Once again Notes on Jazz is proud to carry on its tradition of compiling and publishing the annual "Fourth of July Living Legend of Jazz" feature. This is the fifth such compilation, a yearly reminder and a joyful celebration of the artistry and longevity of jazz artists that have been living in our midst. Every year we are surprised at some familiar new members who have entered into the ranks of the Living Legends. The standards are simple: induct any musician, working or retired who has reached their 70th birthday and has contributed to the canon of the music, keeping the spirit and tradition of the music alive. Artists need not be popular or internationally recognized, but in their own way influential.
The list is organic and ever-changing, like the music. Sadly, since last year, we have continued to lose some of these great artists to the vagaries of time. With due respect, we take a moment to document and recognize their passing. Their spirit lives on in everyone who has ever had the privilege of hearing them play; either in live performance or on recordings. The passing of some truly venerable legends include musicians, performers, innovators, teachers, producers and mentors who made an indelible mark on society at large and on the music in particular. Some were famous, some infamous and all will be missed.
Jim Hall photo Fran Kaufman
Some of the musicians we lost from the fraternity of Jazz Legends since last year include some elder statesmen as well as some who passed before their time. Perhaps one of the youngest we lost was the great pianist and educator Mulgrew Miller who left us at the young age of 57.
Two guitarists that were not necessarily jazz players but who influenced other players with their unique styles; Alvin Lee (68) of the band "Ten Years After" wowed audiences with his speedy lines and guitarist/vocalist J.J. Cale (74) famous for his song "Cocaine" passed prematurely this year. The keyboard wizard and funk master George Duke, (67) was also lost this year along with several Blues players; bassist Jackie Lomax famous for his work with the Beatles (69) , velvet voiced vocalist Robert Calvin aka Bobby "Blue" Bland (82) and guitarist Morris Holt aka " Magic Slim" all left us this past year. The beautiful Brazilian stylist Oscar Castro-Neves, often considered co-founder with Jobim of the Bossa nova style, passed at age (73.) The ranks of world-class flutists was decimated this year with the loss of flutist Sam Most (82), the great Frank Wess (91) and Yusef Lateef (93), an originator of the world music movement.
Others lost this year include singer/ songwriter, Bobby Womack and session guitarist, famous for his work with Steely Dan among others, Hugh McCracken both 70, trombonist Wayne Henderson was 73, bassist Butch Warren who was 74, saxophonists Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre 77, drummer Donald "Duck" Bailey, pianists Bengt Hallberg 82 and Frank Strazzeri 84, two legendary saxophonists Herb Geller 85 and Med Flory 87, pianist Boyd Lee Dunlop 88 , drummer Al Harewood 88 and Paul T. Smith along with the trombone of Paul Tanner 95 who was with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Duke Ellington vocalist Herb Jeffries who was 100.
The world became a less creative place when we lost the talented pianist Cedar Walton at 79, the funky trumpet of Donald Byrd at 80, the sensitive nuanced guitar of Jim Hall at the age of 83, the Canadian Vibraphonist Peter Appleyard at 84, the soulful piano of Horace Silver at the age of 85,
the high-pitched vocals of "Little" Jimmy Scott at 88, Trumpeter Joe Wilder at 91, the catchy rhythms of drummer Forestrom "Chico" Hamilton at the age of 92, the Latin sounds of pianist/arranger Bebo at 94 or the elegant and intelligent charm of pianist Marian McPartland who was 95.
Marian McPartland photo Fran Kaufman
The music has proven time and again that despite losing its legends to the inevitable vagaries of time, it is a durable art form. As some pass through, there are always others who enter our world introducing new ideas and fresh musical concepts. The music continues to expand, thriving with every generation. New musicians create from the path laid down by those who have blazed it before them ensuring that the music, however mutated it becomes, still is built on the bones of the tradition.
I continue to believe that jazz is an art form that has become the most internationally cooperative means of communication in the world today. As artists and listeners alike have found out it can be a tremendously spiritual medium allowing us to transcend everyday life with beauty and connectivity.
On this Fourth of July, let our passion for the music continue with this yearly celebration of these communicators, those who have been and continue to be so instrumental in bringing us this music we love so much.
Here is my expanded list of veteran players, all at least 70 years of age, who in some way helped shape the music with my usual caveat, I am sure to have missed some worthy contributors. To those I apologize in advance for any inadvertent omissions. This is the fifth year I have compiled. Please comment and add names if you find someone missing. Finally a great big thank you to each and every one of this year's celebrants who have made my life so much richer for having experienced the beauty of their art.
