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Hal Blaine (1929-2019)

Hal Blaine (1929-2019)

Hal Blaine, a prolific Los Angeles session drummer most closely associated with the Wrecking Crew, a tightly knit group of studio musicians in the 1960s and '70s who added a professional studio sound behind thousands of recordings by pop-rock groups and stars, died on March 11. He was 90. Hal played on 40 #1 hit singles, ...

Ed Bickert (1932-2019)

Ed Bickert (1932-2019)

Ed Bickert, a Canadian jazz guitarist whose highly tasteful chord voicings and juicy sense of harmony made him a first-choice gig and recording sideman and leader in Toronto, and who today is considered one of jazz's finest guitar accompanists, died on February 28. He was 86. Bickert was a favorite of guitarist Jim Hall and was ...

Ed Bickert, 1932-2019

Ed Bickert, 1932-2019

One of Canada’s finest musicians, guitarist Ed Bickert, died on Thursday. He was 86. He was quiet and reserved, but the rich harmonies in Bickert’s playing captivated listeners and fellow musicians alike. Alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, with whom Bickert performed and recorded in the 1970s, wrote in the notes for one of his albums that he ...

André Previn (1929-2019)

André Previn (1929-2019)

André Previn, a piano prodigy who began his career at MGM while still in high school in the mid-1940s and excelled at jazz, classical and easy listening in the 1950s and beyond, died on February 28. He was 89. Previn escaped Nazi Germany with his family in 1938 when he was still a child. The family ...

Departures: Andre Previn And Ira Gitler

Departures: Andre Previn And Ira Gitler

This week, music lost two venerable and influential figures. Andre Previn, who distinguished himself as a performer and composer in a wide range of styles and genres, died on Thursday at his home in New York City. He was 89. A gifted pianist whose work as a film composer and orchestrator began before he left high ...

Ira Gitler (1928-2019)

Ira Gitler (1928-2019)

Ira Gitler, a jazz author, journalist and producer who was a wealth of eyewitness knowledge and whose liner notes starting in the early 1950s appeared on more albums than many of the musicians he wrote about recorded, died on February 23. He was 90. Ira is perhaps best known for writing Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz ...

Ethel Ennis (1932-2019)

Ethel Ennis (1932-2019)

Ethel Ennis, a female jazz-pop singer with an exceptional vocal range and a warm, seductive style that made listeners feel as if they just kicked off their shoes and extended their legs on a soft sofa, died on February 17. She was 86. There was a hint of Sarah Vaughan in Ennis's voice, but instead of ...

British Critic Alun Morgan Is Gone

British Critic Alun Morgan Is Gone

Alun Morgan, 1928-2019 The influential and prolific British critic Alun Morgan has died. Morgan’s critiques, reviews and album notes were among the most widely read of those by any contemporary jazz critic. His longtime admirers included fellow critic Mark Gardner, whose own reputation in British jazz circles and elsewhere grew substantially after he fell under Morgan’s ...

Bob Freedman (1934-2018)

Bob Freedman (1934-2018)

Robert M. Freedman, a jazz pianist, saxophonist and Grammy-winning arranger who orchestrated for artists ranging from Sarah Vaughan and Harry Belefonte to Maynard Ferguson and Paul Simon, and scored theme music for TV shows including ABC's Monday Night Football, died on Dec. 22, 2018. He was 94. Bob was a long-time JazzWax reader  and an avid ...

Michel Legrand (1932-2019)

Michel Legrand (1932-2019)

Michel Legrand, a French pianist who began writing arrangements for jazz musicians in the early 1950s before becoming one of the new sophisticated sentimentalists of American film in the 1960s and beyond as a composer, arranger and conductor, died on January 26. He was 86. Legraand's jazz recordings began with Dizzy Gillespie and the Paris Operatic ...