Eric Myers Jazz

work in progress



This folder includes obituaries for jazz musicians or persons of significance to the Australian jazz community, written by several contributors. Click on the INDEX box to access a list of obituaries contained in this folder.


NAT HENTOFF 1925-2017

by David A Graham

The Atlantic, January 9, 2017

Many of the obituaries for Nat Hentoff, the writer and critic who died Saturday at 91, are focusing as much, if not more, on his political writing as on his work as a jazz critic—an imbalance that seems to reflect the relative stature of jazz and politics in contemporary culture more than it does Hentoff’s own body of work…



by Don Heckman & Elaine Woo

Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2015

When saxophonist Ornette Coleman played clubs in Los Angeles in the mid-1950s, audiences often covered their ears and waited outside until his set was done. He shunned the conventions of melody and harmony and encouraged his bandmates to do the same, producing a sound too dissonant for mainstream tastes. So in 1959, when the iconoclastic musician and composer blew into New York for a gig at the legendary Five Spot jazz club, hostility flowed — drummer Max Roach expressed his disapproval by punching Coleman in the mouth…





by John Fordham

The Guardian, London, June 12, 2015

The appearance of Ornette Coleman, who has died aged 85, at the Barbican in London in 2001, with a supporting cast of rappers, dancers, video artists, sufi vocalists, opera singers and Chinese traditional musicians, spectacularly symbolised this self-taught musician’s lifelong conviction that all good music is one. Back in London eight years later as the curator of the Meltdown festival, the dynamic Coleman did it again … and found himself mobbed by fans crowding down the aisles of the Royal Festival Hall to shake his hand, long after the concert’s last chord had faded. It was a spontaneous display of gratitude for a gently indomitable vision that had radically changed the music of the previous half-century…