Monday, 27 August 2007

Richard Cook 1957-2007...


Today came the sad news a lot of people in the know had been expecting - Richard Cook's long battle against cancer finally came to an end at the weekend. Despite making a recovery, an unexpected relapse saw him returning to hospital and, sadly, he never got to leave.

I knew his writing long before I ever joined his reviews team at the magazine. He co-authored the jazz-bible The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, influencing many a purchase in the days before I gave up on expanding my library. Other notable books include a popular and acclaimed history of Blue Note records and more recently a volume about Miles Davis.

I never got to know Richard beyond the briefest exchanges of emails. I had the utmost respect though for his strong editorial line and his refusal to compromise in the production of a quality publication. That I've lasted for 5 years at his magazine tells me I must have been doing something right. Despite it being very much a team effort, it's hard to imagine the magazine without his passion and energy.

A small tribute to Richard, which reprints many of his articles from a long career that included work with the NME, Mojo and The Wire, can be found here.

There's really not much more I can say, but follow the link to find out what made him one of the best music writers bar none - as well as articles on Nina Simone and Charlie Parker you'll find him covering Scott Walker, The Police and even Frank Sinatra. His writing is ultimately the best tribute possible...

2 comments:

Andrew Bevan said...

Sad indeed. I have particularly fond memories of his GLR Jazz shows in the late 80s and early 90s which introduced me to many new names. He was an excellent DJ in letting the music speak and keeping his comments to an informed minimum. He also covered the history of jazz on air with a bias towards modern jazz. In that sense something he continued with Jazz Review. A real enthusiast and as such an inspiration to us all.

il angelo said...

I read him in The Wire, he was in fact one of the reasons why I read it avidly. Never met him as I don't know if he ever came to Spain. A good dialectical mind, profound interest in the subject and touches of humour made as if you carried on a long dialogue with him. Wherever jazz matters, he, and his insights, will be missed for sure.