R.I.P., Melvin Sparks : Blog Of The Nation Soul-jazz lost one of its pioneers Tuesday. Melvin Sparks died at his home in Mount Vernon New York. He was one of the originators of the genre, and then again enjoyed a resurgence in the 1990s.
NPR logo R.I.P., Melvin Sparks

R.I.P., Melvin Sparks

Jazz great Melvin Sparks died Tuesday. Mehrshad Mansouri/Flickr hide caption

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Mehrshad Mansouri/Flickr

Jazz great Melvin Sparks died Tuesday.

Mehrshad Mansouri/Flickr

The great soul-jazz guitarist Melvin Sparks died Tuesday. There isn't much press on his death and that's probably because he didn't enjoy the success of the people he supported: Sam Cooke, Idris Muhammed, Hank Crawford.

A little-known site called jambands.com had a short little write up, by Annabel Lukins, a self-described friend. She writes:

With a ferocious approach that was nothing short of a phenomena, Melvin could play notes faster than imaginable, yet he never lost his stoic stature. Then, every so often, he'd lift his head, look at the crowd and let that huge signature smile light up the room. It was a natural gesture that paid off in instant smiles in return, not unlike his signature teasing of the theme from "The Flintstones" in the middle of a jam. Simple, yet packed with joy no matter the situation, Melvin's catch phrase was, "It's All Good." His status on his MySpace page was permanent: "Blessed."

Enjoy this classic, "Texas Twister".


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