'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.)
b. Clem Curtis, 28th November 1940, Trinidad, West Indies.
d. 27th March 2017, United Kingdom
Lead singer from the group the Foundations, Clem Curtis, has died. Clem was 76.
More information to follow.
b. Roger W. Hill, 13th February 1927, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
d. 20th March 2017, Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S.A.
The American jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist, Buck Hill, has died. Buck was 90.
Born in Washington D.C., Buck began his working career as a mail man (which kept him occupied for some 30 years or so).
He went on to play the saxophone, around 1943.
Between 1958 and 1959 he played with Charlie Byrd.
In 1973, he recorded with the trumpeter Allan Houser.
Since the Seventies, he performed as part the Buck Hill Quartet, releasing 4 albums, between 1978 and 1983, for Steeplechase Records.
The Quartet featured (at various times) Billy Hart, Buster Williams, Kenny Barron, Reuben Brown, Wilbur Little and Buck himself.
In 1982, he released ‘Plays Europe’ for the Turning Point Records imprint.
He released ‘Capital Hill’ for Muse Records in 1990.
b. Charles Edward Anderson Berry, 18th October 1926, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
d. 18th March 2017, St. Charles, Missouri, U.S.A.
Chuck Berry has died. Chuck was 90.
One of the pioneers of rock and roll music, police in St. Charles County, Missouri, were called to Chuck’s house, where he was unresponsive.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
robert 'p-nut' johnson
b. Robert Johnson, (a.k.a. Robert ‘P-Nut’ Johnson), 17th October 1947, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
d. 12th March 2017, Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.A.
The vocalist from the group’s Bootsy's Rubber Band, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, P-Funk All Stars and Sweat Band, Robert ‘P-Nut’ Johnson, has died. Robert was 70.
No cause of death has not been made available at this time.
Born in 1947, Robert originally performed in bands in the Baltimore area.
In 1976, he was recruited into Bootsy’s Rubber Band.
Bootsy Collins ceased touring in 1979 and Robert joined the George Clinton/P Funk Universe group permanently.
b. James Henry Cotton, 1st July 1935, Tunica, Mississippi, U.S.A.
d. 16th March 2017, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
The Blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, James Cotton has died. He was 81.
James died at a medical center in Austin, Texas from pneumonia.
Born in Mississippi, James recorded for the Sun Records imprint.
He formed the James Cotton Band in 1966, and went on to collaborate with the likes of Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, Santana, Steve Miller, Dr. John, Todd Rundgren, David Sanborn and Freddie King.
In the Seventies, he recorded for Buddha and Capitol Records.
During the Eighties, James recorded for Alligator Records, and won the Best Traditional Blues Album Grammy for his Deep in the Blues LP in 1997.
James received six Living Blues Awards in his lifetime and 10 Blues Music Awards.
b. Carl Lomax Kidd, 18th August 1941, West Virginia, U.S.A.
d. 13th March 2017, Chevy Chase, Maryland, U.S.A.
The Washington D.C. based producer and promoter, Maxx Kidd, has died. Max was 75.
He passed away from ‘a variety of health complications’, according to surviving family members.
Maxx helped pioneer the C.C. based Go-Go Sound during the late 1970s.
As a producer, Maxx worked for Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records, where he collaborated with several artists, including Jerry Butler and Gene Chandler.
He set up his own record company, entitled, T.T.E.D. Records, and was a member of the group’s Redds And The Boys (along with Anthony ‘Redds’ Williams, Carl Jones and Eric Thorngren) and The Enjoyables.
Maxx produced Chuck Brown’s Go Go anthem, ‘We Need Some Money’, and worked with the group’s Trouble Funk and E.U. (Experience Unlimited).
Maxx, in his capacity as a promoter, worked with the likes of O’Jays, the Temptations, Lou Rawls, Van McCoy, Johnnie Taylor and Shalamar.
He was also a founder of the Black Music Association (BMA).
Maxx is survived by five daughters (Jacqueline McCoy, Yvette 'Evie' Kidd, Sabrina Kidd, Joy Kidd, Corie Kidd) and one son (Victor Kidd), along with several grandchildren.
b. Thomas LiPuma, 5th July 1936, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.
d. 13th March 2017, New York, New York, U.S.A.
The Record Producer, Tommy LiPuma, has died. Tommy was 80.
During his production career, Tommy has collaborated with the likes of Miles Davis, George Benson, Phil Upchurch, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Michael Franks, Ben Sidran, The Crusaders and Randy Crawford.
From Cleveland, Ohio, Tommy worked for A&M Records, Blue Thumb Records and Verve Records.
He provided inspiration for others to follow, including John Snyder, Arnaldo DeSouteiro and Larry Rosen.
b. Joan Elise Sledge, 13th September 1956, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.)
d. 10th March 2017, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
Founding member of the American musical group, Sister Sledge, Joni Sledge, has died.
