Kenny Wheeler

Sakamoto, Fripp, Czukay et al.

Kenny Wheeler

Postby Blemished on Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:08 pm

Sad news that Kenny Wheeler has passed away. Listening to 'Laughter and Forgetting' in remembrance.

This is the news story from the UK's Daily Telegraph:

Kenny Wheeler, the distinguised Canadian-born trumpeter, has died at the age of 84.

Wheeler is considered one of the modern greats of British jazz and he had a dedicated following.

Wheeler's ECM albums of the Seventies – recorded with Norma Winstone and John Taylor – remain a touchstone of quiet and unflamboyant ensemble playing. Wheeler, also a flugelhorn player, was a fine composer, as he showed in works such as Jigsaw, with its clever harmonic patterns.

He was born on January 14 1930 in Toronto but had been based in the UK since 1952. His father was a semi-professional trombonist, who encouraged his son to learn the cornet. He studied briefly at music college before leaving for Britain to avoid being drafted for the Korean War. Once here, he worked with West Indian Carl Barriteau, with saxophonist Tommy Whittle and eventually, from 1959, with John Dankworth. He was active in many British jazz bands of the Sixties, including with groups led by Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott.

For many jazz fans, though, Wheeler's artistic highpoint came in the Nineties, with excellent albums including Music for Large and Small Ensemble and Kayak. In 1997 he won critical acclaim for Angel Song, a quartet album featuring Bill Frisell, Dave Holland and Lee Konitz.

Wheeler was a thoughtful man, saying once: "I’ve always liked losers, and I think a lot of very talented jazz musicians have a streak of it, that thing of being an artist with dreams, but not really knowing how to make your way in life, like Charlie Parker or Chet Baker."

In recent years, he became the founding patron of the Junior Jazz programme at the Royal Academy of Music and was the subject of a year-long exhibition by the Academy Museum. He celebrated his 80th birthday with a concert in 2010. Wheeler died on September 18 2014 after a short period of frail health at a nursing home in London.
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Re: Kenny Wheeler

Postby Quiet Visitor on Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:46 pm

Just heard this sad news. Rest in peace Mr. Wheeler.

I got to learn his wonderful playing in a quite unusual way. Bill Bruford, by then the ex-drummer from Yes and King Crimson, released his first solo-album Feels Good To Me in 1977. Kenny Wheeler was one of the wonderful musicians that played on this rare mix of jazz, progressive rock, jazz-rock and Zappa-like pieces. It is still one of my favourite albums. Of course it was a great surprise when Wheeler turned up on recordings from David Sylvian. On the other hand, Mick Karn also worked with Bruford, so there're some nice lines here.
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Re: Kenny Wheeler

Postby inkinthewell on Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:54 am

R.I.P. Kenny.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - JL 1940-1980
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