Los Angeles: Grammy-winning jazz producer Orin Keepnews has died her at his home in El Cerrito, California. He was 94. He died yesterday, confirmed by son, Peter, said The Hollywood Reporter.
Keepnews loomed large in the jazz community, receiving four Grammy awards, a Trustees Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2004 and the title of Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2011.
He was also a prolific journalist and record executive. The Bronx native served in the Air Force during World War II, flying bombing raids over Japan, then studied English at Columbia University. He began his career as a journalist while in his mid-20s, when he wrote an early profile of Thelonious Monk for the publication
The Record Changer. In 1953, Keepnews partnered with his former Columbia University classmate and fellow jazz enthusiast Bill Grauer to form Riverside Records, which released early recordings by Randy Weston and Monk. He produced the latter's seminal record Brilliant Corners, Sonny Rollins' Freedom Suite and Everbody Digs Bill Evans. Keepnews also founded Milestone Records and Landmark Records.
He contributed many album liner notes and articles and released a collection, 'The View From Within: Jazz Writings, 1948-87'.
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