Skip to comments.Teddy Charles, Jazz Musician Turned Sea Captain, Dies at 84
Posted on 04/21/2012 3:12:55 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Teddy Charles, a gifted vibraphonist who teamed up with many of the musicians who revolutionized jazz in the 1940s and 50s and then literally sailed away to become a sea captain, died on Monday in Riverhead, N.Y. He was 84.
The cause was heart failure, his niece Gail Aronow said.
Mr. Charles played with Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Max Roach and, he insisted, at least once with the legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker. He wrote and arranged pieces recorded by Davis and Mingus and drew praise for his sophisticated compositions. As a studio musician, he backed singers like Aretha Franklin and Bobby Vinton. He produced 40 records, including albums by John Coltrane and Zoot Sims. The New York Times in 1956 hailed Mr. Charless imaginative feeling for a swinging beat.
His 10-piece combo, which included a tuba, drew excellent reviews that year at the Newport Jazz Festival. Three years later, Mr. Charles was sailing his boat from New York to the festival when the wind died; he missed his scheduled appearance.
Soon he left everything behind including his wife, Diana, a fashion model. In the mid-1960s, he took his schooner to the eastern Caribbean and became a charter boat captain, transporting first people, then cargo, like rum and soap.
He abandoned a career that had gained impressive altitude. He had recorded with Mingus and produced a record for John Coltrane; his New Directions albums for the Prestige label and its New Jazz imprint were admired for their explorations of polytonality. He taught his four-mallet vibraphone technique to Tito Puente.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
All my family live in the Riverhead area .
From Riverhead News Review :
” ...He later bought and restored the derelict Tiki, the famed 85-foot wooden schooner from the 1950s TV series Adventures in Paradise, and began running a charter service out of Martinique. In 1980, he switched from running charters to carrying cargo including rum and soap from Antigua.”