Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ah, Ahmet...

I brushed up against Ahmet Ertegun a few years ago at a gallery opening in New York, just so I could say “oh, sorry...hey aren't you?...” He seemed almost like he had outlasted himself, and I wanted to talk to him, maybe tweak his l’il goatee, but didn’t really have the heart to start one of those “I love your stuff, man...” kind of conversations.

Didn’t hear that he had died wednesday at 83. Apparently had been in a coma for a while after falling and hitting his head at a Rolling Stones concert. Probably the way Mick & Keef will go out too (sorry, couldn’t resist that).

Nice remembrance by Felix Contreras on NPR...

“In the music business, people with an acute ability to sense something in music that others do not are said to have great ‘ears.’ Ahmet Ertegun, who died Wednesday at 83, had some of the best ears in the business.

The son of a Turkish diplomat, Ertegun fell in love with jazz in London after seeing Duke Ellington's band in 1932. Inspired, the young Ertegun eventually staged concerts at the Turkish embassy in Washington. Black and white musicians were able to play together at the shows, something they couldn't do beyond the embassy gates.”

’Nuff said.