Cedar Anthony Walton, Jr. (January 17, 1934 – August 19, 2013) was a hard bop jazz pianist. He came to prominence as a member of drummer Art Blakey‘s band before establishing a long career as a bandleader and composer. Several of his compositions have become jazz standards, including “Mosaic”, “Bolivia”, “Mode for Joe” and “Ugetsu”, also known as “Fantasy in D”.
“Walton was first taught piano by his mother, and, after high school, moved to Colorado to commence studies at the University of Denver. There, during after-hours jazz club gigs, he met musicians, such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and John Coltrane, who would sit in with Walton’s group when traveling through town. …
“In 1959, he recorded with Coltrane on his seminal album Giant Steps, but the recordings weren’t included on the initial issue of the album; the alternate tracks were later issued on the CD version. From 1960-61, Walton worked with Art Farmer and Benny Golson’s band Jazztet.
“Walton’s next significant musical association was with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. During his years with Blakey (1961-64), Walton stepped forward as composer, contributing originals such as “Mosaic,” “Ugetsu,” and “The Promised Land” to the group’s repertoire. … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoGkml2hvLg
“In 1974, Walton joined with bassist Sam Jones, drummer Billy Higgins, and saxophonist Clifford Jordan to form the group Eastern Rebellion, which would perform and record sporadically over the subsequent two decades. Other musicians rotated in and out of the band, including George Coleman, Bob Berg, Ralph Moore, David Williams, Curtis Fuller, and Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros. …
“In addition, he continued to perform in rhythm sections for Milt Jackson, Frank Morgan, and Dexter Gordon and accompanied vocalists including Ernestine Anderson and Freddy Cole. He also led the backup trio for the Trumpet Summit Band, which started as a project for the 1995 Jazz in Marciac festival in France.” A main stay at Festivals , Universities,prominent jazz venues worldwide up and until his sudden death. His death followed a brief illness, his manager, Jean-Pierre Leduc, said. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO6EhWSD-gU
George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was a musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He worked with numerous acclaimed artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and as a professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio. He was known primarily for thirty-odd solo albums as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.
A pioneer in the funk and R&B genres, he had been battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia, according to his label Concord Music Group, which confirmed his death.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YXdIsr6jwo (Brown Sneeker)
Born in San Rafael, Calif., Duke aspired to a music career from an early age, after his mother took him to a Duke Ellington concert. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hpmkFmzd9s
Mulgrew Miller (August 13, 1955 – May 29, 2013) was a jazz pianist, composer, and educator. As a child he played in churches and was influenced on piano by Ramsey Lewis and then Oscar Peterson. These early influences remained in his playing, but he added the greater harmonic freedom of McCoy Tyner and others in developing as a hardbop player and then in creating his own style, which influenced others from the 1980s on. Miller’s style evolved through playing with a series of major jazz figures in the music business until his death from a stroke at the age of 57. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IduqNOye7x4&list=PL43F20367214988AB