Tag Archives: Obits

Joe Zawinul Dies at 75

&uotFew of the major US networks picked up on this,

Zawinul died early Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Vienna’s Wilhelmina Clinic said, without giving details. He had been hospitalized since last month and suffered from a rare form of skin cancer, said Risa Zincke, his manager, according to the Austria Press Agency.

Some articles about his death are here, here, here and here.

Weather report was one of the first jazz/fusion groups I was exposed to (Tom Scott and the L.A. Express was the other). Sad to see another great pass on.

Ralph Morgan Dies

I saw this on the Klarinet list

“I just received a note from a repairman friend which said that Ralph Morgan passed away on August 23rd. Ralph worked at Selmer for many decades and was brilliant at mouthpiece design and instrument acoustics. He retired many years ago and concentrated on just mouthpieces.

As a maker, I just wish folks like him left behind research notes for the rest of us to learn from!


Dr. David McClune
University Professor of Music
Director of Bands/Woodwinds
Union University-1862
1050 Union University Drive
Jackson, TN 38305


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

A Great Loss

Bill Duncan, who put together the great Finale Productivity package, has passed away. He was a great guy. I had numerous email exchanges with him, and he was very informed on the notation practices in L.A.

I’m sad. His great stuff will live on in my Finale work. His over-sized time signatures, rehearsal font, and jazz articulations. Thankfully, he was able to complete his wonderful engraver’s jazz articulation font before his death.

Bill, I’ll miss you. Thanks for the great fonts, Finale insights, and general music preparation techniques.

RIP Jey Clark

From Steve Goodson:

"Jey Clark, owner of Saxology in Berkeley, Ca, passed away last night after suffering a massive stroke on Sunday. I have no other details at this time, but the information was confirmed this afternoon in a conversation with his friend. Jey was a long time friend, a frequent visitor to my home, played his ass off, and made me laugh. I'll miss him."

Once upon a time I tried out some mouthpieces from him (when he ran Four Winds). I believe I have a vintage Berg Larsen alto mouthpiece I bought from his shop over ten years ago. Good guy to deal with as I remember.