Jazz News

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Obituary

Franco Cerri (1926-2021)

Franco Cerri (1926-2021)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Franco Cerri, one of the world's finest jazz guitarists whose records and reputation have escaped most American jazz aficionados due to his desire to spend his career in Italy, died on October 18. He was 95. Ruggedly handsome with a joyous sense of swing and impeccable taste, Cerri (pronounced “Cherry") made nearly all of his recordings in Milan, starting in 1945. Touring American jazz stars knew him well and that he could play bass as proficiently as the guitar. Over ...

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Obituary

Dr. Lonnie Smith (1942-2021)

Dr. Lonnie Smith (1942-2021)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Lonnie Smith, who added a Dr. in front of his name to differentiate himself from organist Lonnie Liston Smith and whose funk-driven organ in the 1960s was a key ingredient in many different soul-jazz combos, died on September 28. He was 79. In addition to his invented moniker, Lonnie's turban, by his own admission, had no religious significance. For him, the name and the look was akin to an artistic statement or character that let him step out of himself. ...

Obituary

George Wein (1925-2021)

George Wein (1925-2021)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

George Wein, who launched the outdoor pop-music festival business in 1954 and helped transform jazz from adult music heard in smokey, subterranean clubs to high art staged under the sun and stars for people of all ages on par with classical music, died on Sept. 13. He was 95. Though George considered himself a pragmatic, regular guy, everything that came out of his mouth was intelligent, thought through and kind. His passion for jazz artists and his ability to reason ...

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Obituary

Phil Schaap (1951-2021)

Phil Schaap (1951-2021)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Phil Schaap, a jazz know-it-all, nudnik and tireless fact finder who put all of those skills to work to become one of radio's finest and most passionate jazz authorities, detectives and educators, died on September 7. He was 70. [Photo above of Phil Schaap at WKCR in 1991 by John Abbott, courtesy of John Abbott] Phil was best known in the New York City area for his daily weekday Bird Flight shows that came on before you woke up and ...

Obituary

Charlie Watts (1941-2021)

Charlie Watts (1941-2021)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

In most photos of the Rolling Stones, Charlie Watts always looked like the band's accountant. Unlike Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, he didn't seem to fit in nor did it appear in photos that he wanted to. And in many ways he didn't. Watts, at the tail end of the 1950s, was on his way to a jazz career, or so he hoped. It didn't take long to realize that jazz was drying up around him. ...

Obituary

Ronnell Bright (1930-2021)

Ronnell Bright (1930-2021)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Ronnell Bright, a jazz pianist and composer who accompanied many of the finest mid-century female jazz vocalists, including Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Lena Horne, Lorez Alexandria and Anita O'Day and subbed for Count Basie on several albums and tours, died on August 12. Ronnell was 91. His wife, Dianne Bright, said the cause was dementia. When I started this blog in 2007, part of my motive was to track down favorite jazz artists few people knew much about ...

Obituary

Elliot Lawrence: 1925-2021

Elliot Lawrence: 1925-2021

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Elliot Lawrence, one of the last surviving big band leaders of the late 1940s and early 1950s who employed many of the finest and most sophisticated New York jazz musicians who went went on to leadership careers in the LP era, died on July 2. He was 96. In 1960, Elliot began composing, arranging and conducting for television, film and Broadway. His shows included How to Succeed in Busness Without Really Trying, which won him a Tony. He also conducted ...

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Obituary

Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81

Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81

Source: All About Jazz

Margie Evans, a legendary, international Blues and Gospel entertainer, songwriter, music producer, actress, music historian, community activist and motivational spokeswoman, who broke barriers for African American female Blues performers with poise, dignity and sophistication, died on March 19, 2021. In addition to her musicianship, Evans is noted as an activist for parity in music education as well as a promoter of the legacy of Blues music. As she often said, “I’ve been around a long time and I’ve really paid ...


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