Richie Kotzen: Breaks Down The Essence Of Live

November 1, 2008

Funk/rock/fusion ace Hiram Bullock (1955-2008), perhaps best known for his electrifying performances with Paul Shaffer in the house band on Late Night with David Letterman in the early ’80s, passed away on July 25. (Bullock revealed earlier this year he had been fighting a throat tumor.) The guitarist leaves behind a string of groove-heavy solo albums, and session credits with everyone from Marcus Miller, David Sanborn, and Steely Dan to James Taylor, Phyllis Hyman, and Carla Bley. Limber and loose, always dancing in place—even while holding down rhythm guitar parts behind Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan or other stars—Bullock had a crowd-pleasing, larger than life stage presence. He could be a delightful ham, and was never afraid to step into the spotlight and take an explosive solo. One could practically hear his notes and feel the groove of the song through his body language alone. —Jude Gold

A veteran of both the Greenwich Village and Woodstock folk scenes, guitarist/ producer Artie Traum(1943-2008) died on July 20 at the age of 65. His brother, guitarist Happy Traum, told the New York Times the cause of death was liver cancer. A multi-talented multi-tasker, Artie recorded solo albums, produced instructional guitar videos for his brother’s company (Homespun Tapes), toured the world performing music, did some film scoring, hosted a radio show, and even made a documentary film about the Catskill water system. Traum is survived by his wife, Beverly. — Jude Gold

Guitarist/composer/arranger and onagain, off-again dairy farmer Joe Beck (1945-2008) lost his battle with lung cancer on July 22. Beck, who came of age in the New York jazz scene of the 1960s, leaves behind an impressive résumé that includes stints with James Brown, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, and other luminaries. In addition to recording solo albums, he is known for collaborations with David Sanborn and Jimmy Bruno, as well as his contribution to Esther Phillips’ hit single “What a Difference a Day Makes.”— Jude Gold

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