LIVING JAZZ LEGENDS: July 4, 2014
Evan Parker, Pat LaBarbera, Gianluigi Trovesi and Arthur Doyle (70), Maceo Parker (71), Eddie Daniels, clarinet and saxophone (72); Pharaoh Sanders, Gary Bartz, Peter Brotzmann, Roscoe Mitchell and Bennie Maupin (73); Charles Brackeen, Arthur Bythe, Hamiet Bluiett, Wilton Felder, Joe McPhee, Charles McPherson, Carlos Ward, Paul Winter and Lew Tabackin (74); Odean Pope, Zibigniew Namyslowski, Charles Gayle, Sonny Fortune and George Braith (75)Gunter Hampel, James Spaulding, Charles Lloyd, Carlos Garnett, Joseph Jarman (76); Archie Shepp, Nathan Davis, Frank Strozier and Jim Galloway (77); Klaus ,Doldinger, Gary N. Foster and Don Menza (78); Giuseppi Logan, Jimmy Woods, Houston Person, George Coleman and Bunky Green (79); Lanny Morgan, John Handy III and Wayne Shorter (80); Sadao Watanabe, Charlie Davis, and Gato Barbieri (81); Phil Woods and Plas Johnson Jr.(82); Sonny Rollins (83); Ornette Coleman and Gabe Baltazar (84); Joe Temperley, Harold Ousley, Herb Geller and Benny Golson (85); Carl Janelli, Lee Konitz and Bob Wilber (86); Bilory, Lou Donaldson and Jimmy Heath (87); Marshall Allen (90); Jay McNeeley, (92); Harold Joseph "Hal" "Cornbread" Singer (94); Fred Staton (99).
Pianists and Keyboards:
George Cables, Monty Alexander, Jan Fryderyk Dobrowski, Keith Emerson, Chris Stainton and Bobo Stenson ( 70), Kenny Barron, Mike Ratledge, Dave Greenslade and Ben Sidran (71);Masabumi Kikuchi Connie Crothers, Stanley Cowell, Armando "Chick" Corea, Mike Nock, Sergio Mendes, Irene Sweizer and David Burrell (73), Herbie Hancock, Bob James and Roger Kellaway (74), McCoy Tyner, Mike Longo, Joe Sample, Gap Mangione, Joanne Brackeen and Warren Bernhardt (75); Denny Zeitlin, Steve Kuhn and John Coates Jr. (76); Eddie Palmieri and Kirk Lightsey (77); Les McCann, Carla Bley and Harold Mabern (78); Ramsey Lewis, Pat Rebillot, Ran Blake,Don Friedman, Oliver Jones, Ellis Marsalis Jr. and Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), Dave Grusin and Misha Mengelberg (79); Pat Moran (McCoy) (80); Paul Bley and Larry Novak (81);Jack Reilly, Derek Smith and Michel LeGrand (82); Muhal Richard Abrams and Horace Parlan (83); Amhad Jamal, Frank Strazzeri, Claude Bolling, Barry Harris and Toshiko Akiyoshi (84); Cecil Taylor, and Junior Mance (85); Freddie Redd, Martial Solal, Richard Wyands and Mose Allison (86); Dick Hyman and Claude Williamson (87); Randy Weston (88); Reynold "Zeke" Mullins and Barbara Carroll (89); Marty Napoleon (93)
Harvey Brooks, Rufus Reid and George Mraz (70), Jack Bruce (71); Charles "Buster" Williams (72); Glen Moore and Steve Swallow (73); Don Thompson and Eberhard Weber (74); Mario Pavone (75); Larry Ridley, and Charlie Haden (76); Reggie Workman, Ron Carter, Chuck Berghofer, and Chuck Israels (77); Buell Nedlinger and Henry Grimes (78); Gary Peacock and Cecil McBee (79); Bob Cranshaw and Jack Six (81); Ron Crotty and Richard Davis (85); Bill Crow (86); Jymie Merritt (88); Eugene "The Senator" Wright (91); Howard Rumsey (96); Coleridge Goode (99).
Lew Soloff, Charles Sullivan and Jay Saunders and Jimmy Owens (70) Michael Mantler (71); Charles Tolliver (72); Eddie Henderson, Palle Mikkelborg and Chuck Mangione (73); Enrico Rava (74); Marvin Stamm and Hugh Masekela (75); Guido Basso (76); Ed Polcer (77); Bobby Bradford (79); Jack Sheldon and Dusko Gojkovic (82); Alphonso "Dizzy" Reece, Louis Smith and Ira Sullivan (83); Sam Noto and Kenny Wheeler (84); Carl "Doc" Severinson (86); Clark Terry (93); Thomas Jefferson (94); Gerald Wilson (95); Lionel Ferbos (102 -- 103 on July 17th)
Jeff Beck, Pat Martino and Jack Wilkins (70) George Benson, Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine (71); James Blood Ulmer and John McLaughlin (72); Jerry Hahn (73); Ralph Towner (74); Gene Bertoncini and Joe D'Iorio (77); Sonny Greenwich (78); Ed Bickert (81); Kenny Burrell (82); Joao Gilberto and John Pisano (83); Martin "Marty" Grosz (84); Eddie Duran and Bucky Pizzarelli (88); Mundell Lowe (92).
