Sunday, July 1, 2012

Notes on Jazz Third Annual 4th of July Living Legends of Jazz

Roy Haynes photo by Fran Kaufman  ©2012
Once again it is time for my annual Notes on Jazz listing of the Living Legend of Jazz. This is the third annual compilation and with each year we gain some new members and sadly lose some old friends. The list is a celebration of those who have, for so long, graced us with their talents, their creativity and their love of the music.

Last year we saw the passing of some truly venerable legends. Musicians, performers, innovators, teachers and mentors who made an indelible mark on society at large and on the music in particular. Some were famous, some infamous and all will be missed.

This fraternity of Jazz Legends lost two drummers. A onetime member of both the Ellington and Basie band’s drummer Butch Ballard passed at the age of 92. The eclectic rhythm machine, Paul Motian, who together with bassist Scott LaFaro and pianist Bill Evans formed what was perhaps the most influential piano trio of the last fifty years, died this year at age 80. The rhythm and blues drummer/singer.
Johnny Otis, whose true name was John Veliotes, was Greek by birth but chose to live the life of a black man. A man imbued with the music that moved his soul. He passed this year at the age of 90.

The prolific studio musician, teacher and trumpeter Uan Rasey, was one of those players whose name was mostly unknown to the general public. It was Rasey’s playing, however, that will transcend time, especially his haunting trumpet solo on Roman Polanski's Chinatown. Rasey passed at the age of 80. West Coast Dixieland trumpet player Ernie Carson passed at age 74.

 Four saxophonists that made their mark in their own unique ways left us with the passing of legends "Shiny Stockings” composer.Frank Foster at age 82, James “Red" Holloway age 84, Hal McKusick at age 87 and the free spirit Sam Rivers at age 88. Pianist Walter Norris, who played with Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman, passed in Germany at the age of 80. Pianist Al Vega, a fixture for years in the Boston area died at age 90.The forward looking vibraphonist/drummer/composer Teddy Charles passed this year at age 84.

Three composer/arrangers, who each contributed to the cannon of the music, were lost this year. Their music will survive. Bob Brookmeyer was both a fine trombonist, and pianist as well as a formidable composer and arranger, whose big band arrangements combined the elegance of the Ellington era sound with his own contemporary ideas. He was an influential teacher who mentored a new breed of arranger/composers who are creating a Renascence in contemporary big band music. He died this year at the age of 81. Arranger Clare Fischer worked with such varied artists as Dizzy Gillespie and Prince. The pianist Herbie Hancock has credited Fischer as being a major influence on his own harmonic concept. Fischer passed away this year at the age of 83. Pete Rugulo was a well known arranger who charted songs for the Stan Kenton orchestra and worked with singers Nat Cole, June Christy, Mel Tormé and Dinah Washington. Mr. Rugulo was also active in film music. He passed this year at the age of 95. Lastly we lost the singer Etta James, whose voice on her hit "At Last” will be forever remembered by her legion of followers.Ms. James was 73.

The music has proven time and again that despite losing its legends to the vagaries of time, it is a durable art form, a resilient performance art that is beyond categorization.As some pass through touching us briefly with their artistry, there are always others who come into our orbit introducing new and exciting ideas and fresh musical concepts. The music continues to expand, organically thriving with every generation, as new musicians create from the infrastructure laid down by those who have blazed the path before them.
I continue to believe that Jazz is an art form that has become the most internationally cooperative means of communication in the world today.

On this fourth of July let our passion for the music continue with this yearly celebration of these communicators, those who have been and continue to be so instrumental in bringing us this music we love so much.

Here is my expanded list of veteran players, all at least seventy years of age, who in some way helped shape the music. I am sure to have missed some worthy contributors to the musical canon. My sincerest apologies for any inadvertent omissions. I welcome comments from readers who may know of deserving musicians who I should add to this list so that it can be more complete next year and a great big thank you to each and every one of this year’s celebrants.


