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Kenny Wheeler 1930-2014

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Just seen the following on Dave Holland's Twitter...

Thinking about my dear friend Kenny Wheeler who passed away today. A beautiful spirit that lives on in his music & in our memory.

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Very, very sad. Someone who has been at the heart of my jazz listening from near the beginning.

Many memories of fabulous concerts; and of course a rich legacy of recordings to continue to enjoy.

R.I.P.

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This was not unexpected, but still a shock. A remarkable musician and a lovely man, I knew Kenny and Doreen, and his Canadian family for decades, and will miss him...

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I'm very saddened to hear this. Kenny Wheeler's recordings helped me go outside of the jazz I had experienced in my mid 20s.

I will always remember when I heard 'Gnu High' for the first time. While I visited a student festival in a Swedish city many years ago, I met with the brother of friend for the first time. He was then just shy of 20 years and a jazz trumpet student. We searched the bars of the city for a piano so that we could jam together, but had no luck in finding a playable piano. So, well after midnight we decided to take a train to the school he was attending (a one hour ride) just to be able to play. When we got there at 3 am we had lost what little energy we had left, and played half heartedly for half an hour. Instead we went to his minimal apartment to listen to some music. Right there, in the middle of the night and a long way from the festival I had intended to attend, he played me Kenny Wheeler's 'Gnu High' album, and it had an enormous impact on my search for new music.

Kenny's lovely trumpet sound and compositional genius will be very much missed.

RIP, Kenny.

Edited by Daniel A

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Wow... Glad, at least, that he is at peace. Thank you thank you thank you...

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Not unexpected but very, very sad.

A terrific musician and a lovely person.. what a loss.

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RIP to one of the masters of all the worlds of jazz and improvised music

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A sad loss indeed but he lived a full life and made so many tremendous recordings; his music will live on. I have played his albums so many times over the last 20 years...such a versatile player..equally at home with John Stevens or Anthony Braxton as well as Lee Konitz or Bob Brookmeyer.

"Deer Wan", "song for someone", "the widow in the window", "around 6", "gnu high", "flutter by butterfly"...I could go on...not to mention stuff like "five pieces 1975", "karyobin", and all his other sideman appearances with Tony Oxley or Norma Winstone, etc.

RIP Kenny...will play "windmill tilter" tonight..

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Oh man....rip

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Very sorry to hear of his passing. Only saw him once - in in a club in Leeds in 1962 in a quintet drawn from the Dankworth orchestra along with fellow Canadian Art Ellefson.

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Sad to see him go but he did more than his fair share. His music had such a unique quality to it. Words like melancholy don't quite nail it for me...

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Rest in peace. You enriched so many lives and your music will live on, maestro.

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Oh man, I'm going to have to spin a LOT of KW tomorrow and all weekend. He (along with Tomasz Stanko) were/are my favorite tp-fh players of that sort and variety.

I discovered Dave Holland's 80's quintet's output with KW *very* early on in my jazz listening -- easily among the first 100 jazz albums I ever had/heard. Those DH albums were very important to framing a lot of my sensibilities about jazz, and how it was beyond mostly what I'd first heard in my Jazz 101 class in college.

RIP, Mr. Wheeler, and thank you.

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Heartbreaking, but he did live an incredible life and we've got so, so much great music.

RIP Kenny, and thank you.

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Lost for words to read this, although he had clearly been unwell for a while based on the reports on this site. What an incredible, versatile musician and what a great soul, a huge credit to this country and to Canada over a lifetime of work. To say he will be hugely missed is putting it mildly and we were very lucky that he chose to be resident here.

RIP Mr Wheeler - thank you for the music and just glad I was able to catch a good number of your concerts and just thankful that in later years the appearances over here were regular. Those birthday big band gigs in particular.

Edited by sidewinder

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Very sad news. A remarkable musician. Saw him a few times early and late in his playing career. Somehow missed him in his middle years.

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That unique sound, those tunes and arrangements will live on in the recordings. We'll miss the warm, almost self-effacing stage demeanour of a man who always seemed so at ease when playing or listening to his bandmates play.

An ever present in the 30 years that I've listened to Jazz in London - the 60th Birthday Concert at QEH will always stay with me

RIP Kenny Wheeler

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Kenny Wheeler - thank you for the MUSIC + RIP

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from ECM Facebook:

Kenny Wheeler 1930-2014
The news of Kenny Wheeler’s death, at the age of 84, reached us just two weeks after we’d finished work on the mixing and mastering of his new album, which was recorded at London’s Abbey Road last Christmas. The session itself was inspirational, a very frail Kenny rousing himself to play creative and touching flugelhorn improvisations in a programme of nine of his fine songs, surrounded and supported by some of his favourite players: Stan Sulzmann on tenor sax, John Parricelli on guitar, Chris Laurence on bass, Martin France on drums. Three of the band were able to join us for the mix of an album which was to have marked a return to ECM for Kenny after some years away. A release date for the album is not yet finalized, but early 2015 seems likely.
Manfred Eicher / Steve Lake

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