In Memoriam: Geri Allen (1957 – 2017)

Geri Allen, Pianist Who Reconciled Jazz’s Far-Flung Styles, Dies at 60

Geri Allen, an influential pianist and educator whose dense but agile playing reconciled far-flung elements of the jazz tradition, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Philadelphia. She was 60.

Her publicist, Maureen McFadden, said the cause was cancer.

Perhaps more than any other pianist, Ms. Allen’s style — harmonically refracted and rhythmically complex, but also fluid — formed a bridge between jazz’s halcyon midcentury period and its diffuse present.
She accomplished this by holding some things constant: a farsighted approach to the piano, which she used both to guide and to goad her bandmates; an ability to toggle between artistic styles without warping her own sound; and a belief that jazz ought to interact with its kindred art forms across the African-American tradition. 

Ctsy New York Times – Click Here

Geri Allen (June 12, 1957 – June 27, 2017) was an American composer, educator, and jazz pianist, raised in Detroit, Michigan, and educated in the Detroit Public Schools.

Allen worked with many jazz musicians, including Ornette Coleman, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, and Charles Lloyd. She cited her primary influences to be her parents, Mount Vernell Allen Jr, and Barbara Jean Allen, and her primary musical influences to be mentors Marcus Belgrave, Donald Walden, and Betty Carter, as well as pianists Herbie Hancock, Mary Lou Williams, Hank Jones, Alice Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner, Bud Powell, and mentor Dr. Billy Taylor.

Allen was an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh. – Wikipedia

 

 

In Memoriam: Gregg Allman (December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017)

When Gregg Allman began singing at Southern bars and clubs in the mid-1960s with his guitarist brother Duane, his untrained voice was “like a cross between Hank Williams with the croup and James Brown with no lips,” he later quipped.

His vocals bore a rough-edged rasp that Mr. Allman gradually refined into one of the most distinctive sounds in American music: a blend of Tennessee twang, traditional soul and gospel, and a hard-won sense of the blues.

Mr. Allman, 69, who died May 27 at his home in Savannah, Ga., was for decades the frontman of the Allman Brothers Band, a pioneering but conflict-ridden blues-rock collective that modeled its guitar runs on the melodies of Brahms and performed instrumental jams inspired by the improvisational jazz greats Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

His family announced the death on Mr. Allman’s official website but did not provide other details. Mr. Allman had a liver transplant in 2010 and had struggled with an irregular heartbeat, among other health problems in recent years. He recently began canceling concerts.

Mr. Allman released a half-dozen albums as a solo artist but was best known for his work with the Allman Brothers Band, which Duane Allman formed in 1969. The elder Allman, a preternaturally gifted slide guitarist, envisioned a lineup of two drummers and two guitarists, anchored by two Allmans — an outfit capable of doubling the musical possibilities and raw sonic power of a more traditional rock group. lick here to read more>

Gregory LeNoir “Gregg” Allman (December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017) was an American musician, singer and songwriter.

He is best known for performing in the Allman Brothers Band. He was born and spent much of his childhood in Nashville, Tennessee, before relocating to Daytona Beach, Florida. He and his brother, Duane Allman, developed an interest in music in their teens, and began performing in the Allman Joys in the mid-1960s. In 1967, they relocated to Los Angeles and were renamed the Hour Glass, releasing two albums for Liberty Records. In 1969, he and Duane regrouped to form the Allman Brothers Band, which settled in Macon, Georgia.

The Allman Brothers Band began to reach mainstream success by the early 1970s, with their live album At Fillmore East representing a commercial and artistic breakthrough. Shortly thereafter, Duane was killed in a motorcycle crash in 1971. The following year, the band’s bassist, Berry Oakley was also killed in a motorcycle accident very close to the location of Duane’s wreck. Their 1973 album Brothers and Sisters became their biggest hit, and Allman pursued a solo career afterward, releasing his debut album, Laid Back the same year. Internal turmoil took over the group, leading to a 1975 breakup. Allman was married to pop star Cher for the rest of the decade, while he continued his solo career with the Gregg Allman Band. After a brief Allman Brothers reunion and a decade of little activity, he reached an unexpected peak with the hit single “I’m No Angel” in 1987. After two more solo albums, the Allman Brothers reformed for a third and final time in 1989, and continued performing until 2014. He released his most recent solo album, Low Country Blues, in 2011, and his next, Southern Blood, is set to be released in 2017.

