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Postscript: Rudy Van Gelder (1924-2016), Modern Jazz’s Listener of Genius

The New Yorker Friday, 26 August 2016
I had the good fortune, while still a teen-ager, in the nineteen-seventies, to catch some of the leading lights of modern jazz—including Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Dizzy Gillespie, and Jackie McLean—performing in concert, and others, such as Sonny Rollins, Cecil Taylor, and Art Blakey, soon thereafter. But these performances were exceptional occasions, mainly in large and far-from-intimate settings. Most of what I know—and most of what anyone younger than I am knows—of classic-modern jazz from the LP era comes from recordings, and the principal sound of those recordings is due to the scientific artistry of the recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, who died yesterday at the age of ninety-one.

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