Highlights Lost Heroes 

Tommy LiPuma: The Guy who Produced Them All

When Tommy LiPuma was born on July 5th, 1936, in Cleveland, Franklin D. Roosevelt was president. When he listened to Nat King Cole and Ruth Brown on the radio, lying in bed due to a bone infection he was suffering from, the war in Europe was about to end. Once young Tommy was fine again, he found himself holding a tenor saxophone, which he would soon play in a local big band. Very early on,¬†at age 25, Tommy LiPuma had excellent ears and good judgement. As a promotional representative for…

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Lost Heroes 

Leon Ware: The Master of Mellow Soul Tunes Dies

A whole generation of genius Soul, Jazz and Funk musicians is dying. After the recent passing of George Duke, Joe Sample, Maurice White and Al Jarreau, the genius producer, composer and Soul singer Leon Ware died today (U.S. west coast time), at age 77. In 2009, he had been treated for prostate cancer. Leon Ware’s songwriting career started in 1967, when many of us were still in diapers or not even conceived. Over the years, he composed and co-composed countless brilliant Soul tunes for just as many fellow artists and…

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Lost Heroes 

Al Jarreau: Saying Goodbye to one of the Most Gifted

The singing psychologist is just one of a million labels which could have been put on the brilliant Al Jarreau. At Ripon College in Wisconsin he got his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in 1962. But there was something he was even more interested in. Singing. During his college days, he sang with the band The Indigos. Later, he joined a young pianist’s trio as a singer. The bandleader on the keys was the late George Duke. Al quickly took a big decision. He was going to forget psychology…

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Lost Heroes 

Dizzy Gillespie 99: Exploring him in Reverse

Dizzy’s contributions to Jazz could not be bigger. The same applies to his influence on Jazz trumpet heroes, but also on other instrumentalists and vocalists. On everyone. He was born 99 years ago today. Some Jazz purists of older generations might still remember the times of Dizzy’s first gig in 1935, when he played with the Frank Fairfax Orchestra, or Cab Calloway’s orchestra, in 1939. But there are those who have been or still are exploring his work in reverse. There are people, who first heard of Dizzy Gillespie, when…

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