Requiescat In Pace Sir Johnny
R.I.P. “The First Knight of British Jazz,” saxophonist/clarinetist/arranger John Dankworth, who died on Saturday at age 82. Dankworth studied at the Royal Academy of Music in the ’40s and formed his first band, the Johnny Dankworth Seven, in 1950. Later that decade, Dankworth formed a big band and married jazz singer Cleo Laine. Along with UK chart success with 1956’s “Experiments with Mice” and 1961’s “African Waltz,” Dankworth moved into film work in the ’60s and became Laine’s musical director in the ’70s; during his career, he also worked as musical director for Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, and Nat King Cole. Dankworth was knighted in 2006; he and Laine had a son and a daughter, both jazz musicians as well.
John Mayer, Arcade Fire and Haiti
John Mayer and Arcade Fire have licensed two of their best-known songs to help with Haiti relief efforts. Along with donating $500,000, Mayer will contribute his 2006 hit “The Heart of Life” to Red Cross radio and television commercials. Meanwhile, Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” will be used in charity ads that will run during the Super Bowl; all of their licensing fees will go to Partners in Health’s Stand with Haiti.