Charles McPherson photo by Fran Kaufman ©2012   

 Saxophonists/ Reed Instruments:

Pharaoh Sanders, Gary Bartz, Peter Brotzmann, Roscoe Mitchell and Bennie Maupin (71), Arthur Bythe, Hamiet Bluiett, Wilton Felder, Joe McPhee, Charles McPherson, Carlos Ward, Paul Winter and Lew Tabakin (72), Odean Pope, Zibigniew Namyslowski, Charles Gayle, Sonny Fortune and George Braith (73) James Spaulding, Charles Lloyd, Carlos Garnett, Joseph Jarman (74) Archie Shepp, Nathan Davis, Frank Strozier and Jim Galloway (75) Klaus Doldinger, John Tchicai, Gary N. Foster, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre and Don Menza (76) Giuseppi Logan, Jimmy Woods, Houston Person, George Coleman and Bunky Green (77 Lanny Morgan, and Wayne Shorter (78) Lol Coxhill, Sadao Watanabe, Charlie Davis, Gato Barbieri and John Handy III (79) Phil Woods and Plas Johnson Jr.(80) Sonny Rollins (81), Ornette Coleman and Gabe Baltazar (82)Joe Temperley, Harold Ousley, Herb Geller and Benny Golson (83) Carl Janelli,Lee Konitz and Bob Wilber (84), Big Jay McNeeley, Med Flory, Dick Hafer, Lou Donaldson and Jimmy Heath (85), Marshall Allen and Earle“Von”Freeman (88), Frank Wess (90), Yusef Lateef (91), Harold Joseph “Hal”“Cornbread” Singer (92).

Frank Wess photo by Fran Kaufman  © 2012

Dick Hyman photo by Fran Kaufman ©2012;

Connie Crothers, Stanley Cowell, Armando“Chick”Corea, Mike Nock, Sergio Mendes and David Burrell (71), Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Charles Brackeen and Roger Kellaway (72), McCoy Tyner, Mike Longo, Joe Sample, Gap Mangione, Jon Mayer, Joanne Brackeen and Warren Bernhardt (73) Denny Zeitlin, Steve Kuhn and John Coates Jr. (73), Eddie Palmieri and Kirk Lightsey (75), Les McCann, Carla Bley and Harold Mabern (76), Ramsey Lewis ,Pat Rebillot, Ran Blake, Don Friedman,Oliver Jones, Ellis Marsalis Jr. and Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), Dave Grusin and Misha Mengelberg(77)Pat Moran (McCoy)
Harold Mabern photo by Fran Kaufman©2012

(78) Cedar Walton, Paul Bley, and Larry Novak (79, Bengt Hallberg , Jack Reilly, George Gruntz, Derek Smith and Michel LeGrand (80, Muhal Richard Abrams and Horace Parlan (81) Amhad Jamal, Frank Strazzeri, Richard Wyands, Claude Bolling, Barry Harris and Toshiko Akiyoshi (82),Cecil Taylor, Horace Silver and Junior Mance (83) Freddie Redd, Martial Solal and Mose Allison (84), Dick Hyman and Claude Williamson (85), Randy Weston (86), Barbara Carroll (87), Paul T. Smith (89), Dave Brubeck and Marty Napoleon (91), Bebo Valdes (93), Marian McPartland (94).

Steve Swallow (71), Ed “Butch” Warren, Don Thompson andEberhard Weber (72), Mario Pavone (73), Larry Ridley, Reggie Workman and Charlie Haden (74), Ron Carter and Chuck Israels (75), Buell Nedlinger and Henry Grimes (76),Gary Peacock and Cecil McBee (77), Bob Cranshaw and Jack Six (79) Ron Crotty and Richard Davis (82), Bill Crow (84), Jymie Merritt (86) Eugene "The Senator “Wright (89), Howard Rumsey (94), Coleridge Goode (97).

Trumpet/Cornet/ Flugelhorn:
Eddie Henderson, Palle Mikkelborg and Chuck Mangione (71), Enrico Rava (72), Marvin Stamm and Hugh Masekela (73), Guido Basso (74), Ed Polcer (75), Chuck Flores, Ted Curson and Bobby Bradford (77) Donald Byrd (79), Jack Sheldon and Dusko Gojkovic (80), Alphonso “Dizzy” Reese, Louis Smith and Ira Sullivan (81), Sam Noto and Kenny Wheeler (82), Carl “Doc” Severinson (84), Joe Wilder (90), Clark Terry (91) Thomas Jefferson (92),Gerald Wilson (93 ).Lionel Ferbos (100)

Bucky Pizzarelli photo by Rick Gilbert 2012

James Blood Ulmer and John McLaughlin (70), Jerry Hahn (71), Ralph Towner (72), Gene Bertoncini and Joe D’Iorio (75), Sonny Greenwich (76), Ed Bickert (79) Kenny Burrell (80), Jim Hall, Joao Gilberto and John Pisano (81),Martin “Marty” Grosz (82) Eddie Duran and, Bucky Pizzarelli (86), Mundell Lowe and Johnny Smith (90).

