Allan Holdsworth

Allan Holdsworth One of the most influential guitarist, Allan Holdsworth, has passed away. The news came out on Easter Sunday, April 16th, from his family. Holdsworth inspired a generation of guitarists, including Frank Zappa, Eddie Van Halen, and Joe Satriani.

Allan Holdsworth (6 August 1946 – 15 April 2017) was a British guitarist and composer. He released twelve studio albums as a solo artist and played a variety of musical styles in a career spanning more than four decades, but is best known for his work in jazz fusion.

Holdsworth was known for his advanced knowledge of music, through which he incorporated a vast array of complex chord progressions and intricate solos; the latter comprising myriad scale forms often derived from those such as the diminished, augmented, whole tone, chromatic and altered scales, among others, resulting in an unpredictable and “outside” sound. His unique legato soloing technique stemmed from his original desire to play the saxophone. Having been unable to afford one, he strove to use the guitar to create similarly smooth lines of notes. He also become associated with playing an early form of guitar synthesizer called the SynthAxe, a company he endorsed in the 1980s.

Holdsworth was cited as an influence by a host of rock, metal and jazz guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen,Joe Satriani,Greg Howe,Shawn Lane,Richie Kotzen, John Petrucci,Alex Lifeson,Kurt Rosenwinkel,Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Romeo, Ty Tabor, and Tom Morello. Frank Zappa once lauded him as “one of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet”, while Robben Ford has said: “I think Allan Holdsworth is the John Coltrane of the guitar. I don’t think anyone can do as much with the guitar as Allan Holdsworth can.”

Cuba Gooding Sr

Cuba Gooding Sr. (April 27, 1944 – April 20, 2017) was an American singer and actor. He was the most successful lead singer of the soul group The Main Ingredient, replacing former lead singer Donald McPherson who died unexpectedly of leukemia. According to Billboard, as the lead vocalist he scored five top 10 hits most notably, “Everybody Plays the Fool” (1972), peaking at No. 2 for 3 weeks, and peaking at No. 3 on Billboard’s all-genre Hot 100 list. “Just Don’t Want to Be Lonely” (1974), “Happiness Is Just Around the Bend” and “Rolling Down a Mountainside” were also top 10 hits on Billboard charts.He also
recorded as a solo artists with hits of his own.

Chuck Berry October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017

Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.
With songs such as “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and
blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and music featuring guitar solos and showmanship that
were a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Born into a middle-class African-American family in St. Louis, Missouri, Berry had an interest in music from an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner
High School. While still a high school student he was convicted of armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory, where he was held from 1944 to 1947. After his release,
Berry settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant. Berry claimed on The Tonight Show he was influenced primarily by 1940s swing artist Louis
Jordan. “The main guy was Louis Jordan. I wanted to sing like Nat Cole, with lyrics like Louis Jordan with the swing of Bennie Goodman with Charlie Christian on guitar,
playing Carl Hogan’s riffs, with the soul of Muddy Waters.”y early 1953, influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship techniques of the blues musician T-Bone Walker,
Berry began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio. His break came when he traveled to Chicago in May 1955 and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess,
of Chess Records. With Chess he recorded “Maybellene”—Berry’s adaptation of the country song “Ida Red”—which sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard
magazine’s rhythm and blues chart. By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star with several hit records and film appearances and a lucrative touring career. He
had also established his own St. Louis nightclub, Berry’s Club Bandstand. But in January 1962, he was sentenced to three years in prison for offenses under the Mann Act—he
had transported a 14-year-old girl across state lines.

After his release in 1963, Berry had more hits in the mid-1960s, including “No Particular Place to Go,” “You Never Can Tell,” and “Nadine.” By the mid-1970s, he was more in
demand as a live performer, playing his past hits with local backup bands of variable quality. In 1979 he served 120 days in prison for tax evasion.

Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having “laid the groundwork for not only a
rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance.” Berry is included in several of Rolling Stone magazine’s “greatest of all time” lists; he was ranked fifth on its 2004 list
of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll includes three of Berry’s: “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybellene,”
and “Rock and Roll Music.” Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” is the only rock-and-roll song included on the Voyager Golden Record.
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Joan Elise Sledge

Joan Elise Sledge (September 13, 1956 – March 10, 2017[4]), better known as Joni Sledge, was an American singer-songwriter and producer. Sledge was best known as a founding member of the American family vocal group Sister Sledge. Sledge died from natural causes on March 10, 2017 at age 60.
The cause of death is, at this time, unknown, according to Billboard. The Philadelphia real-life sisters (Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge), rocketed to fame with their songs and strong family values at the height of the disco era. Their breakout record We Are Family peaked at #3 on the US Album Chart and went Platinum with such hits as ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer’, ‘Lost in Music’, and the title track.

