On February 9, 2020, Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea died aged 79. He was musician (piano, keyboards, percussion), composer and bandleader. He is regarded as one of the major piano players to emerge in jazz during the post-John Coltrane era. Recorded and performed with the most important Jazz musicians including Miles Davis, Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Blue Mitchell, Herbie Mann, Stan Getz, Roy Haunes, Miroslav Vitous, Stanley Clarke, Richard Davis, Joe Farrell, Joe Henderson, Eric Kloss, Hubert Laws, Herbie Mann, Blue Mitchell, John Patitucci, Wayne Shorter, Cal Tjader, Sonny Stitt, Dave Pike, Armando Peraza, Marion Brown, Sadao Watanabe, Larry Coryell, John Surman, Elvin Jones, Rolf Kühn, Airto Moreira, Antony Braxton, Pete La Roca, Al Di Meola, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ron Carter, Gábor Szabó, Donald Byrd, Tete Montoliu, Chaka Khan, Eddie Gomez, Wallace Rooney, Herbie Hancock, Antonio Sanches, Gary Burton and Hiromi Uehara. Corea formed and lead Return to Forever, Circle, Chick Corea Elektric Band, Chick Corea Akoustic Band and Five Peace Band. As leader he released 77 studio and 23 live albums. Corea won 23 “Grammy Awards”.
On January 11, 2005, “High Note” label released “I Remember Brother Ray”, the 34th David “Fathead” Newman album. It was recorded in August 2004, at “Van Gelder Studio” in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and was produced by David “Fathead” Newman and Houston Person. The album was paying tribute to his bandleader and mentor Ray Charles.
- David “Fathead” Newman – tenor saxophone
- John Hicks – piano
- Steve Nelson – vibraphone
- John Menegon – bass
- Winard Harper – drums
- Hit the Road Jack – Percy Mayfield
- Georgia On My Mind – Hoagy Carmichael, Stuart Gorrell
- When Your Lover Has Gone – Einar Aaron Swan
- Drown in My Tears – Henry Glover
- ‘Deed I Do – Fred Rose, Walter Hirsch
- It Had to Be You – Isham Jones, Gus Kahn
- Ruby – Mitchell Parish, Heinz Roemheld
- Them That Got (I Ain’t Got Nothing Yet) – Ray Charles, Ricci Harper
On June 23, 2019, David Louis Bartholomew died aged 100. He was a musician (trumpet), bandleader, composer, arranger, and record producer, active in various musical genres, including rhythm and blues, big band, swing music, rock and roll, New Orleans jazz, and Dixieland. In his induction into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”, he was cited as a key figure in the transition from jump blues and swing to R&B and as “one of the Crescent City’s greatest musicians and a true pioneer in the rock and roll revolution.” His biggest success as a composer was in the partnership with Fats Domino producing some of his greatest successes. In the mid-50s they wrote more than forty hits for “Imperial Records”, including Ain’t That a Shame. Bartholomew’s other hit songs include I Hear You Knocking, Blue Monday” I’m Walkin’, My Ding-A-Ling, and One Night. He was a member of the “Songwriters Hall of Fame”, the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”, and the “Louisiana Music Hall of Fame”.
On March 6, 2020, Alfred McCoy Tyner died aged 81. He was composer, bandleader and pianist, one of the most recognizable and influential in jazz history. He has recorded and performed with many famous musicians including John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, George Benson, Art Farmer, Lou Donaldson, Benny Golson, Grant Green, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Milt Jackson, J.J. Jackson, Blue Mitchell, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, David Murray, Julian Priester, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Al Foster, Avery Sharpe, Woody Shaw, Jackie McLean, Cecil McBee, Jack DeJohnette, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Stitt and Stanley Turrentine, As a leader he recorded 74 albums. Tyner was a “NEA Jazz Master” and a five-time “Grammy” winner.
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. He was musician (piano), bandleader and composer, 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.