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respect 2024...






'What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others'. Pericles (495 - 429 b.c.)








july 2024


abdul fareem 'duke' fakir


Duke Fakir


with duke in 2007 (gave him a cd of my 'Tops' favourites)


b. Abdul Kareem Fakir, 26th December 1935, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.


d. 22nd July 22, 2024, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.


The last surviving member from the original line-up of the Four Tops, Abdul Kareem ‘Duke’ Fakir, has died. Duke was 88.

He died from heart failure at his Detroit home on the 22nd of July 2024.

Duke was a founding member of the Motown quartet the Four Tops, between 1953 until shortly before his death in 2024.

Born in 1935 in Detroit, Michigan, his father was a factory worker from Bangladesh, whilst his mother was African American.

As a young man, he played basketball, football, and ran track, meeting fellow band member Levi Stubbs through neighborhood football games.

The duo asked fellow sportsmen, Lawrence Payton and Renaldo "Obie" Benson, who would all eventually go on to comprise the group the Four Aims.

Recording initially for the Chess imprint, they changed their name to the Four Tops.

The group signed to Motown Records in 1963, eventually becoming listed at number 77 in Billboard magazine ‘for their ‘Top 100 Artists Of All Time’.

The Four Tops Fakir were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997, were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999, the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, and (as mentioned) were included in the Billboard magazine Top 100 Recording Artists of All Time.

After the deaths of the other three Tops band members by 2008, Duke controlled the Four Tops intellectual properties.

He said he had an intention never to retire and continued to tour with the group until less than a month before his death.

Shortly before his death, Duke even named Michael Brock as his successor.

Duke had seven children (with one preceding him in death), thirteen grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren as of 2024.




four tops page at soulwalking


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june 2024


angela bofill


Angela Bofill


b. Angela Tomasa Bofill, 2nd May 1954, West Bronx, New York City, U.S.A.


d. 13th June 2024, Vallejo, California, U.S.A.


The Soul and R&B singer, Angela Bofill, has died. Angela was 70. She suffered a stroke on during January 2006, and became paralyzed on her left side. She convalesced at Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa, California, undergoing speech and physical therapy.


Without health insurance, a benefit concert was organized to pay her hospital bills. Other events followed, whilst aid was sought from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

In 2007, she suffered a second stroke, leading to further therapy.


From New York, Angela began her professional career in the mid-1970s. Her singles, including, ‘This Time I'll Be Sweeter’, ‘Angel of the Night’, and ‘I Try’, were highlights of an excellent career spanning over four decades. During her early professional career, Angela signed to Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen’s jazz label GRP Records with the help of friend, Dave Valentin. With the producers, she recorded the albums ‘Angie’ (1978) and ‘Angel Of The Night’ (also in 1978).


Angela signed with Arista Records, working with Narada Michael Walden, ‘Something About You’ (1981), ‘Too Tough’ (1983) and ‘Teaser’ (in 1983) followed. She signed to Capitol Records and worked with producer Norman Connors on ‘Intuition’ (in 1988) and recorded three more albums over the next eight years and provided backing vocals on albums for Diana Ross and Kirk Whalum and for Norman’s album ‘Eternity’ (in 2000).


Angela was married to country music artist Rick Vincent (between1984 and 1994), who both had a daughter, Shauna.


In 2023, Angela was inducted into the Women Songwriters Hall of Fame.


angela bofill page at soulwalking




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may 2024


david sanborn


David Sanborn


b. David William Sanborn, 30th July 1945, Tampa, Florida, U.S.A.


d. 12th May 2024, Tarrytown, New York, U.S.A.


The hugely popular Jazz Saxophonist, David Sanborn, has died. David was 78.

He died as a result of complications from prostate cancer.

David had been diagnosed with the disease since 2018. So popular an artist, was showcased, by his booking listings which led well into 2025.

Throughout his career, he had performed on many famous recordings, by multiple artists.

These included the likes of Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Carly Simon, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones. There are not many albums that are in peoples collections that do not feature him as a performer.

Particular high points in David’s career include ‘Young Americans’ (the saxophone lead), Stevie Wonder’s ’Talking Book’ album, and he was to be heard in the unlikeliest places, including Todd Rundgren’s ground breaking ‘Wizard, A True Star’ album.

