Last week saw the death of two artists from very different ends of our musical spectrum.
American, contoversail free jazz saxophonist, CHARLES GAYLE (above) died on Thursday 7th September. He was 84. He was born in Buffalo, New York and his bio tells us that, being homeless, he played sax on street corners and in subway stations. He eventually found a record deal and a trio of albums in the late 80s won him a measure of prominence. Though he established his reputation primarily as a tenor saxophonist, he increasingly turned to other instruments, notably the piano (which was, in fact, his original instrument) and alto saxophone. More controversially, he sometimes included lengthy spoken-word addresses to the audience in his concerts touching on his political and religious beliefs. His most recent albums appear to be 2001’s ‘Jazz Solo Piano’ and 2006’s ‘Tim Zones’ (another solo piano set).
Doo-wop singer LARRY CHANCE (centre, below) died on Wednesday September 6th. Born in the Bronx in 1940 as Larry Figueiredo he’s best known for fronting the Earls who sometimes recorded as Larry Chance and the Earls. The group’s biggest hit was the doo-wop classic ‘Remember When’. Larry went solo in the 60s but as the oldies scene took off he went back to working with the Earls – an iteration of the group still performs on the US oldies circuit.