So sad to know about the passing of my friend Orrin Keepnews yesterday. He would turn 92 today. I had the honor to produce reissues of many albums he produced, as well as to include Orrin's tracks in some of my compilations. All true jazz lovers know that he is one of the most important producers in the jazz history (IMHO, he, Norman Granz and Creed Taylor).
We all owe a great debt to Orrin for what he did at his Riverside label in the early 60s, by signing people like Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans, and Cannonball Adderley, and producing their first solo albums. He later sold Riverside to Fantasy Records, but founded a new label, Milestone, in 1966, signing people like Jim Hall and Lee Konitz.
Once again, due to financial problems, he had to sold his trademark; and once again Fantasy got it (in '72). But they kept Orrin in creative control of Milestone, and soon it became one of the best jazz labes of the 70s, even signing the revolutionary Brazilian jazz vocalist Flora Purim in late '73 and producing the best six albums of her life (this photo below is from the "Open Your Eyes You Can Fly" sessions and shows Orrin sandwiched by Flora and Hermeto Pascoal, with George Duke and Airto on the back).
(from left to right: Ndugu, Alphonso Johnson, Flora, Airto, Orrin, Duke, Hermeto; pic by Bruce Talamon, NOT used on the album)