The saxophonist and clarinetist, a student of Sidney Bechet and a specialist in early styles of the music, died Aug. 4 at the age of 91. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1988, excerpted here. (Hear the full interview through the Fresh Air archive.)
Getz recently passed away after a bout with liver cancer. We remember him with a rebroadcast of an interview from last year. Getz talks about dropping out of school and going on the road at 15. He learned while traveling and playing with other musicians.
Jazz singer Sylvia Syms passed away yesterday at the age of 74. She had a heart attack just as she finished a performance at the Algonquin Hotel. Syms was known as the quintessential saloon singer, and foremost among her admirers was Frank Sinatra, who produced and conducted a 1982 album of standards called "Syms By Sinatra." Her one hit was "I could Have Danced All Night," from the 1956 musical "My Fair Lady." Her nightclub career spanned 51 years.
Sonny Sharrock was a guitarist. His genre was the free-jazz movement of the late 1960's Jon Pareles said in the New York Times that Sharrock's "guitar solos streaked and clanged, using blistering speed and raw noise to create music that had both the openness of jazz and power of rock." (Rebroadcast of 10/23/1991)
Jazz musicians Red Rodney and Sonny Sharrock. They're both important jazz figures who recently died. We will rebroadcast previous interviews with both Rodney was a trumpeter and band leader. He rose through the big band ranks and played in Charlie Parker's quintet. He was known as one of jazz's best improvisers. And he was known for regaling journalists with his stories-- often of dubious veracity. (Rebroadcast of 6/15/1990)
Feather, one of the world's most prominent jazz critics died of pneumonia, yesterday at the age of 80. He grew up in England and moved to America in 1940. His most important writing was his encylopedia of jazz, an essential reference work of musician bios. Feather spent his final months editing a new edition, which is scheduled for publication next year. Feather also produced about 200 recording sessions, composed for many of the musicians he worked with, and even played piano on some of their sessions.
Taylor died Monday at age 65. He played with Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. His recent book "Notes and Tones: Musician-to-Musician Interviews" features conversations with fellow musicians. It was one of the few books about black jazz musicians by a black man. We replay our 1994 interview with Taylor.