Free Jazz Legend Giuseppi Logan Dead of Coronavirus at 84

Jazz legend Giuseppi Logan died of the coronavirus at a Far Rockaway nursing home, according to a report. He was 84.

Logan, who became an icon in New York’s free jazz movement in the 1960s, died at the Lawrence Care Center, his friend Matt Lavelle told jazz radio station WBGO.

The multi-instrumentalist taught himself how to play alto and tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, flute, piano and Pakistani oboe and collaborated through the Swinging Sixties with other avant-garde musicians including Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders and Bill Dixon.

But Logan, who suffered from addiction and mental health issues, disappeared from the music scene in the 1970s. He alternated between homelessness in New York and being institutionalized in Virginia, The New York Times reported in 2012.

“Guys like Giuseppi, they’re a story to study,” percussionist Milford Graves told the outlet at the time.

Logan finally made a major comeback in 2009 with Lavelle’s help. The trumpeter and clarinetist helped Logan land his first show in decades, a chance to play at the Bowery Poetry Club.

The two then recorded an album featuring François Grillot, Warren Smith and a former collaborator — Dave Burrell.

“The Giuseppi Logan Quintet” album was “surprisingly well received,” said Josh Rosenthal, founder of Tompkins Square Records.

“The main thing for me, to be honest, was just to make Giuseppi feel good and to give him some money and some CDs to sell in the park,” Rosenthal told WGBO.

Logan is survived by two sons, Joe and Jaee, who is also a pianist and a producer.

[via NY Post]

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