Chuck Metcalf Memorial Concert Set

This comes from the Seattle Jazz Scene. It should be a wonderful tribute and memorial to the late bassist.

Chuck Metcalf Memorial Concert Set

Bassist, thinker, architect, and inaugural Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Metcalf succumbed to cancer in January. He was 81. The Legacy Quartet with Clarence Acox celebrates the bassist in a tribute performance, on the stage that Metcalf designed and put in place, at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant on Wednesday evening, March 14.

Read the full article at Seattle Jazz Scene.



Singer Etta James Dead at 73

Vocalist Etta James, best known for her hit At Last, died this morning at a Riverside, California hospital due to complications of leukemia, according to her manager Lupe De Leon.


Remembering Etta James, Stunning Singer

The “Matriarch of the Blues” has died. Music legend Etta James died Friday morning at Riverside Community Hospital in California of complications from leukemia. She was 73.

She was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles in 1938. Her first manager and promoter cut up Jamesetta’s name and reversed it: Etta James.

Her talent was discovered when she was 14 — the same age her mother was when James was born. Within three years, the foster-home runaway had her first hit, with the girl group The Peaches. Back then, “Roll With Me Henry” was deemed too racy for radio, “roll” being a sexual euphemism.

Etta James was still a minor when she toured with Little Richard. Then, she signed with leading blues label Chess Records and bleached her hair platinum blond.

“What I was doing was trying to be a glamour girl,” she told NPR’s Fresh Air in 1994. “Because I’d been a tomboy, and I wanted to look grown and wanted to wear high-heeled shoes and fishtail gowns and big, long rhinestone earrings.”



Related Content:

From the New York Times: Etta James, Powerful Voice Behind ‘At Last,’ Dies at 73

From KPLU: Remembering Etta James: Songs on YouTube

Singer, Bandleader Johnny Otis dies at 90

This sad news today came to me via

Johnny Otis, Pioneering R&B Singer & Bandleader, Dies at 90

Although white, he lived his life as an African-American

By Jeff Tamarkin

Johnny Otis, the white child of Greek immigrants who aligned himself with black culture and became a pioneer of rhythm & blues music, died Jan. 17 in the Los Angeles area at age 90. A cause of death was not reported. Best known as the author of the R&B staple “Willie and the Hand Jive,” Otis’ career as a singer, musician, bandleader, songwriter, producer, arranger, talent scout, author, impresario and disc jockey spanned more than six decades.

Read the full article at

In Memoriam

As 2011 comes to a close, I’d like to take some time to remember some of the great contributors to jazz that passed away in 2011. Here is a short list of some of the wonderful musicians we lost over the last year.

Charles Fambrough, 60

Bassist Charles Fambrough died on January 1, 2011. He had been ill for last few years, battling end stage renal disease, congestive heart failure and pulmonary hypertension. He had been receiving dialysis treatments as well. He was 60 years old at the time of his death. Read the full article at

George Shearing, 91

George Shearing, the elegant pianist who expanded the boundaries of jazz by adding an orchestral sensibility and a mellow aesthetic to the music, has died. He was 91. Shearing died Monday of congestive heart failure at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, said his manager, Dale Sheets. Shearing had not performed publicly since taking a fall at his New York City apartment in 2004, but he continued playing piano. Read the full article at

Joe Morello, 82

Joe Morello, a jazz drummer whose elegant, economical playing in the Dave Brubeck Quartet sounded natural and effortless even in unusual time signatures, died on Saturday at his home in Irvington, N.J. He was 82. His death was announced on his Web site, No cause was given. Read the full article at

Snooky Young, 92

Snooky Young, an ageless jazz trumpeter who kept performing almost until his final breath, has died in California at the age of 92. Mr. Young began performing in the 1930s and was one of the last survivors from the Age of Swing still performing. He may be best known today for his long tenure in Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show band led by Doc Severinsen. Read the full article at

Gil Scott-Heron, 62

Gil Scott-Heron died Friday afternoon in New York, his book publisher reported. He was 62. The influential poet and musician is often credited with being one of the progenitors of hip-hop, and is best known for the spoken-word piece “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” Read the full article at

Ray Bryant, 79

Ray Bryant, a jazz pianist whose sensitivity and easy authority made him a busy accompanist and a successful solo artist, beginning in the mid-1950s, died on Thursday. He was 79. His wife of 20 years, Claude Bryant, said he died at New York Hospital Queens after a long illness. He lived in Jackson Heights, Queens. Read the full article at

Frank Foster, 82

Frank Foster, the saxophonist and composer best known for his 1953-64 tenure with the Count Basie Orchestra, died yesterday, July 26, in Chesapeake, Va. The cause of death was kidney failure. Foster, who was honored with an NEA Jazz Master award in 2002, was 82. Read the full article at

Pete Rugolo, 95

Pete Rugolo, an award-winning composer and arranger who came to prominence in the world of jazz as the chief arranger for Stan Kenton’s post-World War II band and later wrote the themes for TV’s “The Fugitive” and “Run for Your Life,” has died. He was 95. Rugolo, who also had a recording career with his own band, died Sunday of age-related causes at a nursing facility in Sherman Oaks,said his daughter, Gina Rugolo Judd. Read the full article at

Paul Motian, 80

Paul Motian, a drummer, bandleader, composer and one of the most influential jazz musicians of the last 50 years, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 80 and lived in Manhattan. The cause was complications of myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood and bone-marrow disorder, said his niece, Cindy McGuirl. Read the full article at

Bob Brookmeyer, 82

Bob Brookmeyer, who left a distinctive mark on jazz as a musician, composer, arranger and educator whose students included many of today’s leading jazz arrangers and bandleaders, died on Thursday in New London, N.H., four days before his 82nd birthday. The cause was cardiopulmonary arrest, said his wife, Janet. Read the full article at

Sam Rivers, 88

The jazz saxophonist, flutist and composer passed away on Wednesday from pneumonia. He worked with Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and T. Bone Walker, and played an essential role in the abstract and avant-garde jazz movement. Hear the full story at




Drummer Paul Motian dies at 80

Legendary jazz musician Paul Motian, who stood as one of the most influential drummers of the last 50 years, died early this morning at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. His friend Carole d’Inverno Frisell reported that the cause of death was complications from myelodisplastic syndrome, the same bone-marrow disorder that claimed the life of jazz saxophonist Michael Brecker.

Motian was 80 years old.

Perhaps best known for being a part of the Bill Evans Trio during famous recordings such as Waltz For Debby, Motian also spent time recording and performing during the late 50’s with musicians like Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins and George Russell. Motian then spent 11 years working with Keith Jarrett during the 60’s and 70’s, in addition to drumming for Mose Allison and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Ensemble.

The second half of his career found Motian more dedicated to composing and leading his own groups. During the late 70’s and early 80’s his working groups contained musicians like saxophonist Joe Lovano and guitarist Bill Frisell, and in the 90’s he lead a group called the Electric Bebop Ensemble which featured saxophonist Joshua Redman.

In more recent years almost all of his work came out of New York, either recording in Manhattan or spending a handful of weeks each year performing at the Village Vanguard. Recent recordings include the album Consort in Motion, where he teamed up with trombonist Samuel Blaser, where the musicians performed arrangements of the work of Renaissance and Baroque composers.