Monday, May 9, 2011

R.I.P.: Cornell Dupree

(born December 19, 1942 in Fort Worth, TX, U.S.;
died May 08, 2011)

Very sad news.

Cornell Dupree and Eric Gale were the unsung guitar heroes of the 70s. They could play any music style superbly! Jazz, funk, soul, r&b, disco, pop, anything. I treasure Cornell's laserdisc as a leader, the Stuff DVD at Montreux, the many projects (CDs, DVDs) with The Gadd Gang (alongside Richard Tee, Eddie Gomez and Ronnie Cuber), thousands of sideman sessions with Hank Crawford, Aretha Franklin, Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson, James Brown, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Les McCann, Carla Bley, Donny Hatthaway, Carly Simon, David Sanborn, Herbie Mann, Yusef Lateef, Cheryl Lynn, David "Fathead" Newman, Elvin Jones, King Curtis, Michael Franks et al.

According to his own website, Dupree took part on literally over 2,500 albums.
Besides a dozen of solo albums (mostly available on CD only in Japan), the "Cornell Dupree & Friends Live at the Lonestar Roadhouse Cafe" LD (later reissued on DVD, also only in Japan) and some precious instructional videos, he played with Miles Davis (on "Get Up With It"), Charles Earland, Paul Simon, Lou Rawls, Barbra Streisand, Esther Phillips, Lena Horne, Gordon Edwards, Bernard Purdie, Grover Washington Jr., B.B. King, Dakota Staton, Marlena Shaw, Archie Shepp, Sonny Stitt, Weldon Irvine, Buddy Rich, Michel Legrand, Etta James, Ringo Starr, Chaka Khan, Candi Staton, Mariah Carey, Jimmy McGriff, Oscar Brown Jr. and The Average White Band, among several others.By the end of 2010, Cornell Dupree had been diagnosed with emphysema and was needing a lung transplant. To help raise money for medical expenses, a Benefit Concert was held last March @ B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, featuring Joe Cocker, Dr. John, Eddie Palmieri, Cornell Dupree's Soul Survivors, the B3's, plus many other guests.Dupree required oxygen to breathe and suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. During a January gig at the Continental Gallery just after he signed to the Dialtone label (his last album as a leader is yet to be released), he had to be carried in a chair up the stairs to the gallery.

The Golden Gate Funeral Home in Arlington is handling arrangements, with services scheduled for Friday. He is survived by his wife Erma, who said her husband would want to be remembered as “a great musician, a friend and someone who could get along with anybody.”

A true musical icon, he influenced such guitarists as Dean Brown and the late Hiram Bullock.

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