RIP, Wilson 'Willie Tee' Turbinton
I learned today that Willie Tee passed away this morning, succumbing quickly to colon cancer that had spread to other organs. He was 63. People, please get a colon screening, if you are over 50. Here's a nice obit from the New York Times (thank you to Mr. Surch for this link!). If I come across any more, I'll put them up here, too.
From what I've experienced of his music over a long career, and learned of him from those who knew him, this man was a class act all the way. I am working up the first of a series of tribute posts on this truly under-rated New Orleans artist and will re-activate the audio on some earlier posts very soon.
For now I'll close with a strange, poignant convergence. Back in 1960s, Tee became freinds with Cannonball Adderly, also befriending Adderly's keyboard player at the time, Joe Zawinul; and the two keyboardist/composers remained close friends until the present day. Weather Report recorded one of Tee's tunes; and, as I mentioned before, Tee's brother, Earl, who left us just a month ago, played on Zawinul's 1970 solo LP. Well, today Joe Zawinul died, too. Guess they all were called out for that giant jam session up in Spiritland.