In the wake of the death of Claude Nobs (see yesterday’s post), we learn of the passing of George Gruntz, another major Swiss jazz figure. The family of the 80-year-old pianist and bandleader reports that he died on Thursday in Basel. Felix Gruntz said that his father had suffered a long illness. A prolific composer and arranger, Gruntz led the George Gruntz Concert Band, which toured extensively and often featured as sidemen star soloists from continental Europe, Britain and the United States. Among them were Tom Harrell, Marvin Stamm, Howard Johnson, Charlie Mariano, Seamus Blake, Franco Ambrosetti and Daniel Humair.
Rifftides plans to have more soon about Gruntz and his career. In the meantime, here is his Concert Band with soloists Harrell and Joe Henderson featured at the 1994 Berlin Jazz Festival in Henderson’s modern classic “Black Narcissus.” Gruntz is at the piano. Adam Nussbaum is the drummer.
George Gruntz, RIP
(Update, 1/17/13) Tom Harrell just sent the following message. Notice his use of the present tense.
George Gruntz is a great musician and a great person