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Archive for the ‘Jazz’ Category

RIP, Larry Coryell (February 19, 2017) The Godfather of Fusion

Posted by themusicsover on February 19, 2017

Larry Coryell
April 2, 1943 – February 19, 2017

Larry Coryell was a ground-breaking guitarist who has been credited as being a pioneer, if not THE pioneer of jazz rock fusion.  Born in Galveston, TX, Coryell was living in Washington state by the time he was in high school, and it was in and around the Yakima area where he began playing in bands after graduating.  During the  fall of 1965, Coryell moved to New York City where he played  and recorded with Chico Hamilton, and not long later, recorded and performed with Gary Burton.  As the ’70s dawned, Coryell was combining the sounds of jazz, rock, and eastern music to make a style of music most had never heard before.  He released his first album, Lady Coryell,  in 1968, and what followed was nearly 50 years of recordings that have influenced several generations of guitarists – both rock and jazz. His recordings have also been very popular with hip-hop producers and can be heard through samples on recordings by J Dilla, Jurassic 5, and DJ Shadow, to name a few. Over the course of his career, he played on over 100 albums and continued to make his own music and tour up until  the time of his death.  Larry Coryell was 73 when he passed away in his sleep on February 20, 2017, reportedly of natural causes.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

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RIP, Al Jarreau (February 12, 2017) American Jazz Singer

Posted by themusicsover on February 12, 2017

Al Jarreau
March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017

Al Jarreau was an internationally renowned jazz vocalist who, over the course of his career, earned seven Grammy’s while garnering over a dozen more nominations.  To this day, he’s the only vocalist to win a Grammy in three different categories – in his case, jazz, pop and R&B.  Born in Milwaukee, Jarreau spent much of youth singing at local church and school events.  He continued singing through high school and college where he performed with jazz trio which included George Duke.  By  the early ’70s, Jarreau was performing at top clubs in Los Angeles as well as  on TV shows like The Dinah Shore Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.  He signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1975 and went on to release 16 studio albums and several more live and compilation albums.  His debut, 1975’s We Got By was released to critical acclaim, and introduced him to new fans the world over.  1981 found Jarreau releasing what would become his best-selling album, Breakin’ Away.  Jarreau continued to record and tour through much of the rest of his life.  On February 8th, 2017, he cancelled his current tour and was hospitalized for exhaustion.  Four days later, February 12th, Al Jarreau, passed away at the hospital surrounded by this family and friends. He was 76. Cause of death was not immediately released.

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RIP, Buddy Greco (January 10, 2017) American Jazz Singer & Pianist

Posted by themusicsover on January 10, 2017

Armando “Buddy” Greco
August 14, 1926 – January 10, 2017

Buddy Greco was a popular jazz and traditional pop singer and pianist who first found fame during the 1960s.  Born in Philadelphia, Greco began learning to play the piano at the age of four.  Within just a few years, he was singing on local radio, and began performing on stage during his teen years. At just 16, Greco was hired by Benny Goodman who took him on the road.  He spent the next four years singing, playing the piano, and arranging music in Goodman’s Orchestra.  Greco signed to Columbia Records during the early ‘6os and went on to release numerous hit singles including “The Lady Is A Tramp,” which alone, sold over 1 million copies.  Throughout his career – which spanned more than 80 years, and up until his death – he recorded over 60 albums, appeared on television countless times, and toured the world over.  Closer to home, Greco was one of Las Vegas’ most popular draws for many years and eventually opened his own club in Palm Springs where you could likely see a celebrity or two before he closed it in 2009 to move to England.  Buddy Greco was 90 years old when he passed away on January 10, 2017.

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RIP, Alphonse Mouzon (December 26, 2016) Jazz Fusion Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on December 26, 2016

Alphonse Mouzon
November 21, 1948 – December 26, 2016

Alphonse Mouzon was a jazz drummer who came to be one of the architects of American jazz fusion during the late ’60s and early ’70s.  Born in Charleston, SC, Mouzon realized in high school that he had what it took to make a living as a musician.  Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he studied music and drama.  Mouzon’s first gig of note was playing percussion in the Broadway show, Promises, Promises.   He then went to work with jazz great, McCoy Tyner, and spent about a year in Weather Report before being signed to Blue Note Records as a solo artist in 1972.  In 1973, he joined up with Larry Coryell‘s Eleventh House, one of the premiere fusion bands of its time.  He played with Coryell for about two years and can be heard on such albums as Introducing The Eleventh House and Level One.  Throughout his career, which spanned over 45 years, Mouzon also recorded or performed with the likes of Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Roberta Flack, Robert Plant, Stevie Wonder, and Eric Clapton – to name a few.  Alphonse Mouzon died from neuroendocrine carcinoma on December 26, 2016.  He was 68.

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RIP, Mose Allison (November 15, 2016) Jazz And Blues Legend

Posted by themusicsover on November 15, 2016

Mose Allison
November 11, 1927 – November 15, 2016

mose-allisonMose Allison was a revered jazz and blues pianist and singer whose influence reached beyond his idioms and into rock and blues.  Over the past four decades his songs have been recorded by the likes of the Clash, the Bangles, Leon Russell, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Robert Palmer, Bonnie Raitt, the Yardbirds, and most famously, the Who, whose version of “Young Mans Blues” reached the masses via their classic Live At Leeds album, and remained a concert staple ever since.  Born and raised on his grandfather’s Mississippi farm, Allison spent his formative years picking cotton while learning to play the piano and trumpet.  He was just 13 when he wrote his first song.  After spending a couple of years in the Army, Russell completed college and then moved to New York City to launch his music career.  While performing with such jazz luminaries as Gerry Mulligan and Stan Getz, he recorded his debut album, Black Country Suite, which was released by Prestige in March of 1957. Difficult to classify, one label tried marketing him as a pop artist, while another tried blues, and yet another, jazz.  Regardless of any difficulties they might have had, his fanbase grew with each album. Throughout his career, Allison received countless honors including the prestigious Jazz Master award by the National Endowment For The Arts in 2013.  Mose Allison was 89 when he died of natural causes on November 15, 2016.

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