Joni was 60.
A statement from Sister Sledge reads:
'The medical examiner and Joni's personal physician determined on 10th March 2017, that her death was due to natural causes which arose from complications from a pre-existing condition.
Please continue to respect the family’s request for peaceful privacy during this very difficult time. Thank you & God Bless You!'
Sister Sledge were formed in 1971, in Philadelphia.
The group comprised of four sisters Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge.
Sister Sledge achieved several international hits, which included, ‘Mama Never Told Me’ (in 1975), ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer’ (in 1979), ‘We Are Family’ (in 1979) and ‘Lost In Music’.
Photographer: Camilla Camaglia
b. David Joseph Valentin, 29th April 1952, South Bronx, New York, U.S.A.
d. 8th March 2017, The Bronx, New York, U.S.A.
The jazz flautist, Dave Valentin, has died. Dave was 64.
He passed away from complications of a stroke and Parkinson's disease.
Dave learned percussion at an early age, going on to teach himself to play the flute.
He, later, took lessons from Hubert Laws.
During the Seventies, Dave signed to GRP Records.
He released his debut album with Ricardo Marrero in 1977.
Dave collaborated with many musicians throughout his career, including, Noel Pointer, Patti Austin, Lee Ritenour, Chris Connor, David Benoit and Eliane Elias.
In 2012, he suffered a stroke which left him partially paralyzed.
In 2015, David suffered a second stroke.
b. Leon Ware, 16th February 1940, Black Bottom, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 23rd February 2017, Marina del Rey, California, U.S.A.
The singer and songwriter, Leon Ware has died. Leon was 77. He passed away a week after his 77th birthday.
Leon passed away in Marina del Rey, California.
His wife, Carol, said the cause was complications of prostate cancer.
Leon was previously married to Susaye Green.
In addition to his wife, Carol, Leon is survived by his sons, Mark and Leon, a granddaughter, Zaria, and two brothers, Robert and Bernard.
A daughter, Laura, died in 2003.
At the time of his passing, Leon was working on a new album, entitled ‘Rainbow Deux’.
b. Larry Coryell, 2nd April 1943, Galveston, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 19th February 2017, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
The Fusion guitarist, Larry Coryell has died. Larry was 73.
He passed away in his sleep from natural causes.
Larry had performed two shows at the weekend at New York's Iridium Jazz Club.
During the Seventies, Larry was part of the fusion band The Eleventh House.
Throughout his career he worked with many of the major Jazz artists, including Miles Davis, Gary Burton, Alphonse Mouzon, Ron Carter and Chet Baker.
Larry had been planning an extensive 2017 summer tour with a reformed The Eleventh House.
Born in Galveston, Texas in 1943, Larry grew up near Seattle.
He studied journalism at The University of Washington whilst learning the guitar.
Larry played on Chico Hamilton's album ‘The Dealer’.
He formed the psychedelic band The Free Spirits, moving on to release two solo albums.
Larry’s later album, ‘Spaces’, was released in 1969.
The album has been considered the beginning of the 1970s' fusion jazz movement.
Larry is survived by his wife, Tracey, four children and six grandchildren.
b. Clyde Stubblefield, 18th April 1943, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The drummer, Clyde Stubblefield (famous for his groundbreaking work with James Brown, has died. Clyde was 73.
He passed away from kidney failure (he had been suffering from kidney disease since 2002).
Clyde’s drumming can be heard on several of the most famous James Brown recordings, including ‘Cold Sweat’, ‘There Was a Time’, ‘Say It Loud, I’m Black and I'm Proud’, ‘Mother Popcorn’ and ‘Sex Machine’.
His most famous drum riff featured on the James Brown track ‘Funky Drummer’, which is believed to be the world's most sampled record.
Clyde also played drums for, the late, Otis Redding, Marva Whitney, Ben Sidran, Pee Wee Ellis, Bobby Byrd, Phil Upchurch and Public Enemy.
barbara carroll with dizzy gillespie
b. Barbara Carole Coppersmith, 25th January 1925, Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
d. 11th February 2017, Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York State, U.S.A.
The jazz pianist, Barbara Carroll, has died. Barbara was 92.
She will be fondly remembered by the emerging Acid Jazz scene of the late Seventies and early Eighties, for her instrumental track ‘From The Beginning’ (taken from the United Artists album of the same name).
from the beginning - united artists 1977
The track became a cult dance-floor hit over that era, with the album becoming a highly collectable item amongst Jazz and Fusion fans alike.
Barbara hailed from Worcester, Massachusetts.
She was classically trained as a child, later attending the New England Conservatory of Music.
Her Jazz trio worked with Benny Goodman.
