Monday, June 30, 2014

R.I.P.: Paul Horn

(born March 17, 1930; died June 29, 2014)

Internationally acclaimed musician & composer, jazz master, one of the world's greatest flutists ever, and a pioneer of both new age and world music, Paul Horn passed away yesterday, June 29 after a brief illness. He was 84.

Horn is survived by his wife Ann Mortifee, his sons Robin and Marlen, stepson Devon, 4 grandchildren -Brittany, Tyler, Jonah, Ana- and daughters in-law Robin, Alison and Beth. A private memorial-celebration of life is being planned.

Paul Horn came to prominence as a member of Chico Hamilton's group in 1956, but soon after he started his solo career as a recording artist, signing with ABC-Paramount's Dot label. He later jumped to World Pacific, Columbia, RCA, and Epic. Among his main albums are stunning collaborations with Lalo Schifrin (the Grammy-winning "Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts" in 1965) and Oliver Nelson ("Monday, Monday" in 1966).
However, big popularity beyond jazz circles came only with the historic "Inside" (1969), better known as "Inside the Taj Mahal". That ground-breaking LP sold over three quarters of a million copies and launched a series of "Inside" projects recorded in natural and sacred sites with unique acoustic properties.
But my personal favorite Horn album is "Altura do Sol" (High Sun), a Teo Macero production conceived after the flutist fell in love with the Airto Moreira-Egberto Gismonti collaboration on Airto's "Identity" (Arista, 1975). Gismonti wrote all the tunes and arrangements for that amazing album, recorded in NY back in 1976 featuring Dom Salvador, Ron Carter, Dom Um Romão and Robertinho Silva. "High Sun" was reissued on CD in 1989, by the Black Sun label, under the title "The Altitude of The Sun," combined with another album cut with the Canadian group Nexus. That same year, Paul Horn recorded "Brazilian Images" with Airto, André Geraissati and João Parahyba. His last albums were released on his own label and are available, along with some reissues, through his official website Rest in Peace.

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