I just received word from my friend and colleague, drummer Ralph Peterson, that the great pianist and fellow Jazz Messenger Mulgrew Miller has passed away this morning, after suffering a massive stroke last week.
This is a heavy blow to all of us. Mulgrew wasn’t only the greatest jazz pianist of his generation (my generation as well), but a great human being, one of the best folks ever to come down the pike in this business. We played and recorded together, but I’ve always wished for more contact with this giant, now not to be. Mulgrew, you will always live in my heart and I will let the children know about your towering contribution to this music!
I was honored to have Mulgrew play on one of my recordings, 2000’s Tribute To The Trumpet Masters on the Sharp Nine label. Here’s my composition “Woody Shaw” from that side. Dig how hip Mulgrew’s shadowing of the melody is on the head in, his supportive (both rhythmically challenging and centering) comping behind the trumpet – and his truly killing solo.
I’d like to offer my truly heartfelt condolences to Mulgrew’s family, friends, and to the music itself, which has suffered an irreplaceable loss.