Bobby Hutcherson, Jazz Vibraphone Modernist, Has Died Bobby Hutcherson, a vibraphonist whose improvising and composition helped to define modernity for jazz as a whole, has died. He had long struggled with emphysema. He was 75.As a mallet percussionist, he expanded the scope of what was possible on his instrument. And the sound he created was widely influential.It was a far cry from his first public performance. Inspired by pioneering jazz vibraphonist Milt Jackson, a teenaged Hutcherson formed a band with his friend from school, bassist Herbie Lewis. Hutcherson hadn’t taken any lessons, but Lewis marked up the vibraphone with which notes to play and when.It was a system that worked great in practice — but then they entered a contest … in front of people. Here’s how Bobby Hutcherson told the story to NPR in 2001.And the stage manager comes out and he says, ‘Oh Bobby, by the way, I saw a bunch of black stuff all written all over your bars, so I took a nice wet cloth, and I wiped it.’ I said, ‘No

Jazz and Blues


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