Al” Jarreau March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017

Alwin Lopez “Al” Jarreau (March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017) was an American jazz singer.He won seven Grammy Awards and was nominated for over a dozen more
In 1968, Jarreau made jazz his primary occupation. In 1969, Jarreau and Martinez headed south, where Jarreau appeared in such Los Angeles hot spots as Dino’s, The Troubadour, and Bitter End West. Television exposure came from Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, and David Frost. He expanded his nightclub appearances performing at The Improv between the acts of such rising-star comics as Bette Midler, Jimmie Walker, and John Belushi. During this period, he became involved with the United Church of Religious Science and the Church of Scientology, but he later dissociated from Scientology. Also, roughly at the same time, he began writing his own lyrics, finding that his Christian spirituality began to influence his work.In 1975, Jarreau was working with pianist Tom Canning when he was spotted by Warner Bros. Records. On Valentine’s Day 1976 he sang on the 13th episode of NBC’s new Saturday Night Live hosted, that week, by Peter Boyle (Young Frankenstein, Everybody Loves Raymond). Soon thereafter he released his critically acclaimed debut album, We Got By, which catapulted him to international fame and garnered him a German Grammy Award. A second German Grammy would follow with the release of his second album, Glow.
One of Jarreau’s most commercially successful albums is Breakin’ Away (1981), which includes the hit song “We’re in This Love Together”. In 1984, his single “After All” reached 69 on the US Hot 100 chart and number 26 on the R&B chart. It was especially popular in the Philippines. His last big hit was the Grammy-nominated theme to the 1980s American television show Moonlighting, for which he wrote the lyrics. Among other things, he was well known for his extensive use of scat singing, and vocal percussion. He was also a featured vocalist on USA for Africa’s “We Are the World” in which he sang the line, “…and so we all must lend a helping hand.” Another charitable media event, HBO’s Comic Relief, featured Al in a duet with Natalie Cole singing the song “Mr. President”, written by Joe Sterling, Mike Loveless and Ray Reach.
Jarreau took an extended break from recording in the 1990s. As he explained in an interview with Jazz Review: “I was still touring, in fact, I toured more than I ever had in the past, so I kept in touch with my audience. I got my symphony program under way, which included my music and that of other people too, and I performed on the Broadway production of Grease. I was busier than ever! For the most part, I was doing what I have always done … perform live. I was shopping for a record deal and was letting people know that there is a new album coming. I was just waiting for the right label (Verve), but I toured more than ever.
In 2003, Jarreau and conductor Larry Baird collaborated on symphony shows around the United States, with Baird arranging additional orchestral material for Jarreau’s shows.
He toured and performed with Joe Sample, Chick Corea, Kathleen Battle, Miles Davis, David Sanborn,Rick Braun, and George Benson. He also performed the role of the Teen Angel in a 1996 Broadway production of Grease. On March 6, 2001, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 7083 Hollywood Boulevard on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue.
Al Jarreau appeared in a duet with American Idol finalist Paris Bennett during the Season 5 finale and on Celebrity Duets singing with actor Cheech Marin.
In 2010, Al Jarreau was a guest on the new Eumir Deodato album, with the song “Double Face” written by Nicolosi/Deodato/Al Jarreau. The song was produced by the Italian company Nicolosi Productions.
On February 16, 2012, he was invited to the famous Italian Festival di Sanremo to sing with the Italian group Matia Bazar.
On February 8, 2017, after being hospitalized for exhaustion, he cancelled his remaining 2017 tour dates and retired from touring

Sonny Geraci- lead singer of- Climax.

Emmett Peter “Sonny” Geraci November 22, 1946 – February 5, 2017) was an American musician and singer, best known as lead singer of musical groups The Outsiders and Climax.

Geraci first became known as the original lead vocalist with The Outsiders, a band from Cleveland, Ohio. The Outsiders recorded for Capitol Records, turning out four Top 40 hits: “Time Won’t Let Me”, “Respectable (What Kind of Girl Is This)”, “Girl in Love”, and “Help Me Girl”, which was arranged by Chuck Mangione.

