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FYI

Obituaries, April 20, 2023

Guy Bailey, guitarist and founding member of the English rock band Quireboys, died on April 6.  

Obituaries, April 20, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Guy Bailey, guitarist and founding member of the English rock band Quireboys, died on April 6.  


The news of his death was confirmed by fellow Quireboys founder Spike and was also posted on the Facebook page of Thirsty, the band Bailey founded in 2015. "It is with great sadness that we are letting you know that last night our founder, lead vocalist, guitarist, composer and inspiration Guy Bailey passed away peacefully in hospital after a short illness," read the statement from Thirsty.

 Bailey and Spike founded The Quireboys – originally known as The Queerboys – in 1984.  Bailey would go on to play on the band's first two albums, 1990's classic A Bit of What You Fancy and 1993's Bitter Sweet & Twisted, co-writing fan favourites like Hey You, 7 O’clock and I Don't Love You Anymore. The band went on hiatus in 1994 and returned without Bailey in 2001. 

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Bailey would join forces with Spike again in 2022 after the singer was fired from The Quireboys. Spike reported that "I and Guy Bailey have written the songs for a new album, and me and Chris Johnstone, Nigel Mogg and Rudy Richman will fulfil his wishes that these songs are recorded, and a new Quireboys album will be released this year."

Read more at Classic Rock 

Ahmad Jamal, a best-selling jazz pianist and composer, died on April 15, at age 92.

The Washington Post reported that "In a professional career that began at 14 in his native Pittsburgh, Jamal proved over seven decades to be a musician of ceaseless growth and invention, a minimalist, classicist and modernist who sought to erase distinctions among musical genres. He was also, in the 1950s, among the first African American performers who publicly adopted the Muslim faith.

Jamal’s preferred musical format was the trio, and he found critical success with a quiet, understated rhythmic style and dramatic use of silence between notes. His trademark was an ingeniously airy approach to classic pop standards or in his own groove-inflected compositions such as Ahmad’s Blues, a song that became part of the jazz repertoire.

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His group was the house band for Chicago’s Black-owned Pershing Hotel lounge — a favourite hangout for Billie Holiday and Sammy Davis Jr. — when Jamal recorded his 1958 commercial breakthrough, Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing: But Not For Me. The million-selling album stayed on the Billboard magazine charts for more than 100 weeks, and its centrepiece was an eight-minute rendition of the 1930s pop ballad Poinciana. 

The most prominent contemporary to embrace Jamal as a stylistic influence was trumpeter Miles Davis. Pianists as diverse as McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton and Bill Charlap also claimed Jamal as an influence on their approaches to the jazz piano trio. 

Last fall, Zev Feldman issued two collections of live Jamal on his Jazz Detective imprint. 

Read more in The Washington Post here. Read a vintage interview with Bill King in FYIhere.

Jah Shaka, an influential U.K. Soundsystem veteran, has died, after a career spanning over 50 years. His management confirmed his death on April 12 and did not provide a cause of death. Jah Shaka’s precise age was also unknown, although it’s been reported that he was around 75.

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Jah Shaka – also known as Zulu Warrior – spearheaded the sound system scene in London. He had moved to the city from Jamaica in 1956. VP Records' Planet Rock newsletter notes that "a Soundsystem operator, label owner, musician and artist in his own right, Shaka developed a unique style of playing, with an arsenal of otherwise unobtainable dubplates plus deep, reverent Roots music direct from the Jamaican source. Add to that his meditative chanting of biblical psalms, wild echo, reverb and sirens it was certainly a heady mix, one that was captured on film by Franco Rosso in his 1980 cult classic Babylon

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"As well as touring the world as a Soundman, his prolific studio output provided revered releases with the Mad Professor, Aswad, Max Romeo, Johnny Clarke and many more. Shaka’s music transcended cultural barriers and has since become the orthodox approach for Roots sounds the world over.

Since the 90s, The Jah Shaka Foundation has been assisting with a variety of different projects in the Accra area of Ghana, establishing important links with the local people. From Medical supplies to library books and carpentry tools, The Jah Shaka Foundation has played a vital role in that community.

Sources: VP Records, MusicFeeds

Mark Sheehan, guitarist and songwriter with Irish rock band The Script, died on April 14, at age 46, after a brief illness. In a statement, The Script called him a “much-loved husband, father, brother, bandmate and friend.”

Formed in Dublin in 2001 by Sheehan, singer Danny O’Donoghue and drummer Glen Power, The Script topped the U.K. and Irish charts with its self-titled debut album in 2008. It included the hits We Cry, Breakeven, and The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, which reached No. 1 in five countries.

The band’s pop-inflected rock sound made it one of Ireland’s biggest bands in the 2010s. The Script went on to have six Top 10 albums in the U.K. and one top three album in the U.S.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins praised the band’s “originality and excellence” and sent condolences to Sheehan’s family. “Through their music, Mark and The Script have played an outstanding part in continuing and promoting this proud tradition of Irish musical success across the world,” Higgins said.

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Sources:  AP, The Guardian

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Alvvays
Norman Wong

Alvvays

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Happy Anniversary, Archie: Alvvays' Debut Record Gets a 10th Birthday Re-Issue

The Canadian jangle pop group's first album will be available on a new cerulean blue vinyl with an unearthed bonus track, as well as the ten original songs — including breakout single 'Archie, Marry Me' — that launched their career in 2014.

A major Canadian indie rock album turns 10 today (July 22), and the band is celebrating with a special re-issue.

Alvvays' self-titled debut helped the group break through on an international scale, propelled by jangly guitars, aloof vocals and an expertly catchy single. "Archie, Marry Me," with its soaring chorus and pleading lyrics, became a wedding song for a generation of ambivalent millennials, earnest and sardonic at the same time.

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