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Archive for the ‘Jazz’ Category

RIP, Natalie Cole (December 31, 2015) R&B Great

Posted by themusicsover on December 31, 2015

Natalie Cole
February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015

Natalie-ColeNatalie Cole was an American R&B singer who, over the course of a career that spanned 6 decades, sold over 30 million albums and earned nine Grammys.  Born into a show business family – her father was Nat King Cole and her mother was Maria Hawkins Cole, a one-time singer for Duke Ellington, Cole followed her parents into show business at a very early age.  When she was just six, she sang on her father’s iconic Christmas album, and within five years, she was performing on stage.  After graduating from college, Cole began singing in clubs and soon caught the ear of a couple of producers who recorded a few tracks and shopped them around.  Capitol Records signed her and released her first album, Inseparable, in 1975.  The album contained her first top 10 single, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” which resulted in Cole’s first two Grammys, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best New Artist.  The balance of the ’70s were extremely prosperous for Cole as she released several more hit records; performed to sell-out crowds; and made numerous TV appearance including her own two specials.  The early ’80s were less kind to her as record sales dwindled and she battled her own personal demons.  But by 1987, Cole’s career was bouncing back.  Her 1987 dance album, Everlasting, brought her back to the charts with such hit singles as, “Everlasting,” “Jump Start,” “I Live For Your Love,” and her pop crossover version of Bruce Springsteen‘s “Pink Cadillac.”  The hits continued through the early ’90s and beyond, with Cole’s style maturing into that which made her father famous, jazz vocals/traditional pop.  She continued to record and perform to adoring fans over the next two decades, but in December of 2015, it was later revealed, she had to cancel several shows due to ongoing health problems.  On December 31, 2015, Natalie Cole died of congestive heart failure at the age of 65.

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Died On This Date (June 11, 2015) Ornette Coleman / Jazz Great

Posted by themusicsover on June 11, 2015

Randolph Ornette Coleman
March 9, 1930 – June 11, 2015

Photo by Jimmy Katz

Photo by Jimmy Katz

Ornette Coleman was one of the true greats of jazz.  As a saxophonist, he pioneered what would become to be called “free jazz.” In fact, he is often credited with actually inventing it, or at least putting a name to it, after naming his 1960 album,  Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation. Born in Forth Worth, TX., Coleman spent much of his early career traveling around the United States performing along regional jazz circuits.  Along the way he began to incorporate country blues and R&B into his sound.  In his slower pieces, his high timbre can come across as crying, which appealed to fans of the blues as well.  In 1959, while living in New York, Coleman released The Shape of Things To Come, and a year later, Free Jazz.  Both releases broke him through in a big way and laid the foundation for the avant-garde movement of the 1960s and beyond.   In later years Coleman dabbled in rock, even performing with the Grateful Dead on occasion.  In 2007, he became the first musician to win a Pulitzer Prize – for his album, Sound Grammar.  He continued to perform and record up until the time of his death.  Ornette Coleman was 85 when he died of cardiac arrest on June 11, 2015.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus of the Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.

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Died On This Date (February 21, 2015) Clark Terry / American Jazz Great

Posted by themusicsover on February 21, 2015

Clark Terry
December 14, 1920 – February 21, 2015

clark-terryClark Terry was an American jazz trumpeter who is widely considered one of the most influential and popular jazz musicians of his time.  Terry launched his career during the early ’40s, just in time to serve in the US Navy Band during World War II.  After his discharge, Terry went on to perform with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and later, Quincy Jones, among others, as well as leading his own bands. As one of the most recorded artists jazz music has ever known, Terry appeared on nearly 1000 known recordings.  Throughout his career, he wrote over 200 jazz songs, performed for seven US Presidents, and put on several jazz festivals and jazz camps.  In 1991 he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, and in 2010, he became one of only five trumpet players to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  A lifetime student of jazz as well as a respected educator, Clark held sixteen honorary doctorates.  He was even knighted in Germany.  Clark Terry was 94 when he passed away on February 21, 2015.

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Died On This Date (January 1, 2015) Jeff Golub / Guitar Great

Posted by themusicsover on January 1, 2015

Jeff Golub
April 15, 1955 – January 1, 2015

jeff-golub

At right with Billy Squier. Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Jeff Golub was an American guitarist who was as adept at jazz as he was at rock and the blues.  During a career that spanned more than 30 years, Golub released over a dozen contemporary jazz albums while earning a reputation as one of rock music’s most in-demand session players.  He is perhaps best remembered for his years playing on records by and touring with both Billy Squier and David Bowie.  The list of artists on whose albums Golub performed also includes John Waite, Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum, Joe Lynn Turner, and Tina Turner. In November of 2014, Golub learned that he was suffering from progressive supranuclear palsy which ultimately took his life on January 1, 2015.  He was 59.

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Died On This Date (July 11, 2014) Charlie Haden / American Jazz Great

Posted by themusicsover on July 11, 2014

Charlie Haden
August 6, 1937 – July 11, 2014

charlie-hadenCharlie Haden was an American jazz bassist who was most notably part of the Free Jazz movement of the ’50s and ’60s.  It was his work in Ornette Coleman‘s quartet during that time that endeared him to fans and critics alike.  The Coleman albums on which he played been called “game changers”, but it was 1959’s The Shape Of Jazz To Come that is considered a landmark of the genre. During the late ’60s and early ’70s, Haden worked with the great Keith Jarrett, playing on several albums that received critical acclaim as well.  In 1969, Haden formed the Liberation Music Orchestra whose output was more politically based, with Carla Bley contributing heavily.  Haden’s most commercially successful period began in the late ’80s with the formation of his Quartet West.  The configuration released albums well into the 2000s, The list of artists with whom Haden recorded over the years was not limited to jazz and includes Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker, Beck, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, and Robert Downey Jr.   Haden’s children have enjoyed careers in music as well – his son Joshua Haden is a member of the indie rock band, Spain, while his triplet daughters, Petra Haden, Tanya Haden, and Rachel Haden make up the acclaimed alt-country band, the Haden Triplets.  Charlie Haden was 77 when he passed away on July 11, 2014, following a lengthy illness.

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