Date: Jun 29th, 2008 · Tags: Jazz News

At the age of 72 Jazz pianist Ronnie Mathews has passed away, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Matthews had been the subject of an all-star benefit and tribute just last week at Sweet Rhythm in New York City.

If you’ve spent any time listening to 1960s, 70s and 80s hardbop, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard Ronnie Matthews on the keyboards at some point–Dexter Gordon’s live 1976 opus Homecoming, for example, or Freddie Hubbard’s mid-1960s Blue Note classic Breaking Point.

Condolences goes out to Mr. Mathews’ friends and family, and thanks for all of the listening pleasure that he provided to me and many other jazz fans around the world. Rest in peace!

Here is a video of Johnny Griffin at the Village Vanguard together with Ronnie Mathews in 1981.

[Photo of Ronnie Mathews by Giancarlo Belfiore from Jazzhouse.org]