MUSiC/MEDiA: Michael Cuscuna, 1948-2024, R.I.P.

Started out as a drummer!

This obituary just popped up in my FB feed. Another legend from the world of Jazz leaves the earthly jam session.

Michael Cuscuna, best known for his work on the Blue Note catalogue, and as co-founder of DeLuxe reissue imprint Mosaic, died yesterday, aged 75.

Read more about Cuscuna’s life in Jazz in this Downbeat feature.

I’m chuffed to read that he started out as a drummer (and also apparently played sax and flute!), as one myself.

Cuscuna, Bearsville Studio, Woodstock, 1972

This quote from Cuscuna pops up here and there on the web:

I remember once I was doing a record with Dexter Gordon at 30th Street called Gotham City, and Art Blakey was on drums. During the session Art looked at me and said, ‘Man, you remind me of Alfred Lion.’ That was the greatest line I ever heard, you know?

This puts me in mind of something Tolkien has Faramir say to Sam, in The Lord of The Rings: ‘The praise of the praiseworthy is above all reward’. Indeed. Well, Cuscuna must’ve felt, in that moment, that he’d achieved something worthwhile.

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