For Soul and Jazz fans, his instrumental ‘Theme From ‘Love Is Not Enough’ from the 1982 album ‘Casino Lights’, also highlighted.

When David was a teenager he had played alongside blues legends including Albert King and Little Milton. He released his debut solo album, ‘Taking Off’, in 1975, when he was 30.

Previously he was part of the Butterfield Blues Band and was a part of that groups’ lineup when they performed at Woodstock.

David toured with Stevie Wonder and played on Stevie’s ‘Talking Book’ album.

In the Seventies, David recorded with several artists including B.B. King, Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Chaka Khan, Ron Carter, George Benson, Kenny Loggins, and the Eagles.

In the Eighties he was collaborating with Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Roger Water, Eric Clapton, and Mick Jagger, along with many more.

In that decade, David featured in the Bill Murray movie ’Scrooged’, seen busking outside a tube station with Miles Davis!




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march 2024


pooch tavares


Pooch Tavares


b. Arthur Paul Tavares, 12th November 1942, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A.


d. 15th April 2024, New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.


One of the main family members of the group Tavares, ‘Pooch’ Tavares, has died. Pooch was 81.

In 2014, he had suffered a stroke.

Business interests for the group were taken by Oriola Mngmt LLC.

As ‘Pooch’ regained his health, he adopted for career retirement.

In 2013, Tavares were honoured with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by The National R&B Music Society Black Tie Gala, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

All six brothers attended and performed on stage together for the first time in 37 years.


tavares page at soulwalking


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kevin toney


Kevin Toney


b. Kevin Kraig Toney, 23rd April 1953, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.


d. 18th March 2024, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.


The American jazz pianist and composer, (who was a member of The Blackbyrds) Kevin Toney, has died. Kevin was 70.
Kevin died from cancer on the 18th of March 2024.
In addition to the piano, Kevin also played the cello, and alto saxophone.
He graduated from Cass Technical High School and went on to attend Howard University where Donald Byrd, head of the jazz studies department, assembled a group of students which became the fusion band, the Blackbyrds.
Kevin became the leader of the the group.
The Blackbyrds played with Chick Corea, The Crusaders, Herbie Hancock, and Grover Washington Jr. and went on to release seven albums aith the group.
The Blackbyrds hits included ‘Rock Creek Park’ and ‘Walking In Rhythm’.
Kevin recorded several albums as a solo musician.
As an arranger and conductor, he worked with several artists including, Patti Austin, Babyface, Gloria Gaynor, Edwin Hawkins, James Ingram, Enrique Iglesias, Michael McDonald, Brian McKnight, Freda Payne, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Marilyn McCoo, and Billy Davis Jr.
Other collaborations include Kenny Burrell, Shirley Caesar, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Isaac Hayes, Whitney Houston, Nolan Shaheed, Hubert Laws, David ‘Fathead’ Newman, James Newton, Ray Parker Jr., Sonny Rollins, Frank Sinatra, Sonny Stitt, Shania Twain, Gerald Wilson, Nancy Wilson, and Bobby Womack.




the blackbyrds page at soulwalking


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ernest 'bilbo' berger


Ernest Berger


b. Ernest ‘Bilbo’ Berger, 1951, Czechoslovakia.


d. 1st March 2024, London.

The drummer, percussionist and founding member of the group Heatwave, Ernest ‘Bilbo’ Berger, has died. He was 73.

‘Bilbo’ passed away in a London hospital at 2 a.m. according to his wife, Grace. They had been married for 45 years.

Along with group members Johnnie Wilder Jr, Rod Temperton, Eric Johns & Roy Carter, Heatwave created some of the finest Disco music from the Seventies and early Eighties.

These included ‘Boogie Nights’, ‘Always and Forever’, ‘Mind Blowing Decisions’, ‘The Groove Line’, ‘Too Hot To Handle’, ‘Gangsters of the Groove’ and ‘Ain't No Half Steppin’.




heatwave page at soulwalking


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Henry Fambrough


b. Henry Fambrough, 10th May 1935, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.


d. 7th February 2024, Sterling, Virginia, U.S.A.


Henry Fambrough, the last surviving original member of the (Detroit) The Spinners, has died Henry was 85.

He died peacefully of natural causes in his northern Virginia home, said Tanisha Jackson in a statement.

The Detroit Spinners was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in November 2023.


