Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saying Goodbye and Thank You

Read recently of the passing of Anna Barron; she died in August 15 in Stockholm, Sweden (her birthplace.)  Before moving home, she had lived in Middletown, Connecticut for nearly 4 decades. She came to town with her husband, saxophonist/educator William "Bill" Barron, when he joined the Music faculty of Wesleyan University. She stayed even after Professor Barron passed in 1989, performing (as a violinist) in orchestras and chamber groups) but even more so to make sure that the musical legacy of her husband didn't disappear from the memories of jazz fans, writers and historians all over the world.  To that end, Ms. Barron helped co-ordinate the releases and re-releases of Bill Barron's music on labels such as Steeplechase and Jo-Ken (a label owned by Kenny Barron, the saxophonist's younger brother.)  She sent letters and emails to writers and reviewers the world over to remind them to listen and write about these recordings. She did interviews on jazz shows - Anna Barron never lost her belief in the relevance of her husband's music and life's work.

In her memory, her family asks that, if you wishplease make a donation to the Nature Conservancy, 55 High Street, Middletown, CT 06457. To find out more about her husband, go to

Also, it's hard not to be saddened on October 18 by the loss of saxophonist David S. Ware at the age of 62. It was 3 years ago that Mr. Ware had the long-awaited kidney transplant;  his illness and the operation had slowed him down but never doused his desire to create music of the highest order.  His tenor saxophone playing, at times, could be ferocious and, at a time when jazz was giving way to more moderate sounds, he stayed on his own path, one developed from working in ensembles led by pianist Cecil Taylor and drummer Beaver Harris.  He formed his first ensemble, a trio, in 1981, adding pianist Matthew Shipp in 1989 to form the David S. Ware Quartet.  Bassist William Parker and Shipp plus a series of drummers (including Whit Dickey, Susie Ibarra, Guillermo Brown) helped Mr. Ware create a body of work on labels such as AUM Fidelity, Thirsty Ear, Silkheart, DIW and Columbia (signed by Branford Marsalis) that stands the test of time.  As good as most of these CDs are, the Quartet truly shone in concert where one could see the the concentration of the musicians, feel their passion and enjoy the interactions.

There have been several fine remembrances posted; here's one from friend and band member Matthew Shipp -

Finally, Jason Crane will post the ultimate edition of The Jazz Session, Episode 417, on Monday October 29.  Happily, Mr. Crane is still among us, living and working in Auburn, Alabama and planning a new show for sometime in the future.  That written, The Jazz Session will continue to be available online for those people interested in hearing about musicians and their music, recorded during a time when jazz has been quite creative while it continues to be relegated to the sideline. Many people will tell you that jazz is best understood in the concert or nightclub setting where you can see the musicians interact.  Yet, it's rare that you can ask these musicians about their creative process, influences, likes, dislikes, frustrations, successes, education, etc. - over the course of 400+ interviews, Jason Crane was able to be that person for those of us who feel we can't talk to the musicians who we admire and often idolize.  He illuminated the human side of musicians or, you might say, the musical side of human beings.  Good luck to Mr. Crane - read his poetry and missives at  Catch up on the interviews at

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