Erlind Wickland (70) Fred Wesley (71); James "Dick" Griffin, and Billy Watrous (74); Grachan Moncur III, Phillip Elder Wilson and "Big" Bill Bissonnette (77); Roswell Rudd (78); Julian Priester and Curtis Fuller (79); Locksley "Slide" Hampton (82); George "Buster" Cooper (85); Harold Betters and Conrad Janis (86); George Masso and Urbie Green (87).
Billy Cobham and Bobby Colomby (70), Jack DeJohnette, Barry Altschul (71) Michael Gils (72); Han Bennink (72); Billy Hart (73); Andrew Cyrille, Ginger Baker, Pierre Courbois and Idris Muhammad (74); Bernard Purdie, Issac "Redd" Holt, Nesbert "Stix" Hooper (75); Tony Oxley, Horace Arnold, Paul Ferrara and Daniel Humair (76), Louis Hayes, Pierre Favre, James "Sunny" Murray, Charly Antolini, Colin Bailey and Roy McCurdy (78); Ron Free , Albert "Tootie" Heath and Chuck Flores (79); Ben Riley, Colin Bailey and Ray Mosca (81); Mickey Roker, Frank Capp and Grady Tate (82); Ronnie Bedford (82), John Armatage (84); Hal Blaine, Jimmy Cobb, Charlie Persip (85); Frankie Dunlop (85); Joe Harris (86); Roy Haynes and Samuel "Dave" Bailey (88); Candido Camero (92).
Jimmy Cobb photo Lena Adasheva
Al Kooper and Booker T. Jones (70) Mac "Dr John" Rebennack and "Papa" John De Francesco (73) Brian Auger (74); Rhoda Scott (76); Reuben Wilson (78); and Sir Charles Thompson (96).
Sir Charles Thompson
Joni Mitchell (70); Gilberto Gil (72); Janet Lawson (73); Astrud Gilberto, Al Jarreau and Mary Stallings and Andy Bey (74); Ruth Price, Sathima Bea Benjamin and Ellyn Ruker (76); Nancy Wilson, Carol Sloane, Karin Krog and (77); Marlene Ver Planck and David Frishberg, piano/vocals (81); Freddy Cole and Mark Murphy (82); Annie Ross and Helen Merrill (83); Sheila Jordan and Ernestine Anderson (85); Cleo Laine, Jackie Cain and Ernie Andrews (86); Tony Bennett (87); Bill Henderson (88); Bob Dorough (90); Jon Hendricks (92)
Artists on Other Instruments:
David Friedman vibes, Henry Threagill composer/arranger (70) Gary Burton, vibraphonist, Michal Urbaniak, violinist and Jean Luc Ponty, violinist, Jeremy Steig, flutist (71); Bobby Hutcherson and Roy Ayers, vibraphonists and Lonnie Liston Smith, keyboardist (73); Hubert Laws, flutist (74); Perry Morris Robinson, clarinetist, Gunter Hampel, multi-instrumentalist, Dave Pike, vibraphonist/marimba and Mike Maineri, vibraphonist (76); Hermeto Pascoal, accordion and keyboards,Charlie Shoemake, vibraphonist (78); Joe Licari, clarinetist and Sonny Simmons sax and English Horn (80), Warren Chiasson vibraphonist (80); Emil Richards, vibes and percussion (81); David Baker composer/cellist (82); Pierre "Pete" Fountain, clarinetist (83);
Michael White, violinist, Rolf Kuhn, clarinetists and Paul Horn, flutist (84); Bernard "Acker" Bilk, clarinetist, and Andre Previn conductor/pianist (85); Terry Gibbs, vibraphonist, George Wein, pianist/concert promoter (89) Rudy Van Gelder, recording engineer (90); Sammy Nestico pianist/arranger and Buddy DeFranco, clarinetist (91); Lorraine Gordon, music producer and owner of the Village Vanguard (91); Jean "Toots" Thielmans, harmonica/guitar/whistler (92); Svend Asmussen, violinist (98).
A big thanks to all the fine musicians and to photographers Lena Adasheva and Fran Kaufman and others for allowing the use of their terrific photographs.