmeyer, Wayne Shorter, Grant Green, Joe Henderson, Larry Young, Roland Kirk, Earl Hines, Jaki Byard, Larry Coryell, Ornette Coleman, Barney Kessel, Phineas Newborn Jr, Allen Ginsberg, Joe Farrell, Frank Foster, Billy Harper, Elek Bacsik, Oregon, Jimmy Rowles, Chico Freeman, Ray Brown, Pharaoh Sanders, Lew Soloff, James Williams, Marcus Roberts, Kenny Garrett, David Murray, Sonny Sharrock, Javon Jackson, Robert Hurst, John McLaughlin, Shirley Horn, Joe Lovano, Steve Griggs, Michael Brecker, Gary LeMel and Stefano di Battista, becoming one of the most recorded artists of all time. As leader, Jones released 48 albums.