Posted by themusicsover on February 4, 2013
December 9, 1932 – February 4, 2013
Photo by William Claxton
Donald Byrd was an influential jazz trumpeter who successfully brought jazz into R&B, funk, and later hip hop. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Byrd was proficient at his instrument at a young age. In fact, he performed with Lionel Hampton before graduating from high school. After serving in the United States Air Force where he played in the band, Byrd earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. While pursuing his master’s in New York City, he was hired by Art Blakey to play in his Jazz Messengers. After leaving Blakey in 1956, Byrd played with some of the greatest names jazz has ever known. That list includes Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, and Thelonious Monk. During the ’70s, Byrd steered his horn toward fusion and R&B. Although he had been recording influential albums for Blue Note Records as far back as 1959, it wasn’t until 1973′s Black Byrd that he delivered what would become the label’s biggest selling album. He continued to release best sellers for many years to come. Byrd was also an educator, having taught at Rutgers, NYU, and Howard University, to name a few. In all, Byrd earned three Master’s degrees, a Doctorate and law degree. During the ’90s, Byrd collaborated with hip hop great, Guru of Gang Starr fame on the latter’s Jazzmatazz Vol. 1 which was one of the first albums to back rap with live jazz musicians and give it a hip hop production. The landmark album was followed by a second volume that also featured Byrd. He also contributed to the evolution of hip hop through the use of sampling. Pieces of his music can be heard in cuts by the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, and Naughty By Nature. Donald Byrd was 80 when he passed away on February 4, 2013. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks to Harold Lepidus from Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.
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Posted in Jazz, Musician | Tagged: Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Eric Dolphy, Gang Starr, Guru, Herbie Hancock, Jazz Messengers, John Coltrane, Lionel Hampton, Thelonious Monk | 4 Comments »
Posted by themusicsover on January 25, 2012
DOB Unknown – January 25, 2012
Dick Kniss was a talented bassist who is best remembered for his tenure with both singer-songwriter, John Denver, and legendary folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, with whom he played for the better part of 50 years. As a member of Denver’s first band during the ’70s, Kniss co-wrote one of his biggest hits, “Sunshine On My Shoulder.” The list of artists he also worked with includes jazz luminaries Woody Herman and Herbie Hancock. Dick Kniss died of pulmonary disease on January 25, 2012. He was 74.
Posted in Folk, Jazz, Musician, Rock | Tagged: Dick Kniss, Herbie Hancock, John Denver, Peter Paul & Mary, Woody Herman | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on December 26, 2011
September 25, 1923 – December 26, 2011
Sam Rivers is best remembered as the influential jazz saxophonist and composer who helped define the Free Jazz movement of the mid to late ’60s. Born into a musical family, Rivers began playing at an early age. After studying at the Boston Conservatory, Rivers went on to be an in-demand sideman, playing with the likes of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Freddie Hubbard. As a band leader, Rivers released several highly regarded albums on such storied labels as Impulse! and Blue Note. His tune, “Beatrice” from 1964′s Fuchsia Swing Song is widely regarded as tenor sax 101 for aspiring players. During the ’70s, Rivers and his wife owned and operated a jazz performance studio in New York City. He continued to perform and record until as recently as 2006′s Aurora. Sam Rivers was 88 when he died of pneumonia on December 26, 2011.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.
What You Should Own
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Posted in Composer, Jazz, Musician | Tagged: Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Sam Rivers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on July 22, 2010
July 29, 1945 – July 22, 2008
Joe Beck was a much respected jazz guitarist who was equally at home whether performing mainstream jazz, soul jazz, post bop or fusion. Beck released numerous albums dating back to 1970. Over the years, he’s played wth the likes of Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Stan Getz, James Brown, Herbie Hancock and many more. Beck died of lung cancer at the age of 62.
Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums
Posted in Arranger, Jazz, Musician, Producer, Songwriter | Tagged: Buddy Rich, Gil Evans, Herbie Hancock, James Brown, Joe Beck, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Woody Herman | 1 Comment »