Geraci’s biggest hit song was “Precious and Few” (first released as a single on July 16, 1971) as lead vocalist for Climax, which reached #3 on the Billboard charts.[2] Climax released their debut album, “Climax featuring Sonny Geraci”, in 1972. Despite the success of the single, Geraci never released another album with Climax and the group disbanded in 1975.A second album of material was almost completed but never released.
In 1983, Sonny assumed the pseudonym Peter Emmett for an MCA project called “The Peter Emmett Story”.Intended as a comeback vehicle for Geraci, he was backed in the studio by Donnie Iris’s band, The Cruisers. A band called North Coast, pictured on the album sleeve, was put together after the recording had been made with The Cruisers. The band played shows in the Cleveland/Akron area before disbanding a few years later. In 2002, he filled in for his friend Rob Grill as lead vocalist for The Grass Roots and became an honorary member of the band.
After 25 years away from the music industry, Geraci started to perform again and in 2007 toured under the name “Sonny Geraci and The Outsiders”. In April 2012, Geraci suffered a brain aneurysm (specifically, a cerebral arteriovenous malformation), requiring intensive care.
On November 15–16, 2013, a benefit concert for Geraci was held at the Z-Plex at Stringz ‘N Wingz in Streetsboro, Ohio. The benefit concert featured several musicians and groups including The Rip Chords, Dennis Tufano, Gary Lewis, Frank Stallone, Gary DeCarlo, Joey Molland, Terry Sylvester, Billy Joe Royal, Ron Dante, Pat Upton, Jim Gold, The Shadows of Knight, The Michael Weber Show, Johnny Farina, The Vogues and the 1910 Fruitgum Company.
Geraci died on February 5, 2017, at the age of 70

John Wetton, prog-rock titan of Asia and King Crimson

John Wetton, prog-rock titan of Asia and King Crimson John Kenneth Wetton (12 June 1949 – 31 January 2017) was an English singer, bassist, and songwriter. He was born in Willington, Derbyshire, and grew up in Bournemouth. He rose to fame with bands Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry, Uriah Heep, and Wishbone Ash.

After his period with King Crimson, Wetton formed UK, and later he was the frontman and principal songwriter of the supergroup Asia, which proved to be his biggest commercial success. Their self-titled debut album sold eight million copies worldwide and was Billboard magazine’s No. 1 album of 1982. He later formed the duo Icon with Geoff Downes (ex-Yes, ex-Buggles), and since the 1990s had a successful solo career releasing a large number of studio and live albums.
Wetton had a long career as an in-demand session bass player, and collaborated with many members of progressive rock bands such as Yes (including Steve Howe, Bill Bruford, Geoff Downes, Alan White, Billy Sherwood and Peter Banks), Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry, and Genesis (Steve Hackett).

Gabriel Perrodin (August 17, 1937 – January 28, 2017), known as Guitar Gable

Gabriel Perrodin (August 17, 1937 – January 28, 2017), known as Guitar Gable, was an American Louisiana blues, swamp blues and swamp pop musician. He was best known for recording the original version of “This Should Go On Forever”, and his part in the vibrant swamp blues and pop scene in Louisiana in the 1950s and early 1960s.
He was born in Bellevue, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, United States. His father was Creole. Guitar Gable was influenced by the music of Guitar Slim, and was self-taught in playing the guitar by his mid-teens. He formed a group called the Swing Masters, and was later introduced to King Karl (born Bernard Jolivette). “Guitar Gable had been playing jobs with some little guy out of Lafayette,” Karl recalled to swamp pop historian Shane K. Bernard. “Anyhow, there was this priest, Father Millet, and one day he said, ‘I was told you was fixing to be in a band. I got a good boy. I would like for you to get together with him ’cause I don’t like the company he’s with’.” King Karl met Guitar Gable at a Swing Masters concert, and afterwards Gable left them to join King Karl, Gable’s brother Clinton “Fats” Perrodin on bass guitar, and drummer Clarence “Jockey” Etienne, to form the Musical Kings.
Introduced to the record producer J. D. “Jay” Miller, the Musical Kings eventually became the heart of Miller’s preferred studio musical ensemble. They backed musicians such as Lazy Lester, Classie Ballou, Skinny Dynamo, Bobby Charles and Slim Harpo. “I’m a King Bee” was written by Slim Harpo under his real name of James Moore. The song was recorded in March 1957 and was originally released that year as the B-side to his debut solo single, “I Got Love if You Want It”. Its popularity led to Excello Records swapping the sides over. The other musicians on the recording were Gable (guitar); Fats Perrodin (bass); and Jockey Etienne (drums).
Guitar Gable and the Musical Kings had earlier recorded their own debut single for Excello in 1956. His first track was the pacy instrumental “Congo Mombo”, which relied on the melody of “Frankie and Johnny”. The A-side of the single was “Life Problem”, which featured King Karl’s vocals. The follow-up release included the swamp pop classic, “Irene”, which later influenced Jimmy Clanton’s “Just A Dream”.
Subsequent releases followed a similar pattern with Gable’s Caribbean-laced instrumentals such as “Congo Mombo,” “Guitar Rhumbo” and “Gumbo Mombo,” pitched against rock and roll tracks including “Cool, Calm, Collected” and “Walking in the Park.” It was the blues influenced ballads including “Irene,” “Life Problem” and “This Should Go On Forever” that caused most interest. The latter track was recorded by Gable and his band in 1958, but did not find favour with Miller. A cover version was recorded by Rod Bernard, and it reached the Top 20 of the US Billboard R&B chart. Gable’s original was finally released in February 1959, but failed to match the success of Bernard’s cover.
Gable and Karl left Miller and Excello in disgust, and were reduced to issuing work on the much smaller labels of La Louisianne and Tamm into the early 1960s. Gable served in the armed forces but later continued with his own band, maintaining a following in local clubs until 1968. In the 1970s, Gable performed regularly with Lil’ Bob and the Lollipops, before he initially retired from performing in the 1980s.
In the 1990s, Guitar Gable was tempted back to the performing stage by C.C. Adcock.
Gable’s guitar work featured on Slim Harpo’s 2011 compilation album, Rocks.
Guitar Gable died in hospital at Opelousas, Louisiana, on January 28, 2017.

