Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bad News From The World Of Music.

Unfortunately I've got a big batch of bad news related to music to report.

Jazz keyboardist Alice Coltrane died Friday, apparently due respiratory problems. She was 69. It was as a member of John Coltrane's last groups that she came to widespread recognition, marrying the jazz saxophone titan in 1966. After his death she continued to perform, developing an original style of music influenced by her interest in Eastern religion, and was one of the few jazz musicians to play the harp.

Jazz lost another voice Saturday with the death of tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker at 58. Brecker had been suffering with myelodysplastic syndrome, a type of leukemia. Brecker played in numerous contexts in a career that lasted nearly 40 years, including the group The Brecker Brothers with his older brother Randy, and the fusion group Steps Ahead. Brecker was a major proponent of the Electronic Wind Instrument, a synthesizer controller designed to be played like a saxophone.

Electronic music equipment designer Doug Curtis also died this week. The CEM integrated circuits he helped design were used by a wide range of synthesizers sold in the late '70s and '80s, such as the Rev 3 version of the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 analog synthesizer.

And I just found out that Wally Ingram, a frequent collaborator in recent years with string wizard David Lindley, is currently fighting throat and neck cancer. Hopefully he'll beat his illness.

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