On December 27, 1981, Hoagland Howard “Hoagy” Carmichael died aged 82. He was composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader. Carmichael composed several hundred songs, including fifty that achieved hit record status. His best known songs are four among the most-recorded American songs of all time: “Stardust”, “Georgia on My Mind” (lyrics by Stuart Gorrell), “The Nearness of You”, and “Heart and Soul” (lyrics by Frank Loesser). His song “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening,” (lyrics by Johnny Mercer, won the “Academy Award for Best Original Song” in 1951. Carmichael’s songs were performed by many famous musicians including Sidney Arodin, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Bix Beiderbecke, Ray Charles, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Helen Forrest, Harry James, Spike Jones, Frank Loesser, Johnny Mercer, Glenn Miller, Dinah Shore, Jack Teagarden and Paul Whiteman.
On January 6, 1993, John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie died aged 75. He was musician, singer, composer and bandleader, trumpet virtuoso and improviser, regarded as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time. Together with Charlie Parker, Gillespie was major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He has recorded and performed with some of the most important musicians in the jazz history, including Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Stan Getz, Sonny Stit,Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins,Benny Golson, Bobby Hackett, Mary Lou Williams, Willie Ruff, Dwike Mitchell, Art Blakey, Al McKibbon, Thelonious Monk, Kai Winding, Joe Turner, Roy Eldridge, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Clark Terry, Oscar Peterson, John Lewis, Hank Jones, Percy Heath, Roy Eldridge, Machito, Benny Carter, Lalo Schifrin, Count Basie, Freddie Hubbard, Arturo Sandoval, Phil Woods, Moe Koffman, United Nation Orchestra, Jackie McLean, Percy Heath, Ron Holloway, Ed Cherry, John Lee, Ignacio Berroa, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Mike Longo, Manhattan Transfer, Carmen McRae, Katie Bell Nubin, Mongo Santamaria, Woody Shaw, Lillian Terry and Randy Weston.
On November 26, 2011, Keith “Keef” Hartley died aged 67. Being drummer and bandleader, he was best known as leader of his own band Keef Hartley Band or the Keef Hartley Big Band, and played at Woodstock. He was also a member of Dog Soldier, and has worked with Rory Storm, The Artwoods and John Mayall.
On March 20, 1988, Ian Ernest Gilmore “Gil” Evans died aged 75. Canadian born pianist, arranger, composer and bandleader had important role in the development of free jazz, cool jazz, modal jazz and jazz fusion. He has performed and recorded with many important jazz musicians including: Miles Davis, Lee Konitz, Glen Hall, Steve Lacy, Claude Thornhill, Johnny Mathis, Hal McKusick, Marcy Lutes, Helen Merill, Don Elliot, Astrud Gilberto and Kenny Burrell. In 1986, Evans was inducted into the “Down Beat” “Jazz Hall of Fame”. He won two “Grammy Awards” – in1960: “Sketches of Spain”, “Grammy Award for Best Original Jazz Composition” with Miles Davis; in 1986: “Bud and Bird”, “Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band”.
On July 10, 1941, Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe aka Jelly Roll Morton, died aged 60. Being pianist, bandleader and composer, he is regarded as the pivotal figure in early jazz. His composition “Jelly Roll Blues” was the first published jazz composition, in 1915. He wrote number of ragtime and early jazz standards such as “King Porter Stomp”, “Wolverine Blues”, “Black Bottom Stomp”, and “I thought I heard Buddy Bolden Say”.
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 January 5, 1977, Charles Mingus Jr. Died aged 57.Being composer, bandleader and bass player, Mingus is regarded as one of the most creative and influential Jazz artists of all times.
For his work and contribution to the modern music, Mingus has received many awards including:
- “Guggenheim Fellowship” (1971).
- Inducted in the “Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame” (1971).
- “National Endowment for the Arts” provided grants for a Mingus nonprofit called “Let My Children Hear Music” which cataloged all of Mingus’s works (1988)
- “The Library of Congress” acquired Mingus’s collected papers in what they described as “the most important acquisition of a manuscript collection relating to jazz in the Library’s history.(1993)]
- “The United States Postal Service” issued a stamp in his honor (1995).
- Posthumously awarded the “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award” (1997)
- Album “Mingus Dynasty”(1959) inducted in the “Grammy Hall of Fame” (1999)
- Inducted in the “Jazz at Lincoln Center”, Nesuhi Ertegun “Jazz Hall of Fame” (2005)
He has recorded and performed with some of the most important musicians of the modern music, including: Illinois Jacquet, Dinah Washington, Wilbert Baranco, Ivie Anderson, Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Billy Taylor, Oscar Pettiford, Max Roach, Bud Powell, Paul Bley, Teo Macero, Oscar Pettiford, Ada Moore, Charlie Parker, J.J. Johnson, Hazel Scott, John Mehegan, Thad Jones, John Dennis, Ralph Sharon, Miles Davis, Teddy Charles, The Metronome All-Stars, Jimmy Knepper, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Max Roach and Eric Dolphy.