Barbara released her, self-titled, debut album in 1952, and continued to release records up until 2013.
In 1975 she worked with Rita Coolidge, before signing to United Artists for her ‘From The Beginning’ album in 1977.
In 1978 she toured with Rita and Kris Kristofferson, before touring on the concert circuit during her later career.
b. Alwin Lopez Jarreau, 12th March 1940, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
d. 12th February 2017, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A.
The Soul and Jazz vocalist, Al Jarreau, has died. Al was 76.
He had recently been hospitalized in Los Angeles, as a result of exhaustion.
In 2010, he had become critically ill at a hospital in France, and was treated for respiratory problems and cardiac arrhythmias.
Al was then moved to a cardiology unit of La Timone hospital in Marseille
In 2012, Al was then diagnosed with pneumonia, from which he recovered, and began touring again.
b. David Axelrod, 17th April 1933, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
d. 5th February 2017, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The songwriter, producer and arranger, David Axelrod, has died. David was 83.
He died from complications relating to a brain aneurysm.
David became an in-demand producer, during the Sixties, for several jazz and R&B artists.
During 1963, he joined Capitol Records as a producer, working with the labels roster of Black artists.
He worked with Lou Rawls, producing several gold albums and hit singles including, his own songs, ‘Love Is a Hurtin' Thing’, and ‘Dead End Street’.
David also worked with Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley, producing his 1967 album ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at 'The Club', which featured the hugely successful, Joe Zawinul penned, ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’.
He also collaborated with the likes of Earl Palmer, Jimmy Witherspoon, H.B. Barnum, Willie Tee, Funk Inc., Joe Williams, Betty Everett, Weather Report and Letta Mbulu, and also worked with the Man From U.N.C.L.E. actor, David McCallum.
David’s work has been sampled by many of the newer generation of R&B artists, including D.J. Shadow, Madlib, The Beatnuts and Lauryn Hill.
He recorded as a solo artist from 1968 onwards, and was a boxer in his youth.
David recently had signed to Blue Note Records.
b. Robert Thomas Freeman, 13th June 1940, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
d. 28th January 2017, Anson, Texas, U.S.A.
The Record producer, Songwriter, Soul and R&B singer, Bobby Freeman, has died. Bobby was 76.
His death was confirmed by someone who had recently been in touch with the singer.
Details on the cause of death have not been revealed.
He is, probably, best well known for the self penned 1958 Top Ten hit ‘Do You Want to Dance’.
Further success followed in 1964, with another Top Ten hit, with the Sylvester Stewart penned dance-craze hit, ‘C’mon and Swim’ (which reached number 5).
Bobby began his recording career at age of 14 with the group The Romancers.
The group signed to Dootone Records, they recorded two singles.
He then formed a group called the Vocaleers, and then went on to record ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ b/w ‘Big Fat Woman’, which climbed the Billboard singles chart, reaching number 5.
The song was later covered by Cliff Richard, in the U.K.
Bobby went on to record with several imprints, including Autumn, Josie, Loma and King Records.
b. Walter B. Morrison Jnr., 1954, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, U.S.A.
d. 21st January 2017, London, City of London, Greater London, England.
Junie Morrison, of the group the Ohio Players, has died. Junie was 62.
Walter died on the 21st of January 2017.
Details surrounding his death have not yet been made public.
Walter played keyboards for the group’s Funkadelic and the Ohio Players.
With the group Funkadelic, Walter co-wrote ‘One Nation Under a Groove’, which reached Number 28 on the Hot 100.
Walter was born in 1954 in Dayton, Ohio and made his debut on the Ohio Players album ‘Pain’ in 1972.
The follow up album ‘Pleasure’, featured ‘Funky Worm’.
He recorded a further album, ‘Ecstasy’, in 1973.
He then left the group and released three solo albums between 1975 and 1976 under the name ‘Junie’.
Walter joined Parliament and Funkadelic becoming musical director for the latter.
In 1997, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Funkadelic.
b. Ronald Mundy (a.k.a. Ronald 'Bingo' Mundy), 20th April 1940, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
d. 20th January 2017, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
The vocalist and member of doo-wop group The Marcels, Ronald Mundy, has died. Ronald was 76.
He passed away from pneumonia at the Allegheny General Hospital.
As a member of the Marcels, the group were made famous by their evergreen melody ‘Blue Moon’.
The Marcels formed in 1959 whilst students at Allegheny High School.
A demo tape sent to Colpix Records took them to New York’s RCA Studios in 1961, where they recorded their version of the Rodgers and Hart classic ‘Blue Moon’.
They went on to reach No. 7 with ‘Heartaches’ and No. 24 with the classic ‘Summertime’.
Ronald left the group at the end of 1961.
