Today we heard of a sad passing in the worlds of jazz and explorational music. Kenny Wheeler was a Canadian-born player of trumpet and flugelhorn as well as an accomplished composer. He was 84 years old, and has been in failing health for some time. His work as a leader, as well as with such diverse figures as Anthony Braxton, Ian Carr, Bill Bruford, David Sylvian, Graham Collier, and scores of others, redefined what a flugelhorn could do and brought many musical worlds together.
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-09-18
From Nick Smart, Head of Jazz, Royal Academy of Music:
It was with great sadness that we learned today of the passing of Kenny Wheeler, the great jazz trumpet player and composer.
It is hard to express just how large a contribution he made to the music in this country and around the world, and how deeply he touched the musicians that had the honour of working alongside him. Kenny was an important and much loved figure to the jazz department here at the Academy. He was the founding patron of our Junior Jazz programme and the subject of a year-long exhibition about his life and work. We are extremely proud to hold the archive of his manuscripts and every year award the significant Kenny Wheeler prize, inaugurated after the unforgettable evening in the Duke’s Hall celebrating his 80th Birthday.
With Kenny’s passing we say goodbye to one of the great musical innovators of contemporary Jazz. His harmonic palette and singularly recognisable sound will live on in the memory of all who heard him and in the extraordinary legacy of recordings and compositions he leaves behind, inspiring generations to come. Famously self deprecating, Kenny was always modest and humble about his own musical achievements. But the truth is, he was a genius walking amongst us, and it was the most tremendous privilege to have been able to consider him a dear colleague and friend.
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
Il Bacio della Medusa - Il Bacio della Medusa & Giovane Amante – Il Bacio della Medusa (Medusa’s Kiss) are relative newcomers on the Italian prog scene, though like many they’ve been smitten by the sound of the early 70s. Their self-produced debut caught the... (2008) » Read more
Sebkha Chott - Nagah Mahdi - Opuscrits en 48 Rouleaux – This is one truly off-the-wall release. Sebkha Chott is a collection of eight French musicians with strange pseudonyms. The digipack and liner notes are extremely difficult to decipher because of tiny... (2007) » Read more