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Dick Sudhalter: Wikis


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Dick Sudhalter
Birth name Richard M. Sudhalter
Born December 28, 1938(1938-12-28)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died September 19, 2008 (aged 69)
New York City, NY, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupations Trumpeter, author
Instruments Trumpet, Cornet
Years active 1964–2003
Associated acts New York Jazz Repertory Company
New Paul Whiteman Band
Classic Jazz Quartet

Richard M. Sudhalter (December 28, 1938-September 19, 2008)[1] was an American jazz trumpeter, scholar, critic, and album annotator.



Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Sudhalter was inspired to pursue a musical career by his father Al Sudhalter, a noted Boston-area saxophone soloist. He began playing the cornet at 12 and within a few years was performing professionally. After graduating from Oberlin College, he moved to Europe in 1960, later becoming a United Press International correspondent. In 1968 he covered the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia from Prague for UPI.[2] He wrote jazz criticism for the New York Post from 1978 to 1984.[1]

Literary works

In 1974 Sudhalter and Philip R. Evans co-wrote Bix: Man and Legend, the standard biography of jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke. Music critic Terry Teachout has called the book "a 'landmark of jazz scholarship' and the 'first jazz biography written to the standards' of a serious study of a classical composer or other major historical figure."[3] Sudhalter's other books are Lost Chords: White Musicians and Their Contribution to Jazz, 1915-1945 (1999) and Stardust Melody (2002), the first full-length biography of Hoagy Carmichael. Lost Chords ignited some controversy for its assertion that jazz was shaped by both black and white musicians.[4] Sudhalter received an ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Citation for Excellence for Lost Chords, and a Grammy Award in 1983 for his liner notes for Bunny Berigan: Giants of Jazz.

Musical career

Sudhalter also worked as a professional musician for most of his life, playing trumpet and cornet with the New York Jazz Repertory Company and founding the New Paul Whiteman Band. In 1983 he co-founded the Classic Jazz Quartet, a traditional jazz ensemble that also included Marty Grosz on guitar, Joe Muranyi on clarinet, and Dick Wellstood on piano. In addition to recording with the Classic Jazz Quartet and the New Paul Whiteman Band, he made several solo albums.

Illness and death

A stroke in 2003 forced him to retire from playing, after which he developed multiple system atrophy, a disease that left him unable to speak and subsequently led to his death from pneumonia, aged 69.[5] He was survived by his brother and sister, two adult daughters, and his companion of 22 years.[4]


External links

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