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Tribute to Joe Fields – Muse Records founder

Joe Fields – Unsung Jazz Hero  Sadly veteran Jazz label owner and Producer Joe Fields died on 12th July aged 88. Joe had been in the jazz music business for over 50 years. He worked for London, MGM, Verve, Sue and Prestige labels. In 1968 when Sales Executive for Buddah records he founded their Jazz label- Cobblestone records. He signed many up and coming future Jazz talents including Norman Connors, Neal Creque, Steve Kuhn, Joe Thomas, Howard Ousley, Hermeto Pascoal and the group Catalyst along with many artists he had worked with at Prestige :- Pat Martino, Sonny Stitt and...
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Tribute to Chuck Loeb

Chuck Loeb – Smooth Jazz guitarist par excellence It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of guitarist Chuck Loeb on 31st July from cancer. He was 61. Check was born in Nyack, New York in 1955, he grew up listening to Rock music and was impressed by artists like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Later aged 16, he started listening to Jazz and guitarists such as Wes Montgomery, George Benson and John McLaughlin. From then on, he knew he wanted to be a professional guitarist. Loeb attended the Berklee...
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DAVE VALENTIN – LEGENDARY JAZZ FUNK FLAUTIST RIP

DAVE VALENTIN – LEGENDARY JAZZ FUNK FLAUTIST RIP Latin Jazz Fusion flautist Dave Valentin passed away on Wednesday 8th March 2017 following a stroke.  He had also been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.  Dave Valentin was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents on 29th April 1952.   He attended the High School of Music & Art in New York.  Valentin took up the flute at the age of twelve so he could get to know a flute playing girl at school, Irene Cathcart.  Already a professional percussionist, he borrowed a flute and bought a Herbie Mann record (‘Comin Home...
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Tribute to Leon Ware

LEON WARE THE ETERNAL ROMANTIC   Another week and another legend leaves us.  Master songwriter, producer and stylish singer, Leon Ware passed away on Thursday 23rd February; he was 77.  He was born and raised in Detroit in 1940, the youngest of eleven children.   Leon may not be a household name, however, the artists he wrote, produced and arranged for, including some of our music’s finest such as Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, certainly are.   Ware began his song writing career in the late 50’s and joined the Motown staff in the sixties, and then moved...
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Al Jarreau – singer, songwriter, performer extrordinaire and absolute gentleman passes

Sadly, yet another Soul/ Jazz superstar has passed away.  The legendary Al Jarreau died on Sunday 12th February.  He was 76.  Jarreau was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 12th March 1940.  The fifth of six children, he was the son of a church minister and a church pianist.   A church in which he and his family sung together.   He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and then a Master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation at the University of Iowa.  At the same time, Jarreau performed as a vocalist at various local Jazz clubs.  By the mid 60’s,...
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Sharon Jones – R.I.P

Sharon Lafaye Jones – 4th May 1956 – 18th November 2016 Sharon Jones was considered by many to be the spiritual leader of the 2nd wave of funk music production that initially grew out of the late Acid Jazz/early ‘Deep Funk’ days, where more commonly heard sounds where being replaced by a desire to dig deeper into the vast back catalogue of America’s otherwise unheard black music past. Often taking James Brown as their departure point, the productions that labels like Desco, Pure and Hotpie & Candy were creating deliberately plugged into the analogue side of soul and absorbed the...
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ROD TEMPERTON – A GENIUS OF THE SONG

Cleethorpes may not be a hot bed of popular culture, but it is the birth place of one of its most successful songwriters in Rodney Lynn Temperton.  Better known as Rod, he was born in the town on 9th October 1949.   He went onto write or co-write some of the late 70s and early 80s most iconic songs including Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.  His death, from an aggressive cancer was reported by his publisher on 5th October.  He was 66. Temperton was exposed to music from an early age and relates that his father would put him to bed listening to...
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R.I.P Kashif

Soul singer Kashif Saleem (nee Michael Jones) passed away on Sunday 25th September.  He was just 56.  Kashif was one of the most influential and successful singers and producers of the eighties.  His innovative uses of synthesisers, computerised beats and basslines helped define the music of that era alongside the likes of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Paul Laurence and D Train. Michael Jones joined the iconic Funk band B T Express in the mid-seventies at the age of fifteen and appeared on albums like ‘Energy To Burn’ and ‘Function At The Junction’.  He remained for about four years before...
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Bobby Hutcherson – R.I.P

BOBBY HUTCHERSON –  GENIUS OF FREE AND BLUESY VIBES Bobby Hutcherson’s contribution to Jazz as a vibraphonist stands second to none and that includes the likes of Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson and on the Fusion side Roy Ayers.  His work straddles, Hard Bop, Free Jazz, Latin and Jazz Funk.  He made his name, however recording both Bop and avant-garde sets for Blue Note as leader and sideman in the mid to late sixties.  Indeed, Horace Silver aside, Hutcherson spent more time at that prestigious Jazz label than any other artist (1963 – 1977). Sadly, Hutcherson passed away on 15th August...
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GATO BARBIERI – SAXOPHONIST EXTRAORDINAIRE

GATO BARBIERI – SAXOPHONIST EXTRAORDINAIRE It is with great sadness that Soul Brother has to report the passing of another great.   Saxophonist Leandro Barbieri, better known as ‘Gato’ passed away on 2nd April 2016 at the age of 83 following a bout of pneumonia.   His nickname ‘El Gato’ (Spanish for ‘The Cat’) derived from his habit of slinking from one Buenos Aires Jazz club to another whilst a youngster.  Born in Rosario, Argentina in 1932, he was surrounded by music and musicians from an early age.  It was Charlie Parker, however, who inspired him to start playing the alto...