JazzMusicArchives.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home >Jazz Music Lounges >Jazz Music News, Press Releases
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Mulgrew Miller, Jazz Pianist, Dies at 57
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Mulgrew Miller, Jazz Pianist, Dies at 57

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
snobb View Drop Down
Forum Admin Group
Forum Admin Group
Avatar
Site Admin

Joined: 22 Dec 2010
Location: Vilnius
Status: Offline
Points: 28259
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Mulgrew Miller, Jazz Pianist, Dies at 57
    Posted: 30 May 2013 at 3:40am


The cause was a stroke, said his longtime manager, Mark Gurley. Mr. Miller had been hospitalized since Friday.

Mr. Miller developed his voice in the 1970s, combining the bright precision of bebop, as exemplified by Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson, with the clattering intrigue of modal jazz, especially as defined by McCoy Tyner. His balanced but assertive style was a model of fluency, lucidity and bounce, and it influenced more than a generation of younger pianists.

He was a widely respected bandleader, working with a trio or with the group he called Wingspan, after the title of his second album. The blend of alto saxophone and vibraphone on that album, released on Landmark Records in 1987, appealed enough to Mr. Miller that he revived it in 2002 on “The Sequel” (MaxJazz), working in both cases with the vibraphonist Steve Nelson. Among Mr. Miller’s releases in the past decade were an impeccable solo piano album and four live albums featuring his dynamic trio.

Mr. Miller could seem physically imposing on the bandstand — he stood taller than six feet, with a sturdy build — but his temperament was warm and gentlemanly. He was a dedicated mentor: his bands over the past decade included musicians in their 20s, and since 2005 he had been the director of jazz studies at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

If his sideman credentials overshadowed his solo career, it wasn’t hard to see why: he played on hundreds of albums and worked in a series of celebrated bands. His most visible recent work had been with the bassist Ron Carter, whose chamberlike Golden Striker Trio featured Mr. Miller and the guitarist Russell Malone on equal footing; the group released a live album, “San Sebastian” (In+Out), this year.

Born in Greenwood, Miss., on Aug. 13, 1955, Mulgrew Miller grew up immersed in Delta blues and gospel music. After picking out hymns by ear at the family piano, he began taking lessons at age 8. He played the organ in church and worked in soul cover bands, but devoted himself to jazz after seeing Mr. Peterson on television, a moment he later described as pivotal.

At Memphis State University he befriended two pianists, James Williams and Donald Brown, both of whom later preceded him in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Mr. Miller spent several years with that band, just as he did with the trumpeter Woody Shaw, the singer Betty Carter and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, led by Ellington’s son Mercer. Mr. Miller worked in an acclaimed quintet led by the drummer Tony Williams from the mid-1980s until shortly before Williams died in 1997.

Mr. Miller, who lived in Easton, Pa., is survived by his wife, Tanya; his son, Darnell; his daughter, Leilani; a grandson; three brothers and three sisters.

Though he harbored few resentments, Mr. Miller was clear about the limitations imposed on his career. “Jazz is part progressive art and part folk art,” he said in a 2005 interview with DownBeat magazine, differentiating his own unassuming style from the concept-laden, critically acclaimed fare that he described as “interview music.” He added, “Guys who do what I am doing are viewed as passé.”

But Mr. Miller worked with so many celebrated peers, like the alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett and the tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, that his reputation among musicians was ironclad. And his legacy includes a formative imprint on some leading players of the next wave, including the drummer Karriem Riggins and the bassist Derrick Hodge, who were in one of his trios. The pianist Robert Glasper once recorded an original ballad called “One for ’Grew,” paying homage to a primary influence. On Monday another prominent pianist, Geoffrey Keezer, attested on Twitter that seeing Mr. Miller one evening in 1986 was “what made me want to be a piano player professionally.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/arts/music/mulgrew-miller-jazz-pianist-dies-at-57.html?_r=0
Back to Top
js View Drop Down
Forum Admin Group
Forum Admin Group
Avatar
Site admin

Joined: 22 Dec 2010
Location: Memphis
Status: Offline
Points: 33918
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2013 at 7:50am
Great piano player, I never knew we went to the same school till now.
Back to Top
idlero View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar
VIP member

Joined: 07 Apr 2011
Status: Offline
Points: 2158
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote idlero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2013 at 2:20pm
RIP
I think the problem with a lot of the fusion music is that it's extremely predictable, it's a rock rhythm and the solos all play the same stuff and they play it over and over again ...
Ken Burns
Back to Top
FromArmstrongtoZappa View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 10 Apr 2013
Location: Northeast US
Status: Offline
Points: 63
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FromArmstrongtoZappa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2013 at 2:30pm
www.wkcr.org is doing a memorial for Miller all day today.

www.FromArmstrongtoZappa.blogspot.com
www.FromArmstrongtoZappa.blogspot.com
Back to Top
darkshade View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 09 Mar 2011
Location: New Jersey
Status: Offline
Points: 1973
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2013 at 8:23pm
RIP

I thought he was much older. Sad news.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 10.16
Copyright ©2001-2013 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.148 seconds.