Sadly, we have to start today with some sad news. On the 22nd, the world of music lost both Mike Longo and Eric Weissberg.
Mike Longo was 83 years old and passed away at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Longo, who was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday, died of COVID-19. Tragically, he was the first American jazz casualty of the cornonavirus. Long had a long and distinguished career as both a pianist and a composer. Along with his own solo work, he was known for serving as Dizzy Gillepsie’s musical director. Below is a performance of Gillespie’s band, taken from a 1968 concert in Copenhagen. The song that their playing is a Longo composition called Ding A Ling:
Longo also had an extensive solo career and he also worked as an educator, passing on his knowledge and love for jazz to the next generation.
Eric Weissberg was 80 and passed away in a Detroit nursing home. He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for several years. A folk musician who later became an in-demand sessions player, Weissberg was best-known as a banjo player. With Steve Mandell, Weissberg arranged and performed the version of Dueling Banjos that is heard in the film Deliverance.
Rest in peace to both of these gentleman. Thanks for the music.