30-04-08

George Butler R.I.P.

Mister Butler passed away , didn't get that much attention inthe press although i dug his obituary up from the NYT :

George Butler, Executive at Prominent Jazz Labels, Is Dead at 76

By BEN RATLIFF
Published: April 20, 2008
George Butler, a prominent jazz record executive for the Columbia, Blue
Note and United Artists labels from the late 1960s to the late 1990s, died
on April 9 in Castro Valley, Calif. He was 76.

His death was confirmed by his sister, Jacqueline Butler Hairston.

Mr. Butler was best known for working to make jazz recordings dovetail
with trends in popular music in the 1970s and 1980s, and for helping to
encourage the Young Lions movement that began in the ’80s, when Wynton
Marsalis and other neo-traditionalists became stars.

Mr. Butler was a famously natty presence on the jazz scene. He lived in
New York City for decades, but by October 2005, suffering from Alzheimer’s
disease, he had moved to a retirement home in Hayward, Calif.

Born and raised in Charlotte, N.C., Mr. Butler attended Howard University
and received a master’s degree in music education from Teachers College at
Columbia University. (The “Dr.” title he frequently used came from an
honorary doctorate given to him by the University of North Carolina at
Charlotte.)

After a few years at United Artists Records, he moved to a subsidiary
label, Blue Note, in 1972. At a time when jazz was rapidly losing its
audience, he strove to fight the trend by arranging for many jazz-pop
crossover projects, including albums by Earl Klugh, Donald Byrd, Ronnie
Laws and Bobbi Humphrey. He also oversaw projects for records with a few
musicians who had been at the forefront of jazz in the early ’60s,
including Horace Silver and Bobby Hutcherson.

In the late ’70s Mr. Butler was hired by Columbia, where he became vice
president for jazz and progressive artists and repertory. During his
tenure there, which lasted into the mid-’90s, he helped persuade Miles
Davis to return to the studio (in 1980, after a five-year absence). He
also signed or was executive producer for fusion and soul-jazz acts like
Bob James, Billy Cobham and Grover Washington Jr.

Mr. Butler was instrumental in signing Wynton Marsalis to Columbia. Mr.
Butler and Columbia soon became a nexus for the Young Lions, young
musicians playing hard bop or traditional styles with polished technique.
He was the executive producer of albums by others who were presented in
the same vein, like Branford Marsalis (Wynton Marsalis’s brother), Kent
and Marlon Jordan, Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison. While at
Columbia, he also signed Harry Connick Jr. and Nnenna Freelon.

In addition to his sister, Ms. Hairston, of Hayward, Calif., Mr. Butler is
survived by his daughter, Bethany Butler of Manhattan

21:58 Gepost door Lexman in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: george butler |  Facebook |

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