Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Brooks Kerr (1951–2018)

Brooks Kerr, pianist and Duke Ellington scholar, has died at the age of sixty-six. The New York Times has an obituary.

There’s a YouTube channel for Kerr’s recordings, but no trace online of the recording I’d like to link to: Soda Fountain Rag (Chiaroscuro, 1975), a wonderful sampling of early Ellingtonia, with Kerr (then twenty-four) accompanied by a spirited Sonny Greer, the Ellington band’s first drummer (then seventy-nine). Instead, here’s a live recording from 1974 of Kerr playing “Soda Fountain Rag,” generally considered Ellington’s first composition.

comments: 2

Unknown said...

The best rendition of Soda Fountain Rag I’ve heard. Clean and brisk with soul! Brooks Kerr was one of a kind, quite charming! Heard him play many times. I’ll miss him knowing he’s gone but gladly to that Big Band in the Sky!
A loyal fan and friend

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for remembering him here.