Dec 29, 2011
We lost more than our share of jazz (and jazz-related) men and women this year. We shouldn't let the hub bub of the holidays prevent us from remembering:
Melvin Sparks, (pictured) 64, American jazz and soul guitarist; Paul Motian ,80, American jazz drummer and composer; Al Vega, 90, American jazz pianist.; Dixie Fasnacht, 101, American jazz singer, clarinetist and club owner.; Michael Garrick, 78, English jazz pianist and composer.; Jimmy Norman, 74, American rhythm and blues and jazz musician and songwriter.; Gordon Beck, 75, British jazz pianist and composer; André Hodeir, 90, French author, jazz arranger and composer; Walter Norris, 79, American jazz pianist.; Beryl Davis, 87, British big band singer and actress; Lars Sjösten, 70, Swedish jazz pianist and composer; Butch Ballard, 92, American jazz drummer; Uan Rasey, 90, American film trumpeter; Johnny Răducanu, 79, Romanian jazz musician; Graham Collier, 74, British jazz bassist; Eddie Marshall, 73, American jazz drummer; Ralph McDonad, 67, American percussionist and songwriter and Frank Foster, 82, American jazz saxophonist and composer.
Also Ross Barbour, 82, American singer, the last founding member of The Four Freshmen Odell Brown, 70, American jazz organist and songwriter; Jiří Traxler, 99, Czech-born Canadian jazz pianist; Amy Winehouse, 27, British singer-songwriter; Lil Greenwood, 86, American vocalist (Duke Ellington Orchestra).; Fonce Mizell, 68, American jazz and R&B record producer (one of the Mizell Brothers); Zim Ngqawana, 51, South African jazz saxophonist; Elfa Secioria, 51, Indonesian jazz pianist; and Cornell Dupree, 68, American jazz and R&B guitarist.
Also Clarence Clemons, 69, saxophone player for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band; Odell Brown, 70, American jazz organist and songwriter of “Sexual Healing”; Phoebe Snow, 60, American singer-songwriter; Billy Bang, 63, American jazz violinist; Blues musicians Pinetop Perkins, 97, and David "Honeyboy" Edwards,96; Kym Bonython, 90, Australian art, jazz and speedway entrepreneur; Erling Kroner, 67, Danish trombonist and bandleader; David Shapiro, 58, American jazz musician; Eugenio Toussaint, 56, Mexican composer and jazz musician; Tony Levin, 71, British jazz drummer; Eddie Mordue, 83, British saxophonist; Barrie Lee Hall, Jr., 61, American jazz trumpeter and band leader (Duke Ellington); Margaret Whiting, 86, American singer (“Moonlight in Vermont”); and Charles Fambrough, 60, American jazz musician and composer.
Others passing who I have followed or have had some sort of an impact on me one way or another include Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the famous “suicide doctor”; Apple founder Steve Jobs; Don Kirshner, the American record producer and songwriter, host of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert; baseball greats Duke Snider and Harmon Killebrew; football greats Bubba Smith and John Mackey; writer Tom Wicker; cartoonist Bill Keane, creator of “The Family Circus”; boxer Joe Frazier; the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Al Davis; composers Jerry Leiber and Nick Ashford; Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of The Brady Bunch; actors Peter Falk and Cliff Robertson; and Barry Feinstein, the photographer who shot more than 500 album covers, including the iconic Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin’ and George Harrison's All Things Must Pass.