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Roy Campbell RIP


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At present, no major news agencies are carrying this story. Roy's Wiki entry, which had earlier noted his death, has removed any mention of his passing. Only JazzTimes features an obituary, attributing the news to "multiple reports on social media sites," while at the same admitting "The cause and place of death were not reported."

All of this painfully familiar, isn't it?

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I had the good fortune of seeing Roy Campbell with Spiritual Unity in Cleveland a few years ago from the front row. I got to talk to the great Henry Grimes and Margaret afterward, but now I wish that I had taken the time to thank Roy Campbell, who was impressive that night. He's on the Variable Density Sound Orchestra recording that was funded on Kickstarter a while back; it's incredibly sad that both he and John Tchicai have passed since making that exceptional album. Thank you for the music, Mr. Campbell.

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Just became aware of this picture of Roy and my friend Roger Ruzow of the Gold Sparkle Band, now leader of the 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra. I don't know what the gig was, but this is from the First Existentialist Congregation in Atlanta, 1999. Why wasn't I there?

Edited by jeffcrom
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Taylor Ho Bynum wrote (yet another) great tribute:

Campbell was deeply grounded in the jazz tradition, and exhibited a working musician’s flexibility, with experiences ranging from R. & B. bands to off-Broadway shows, from reggae gigs to electronica d.j.s. Like Don Cherry, one of his heroes, Campbell was a global traveller and an omnivorous collaborator, working with hundreds of musicians around the world and even living in the Netherlands for a period in the early nineteen-nineties. But at his core he was a true New Yorker, representing a particularly rugged and independent streak of African-American improvisational music that has stubbornly survived in the city despite gentrification and changing trends. Drawing from the ecstatic spiritualism of Albert Ayler and John Coltrane in the nineteen-sixties, which developed in Lower East Side lofts and alternative-art spaces in the nineteen-seventies, Campbell was committed to a kind of free-improvisational music that prized passionate individualism over faceless technique, and advocated for a shared sense of community over the fickle rewards of the music industry.

read the full article here:


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