Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hale Smith (1925-2009), composer of classical music and jazz whose influence is still felt, was born June 29

Hale Smith  (1925-2009)

On May 28, 2014 AfriClassical posted:

Hale Smith (1925-2009), an African American composer, pianist and professor, is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,

Marilyn Harris is a former student whose Hale Smith Tribute  is a loving and informative testimonial in a special section of her website 

Eric Dolphy's career was in jazz, but he entrusted his musical papers to Hale and Juanita Smith, as is explained in the article on Eric Dolphy in The New York Times:

His musical papers have just been acquired by the Music Division of the Library of Congress, and his music, including pieces never performed before, will be played at a two-day festival in his honor, called Eric Dolphy: Freedom of Sound, this weekend in Montclair, N.J.
The papers were long in the possession of Dolphy’s close friends the composer Hale Smith, who died in 2009, and his wife, Juanita, who later gave them to the flutist and composer James Newton. The cache, five boxes of material, is available to scholars in the Library of Congress Performing Arts Reading Room. It includes several previously unperformed works, as well as extensions or alternative arrangements of Dolphy pieces, including “Hat and Beard,” “Gazzelloni” and “The Prophet.”
It also holds a key to how he thought and what he practiced: his transcriptions of other music, including bits of Charlie Parker and Stravinsky; Bach’s Partita in A minor for flute; and a bass-clarinet arrangement for Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1. There are also many scales of Dolphy’s own devising, which he was using as the basis for improvisation; practice books and lead sheets; and a page of transcriptions of bird calls.

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