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Are there first-hand, true examples of live music, of any kind, at a funeral, which you remember?


Jon King
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My cousin said he dad (my uncle, who’s enormous Downbeat collection I ended up with)… my cousin said her dad wanted something called “Blood Count” played, and maybe also something called “UMG” — and she had no idea what either one was.  Quickly figured out both were the tunes from His Mother Called Him Bill, “Blood Count” and “U.M.M.G.” — so we played them during the visitation, announcing that he’d specially asked for them — and then we spun the entire album, iirc.

Had a memorial service for him several months later (lot more people, as he’d died a couple weeks before Xmas), and I think we played both tunes for that too.

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1 hour ago, Rooster_Ties said:

My cousin said he dad (my uncle, who’s enormous Downbeat collection I ended up with)… my cousin said her dad wanted something called “Blood Count” played, and maybe also something called “UMG” — and she had no idea what either one was.  Quickly figured out both were the tunes from His Mother Called Him Bill, “Blood Count” and “U.M.M.G.” — so we played them during the visitation, announcing that he’d specially asked for them — and then we spun the entire album, iirc.

Had a memorial service for him several months later (lot more people, as he’d died a couple weeks before Xmas), and I think we played both tunes for that too.

My wife died of blood cancer, so we heard Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count" from Vijay Iyer's CD "Break Stuff" at the funeral service.

 

Edited by optatio
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2 minutes ago, mikeweil said:

At the time of my mother's passing I played in a mixed band of Kurdish and German musicians and asked them to play with me. Our leader had composed a beautiful peace for his own mother (still alive then) which was very appropiate. 

Must have been memorable.  Thanks

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25-30 years ago, I thought maybe I’d like Charles Ives “The Unanswered Question” played at my own funeral — but I don’t think I would pick that again now (and I haven’t thought about it probably 20+ years).

I’d probably pick something more upbeat now — and maybe a little more raucous too, perhaps.

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8 minutes ago, Rooster_Ties said:

25-30 years ago, I thought maybe I’d like Charles Ives “The Unanswered Question” played at my own funeral — but I don’t think I would pick that again now (and I haven’t thought about it probably 20+ years).

I’d probably pick something more upbeat now — and maybe a little more raucous too, perhaps.

What song?  Performed by instrument(s)?  I picked a Stan Getz track for my own purpose a while back: "I Remember Clifford," Dynasty, Verve, bonus track, '70. 

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I've played a few funerals-short performances of (usually) chosen music....

But one that might be of interest was the funeral of Mrs. Duckworth's grandfather-a man loved and respected in his Mississippi community.  The officiant, it turns out, was an Elvis impersonator although he was not in Elvis drag for this event.  His side gig became blindingly obvious when he sang Peace in the Valley.

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50 minutes ago, Jim Duckworth said:

I've played a few funerals-short performances of (usually) chosen music....

But one that might be of interest was the funeral of Mrs. Duckworth's grandfather-a man loved and respected in his Mississippi community.  The officiant, it turns out, was an Elvis impersonator although he was not in Elvis drag for this event.  His side gig became blindingly obvious when he sang Peace in the Valley.

Very unique….

1 hour ago, John Tapscott said:

Thirty years ago, I heard the organist at a funeral home play "Misty" on their cheap, tinny sounding organ. That was apparently the deceased man's favorite song.  I have disliked that song ever since. 

Highly regrettable….

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few months after Hot House editor Paul Blair died in late 2011, a memorial service was held at the jazz church in Manhattan, which I attended, since I had been a Hot House writer for a few years and a good friend of Paul's. 

I can't remember everyone who performed at the service, but Bill Mays, Scott Robinson and Bob Dorough were among the artists who played. Paul's widow had a video made and shared it with those of us who attended, I need to find it in my still packed boxes from our 2019 move.

Pianist Cecilia Coleman, an artist whom Paul Blair championed, also performed with an ensemble.

Edited by Ken Dryden
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On 10/20/2022 at 3:02 PM, optatio said:

My wife died of blood cancer, so we heard Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count" from Vijay Iyer's CD "Beak Stuff" at the funeral service.

 

I’ll reference that recording. (must be beautiful)

1 hour ago, Ken Dryden said:

A few months after Hot House editor Paul Blair died in 2011, a memorial service was held at the jazz church in Manhattan, which I attended, since I had been a Hot House writer for a few years and a good friend of Paul's. 

I can't remember everyone who performed at the service, but Bill Mays, Scott Robinson and Bob Dorough were among the artists who played. There was at least one more bandleader who wasn't as well known, but her name escapes me at the moment. Paul's widow had a video made and shared it with those of us who attended, I need to find it in my still packed boxes from our 2019 move.

Very interesting anecdote. JK

1 hour ago, medjuck said:

When my friend Mike Goodwin died in Nola there was a brass band and we all became a second line. 

I’m aware of this type of tribute.  Never have seen first-hand. JK

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9 hours ago, danasgoodstuff said:

Yeah that's Albert Ayler's piece. The fact that it was recorded at Coltrane's funeral gives it an extra emotional feel. I did not know Ornette's play was also recorded. Thanks Chuck.

Edited by Pim
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