He is survived by wife: Janet, daughter: Sharon, son: Ronnie, brothers: William and Ramon, and two grandchildren.
b. Marvell Thomas, 22nd August 1941, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 23rd January 2017, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The keyboardist, songwriter, arranger and producer, Marvell Thomas, has died. Marvell was 75.
Marvell was the son of Rufus Thomas and the brother of Carla Thomas and Vaneese Thomas.
He will be best remembered for his contribution to Memphis Soul, and was sometimes called ‘Memphis's other King’ (the first being his father, Rufus Thomas).
Carla Thomas is well known for her work with the late Otis Redding, and for her chart hit ‘Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)’.
Marvell was one of the first piano players to work at Stax Records.
His performances can be heard on recordings by the likes of The Triumphs, Wilson Pickett, William Bell, Clarence Carter, Eddie Hinton, Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, Little Milton, The Emotions, Albert King, Mavis Staples, Yvonne Elliman, Etta James, Denise LaSalle, along with sides by his family members, Rufus and Carla Thomas.
Marvell co-produced and played keyboards on the Isaac Hayes album, ‘Hot Buttered Soul’.
rufus, carla, vaneese and marvell thomas
b. Tommy Lee Tate, 29th September 1945, Homestead, Florida, U.S.A.
d. 20th January 2017, Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.A.
The Soul, R&B, drummer, singer & songwriter, Tommy Tate, has died. Tommy was 71.
Tommy recorded three albums for the Malaco, Juana and Urgent! imprints.
These were ‘Hold On’ (in 1979), ‘Tommy Tate’ (in 1981) and ‘Love Me Now’ (in 1990).
His debut 45, ‘Ordinarily’ b/w ‘’What’s The Matter’ was released in 1965 on ABC Records.
Tommy also sang in the group’s, Tommy & The Derby's (line-up: Tommy Tate, Dorothy Moore, Cliff Thomas, Ed Thomas, Patsy McKewn and Rosemary Taylor), The Turrabull Brothers, Tim Whittset and The Imperial Showband featuring Tommy Tate.
In 1970, he had joined the groups The Nightingales and (later) Southern Passion.
His, Frederick Knight produced, self titled, 1981 album was re-issued on Timeless Records in 1987, and featured Tommy’s take on the Joe Shamwell original, ‘Listen To The Children’ (also recorded by the Controllers in 1978).
b. William Onyeabor, 26th March 1946, Enugu, Nigeria.
d. 16th January 2017, Enugu, Nigeria
William Onyeabor passed away at his home in Nigeria on the 16th of January 2017. William was 70.
His passing was announced by Onyeabor’s record label, Luaka Bop.
Luaka Bop was founded by David Byrne, the former Talking Heads lead singer.
William died peacefully in his sleep following a brief illness, at his home.
During his recording career, William achieved a number of hit songs in Nigeria during the 1970's, the biggest of which was ‘Atomic Bomb’ in 1978.
Previously, he had studied cinematography in Russia.
William returned to Nigeria in the mid-1970's to start his own Wilfilms Records music imprint.
He also created a music and film production studio called Wilfilms (Recording Studios) Ltd.
William composed and self-released 9 electronic-funk album between 1977 and 1985.
b. Richard Ingui, 15th November 1947, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.
d. 13th January 2017, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Richie Ingui, one of the founding members of the group, The Soul Survivors, has died. Richie was 70.
The causes of his passing have not yet been confirmed.
The Soul Survivors recorded the 1967 top 5 hit ‘Expressway to Your Heart’.
The song helped launch the careers of Philadelphia International Records producersand songwriters, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
The group were formed in New York City in 1965 by Richie and his brother Charlie Ingui, along with Kenny Jeremiah.
The Soul Survivors were originally known as the Dedications, a group formed in 1962.
‘Expressway’ went on to reach number 4 on the Billboard listings.
The single remained on the singles chart for 15 weeks total.
The group went on to perform with the likes of Jackie Wilson, The Miracles, Sam and Dave, Janis Joplin, the Beach Boys and Sly and the Family Stone.
The Soul Survivors went their separate ways in 1970, Charlie and Richie performed in other groups, as well as singing in a reformed version of the Soul Survivors.
Richie worked as a painter and decorator for a while, after the groups separation.
In 2013, The Soul Survivors were honored by Philadelphia International Records with the annual Phillies Gamble & Huff Community Partnership Award at Citizens Bank Park.
b. Sylvester Potts, 1938, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 6th January 2017, Detroit Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
The Soul singer, Sylvester Potts, has died. Sylvester was 78.
Sylvester was a vocalist in the group The Contours for over 50 years.
He had recently been performing with the group, under the name Sylvester Potts and the Contours.
Sylvester joined the group in 1961.
...those who left us in 2016...