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Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy McGriff’

Died On This Date (July 16, 2012) Jon Lord / Deep Purple; Whitesnake

Posted by themusicsover on July 16, 2012

Jon Lord
June 9, 1941 – July 16, 2012

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Jon Lord was an influential English keyboardist who, as co-founder of Deep Purple, has been recognized for pioneering the use of baroque and classical elements in rock music.  Lord was just 5 years old when he began studying classical piano. As he  grew older, he started gravitating toward the raw organ sounds coming from American blues artists like Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff. After settling in London during the late ’50s, Lord did session work (he can be heard on the Kinks‘ “You Really Got Me”) and played in various jazz and blues groups.  In 1968, he and drummer, Ian Paice formed Deep Purple.  Lord went on to play in all variations of the group through 2002.  With worldwide hits like “Hush,” “Smoke On The Water,” and “Highway Star,” – all prominently featuring Lord’s iconic organ sounds – Deep Purple, along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, are considered the flash point of heavy metal.  They would go on to sell over 100 million albums are were even recognized as the “Globe’s Loudest Band” by Guinness Book Of World Records.  In 1978, Lord joined up with one-time Deep Purple band mate, David Coverdale in his new group, Whitesnake.  Although more a hired-gun than a full-time member, Lord’s tenure with Whitesnake lasted until 1984.   The collaborators with whom he worked throughout his career seems endless.  He also made several albums of his own.  During the early months of 2012, Lord was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which ultimately contributed to his death by pulmonary embolism on July 16, 2012.  John Lord was 71 when he passed away.

Thanks to Bruce Kilgour at Slipped Disc Entertainment for the assist.

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Died On This Date (March 13, 2011) Melvin Sparks / Respected Soul-Jazz Guitarist

Posted by themusicsover on March 13, 2011

Melvin Sparks
March 22, 1946 – March 13, 2011

Melvin Sparks was a brilliant electric guitarist who made a name for himself on countless jazz and soul-jazz recordings as a session player and a band leader.  Born into a musical family, Sparks picked up the guitar at just eleven years old.  By the time he was in high school, he was playing behind Hank Ballard, and within a few years, he was in a touring band called the Upsetters who backed Little Richard, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Jackie Wilson.  He went on to become a session player for Blue Note and Prestige, playing on records by the likes of Lou Donaldson, Jimmy McGriff, and Hank Crawford.  In the 90s, he played with Soulive and Galactic during the acid jazz revival.  Melvin Sparks was 64 when he passed away on March 13, 2011.  It has been reported that diabetes and high blood pressure was to blame.

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Died On This Date (May 24, 2008) Jimmy McGriff / Jazz Great

Posted by themusicsover on May 24, 2010

Jimmy McGriff
April 3, 1936 – May 24, 2008

Jimmy McGriff was a jazz organist that was known for his talent on the Hammond B-3.  Very gifted as a child, McGriff learned the piano at five years old and by the time he was a teen, he was also playing the saxophone, vibes, drums and bass.  Although he didn’t take up the Hammond B-3 organ until in his twenties, he would be come the instrument he was most closely associated with.  Over the course of his career, McGriff played with the likes of Jimmy Smith, Junior Parker, Buddy Rich, and Carmen MacRae.   He died of Multiple Sclerosis on May 24, 2008.

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