Geoffrey James “Geoff” Nicholls

Geoffrey James “Geoff” Nicholls (28 February 1944 – 28 January 2017) was a British musician and keyboardist, and longtime member of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, until 2004. Nicholls also played in the NWOBHM band Quartz, before joining Black Sabbath. In the late 1960s/early 1970s, Geoff played lead guitar for the Birmingham band Johnny Neal and the Starliners.
Nicholls was originally brought in as a second guitarist when Black Sabbath doubted whether they would even continue under that name. Nicholls then switched to bass when Geezer Butler left briefly, and then became the band’s keyboardist upon Butler’s return and the decision to keep the Sabbath name. Nicholls’ first appearance on a Black Sabbath album was on Heaven and Hell (1980), and he was credited as keyboardist on every Sabbath release from that time until 13 (2013), although he was not an official member until 1986. He remained an official member until 1991, then regained member status from 1993 to 1996. He was an unofficial member once again since the reunion with Ozzy Osbourne in 1997. Although his main role with Sabbath was on the keyboard, Nicholls also played some rhythm guitar on the reunion tours, e.g., during Iommi’s solo in “Snowblind” and a few tracks during the Headless Cross (1989) and Forbidden (1995) tours.[1]
In addition to not always being credited as a full member of the band, Nicholls rarely appeared on stage proper during Sabbath shows; instead he usually played from a side-stage or backstage position. One exception to this was the tour in support of the album Seventh Star (1986), wherein he played on stage as an equal member of the band. Another is a concert in May 1988, wherein Nicholls played bass for a charity function.
Nicholls’ involvement with the band ended when Adam Wakeman (a member of Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band) was chosen to play keyboards during Sabbath’s 2004 and 2005 tours as part of Ozzfest, and Scott Warren (Dio) handled keyboard duties on the 2007 Heaven & Hell tour.
Until his death, Nicholls played keyboards with former Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin, in his band Tony Martin’s Headless Cross.[2] Nicholls had previously performed on both of Martin’s solo albums and their support tours.

 

Ronald Marvell Thomas

Ronald Marvell Thomas (August 22, 1941 – January 23, 2017) was an American keyboardist known for his work in Memphis Soul, and son of the man dubbed “Memphis’s other King”, Rufus Thomas. His sister Carla Thomas was known as the “Memphis Queen” after her breakthrough hit “Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)”.[1] His youngest sibling, Vaneese Thomas, is also an accomplished recording artist.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Thomas’s studio career started at the age of 17.[2] He was the first piano player to punch the clock at Stax Records. He played on the label’s earliest national hits, including “Burnt Biscuits” (by the short-lived group The Triumphs, later covered by Booker T. & the MGs), childhood friend William Bell’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water”, and the company’s first hit “Cause I Love You” (featuring a sixteen-year-old Booker T. Jones on saxophone), a duet by Rufus and Carla Thomas. He also played on some of Wilson Pickett sessions at Stax and at Muscle Shoals. More sessions at Muscle Shoals included Clarence Carter, Eddie Hinton, and Denise LaSalle.
Thomas worked frequently as keyboardist and arranger, appearing on albums by Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, Little Milton, The Emotions, Albert King, Mavis Staples, Yvonne Elliman, and Etta James.[3]
Thomas co-produced and played keyboards on the multi-platinum Isaac Hayes album, Hot Buttered Soul.[4] His touring credits include concerts with The Temptations, and acting as music director for Peabo Bryson, Isaac Hayes, his father Rufus Thomas, and his sister Carla Thomas.
Thomas died after a brief illness in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 75