01-06: The Stooges : Azkena Rock Festival 2006 - Dizzy in Greece 1956 - Don Cherry : Art Deco 1988 - Lou Rawls : Live! 1966 - Michel Petrucciani : Power of Three 1986

Not shown: Malachias Siebenhaar, Carlo Mannelli & Johann Georg Reinhardt

1685 – Malachias Siebenhaar (Czech-born German composer)
1697 – Carlo Mannelli (Italian violinist, castrato singer & composer)
1738 – Franz Xaver Murschhauser (German composer, music theorist, organist & singer)
1742 – Johann Georg Reinhardt (Austrian composer & organist)
1831 – Rodolphe Kreutzer (French violinist, teacher, composer & conductor)
1847 – Tyāgarāja [Thyagaraja, త్యాగరాజు
] (Indian Carnatic composer, singer & saint)
1866 – Louis Antoine Ponchard (French tenor & singing teacher)
1906 – Gabrielle Krauss (Austrian soprano, aunt of conductor Clemens Krauss)
1933 – Vladimir de Pachmann (Ukrainian-born pianist of Russian & German ancestry)
1942 – Emma Calvé (French soprano & friend of Swami Vivekananda)
1959 – José Enrique Pedreira (Puerto Rican composer & pianist, noted for his danzas)
1987 – Domingo Santa-Cruz-Wilson (Chilean composer)
1993 – Dizzy Gillespie (American jazz trumpeter, composer & bandleader)
1995 – James Clay (American jazz tenor saxophonist & flutist)
1996 – Chubby Wise (American bluegrass fiddler)
1999 – Michel Petrucciani (French jazz pianist & composer)
2001 – Victor Braun (Canadian baritone)
2003 – Hirini Melbourne (New Zealand Māori musician, university lecturer, poet & author)
2006 – Lou Rawls (American soul, R&B & jazz singer & actor)
2007 – Sneaky Pete Kleinow (American pedal steel guitarist & songwriter, Flying Burrito Brothers et al.)
2009 – Ron Asheton (American rock guitarist, bass guitarist & songwriter, The Stooges)

If you thought yesterday was a big jazz day, with Mingus, it was only an appetizer for this huge jazz day we have today. Among our huge figures is the little pianist with the big technique, Michel Petrucciani, who was born with the condition osteogenesis imperfecta, which stunted his height but left him with average-sized hands. Petrucciani was a living testament to one's ability to overcome limitations, and his only special requirements were that the pedals of his piano be raised so he could reach them with his feet. Sometimes his small size even had its advantages - early in his career, Petrucciani's manager would often smuggle him into hotels in a suitcase in order to save money.

Aside from James Clay and Lou Rawls (who some people don't realize was a jazz singer long before he was doing the smooth soul which brought him hits during the 70s), of course there's Diz, about whose importance in the history of jazz too much cannot be said. One of the most unique and dazzling trumpeters who ever was, one of the inventors of bebop, a powerhouse who with his very physical appearance personified the coolness of jazz in the 40s and 50s. I'll not go any further, except to add that I got the chance once to see Gillespie in rehearsal a couple years before he passed, and it's a memory I know I'll always treasure.

As if that were not enough, we also remember Ron Asheton, one of the great guitarists of proto-punk; Vladimir de Pachmann and Emma Calvé, two of the most famous stars of the classical music world in the early 20th century; and Tyāgarāja, one of the very greatest composers in the history of South Indian music. I regret not being able to bring you any of Tyāgarāja's compositions today. I located what looked to be a very good record that consists largely of improvisations upon them, but as fate would have it the link directs one to the now-unreachable multiupload. Quite disappointing. But if I find something suitable later, I'll be sure to update this post and let you know about it.



  1. RIP Sneaky Pete. "The Gilded Palace of Sin" contains some of the tastiest pedal steel I have heard. And the technique! Listen to his solo on Zappa's "Waka Jawaka". Breathtaking!

  2. Do you think I should add a download for him, waex? I love good pedal steel and this blog is pretty deficient in stuff in a country-ish vein.