Thu, 30 December 2010
Dr. Billy Taylor, a great jazz pianist, composer, educator and ambassador for music, died on Tuesday at the age of 89 from a heart attack. He will be greatly missed, particularly here in his home away from home, Western Massachusetts.
Taylor will be remembered for his residency as house pianist at Birdland during the days of Charlie Parker; for the jazz standard he wrote - "I Wish I Knew How It Feels to Be Free"; but most importantly, he will be recalled as a jazz educator before such a thing was thought of. He was a co-founder of the JazzMobile program in New York, and created the Jazz at July program at the University of Massachusetts that launched careers and dreams by the dozens.
He also served as the Artistic Advisor for Jazz to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he developed the Louis Armstrong Legacy series and the annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival. His many honors included two Peabody Awards, an Emmy, a Grammy, and the National Medal of Arts.
Listen to an audio tribute to Dr. Taylor from NPR by clicking here.
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04am EDT
Thu, 30 December 2010
2010, like most years, gave us great music, and took from us great musicians. Among the best-known musicians lost this year were singer Abbey Lincoln (see posting), saxophonist James Moody (see posting); saxophonist and flautist Buddy Collette, who made a name for himself as a founding member of Chico Hamilton’s influential quintet in 1955; singer Lena Horne, who made “Stormy Weather” her theme song; Sir John Dankworth, who with wife Cleo Laine made the Dankworth Seven Britiain’s finest jazz band in the Fifties; guitarist Herb Ellis and drummer Ed Thigpen, key members of the Oscar Peterson Trio over the years; drummer Jake Hanna, the house drummer at Boston’s famous Storyville club; percussionist Steve Reid, a member of Miles Davis’ last band; and pianist Hank Jones who recorded with greats from Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker to Diana Krall and Joe Lovano.
Others who died in 2010 include Monty Sunshine, British clarinetist (Chris Barber Orchestra); Albert Gardner, American jazz drummer and bandleader; Harry Whitaker, American jazz pianist; Mimi Perrin, French singer and pianist, Hotep Idris Galeta, South African pianist, composer and lecturer; Walter Payton, American bassist and sousaphonist; Dennis Taylor, American saxophonist, Buddy Morrow, American bandleader; Ed Wiley, Jr., American saxophonist and singer; Johnny Edgecombe, British jazz promoter (who inadvertently alerted authorities to the Profumo Affair); Max Salazar, American author on Latin jazz; Hadley Caliman, 78, American saxophonist, Noah Howard, American saxophonist, Herman Leonard, American jazz photographer; Martin Drew,British drummer, Dick Buckley, American jazz historian and DJ; Gene Ludwig, American organist; Manohari Singh, Indian saxophonist; and Paulo Moura, Brazilian saxophonist and clarinetist.
Also noted in passing were Robbie Jansen, South African flautist and saxophonist; Harry Klein, British saxophonist; Joya Sherrill, American vocalist; Benny Powell, American trombonist (April in Paris); Fred Anderson, American tenor saxophonist; Johnny Parker, British pianist ("Bad Penny Blues"); Danny Bank,American saxophonist, clarinetist, and flautist; Rob McConnell, Canadian trombonist; Georgia Lee, Australian singer;Gene Lees, Canadian jazz historian and critic; Eddie Johnson, American musician; Luigi Waites,American drummer and vibraphonist;Mike Zwerin, American musicain and critic; John Bunch, American pianist; Peter Herbolzheimer, German musician; Art Van Damme, American accordionist; Jamil Nasser,American bass player; George Garanian, Russian saxophonist and bandleader; and Joyce Collins, American singer and pianist.
On a personal note, my father, Bert Siegel, who gave me my love of music, died in June of complications from cancer.
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT