Jazz composer and arranger Gerald Wilson, whose career spanned more than 75 years, has died at the age of 96.
Gerald Wilson’s son, jazz guitarist Anthony Wilson, said his father died on September 8 at his Los Angeles home from pneumonia.
The big band leader began his career in the late 1930s as a trumpeter for Jimmy Lunceford’s band before forming his own big band in 1944 featuring female trombonist Melba Listo.
He played and worked as a composer-arranger with the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Carter and Dizzy Gillespie, and he arranged music for Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae and Bobby Darin.
Gerald Wilson, who was born in Shelby, Mississippi, and later moved with his family to Detroit, started out on piano and bought his first trumpet at age 11. During his tenure as a trumpeter with Lunceford, he arranged the hit tunes Hi Spook and Yard Dog Mazurka.
Gerald Wilson began his career in the late 1930s as a trumpeter for Jimmy Lunceford’s band before forming his own big band in 1944 featuring female trombonist Melba Listo
After four years with Lunceford and a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Gerald Wilson settled in Los Angeles, where he worked in the bands of Benny Carter, Les Hite and Phil Moore before forming his own band. He worked with Billie Holiday on the singer’s tour of the South in 1949.
Gerald Wilson led his own bands in the ’50s and ’60s, but took frequent hiatuses as he became one of the most in demand arrangers and orchestrators in jazz and pop music. He wrote more than 60 charts for Charles, scored motion pictures such as Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder, and served as the conductor and music director of TV’sThe Red Foxx Show.
However, despite his commercial success, Gerald Wilson never gave up his dedication to jazz.
His marriage to a Mexican-American, Josefina Villasenor Wilson, led him to incorporate Latin music into his jazz compositions. His tune, Viva Tirado, dedicated to bullfighter Jose Ramon Tirado, became a Top 40 pop hit for the rock group El Chicano in 1970. He also composed his first piece for symphony orchestra, Debut: 5/21/72, on a commission from Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Gerald Wilson became famous for his dance-like style of conducting, which he said helped listeners know what they were hearing.
Jazzman Horace Silver has died at the age of 85, National Public Radio (NPR) said on Wednesday.
NPR said Horace Silver’s son Gregory had called it directly with the news of his death.
One of the most highly regarded pianists and composers in jazz, Horace Silver was one of the pioneers of a rhythmic jazz style known as hard bop.
Horace Silver began his career as a tenor saxophonist in clubs in Connecticut. But after he moved to New York in the 1950s, he switched to piano and began performing at the Blue Note Jazz Club.
Many of his compositions became jazz standards, including Sister Sadie, The Preacher and Filthy McNasty.
Horace Silver was one of the pioneers of a rhythmic jazz style known as hard bop
His family came from Cape Verde, and Horace Silver was influenced by the folk music from the Portuguese-speaking islands off of Africa.
One of his earliest musical influence was his father, who played multiple instruments, including the violin, guitar and mandolin, according to NPR.
Horace Silver’s first album is regarded as a milestone in the development of hard bop – a style Silver continued to explore during his 25-year relationship with Blue Note records.
He also performed with many jazz greats such as Lester Young, Miles Davis and Art Blakey.
His bands have consistently been a training ground for great soloists, and his sidemen have included a host of subsequently famous names.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s he experimented with larger groups and a different style, but from midway through the 1980s he returned to hard bop, and in the 1990s created some worthy successors to the many classic albums he made during his 28 years at Blue Note.
Horace Silver’s piano style has been described as “involving sharply defined, bluesy right hand phrasing, over a grumbling left-hand bass unlike the style of any other player”.
Jazz singer Jimmy Scott has died at the age of 88.
Jimmy Scott had the rare genetic condition Kallmann’s Syndrome, which meant he never reached puberty and his voice did not deepen.
Madonna once described him as “the only singer who makes me cry”.
Jimmy Scott also recorded with Lou Reed and appeared on the soundtrack to 1990s TV drama Twin Peaks.
Jimmy Scott had the rare genetic condition Kallmann’s Syndrome, which meant he never reached puberty and his voice did not deepen
Speaking of his voice, which was often mistaken for a woman’s, he said: “I learned that it was a gift that I was able to sing this way.
“Many times, I’d think, I’d love to try this in a lower register… but then after a while you think, sing with what you got.”
Jimmy Scott began his recording career in the 1950s. By 1962, he had been signed by Ray Charles, who also produced his album Falling in Love Is Wonderful.
He regarded the album as his “masterpiece” – but it was withdrawn from sale after a matter of weeks because of a legal wrangle with his former record label, and Jimmy Scott withdrew from the music industry.
Jimmy Scott then took jobs including as a shipping clerk, waiter and a ward captain for the Democratic Party before a late musical renaissance that began in the early 1990s.
All the Way, which was released in 1992, was nominated for a Grammy Award for best jazz vocal performance.
Jimmy Scott’s career blossomed late in life as he continued to record and tour.
Jazz star Gloria Lynne, whose career included dozens of albums and whose signature song was I Wish You Love, has died just weeks before her 84th birthday, her son said.
Gloria Lynne died on October 15 at Columbus Long-Term Acute Care Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, of a heart attack.
Born in New York in 1929, Gloria Lynne sang as a child in church, then won an amateur contest at age 15 at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, said her son, P.J. Allen.
Gloria Lynne sang as a child in church, then won an amateur contest at age 15 at Harlem’s Apollo Theater
The prize: $15, $5 of which Gloria Lynne lost when her mother slapped the bills out of her hand upon discovering she had entered the contest without telling her.
Soon, she was signed by Everest Records.
“But her real break came with Harry Belafonte’s Strolling ’20s,” P.J. Allen said, referring to the 1966 television special that included Duke Ellington, Sidney Poitier, Nipsey Russell, Sammy Davis Jr. and Diahann Carroll.
Gloria Lynne last performed on August 27 at 54 Below in New York, said Todd Barkan, who produced the show and knew her for 40 years.
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