James “Dick” Griffin and Wayne Henderson (72) Billy Watrous (73), Grachan Moncur III, Phillip Elder Wilson and “Big” Bill Bissonnette (75), Roswell Rudd (76), Julian Priester and Curtis Fuller (77) Locksley "Slide" Hampton (80), Santo "Sonny' Russo (83). George “Buster” Copper, Harold Betters and Conrad Janis (84), George Masso and Urbie Green (85) and Eddie Bert (90), Herbie Harper (92).

Jack DeJohnette (70 in August) Billy Hart (71), Andrew Cyrille, Ginger Baker Pierre Courbois and Idris Muhammad (72), Bernard Purdie, Issac “Redd” Holt, Nesbert “Stix” Hooper (73) and Tony Oxley (74),Pete LaRoca (Sims), Horace Arnold, Paul Ferrara, Daniel Humair and Edwin Marshall (74), Louis Hayes, James “Sunny” Murray, Charly Antolini, Colin Bailey and Roy McCurdy (75), Albert “Tootie” Heath and Chuck Flores (77), Donald “Duck” Bailey, Ben Riley and Ray Mosca (78), Mickey Roker Frank Capp and Grady Tate (80) Ronnie Bedford (81),) John Armatage (82), Hal Blaine, Jimmy Cobb, Charlie Persip (83), Joe Harris (85), Roy Haynes and Samuel “Dave” Bailey (86), Armando Peraza (88), Percy Brice and Al Harewood (89), Foreststorn “Chico” Hamilton (90) and Candido Camero (91)

Mac “Dr John” Rebbenack (71)“ Papa” John De Francesco), Brian Auger (72), Rhoda Scott (74), Reuben Wilson (77), and Sir Charles Thompson (94).

Mark  Murphy photo by Fran Kaufman©2012

Jazz Vocalists:
Gilberto Gil (70) ,Janet Lawson (71), Astrud Gilberto and Al Jarreau and Mary Stallings (72), Ruth Price and Ellyn Ruker (74), Nancy Wilson, Carol Sloane, Karin Krog and Sathima Bea Benjamin (75) Marlene Ver Planck and David Frishberg piano/vocals (79), Freddy Cole and Mark Murphy (80), Gloria Lynne (80), Annie Ross (81), Sheila Jordan and Ernestine Anderson (83), Cleo Laine,Jackie Cain and Ernie Andrews (84),Tony Bennett (85) Bill Henderson and Jimmy Scott (86) Bob Dorough (88) Jon Hendricks (90), Helen Merrill (92) ,Herb Jeffries (98).

Artists on Other Instruments:
Bobby Hutcherson and Roy Ayers, vibraphonists and Lonnie Liston Smith, keyboardist (71) and Hubert Laws, flautist (72) , Perry Morris Robinson, clarinetist (73) Gunter Hampel, multi-instrumentalist, Charlie Shoemake, vibraphonist , Dave Pike, vibraphonist/marimba and Mike Maineri, vibraphonist (74) Hermeto Pascoal, accordion & keyboards (76) Reuben Wilson, organist (77) Joe Licari, clarinetist, Sonny Simmons sax and English Horn, Warren Chiasson vibraphonist (78),Michael White, violin and Emil Richards, vibes and percussion (79) David Baker composer/cellist (80), Frank Marocco, accordion, Pierre "Pete" Fountain, clarinetist and Sam Most, flautist (81), Rolf Kuhn, clarinetists and Paul Horn, flautist (82), Bernard “ Acker” Bilk, clarinetist, Peter Appleyard, vibraphonist and Andre Previn conductor/pianist (83), Terry Gibbs, vibraphonist and George Wein, Pianist/ Concert Promoter (87), Rudy Van Gelder, recording engineer (87), Sammy Nestico pianist/arranger and Buddy DeFranco, clarinetist (88) Lorraine Gordon music producer and Owner of the Village Vanguard(89),Jean “Toots” Thielmans, harmonica/guitar/whistler (90), Svend Asmussen, violinist (96). 

 Many thanks to photographers Fran Kaufman and Rick Gilbert for graciously allowing me to use their wonderful photographs.

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