For his work in music, Allman was referred to as a Southern rock pioneer and received numerous awards, including several Grammys; he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. His distinctive voice placed him in 70th place in the Rolling Stone list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. Allman released an autobiography, My Cross to Bear, in 2012. – Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Chris Cornell (1964 – 2017)

Chris Cornell (born Christopher John Boyle; July 20, 1964 – May 17, 2017) was an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Seattle rock band Soundgarden and as lead vocalist and songwriter for the group Audioslave. He was also known for his numerous solo works and soundtrack contributions since 1991, and as founder and frontman for Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to his late friend Andrew Wood.

Cornell was known for his role as one of the architects of the 1990s grunge movement, for his extensive catalog as a songwriter and for his near four octave vocal range as well as his powerful vocal belting technique. He released four solo studio albums, Euphoria Morning (1999), Carry On (2007), Scream (2009), Higher Truth (2015) and the live album Songbook (2011). Cornell received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his song “The Keeper” which appeared in the film Machine Gun Preacher and co-wrote and performed the theme song to the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), “You Know My Name”. He was voted “Rock’s Greatest Singer” by readers of Guitar World, ranked 4th in the list of “Heavy Metal’s All-Time Top 100 Vocalists” by Hit Parader, 9th in the list of “Best Lead Singers of All Time” by Rolling Stone, and 12th in MTV’s “22 Greatest Voices in Music”.

Chris Cornell, Soundgarden and Audioslave Frontman, Dies at 52
Ctsy New York Times

Chris Cornell, the powerful, dynamic singer whose band Soundgarden was one of the architects of grunge music, has died at 52.

Mr. Cornell died Wednesday night in Detroit, said his representative, Brian Bumbery, in a statement that called the death “sudden and unexpected” and that said the singer’s family would be “working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause.”

Mr. Cornell was born in 1964 in Seattle and helped form Soundgarden 20 years later. Sub Pop, then a fledgling record label, released the group’s first single, “Hunted Down,” in 1987, as well as two subsequent EPs. The group’s debut album, “Ultramega OK,” came a year later.

“Badmotorfinger,” released in 1991, benefited from the swell of attention that was beginning to surround the Seattle scene, where Soundgarden, along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, were playing a high-octane, high-angst brand of rock ’n’ roll. Soundgarden’s musical journeys tended toward the knotty and dark, plunging into off-kilter meters and punctuated by Mr. Cornell’s voice, which could quickly shift from a soulful howl to a gritty growl.

Three of Soundgarden’s studio albums have been certified platinum, including “Superunknown,” from 1994, which featured “Black Hole Sun,” “Fell on Black Days,” “Spoonman” and “My Wave.”

The group — which includes the guitarist Kim Thayil, the bassist Ben Shepherd and the drummer Matt Cameron — disbanded in 1997, but it reunited in 2010 and performed regularly since then. In a review of a 2011 concert at the Prudential Center in Newark, The New York Times chief pop critic Jon Pareles called Soundgarden “one reunited band that can pick up right where it left off.” In 2012, it released “King Animal,” its first album in 16 years, which Mr. Pareles said “sounds like four musicians live in a room, making music that clenches and unclenches like a fist.”

The group played at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Wednesday night, and it had been scheduled to perform in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday at the Rock on the Range festival.

Mr. Cornell appeared to be active on social media in the hours before his death. A post on his Twitter account on Wednesday announced that the group had arrived in Detroit, and a clip of the group’s 2012 release “By Crooked Steps” was posted to his official Facebook page hours before his death.

Mr. Cornell had admitted in interviews to struggling with drug use throughout his life. In a 1994 Rolling Stone article, he described himself as a “daily drug user at 13,” who had quit by the time he turned 14.

After Soundgarden disbanded in 1997, Mr. Cornell returned to heavy drug use, he told The Guardian in a 2009 interview, describing himself as a “pioneer” in the abuse of the opiate OxyContin, and saying that he had gone to rehab.

Mr. Cornell released five solo albums during and after his time with Soundgarden, starting with the 1999 LP “Euphoria Morning.” His 2007 album “Carry On” featured an acoustic cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” that served as the inspiration for a well-received version of the song on “American Idol.” He contributed the song “Seasons” to the soundtrack of “Singles,” Cameron Crowe’s love letter to the Seattle music scene, and performed alongside other members of Soundgarden in the film.

In 2001, after Rage Against the Machine’s lead singer, Zack de la Rocha, left the group, Mr. Cornell and members of the band formed Audioslave. The group released three albums before announcing its split in 2007.

Rage Against the Machine posted a message on Twitter honoring Mr. Cornell shortly after news of his death began to spread online.

