MOJA Greats who have left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

John Abercrombie later years 300x200 MOJA Greats who have left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

John Abercrombie on stage not long before his passing on 22 August 2017.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of another great MOJAN, the great guitarist John Abercrombie. He was born in Port Chester, NY on 16 December, 1944 and passed away due to heart failure at the age of 72 in Cortland Manor, NY. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston then North Texas University in Denton, TX before returning to New York City to begin a fabulous career. Most of his recordings can be found on the prestigious ECM Records. Below is a portion of their official obiturary…

John Abercrombie, one of the great improvisers, died on August 22, after a long illness.  He will be much missed, for his sensitive musicality, his good companionship, and his dry humor which enhanced many a session.   He leaves behind an extensive discography which will be studied as long as people continue to play jazz guitar. John made his first recording for ECM, the appropriately-titled “Timeless”, in the summer of 1974, with his lifelong friend Jack DeJohnette on the drums, and Jan Hammer on organ.  Over the next four decades, he was active as leader, co-leader and sideman on dozens of ECM projects.  A creative writer of jazz tunes, John also loved to play freely as much as he loved to play standards.  Many of his albums combine all of these resources, unified by his fluid, silvery tone and improvisational eloquence. In conversation he would speak of his enduring fondness for Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery, primary influences, and also of the liberating examples of Ornette Coleman and Jimi Hendrix; Bill Evans’s sense of lyricism was also of crucial importance to him. 

John Abercrombie led a number of very fine bands, and he was particularly proud of his last quartet with Marc Copland on piano, Drew Gress on double bass, and Joey Baron on drums.  This quartet released two albums, “39 Steps” and “Up and Coming”, the latter just released in January 2017.

Chuck Loeb Unspoken MOJA Greats who have left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

On Monday, July 31st, another MOJA favorite, guitarist and simply a wonderful human being, CHUCK LOEB left us after a battle with cancer. He was only 61 with so much life and great music to come. It’s truly sad to see another fine person and player leave us but we’ll remember him fondly by playing the great, uplifting music he made over the years. His latest, UNSPOKEN, was released in late 2016 and we’ve been enjoying it so much.

Chuck was a New York boy, born in Nyack, on 7 December, 1955. He played with lots of greats like Chico Hamilton, Hubert Laws, Stan Getz, Steps Ahead, Fourplay and a number of all-star bands as well as working with his talented wife, vocalist Carmen Cuesta. Thank you for your music Chuck…you will be missed!

It’s hard to believe that another of the greats of MOJA, pianist, composer and educator GERI ALLEN, has left us at the age of 60, a victim of cancer. She died on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 in Philadelphia.

Geri Allen Russ APA INDY 16 Apr 11Compressed 261x300 MOJA Greats who have left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

Besides her work as a great pianist and composer, GERI ALLEN also received a Grammy Nomination for her work as a Producer!

Geri Antoinette Allen was born on June 12, 1957 in Pontiac, Michigan, and raised in Detroit. Her father, Mount V. Allen, Jr., was a principal in the Detroit public school system, and her mother, Barbara Jean, was a defense contract administrator for the U.S. Government.

Allen took up the piano at age seven and went on to graduate from Cass Technical High School, the alma mater of jazz greats on the order of Paul Chambers, Wardell Gray, Gerald Wilson and Donald Byrd. 

While in school Allen became a protégé of the late trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, who directed the Jazz Development Workshop and also mentored saxophonist Kenny Garrett and violinist Regina Carter, among many others.

Her recording career began in the early 1980′s, accompanying other artists on their projects, but her brilliant solo career as a leader began in 1984 and continued until her untimely death as she remained active even into 2017. Her beautiful, positive spirit will be missed as much as her awesome talent!

Allan Holdsworth in action MOJA Greats who have left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

It is with great sadness that we add the name of guitar great, Englishman ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, to the list of MOJA greats who’ve passed away far too early in April of 2017. His passing was announced by his daughter Louise on her Facebook page. In a short statement she said: “It is with heavy hearts that we notify everyone of the passing of our beloved father. We would appreciate privacy and time while we grieve the loss of our dad, grandad, friend and musical genius. We will update close friends and family when service arrangements have been made and will notify the public of an open memorial service, which all would be welcome. We are undeniably still in shock with his unexpected death and cannot begin to put into words the overwhelming sadness we are experiencing. He is missed tremendously. Louise, Sam, Emily & Rori.” Allan was known as a brilliant and innovative instrumentalist, revered by the likes of John McLaughlin and Frank Zappa as a personal favorite player and influence. He worked extensively in the rock world as well as being one of the greats of the Jazz Fusion era with his own solo work as well as in collaboration with fellow greats like Jean-Luc Ponty, and bands such as Gong, Tony Williams Lifetime, Soft Machine and more. You’ll be hearing special shows in his honor soon on MOJA Radio! 

Mr. Jarreau 300x298 MOJA Greats who have left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)Earlier this year we lost AL JARREAU and guitar legend LARRY CORYELL. Greats like Larry will never leave us and he was working until the very end. Case in point…he had been promising to reform most of the original Fusion supergroup The 11th House that we created in 1973 for a tour and new recording. They did just that with a tour in 2015 that made it to New York City’s BLUE NOTE that summer and below you’ll find a picture to prove it. Original members Randy Brecker and Alphonse Mouzon were there with added members including Larry’s son Julian joining in on guitar. They went into the studio and created a brilliant, new album titled SEVEN SECRETS that you’ll hear lots of here on MOJA Radio. It features tons of great, grooving new tunes written by Larry, Randy and Alphonse (who passed away just months before Larry did in early 2017). They had a summer tour all planned and that will never happen, but their spirit lives on in this wonderful new work. I asked Randy Brecker to give me a few words about SEVEN SECRETS and here’s what he had to say…

This ended up being the last time we played together, with the later tragic losses of Alphonse, then Larry more recently, so it is with bittersweet happiness that I hope everyone of you out in MOJAland enjoy the CD…it’s a good one, and we all had a ball hanging out together and recording the album…!! Randy”

Larry Coryell and The Eleventh Hour 300x202 MOJA Greats who have left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

Larry-Coryell-and-The-Eleventh House @ The Blue Note NYC 2015

Larry Coryell at World Trade Center 1994 300x270 MOJA Greats who have left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

R.I. P. Larry Coryell !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Khan collaborated with Larry on his very first release. STEVE wrote a beautiful tribute to LARRYwhich was posted on Steve’s brilliant website. Here’s a picture of the guys working together back in the day…

Steve Khan Larry Coryell MOJA Greats who have left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)

 

Dave Valentin live 300x199 MOJA Greats who have left us in 2017 (John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb, Geri Allen, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Coryell, Dave Valentin & Al Jarreau)
Dave Valentin (29 April 1952-8 March 2017)

It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the passing of DAVE VALENTIN, the Grammy winning flutist from New York who was a great solo artist and member of Caribbean Jazz Project with Steve Khan and Dave Samuels. He passed away at the age of 64 in same borough of NYC in which he was born, The Bronx after a long fight against Parkinson’s Disease. Dave played flute in the band that backed up Latin Jazz legend Tito Puente and became a legend himself. He released his first solo album in 1979 and collaborated with a number of other greats over the years including his aforementioned membership in CJP. He will be remembered for his wonderful, creative playing and a lively, indomitable spirit. Thank you Dave, may you rest in peace.

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