Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook

The Brazilian music world has been saddened by the passing of one of its most cherished members. Walter Santos, one of the key names in the bossa nova movement, succumbed to cancer June 29th at the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo.

Santos was less well-known to American audiences than close friends such as Joao Gilberto, Antonio Jobim and Hermeto Pascoal. Unlike his colleagues, his performance and recording activities were largely restricted to Brazil, and he did not interact with …

The jazz world is saddened this week with the loss of another of its legendary performers. Tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, a mainstay of the hard bop generation, who worked with such luminaries as Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and John Coltrane, was found dead on Friday by his wife Miriam at his home in western France. He had celebrated his 80th birthday in May with a stint at Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London, and had performed in the Riviera town …
Guitarist Joe Beck has died of complications from lung cancer on July 22nd in Woodbury, Connecticut, four days from his 63rd birthday.

Originally from Philadelphia, Beck enjoyed a career spanning over four decades during which he exhibited a wide stylistic range, performing and recording with a Who's Who of musicians that included Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Paul Desmond, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Stan Getz, Larry Coryell, Gene Ammons, Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carl …

The jazz world has lost one of its finest writers and historians. On September 19th, after a lengthy illness, Richard Sudhalter finally succumbed to aspiration pneumonia in a New York City hospital. He was 69.

Although he was himself a fine musician, Sudhalter was best known for his writings, which represented some of the most scholarly works in the field of jazz history. He wrote three major books, including biographies of Bix Beiderbecke and Hoagy Carmichael, published in 1975 and 20 …

Legendary saxophonist and clarinetist Alfred J. Gallodoro, featured soloist with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra from 1936 to 1940, passed away October 4th at the age of 95. During a professional career spanning more than eight decades, Gallodoro worked in virtually every musical environment, from vaudeville houses, speakeasies, and night clubs to symphonies, Carnegie Hall, and international jazz festivals. He claimed to be one of the world's longest continually active performing musicians. He was r …
The jazz community is mourning another of its great masters. Legendary trumpeter Freddie Hubbard passed away December 29th in Sherman Oaks, California. Hubbard celebrated his 70th birthday in March with a special appearance at Yoshi's-San Francisco, along with The New Jazz Composers Octet, an ensemble organized by his manager and fellow trumpeter David Weiss. On Nov. 26th, however, Hubbard was admitted to Sherman Oaks Hospital after suffering a heart attack. He remained there until …
By a sad irony, just as the first ever African-American to become president of the United States was being sworn in in Washington DC, one of the legends of African-American music passed away in a Kingston, NY hospital. Saxophonist and flutist David 'Fathead' Newman was best known as a star soloist with the Ray Charles band, but his multi-faceted career was much more than that. His synthesis of styles across the spectrum of black music was unique, combining hard bop, gospel and R&B; the list of a …
Members of the New York jazz community were among those shocked and dismayed by news of a fatal plane accident when they learned that two of their number were among the fatalities in the February 12th crash of Continental Flight 3407. Reed player Gerry Niewood and guitarist Coleman Mellett, en route to a performance with Chuck Mangione and the Buffalo Symphony, were among the 49 people who boarded the flight in Newark, NJ, all of whom perished when the aircraft crashed into a Buffalo house. Reac …
Members of the New York jazz community were among those shocked and dismayed by news of a fatal plane accident when they learned that two of their number were among the fatalities in the February 12th crash of Continental Flight 3407. Reed player Gerry Niewood and guitarist Coleman Mellett, en route to a performance with Chuck Mangione and the Buffalo Symphony, were among the 49 people who boarded the flight in Newark, NJ, all of whom perished when the aircraft crashed into a Buffalo house. Reac …
Jazz has lost one of its greatest unsung heroes. William 'Buddy' Collette, Grammy-nominated woodwind master, bandleader, composer/arranger, political and cultural activist, educator and mentor to two generations of jazz artists died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He had just turned 89 in August.

It was my pleasure and privilege to meet Buddy on a number of occasions in the process of preparing a chapter about him in my book The Flute in Jazz: Window on World Music …