Dec 28, 2015
The Celestial Band and Choir got a great horn section this year. 2015 was the year we lost some of the great innovators in jazz music. An incomplete list of those who passed away during this calendar year who left a mark on the jazz world include:
Ornette Coleman, 85, free jazz saxophonist; Clark Terry, 94, jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist; Phil Woods, 83, jazz and session saxophonist and clarinetist; Bob Belden, 58, jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, producer; Guillermo Rubalcaba, 88, Cuban pianist, bandleader and composer; Ray Warleigh, 76, Australian-born saxophonist and flautist; Wilton Felder, 75, saxophonist of The Crusaders and session bass player (pictured) who created immortal bass lines for Steely Dan and the Jackson Five; Harold Ousley, 86, jazz saxophonist; Hugo Rasmussen, 74, Danish jazz musician; Bob Whitlock, 84, jazz bassist (Gerry Mulligan Quartet); Howard Rumsey, 97, jazz bassist and bandleader; and Van Alexander, 100, songwriter (“A-Tisket, A-Tasket”) , film and TV score composer, arranger.
Allen Toussaint, 77, New Orleans legend as piano player, arranger, producer and songwriter; B.B. King, 89, blues legend; Monica Lewis, 93, jazz singer and actress; Buddy Boudreaux, 97, jazz saxophonist and band leader; Harold Battiste, 83, jazz and R&B composer, arranger and musician; Jerome Cooper, 68, free jazz drummer and percussionist. Ortheia Barnes, 70, American R&B and jazz singer; Bruce Lundvall, 79, former head of Blue Note, Elektra and Manhattan labels; Louis Johnson, 60, legendary bassis; Marcus Belgrave, 78, jazz trumpeter and the King of the Detroit Sound; Margo Reed, 73, jazz musician; Eric Allen Doney, 62, musician, musical director (Bob Hope), jazz label founder; and Marty Napoleon, 93, jazz pianist.
Orrin Keepnews, 91, jazz producer and writer, co-founder of Riverside Records; Lew Soloff, 71, jazz trumpeter (and with Blood, Sweat & Tears 1968-73); Ted Reinhardt, 62, jazz and prog-rock drummer for Spyro Gyra in their formative years; Paul Jeffrey, 81, jazz saxophonist; John Renbourn, 70, guitarist of British folk-jazz band Pentangle; William Thomas McKinley, 76, jazz composer; Hulon Crayton, 58, smooth jazz saxophonist; Jeff Golub, 59, jazz and pop guitarist; Cynthia Layne, 51, jazz singer,; and Ward Swingle, 87, musician with The Swingle Singers, and Les Double Six.
Dave Pike, 77, vibraphone and marimba player; Kjell Öhman, 72, Swedish jazz musician; Al Aarons, 83, jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player with the Count Basie Band; Judith Hendricks, 78, jazz singer with Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan; Bengt-Arne Wallin, 89, Swedish jazz trumpeter; Willie Akins, 76, jazz saxophonist and academic; Coleridge Goode, 100, Jamaican-born jazz bassist; Ray Appleton, 74, jazz drummer; Larry Rosen, 75, jazz engineer, producer, record executive; digital downloading pioneer with GRP; Mark Murphy, 83, jazz singer; Nat Peck, 90, jazz trombonist with James Moody;and Lee Shaw, 89, jazz pianist.