Gene Lees, 1928-2010

Gene Lees died today. We lost a writer unsurpassed at illuminating music and the world that musicians inhabit. I lost a cherished colleague whose work inspired me, a dear friend whose companionship brightened my existence. For a formal biography, see his entry in The Canadian Encyclopedia. My remarks are more personal. Gene's books about Oscar Peterson, Woody Herman, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer and Lerner and Lowe are among the finest biographies of our time, regardless of category. He was … [Read more...]

Correspondence: Stryker on Childs

In response to yesterday's Rifftides post, music critic Mark Stryker (pictured) of the Detroit Free Press sent a message that included a column he wrote earlier this year. With his permission, we bring it to you. Very nice piece on Billy Childs' new album. I'm anxious to hear it. Billy just wrote a Violin Concerto that was premiered by Regina Carter and the Detroit Symphony in January. I wrote a short preview/profile of Billy in advance of the performance. There's no link, but I've copied it … [Read more...]