In November 2016, Mr. Cornell hit the road for the first time with another supergroup of sorts, Temple of the Dog, which features a blend of members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. The group was formed a quarter-century ago as a tribute to Andrew Wood, the lead singer of the Seattle bands Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone, who died in March 1990 of a heroin overdose.

Speaking to The New York Times, Mr. Cornell said the group had decided to finally bring its songs to life to honor Mr. Wood. “I thought, well, this is one thing that I can do to remind myself and maybe other people of who this guy is and was and keep his story and in a way his life with us,” he said.

In Memoriam: Cuba Gooding Sr. (April 27, 1944 – April 20, 2017)

Cuba Gooding Sr. (born April 27, 1944) is an American singer and actor. He is the lead singer of the soul group The Main Ingredient, most notable for its two biggest hits, “Everybody Plays the Fool” (1972) and “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely” (1974). Gooding also had a brief solo career on Motown Records during the late-1970s and early-1980s. His biggest international success was Brian Auger’s “Happiness Is Just Around the Bend” in 1983, which has in recent times been sampled by several R&B artists, as well as hitting the charts again as a remix by UK Hardcore Rave group Altern-8 in 1991. In the same year, samples from the song also featured prominently in Bizarre Inc’s single “Playing With Knives”.

Born in New York, New York, Gooding is a son of Dudley MacDonald Gooding and his wife Addie Alston. The elder Gooding was a native of Barbados who fled the island in 1936 to Cuba, and met and married a woman there. When she was murdered because of their affiliation with Pan Africanist leader Marcus Garvey, Dudley Gooding promised his wife on her deathbed that he would name his first son Cuba. His father died when Cuba was eleven years old.

Gooding and his wife, singer Shirley Gooding (née Sullivan) have four children: actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Omar Gooding, April Gooding and musician Tommy Gooding. Gooding Sr. later became a minor actor himself. Gooding Sr. separated from his wife in 1974. In 1995, the Goodings remarried, some 21 years after they separated.

In one of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s movies (Radio), there is a scene where “Radio” is listening to The Main Ingredient.

Gooding released a single called “Politics” in September 2007. He also is developing a film project called Everybody Plays the Fool: The Cuba Gooding Story. The film highlights three generations of the Gooding Family: Dudley “Cuba” Gooding, Cuba Gooding Sr., Cuba Gooding Jr. and Omar Gooding.

On the Boat Trip DVD trivia track, it was stated that he was going to appear in the 2003 romantic-comedy The Fighting Temptations, which stars his son Cuba Gooding Jr., but he is not in the movie.

In 1999 he, along with Mark Yardley and David James wrote the international house hit, “Back and Forth” by the Supakings.

Cuba was added by popular demand to the Beach Music Super Collaboration CD, performing the Charles Wallert composition, “Meant To Be In Love”. This has led to the duo’s current project, “Never Give Up”, which debuted at the 2009 presidential inauguration. Gooding records for Bluewater Recordings. – Wikipedia

Ctsy TMZ.COM
Cuba Gooding Sr., a popular soul singer and father to the Oscar winner, was found dead Thursday in the San Fernando Valley … TMZ has learned. Law enforcement sources tell us Cuba Gooding Jr.’s dad was slumped over in his silver Jaguar, parked on Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills, CA. We’re told the fire department responded to the scene at 12:58 PM PT and attempted CPR, but could not resuscitate him.

We’re told police found empty booze containers in the car, and suspect he died from an overdose.
Cuba Sr. was the lead singer of the ’70s soul group The Main Ingredient, which had a huge hit in 1972 with “Everybody Plays the Fool.”

He and his wife, Shirley, had 4 children together — including actors Cuba and Omar. They split up in 1974, but remarried in 1995. Cuba was 72.

In Memoriam: J. Geils (1946 – 2017)

John Warren Geils Jr. (February 20, 1946 – April 11, 2017) known professionally as J. Geils, was an American guitarist who was a member of the rock group The J. Geils Band.

Geils was born in New York City and grew up in Far Hills, New Jersey. His father was an engineer at Bell Labs and a jazz fan. From an early age, he heard his father’s albums by Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie, and was escorted by his father to a Louis Armstrong concert. He worked out Miles Davis music on trumpet and drums, and he listened to blues guitarists Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters on the radio.

In 1964, he went to Northeastern University and was a trumpeter in the marching band. When he was drawn to folk musicians in Boston, he left Northeastern for Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he studied mechanical engineering. At Worcester, he formed J. Geils Blues Band with Danny Klein, Magic Dick Salwitz, Stephen Jo Bladd, and Peter Wolf, with Seth Justman becoming the last member before the band released its debut album in 1970.

