Friday, May 13, 2005

R.I.P. -- Monica Zetterlund

Swedish Jazz Star Monica Zetterlund Dies in Fire

Agence France Presse, May 13, 2005

STOCKHOLM -- Swedish jazz singer Monica Zetterlund, who recorded with
the legendary Bill Evans among others, has died in a fire that
ravaged her Stockholm apartment, police said on Friday.

Zetterlund, 67, was best known for her 1964 recording of "Waltz for
Debbie" with the Bill Evans trio.

In addition to several solo records, she also sang with jazz greats
Arne Domnerus, Zoot Sims, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, and more recently
toured with fellow Swedish jazz singer Lisa Ekdahl.

Police confirmed that the body found after a fire in Zetterlund's
apartment on Thursday was that of the singer.

"Unfortunately, it was Monica Zetterlund," police spokesman Kjell
Lindgren said.

According to media reports, Zetterlund, who had difficulty moving
around due to debilitating scoliosis, was smoking in bed when the
fire started.

Jazz Singer Monica Zetterlund Dies in Fire

Reuters, May 13, 2005

STOCKHOLM -- Swedish jazz singer and actress Monica Zetterlund, who
performed and recorded with piano legend Bill Evans in the 1960s, has
died in a fire in her flat in Stockholm, police said on Friday.

The artist, whose acting performances included the 1972 movie "The
Emigrants" alongside Scandinavian stars Liv Ullman and Max von Sydow,
died when her flat in central Stockholm caught fire late on Thursday.
The cause was unknown.

Born in 1937 as Monica Nilsson, her first popular hit at home was a
cover of "Walking My Baby Back Home" in Swedish, but her pure, sultry
voice soon became known to jazz fans around the world.

Zetterlund gave up performing in 1999 and later told one
interviewer: "Now I don't even sing in the shower."

Monday, May 02, 2005

Jazz bassist Percy Heath dies at 81

The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Jazz bassist Percy Heath dies at 81
"Percy Heath, the superb bassist who for more than 40 years provided the sublime underpinnings for the Modern Jazz Quartet, died Thursday of bone cancer at a hospital in Southampton, N.Y. He was 81.
Mr. Heath was the last surviving member of the quartet he helped found that became known simply as the MJQ. Mr. Heath joined with pianist John Lewis, drummer Connie Kay and vibraphonist Milt Jackson, to create a restrained bop style that was considered the epitome of sophistication.
He and his brothers, saxophonist Jimmy Heath and drummer Albert 'Tootie' Heath, made up one of the great families in jazz.
Percy Heath was born April 30, 1923, in Wilmington, N.C.
He was drafted into the Army in 1944, and learned to fly P-4s and P-47s as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen. His class graduated in early 1945. He saw no combat. After the war, he decided to go into music, so he took part of his military separation money and bought a stand-up bass.
Mr. Heath and his brother Jimmy moved to New York in the late 1940s. By 1950, they had found steady work with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.
The MJQ had its genesis in the Gillespie big band. As Lewis told critic Leonard Feather some years ago, he and three other band members � drummer Kenny Clarke, bassist Ray Brown and Jackson � decided to form a group to try to create a sound that was not based on the standard themes of the day.
The group originally was called the Milt Jackson Quartet. Mr. Heath joined the group when Brown left to play in his wife Ella Fitzgerald's band.
The Modern Jazz Quartet officially was born in 1952. After a well-received European tour, it returned home and slowly caught on with American fans. Kay joined the group in 1955 when Clarke moved to Europe.
The group "