123

Gene Lees, Jazz Critic and Historian, Dies at 82

SOURCE:

Sign in to view read count
Gene Lees, a prolific jazz critic and historian who approached his subject with a journalist's rigor and an insider's understanding, died on Thursday at his home in Ojai, Calif. He was 82.

The apparent cause was a stroke, said Leslie A. Westbrook, a family spokeswoman.

The author of numerous books, Mr. Lees was not just an observer of the music scene, he was also a participant.

He was an accomplished lyricist whose credits included “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars," the English-language lyric for Antonio Carlos Jobim's “Corcovado," which was recorded by Frank Sinatra, Astrud Gilberto and many others. He was also a vocalist, with several albums to his credit.

That experience, and the friendships he built over the years with musicians, singers and songwriters, informed the project that had been his primary focus since 1981: publishing (monthly at first, later at irregular intervals) the subscription-only Gene Lees Ad Libitum Jazzletter, mostly as an outlet for his own biographical and historical essays.

“The beauty of this thing," Mr. Lees said of his journal in an interview in The New York Times in 1987, “is that it has permitted me to write what I want to write, not what editors want me to write. And the beauty of it for the other contributors is that theyve got total freedom. No money, but total freedom."

Continue Reading...

Tags

Jazz News

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.