The J. Geils Band was influenced by soul music and rhythm and blues, but it moved toward pop and rock by the time the album Love Stinks (EMI, 1980) came out. Their next album, Freeze Frame, produced the song “Centerfold”, which sat at number one for six weeks. Tension and conflict arose among band members, and Peter Wolf left to pursue a solo career. The band broke up in 1985.

Geils put down the guitar to concentrate on auto racing and restoration. He returned to music in 1992 when he produced an album for Danny Klein and formed the band Bluestime with Magic Dick. He played in the New Guitar Summit with Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin and in the acoustic trio Kings of Strings with Beaudoin and Jerry Miller. In 2005, he released his first solo album, jazz album.

In 2015, Geils was named to the Wall of Honor at his alma mater, Bernards High School in Bernardsville, New Jersey. – Wikipedia

Geils was found dead in his Groton, Massachusetts, home on April 11, 2017. He was 71 years old.

In Memoriam: Sib Hashian (August 17, 1949 – March 22, 2017)

As first reported by TMZ, and confirmed to ABC Radio by Adam, the veteran musician was performing on the Legends of Rock Cruise when he suffered a heart attack and could not be revived.

Sib Hashian joined Boston in 1975, replacing the group’s original drummer Jim Masdea, and went on to play on the group’s hugely successful first two albums: 1976’s self-titled effort and 1977’s Don’t Look Back. Sib also contributed to Boston’s third album, 1986’s Third Stage, but he was replaced by Masdea during its recording.

After exiting Boston, Hashian played with a variety of smaller-scale groups and other musical projects, including Ernie and the Automatics, which also featured ex-Boston guitarist Barry Goudreau. Goudreau also was one of the musicians taking part in the Legends of Rock Cruise.

Besides his son, Sib is survived by two daughters, Asa and Lauren Hashian (left). Lauren is an R&B singer/songwriter who is the longtime girlfriend of actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The couple has a one-year-old daughter.

In Memoriam: Chuck Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) #chuckberry

Chuck Berry, whose rollicking songs, springy guitar riffs and onstage duck walk defined rock & roll during its early years and for decades to come, died on Saturday. The St. Charles County Police Department confirmed the news on Facebook. Berry was 90 years old.

“St. Charles County police responded to a medical emergency on Buckner Road at approximately 12:40 p.m. today (Saturday, March 18),” the Facebook post reads. “Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1:26 p.m.” It went on to confirm that the man was Berry and added that his family was requesting privacy at this time. Read more at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/chuck-berry-rock-roll-innovator-dead-at-90

Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and music featuring guitar solos and showmanship that were a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Born into a middle-class African-American family in St. Louis, Missouri, Berry had an interest in music from an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner High School. While still a high school student he was convicted of armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory, where he was held from 1944 to 1947. After his release, Berry settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant. Berry claimed on The Tonight Show he was influenced primarily by 1940s swing artist Louis Jordan. “The main guy was Louis Jordan. I wanted to sing like Nat Cole, with lyrics like Louis Jordan with the swing of Bennie Goodman with Charlie Christian on guitar, playing Carl Hogan’s riffs, with the soul of Muddy Waters.” By early 1953, influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship techniques of the blues musician T-Bone Walker, Berry began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio.[3] His break came when he traveled to Chicago in May 1955 and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records. With Chess he recorded “Maybellene”—Berry’s adaptation of the country song “Ida Red”—which sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard magazine’s rhythm and blues chart. By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star with several hit records and film appearances and a lucrative touring career. He had also established his own St. Louis nightclub, Berry’s Club Bandstand. But in January 1962, he was sentenced to three years in prison for offenses under the Mann Act—he had transported a 14-year-old girl across state lines.

After his release in 1963, Berry had more hits in the mid-1960s, including “No Particular Place to Go”, “You Never Can Tell”, and “Nadine”. By the mid-1970s, he was more in demand as a live performer, playing his past hits with local backup bands of variable quality. In 1979 he served 120 days in prison for tax evasion.

Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having “laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance.” Berry is included in several of Rolling Stone magazine’s “greatest of all time” lists; he was ranked fifth on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll includes three of Berry’s: “Johnny B. Goode”, “Maybellene”, and “Rock and Roll Music”. Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” is the only rock-and-roll song included on the Voyager Golden Record. – Wikipedia