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MULGREW MILLER (August 13, 1955–May 29, 2013) In Memoriam

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“I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good” (Duke Ellington)
Jazz Ă  Vienne 2012

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Mulgrew Miller

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Mulgrew Miller in Spain | 2011

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Remembering Mulgrew Miller

by Becca Pulliam
© 2013 by Becca Pulliam and NPR’s JazzSet
June 6, 2013

The pianist Mulgrew Miller died on May 29, 2013, following a cerebral hemorrhage. The jazz world is grieving the loss of this “wonderful musician and great spirit,” in the words of fellow pianist Kenny Barron. As saxophonist Loren Schoenberg so aptly says, “Mulgrew could levitate a bandstand.”

Thinking about his piano alone, Miller’s right hand was the great embellisher; the whole keyboard was his canvas. His left hand could stride and swing with great authority, and when the two hands got together, he sent the train down the tracks. Yet he could lay down a carpet of flowers. What a touch. Miller deployed all his gifts and accomplishments anew every time we recorded him, and he always seemed to be with us, grounded in the shared love of the music.

He expressed his credo as a writer with these words: “I strive to compose beautiful melodies and interpret them with a beat that dances.”

Miller was born in 1955 in Greenwood, Miss. At 6, he started playing by picking out hymns and harmonies on the piano, always on the black keys. As he told WBGO’s Gary Walker in an on-air conversation, he didn’t realize that those keys are considered to be the difficult ones to play in …

 >>>  Read Becca Pulliam’s ‘Remembering Mulgrew Miller’ in full. Go to the original at NPR’s JazzSet  >>>

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‘Mulgrew Miller, Influential Jazz Pianist, Dies at 57’  |  Nate Chinen  |  The New York Times  |  May 29, 2013

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“All the Things You Are”  |  The Center for Jazz Studies, Tel Aviv  |  June 2012

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Golden Fingers: An Interview with Jazz Piano Legend Mulgrew Miller  |  Bassist Jonah Jonathan  |  February 2012

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MAXJAZZ PIANO SERIES:  Mulgrew Miller
The Official Website

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