Tag Archives: Obit

Johnny Griffin Dies

Sad news today
“US jazz tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, who played alongside such luminaries as Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey and Thelonius Monk, died Friday in France, his agent Helene Manfredi said. He was 80.

Nicknamed the Little Giant, Griffin was due to perform Friday evening alongside US organist Rhoda Scott, French saxophonist Olivier Temime and drummer Julie Saury.

Griffin died at home in Mauprevoir, a village in the west-central La Vienne district, where he had spent the last 18 years of his life. The cause of death was not disclosed.”

Bob Florence Dies

Legendary Big Band arranger, composer, pianist, and Finale user Bob Florence died today.
Date: May 15, 2008 6:51:24 PM CDT
Subject: [Trombone-l] Bob Florence

I am very sad to report the passing of pianist, composer, arranger
and bandleader Bob Florence. He died this afternoon after a long
illness. He was a brilliant and dedicated musician who never stopped
searching for ways to express emotions through music.

Those who knew him and his music have lost a great friend.

Best wishes,

Alex Iles”

Bob was a great guy, and I had numerous emails back and forth with him about notation and what not. He was also one of my favorite big band arrangers, with tunes like BBC and Carmello’s By The Freeway. He will be missed.
UPDATE: All About Jazz has an article about Bob’s untimely passing.
UPDATERemoved some guy’s posts about Bob who was impersonating someone else. So, if some of the comments reference it, you know why.

Frank Morgan Dies

I’m a little late on this, probably due to not having internet during this time, but Frank Morgan passed away on December 14th.

Frank Morgan, 73, a jazz saxophonist of impeccable ability, whose claim to the mantle of the celebrated Charlie Parker was clouded by his heroin addiction, died Dec. 14 at his home in Minneapolis. He had colon cancer and kidney failure.

I have a few Frank Morgan albums, and he plays his ass off.

Michael Brecker dies at age 57

Sadly, this time around it is true. I had seen a couple of emails in various lists I subscribe to this morning, but someone finally gave me a link to the a news site that has the details.

"Michael Brecker, a versatile and highly influential tenor saxophonist who won 11 Grammys over a career that spanned more than three decades, died Saturday at age 57.

Brecker died in a hospital in New York City of leukemia, according to his longtime friend and manager, Darryl Pitt. "

Truly, a great loss for jazz and the saxophone. Michael was a genius.

I remember first seeing him in the late 80s at the Shoreline Jazz festival. I had gone to see the group Spyro Gyra cause I thought they were great (hey, I was a high school noob). I was totally wrong. The Michael Brecker band, of which I knew nothing, was playing during the day, and I was amazed. He did his thing with the EWI where he would walk on stage, and play around with it for 15 minutes. Amazing stuff. I don’t remember staying for more than 3 Spryo Grya songs after hearing Brecker.

Soon after I heard him on Michael Frank’s song Dr. Sax. Wow! I was hooked. I got to meet him when he was the guest artist at my College. We talked about tech gadgets (Something about Palm Pilots and Maps as I remember). He was funny. During rehearsals, he was messing up (jet lag), and he’d make this face when he did it. I was laughing to whole time.

It’s a sad day.

Update: 01/14 19:28 GMT by E :The New York Times has a nice article about him today.

Update: 01/15 00:48 GMT by E :The Michael Brecker site now has word of his passing. 🙁

Update: 01/15 07:18 GMT by E :Someone posted a video on Youtube as a tribute. Nice montage. And of course, my favorite Steps Ahead song, Self Portrait