SJF is sad to report three recent deaths in the world of soul and jazz.
Legendary jazz chanteuse, ABBEY LINCOLN – a unique singer who was married to drummer Max Roach and who became associated with the free jazz movement in the early 1960s – passed away aged 80. She was born in Chicago in 1930 and unlike most other jazz singers, preferred to write her own material and forge a distinctive musical path that veered away from jazz standards. Those influenced by her include Cassandra Wilson.
Also from the jazz world, renowned photographer HERMAN LEONARD, has died aged 87 at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Described by former US president Bill Clinton as “the greatest jazz photographer in the history of the genre,” Leonard was famed for his iconic black and white photos of musicians like Charlie Parker, Chet Baker, Miles Davis and many others during the 1940s and ’50s. Leonard – who lived in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 where the flood waters destroyed many of his prints – was due to have a new book of his classic photographs called ‘Jazz’ published in December by Atlantic books.
From the soul/R&B world, the death of ROBERT WILSON, bassist with the GAP BAND, has been announced. The 53-year-old musician had recently been on tour with the band in the USA. The band scored big UK hits in the 1980s with ‘Oops Up Side Your Head,’ ‘Party Lights,’ ‘Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me),’ and ‘Big Fun.’