Detroit Spinners


Along with: Henry (left), Bobbie Smith, Philippé Wynne, Pervis Jackson, Billy Henderson and John Edwards, the Detroit Spinners were listed as inductees.




detroit spinners page at soulwalking


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hinton battle

b. Hinton Battle, 29th November 1956, Neubrücke, Rhineland-Palatinate, West Germany


d. 30th January 2024, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

The American actor, singer, dancer, and dance instructor, Hinton Battle, had died. Hinton was 67.

He won three Tony Awards, and featured in several stage productions during his acting career.

Musically, he released a solo album called ‘Untapped’, which featured the popular song ’Super Cautious Girl’.

His song ‘Think We're Gonna Make It’ was also featured on the soundtrack to the 1986 movie ‘Playing for Keeps’.

Hinton had been working on an autobiography at the time of his death.

He died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on the 30th of January 2024.


hinton battle page at soulwalking


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marlena shaw


Marlena Shaw


b. Marlina Burgess, 22nd September 1942, New Rochelle, New York, U.S.A.


d. 19th January 2024, California, U.S.A.


The Soul, Blues and Jazz songstress, Marlena Shaw, has died. Marlena was 81.

Her daughter, Marla Bradshaw, said on Facebook, she died at home, peacefully, listening to some of her favourite music. Marla wrote:


“It’s with a very heavy heart that for myself and my family I announce that our beloved mother, your beloved icon and artist Marlena Shaw has passed away today at 12:03,” Marla said. “She was peaceful. We were at peace. … She went listening to some of her favorite songs.”
She added, “I just want to thank you all for being on her page. Thank you for being a part of her life. Especially these last three years, which made her very happy.”

More will be posted here as the details emerge.

Marlena’s career started during the Sixties and she continued to perform up until her death.

Her music has often been sampled in hip hop music, and used in television commercials globally.


marlena shaw page at soulwalking




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les mccann


Les McCann


b. Leslie Coleman McCann, 23rd September 1935, Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.A.


d. 29th December 2023, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.


The jazz piano player and vocalist, Les McCann, has died. Les was 88.

He was suffering from pneumonia, and died in a Los Angeles hospital from the illness.

Since the Nineties nearly 300 artists have sampled his music.

These include A Tribe Called Quest, Cypress Hill, De La Soul, the Notorious B.I.G., Sean Combs, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Mary J. Blige, the Pharcyde, Eric B. and Rakim, Mobb Deep, Gang Starr, and Raekwon.

Prior to this era, Les McCann’s music has touched many genres including Jazz to Acid Jazz.

His early career saw success with the Les McCann Trio (featuring Les alongside Herbie Lewis & Ron Jefferson) in the Sixties.

Born in Lexington, Les grew up in a musical family of four, a brother and three sisters (with most of his family singing in church choirs).
As a young musician, Les played the tuba and drums and performed in his school's marching band.

He taught himself the piano, only having a couple of ‘proper’ lessons from a teacher prior to the teachers passing.

Les served in the navy and went on to win a song contest before appearing on the famous Ed Sullivan Show.

On leaving the service, Les relocated to California where he created his aforementioned own jazz trio.

He was invited to join Cannonball Adderley's band but declined at the time.

His trio performed at the Purple Onion club in 1959 accompanying Gene McDaniels.

In the Sixties he recorded with his trio for the Pacific Jazz imprint.

By the end of the decade, Atlantic Records released ‘Swiss Movement’ also featuring saxophonist Eddie Harris and trumpeter Benny Bailey.

The album contained the song ‘Compared to What’, an anti war song written by Eugene McDaniels.

Roberta Flack's own version appeared as the opening track on her debut album ‘First Take’ in 1969.

The success of the album saw Les becoming a pioneer in soul jazz merging jazz with funk, soul, and world rhythms.

In the early Seventies, Les and Eddie Harris were part of a group featuring Soul, R&B, and Rock performers (also including Wilson Pickett, the Staple Singers, Santana, and Ike & Tina Turner) who travelled to Ghana, to perform a 14-hour concert for over 100,000 Ghanaians.

The concert was recorded for the documentary film ‘Soul to Soul’ (a film that was released on DVD in later years).

Les suffered a stroke in the Nineties, returning to music in 2002.

Artistically Les had exhibited his work as a painter and photographer in recent years.


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...those who left us in 2023...










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