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Posts Tagged ‘Branford Marsalis’

Died On This Date (April 19, 2010) Guru / Gang Starr; Jazzmatazz

Posted by themusicsover on April 19, 2010

Guru (Born Keith Elam)
July 17, 1966 – April 19, 2010

Guru was a popular rapper/MC who gained popularity during the early ’90s with Gang Starr.  A duo formed with DJ Premier in 1987, Gang Starr signed with EMI Records who released their debut, No More Mr. Nice Guy, in 1989.   The group’s effective used of New York swing jazz and hip hop endeared them to fans and critics alike.  In 1993, Guru released the brilliant Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 album where he introduced a live jazz band into the hip hop arena.  Guests on the album included Branford Marsalis, Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers.  Guru had been actively recording and performing up until the time of his death.  On February 28, 2010, he suffered a heart attack which resulted in a coma that he eventually awoke from.  On April 19th however, he died of cancer at the age of 43.

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Jazzmatazz, Vol.1 - Guru

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Died On This Date (April 9, 2008) George Butler / Noted Jazz Producer

Posted by themusicsover on April 9, 2010

Dr. George Butler
September 2, 1931- April 9, 2008

George Butler was producer and A&R man for Blue Note Records during the ‘70s. While there, he was instrumental in the label’s success by broadening its appeal with more R&B leaning releases by such artists as Earl Klugh, Ronnie Laws and Donald Byrd. The ‘80s found Butler in a key position at CBS Records, again helping the company reach new heights both critically and commercially by signing such acts as Brandford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and Harry Connick, Jr. He also produced Miles Davis’ comeback album, The Man With The Horn in 1981. George Butler passed away on April 9, 2009 at the age of 76.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the assist.



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Died On This Date (February 23, 1997) Tony Williams / Jazz Drummer

Posted by themusicsover on February 23, 2010

Tony Williams
December 12, 1945 – February 23, 1997

tony-williamsTony Williams was an influential jazz drummer who is generally remembered for his early work with Miles Davis.  He played with Davis throughout most of the ’60s.  Under his own name, Williams released 14 albums between 1964 and his death, most of which were with Blue Note.  As a sideman, Williams added drumming talents to albums by the likes of Allan Holdsworth, Branford Marsalis, Eric Dolphy, Herbie Hancock, and Stan Getz, to name a few.  Williams also played drums on Album by former Sex Pistols lead singer, John Lydon’s band, Public Image Ltd.  Tony Williams was 51 when he died of a heart attack on February 23, 1997.

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Tony Williams

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Died On This Date (November 12, 1998) Kenny Kirkland / Noted Jazz Pianist

Posted by themusicsover on November 12, 2009

Kenny Kirkland
September 28, 1955 – November 12, 1998

Kenny KirklandKenny Kirkland was one of the most influential jazz pianist of recent years.  Kirkland was just six years old when he began learning to play the piano.  and by the time he reached his early 20s, Kirkland was touring Europe professionally.  Although Kirkland’s career was cut short after just 25 years, he performed or recorded with many of the top names of contemporary jazz.  That list includes Tom Scott, Ernie Watts, Stanley Jordan, Arturo Sandoval, Kevin Eubanks, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, and Stanley Clarke.   He even spent a short period playing piano in the Tonight Show band.  Kenny Kirkland died of congestive heart failure at the age of 43.

Thanks to jazz historian, Steve Myers for the assist.



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Died On This Date (September 19, 2009) DJ Roc Raida / The X-Ecutioners

Posted by themusicsover on September 19, 2009

Roc Raida (Born Anthony Williams)
May 17, 1972 – September 19, 2009

raidaRoc Raida was a DJ / Turntablist primarily known for his work with the X-Ecutioners, a crew of New York DJs who gained popularity in the ’90s.  They collaborated with many hip hop greats including Cypress Hill and Kool G Rap.  In 2002, the X-Ecutioners released Built From Scratch on Loud Records.  An innovator on the turntable, Raida worked on recordings by the likes of Big Pun and Buckshot LeFonque with Branford Marsalis.  On September 19, 2009, DJ Roc Raida died of cardiac arrest that was attributed to an accident he suffered while training in Krav Magna several weeks earlier.  He was 37.

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Built from Scratch - X-Ecutioners

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